Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Nokia N91 Podcasting

All of a sudden Nokia has burst on to the podcasting scene with the release of its own Podcasting application for Nokia series 60 phones. The actual target device for this new podcasting application is its new N91. This application appears to be just the start to a much more expanded support for podcasting in the future. Read more here from Gizmodo.

This new N91 music phone landed on my door step yesterday and it was a very pleasent surprise (disclosure: I am a member of the Nokia Blogger Program and got this N91 phone for Free to review). I was having a very bad day (Tues, June 20) as my streaming webserver for WebTalk Radio and a few other shows was under a brutal hacker attack and I was sick and could not talk.

This N91 Nokia phone is an amazing device as it has a 4GB internal hard drive. Once I started using it and put my Cingular SIM card into it and got internet access then it tried to connect to my home WiFi connection. This is a first for me to have a phone with WiFi. Wow, what an experience that is. Our Mobilcast application defaulted to work with the WiFi instead of Cingular's GPRS and it created a extremely fast user experience and downloading podcasts was a snap, but streaming worked great as well.

The other thing about this phone is the sound quality, that makes our low bitrate AMR formated podcasts sound very good. The phone has an elaborate music playback application that rivals the iPod and the sound is as good as an iPod. Why would I need an iPod now. I have an iPhone already with this N91. The headphones are really good and have a remote control, the front of the phone has an iPod like control wheel.

This is clearly a glimps into the future of mobile phones, but it gets warm when playing media for an extended period of time. It is very strong in the ability to playback and store high quality media.

One draw back so far is that the device does not give you the easy option to go from a carrier based GPRS data connection to WiFi simply. Mobilcast defaults to the WiFi connection and does not fall back to GPRS when I am out of Wifi range. This phone is great for listening to podcasts and music.

I would highly recommend this phone as it has the Wow factor and it has some very good next generation features, but most will find the $600 unlocked cost for the phone a little steep. I did see it for $350 at Google's Froogle site, but you never know whether you would actually get it at that much of a reduced price.

Rob Greenlee
WebTalk Radio

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