Nothing beats my wife’s iPhone plan with Fido. $17 per month with unlimited voice on evening and weekend, standard voice mail, calling forwarding, call display, text messages package. The catch? No data plan. Call Fido to disable data service so the iPhone will not use any data accidentally. Having Wifi for data connection is good enough.
Pat got a new iPhone, so it is my job to load it up with mp3. When I import my Chinese mp3 into iTune, the mp3 tag of some songs are displayed as funny characters. The iPod song list in iPhone suffers the same problem. It is very inconvenient if you don’t know what singer and song you are listening. The best you can do is trying to guess the song from the album art and track number. My friends who has an iPhone and copy mp3 from me also has the same problem. It seems they simply rename the mp3 tag manually or tolerate the occasion corrupted song name.
After praying to the Google God, asking it to help me solve the problem, I got an answer. The cause of the problem is that the mp3 use big5 or GB code in the mp3 tag, which is incompatible with the Unicode used in iTune and iPhone. The solution is pretty straight forward, all I need to do is to translate the characters inside the mp3 tag to Unicode using Convertz 8.02. The interface of the program looks a bit dated (or should I say it is ugly?), but it get the job done. I have to pre-process the mp3 files before I import them to iTune. The two steps process is a bit inconvenient, but better than no knowing what song is playing. Why don’t iTune have a built-in mp3 tag code convention feature?
iPhone has become the new de facto standard of cell phone. Almost everyone I know who bought a new cell phone since iPhone 3G released got an iPhone. I estimate over half of my friends is already a iPhone user. I am pretty late to the iPhone bandwagon. Actually, I am not really part of the iPhone crowd, the new iPhone belongs to Pat. Her old cell phone dropped in water and totaled. Given the popularity of iPhone, it is quite obvious which phone I should buy her as replacement.
I spent the night setting up her new iPhone. I am never a fans of Apple, but I must praise its elegance. The iPhone is well integrated with iTune, the user interface is intuitive and easy to use. The only hassle I had is calling up Fido customer service to disable the data service in the cell phone plan. It took me awhile to get the customer service agent do exactly what I asked. Pat is using a very cheap $17 monthly plan that does not come with any data package. Data is charged per kbyte, so monthly bill would be quite expensive if Pat turned on iPhone’s 3G data features by accident. It is safer to disable all data services from the carrier side. Pat can still go online with her iPhone using Wi-Fi, just like go online with a laptop.
The iPhone is as powerful as a mini-computer. Probably more powerful than the first laptop I own many years ago. The phone is also a very good deal, the 16GB version only costs $199 after rebate. The cost of the iPhone is heavy subsidized by carrier. The carrier’s plan to turn a profit is using the lucrative data plan come with the contract, which costs $30 a month plus surcharge if the bandwidth usage is over the limit. It is more economical to stay away from the 3G data plan, use iPhone as a phone, a mp3 player and only use its online features at coffee shop with free Wi-Fi. I wonder why people pay extra for the data plan. How often do you need to go online while on move? I don’t think I can surf the web and driving at the same time. If you want to check up something quick, there are Wi-Fi coffee shop every where.