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Fusic: I’m done with you

I got sick of the little quirks with my Sprint LG Fusic (LX550). I’ve used it moderately since I started my SERO plan with Sprint in 11/06. Frankly the LG Fusic was the cheapest phone with the biggest discounts, but it turns out there’s a reason it was cheap.

On top of everything Joel said, anytime I put this device in my pocket, it seems to starting playing music. Now, I don’t think my pocket’s random button presses can outsmart a screen lock, but there seems to be no way to lock it completely out of the media player. I tested it to validate what my pocket told me, if you hold down the play button (on the outside of the unit), then press a direction, it will browse your music library. Pressing play again starts to play your music. If the phone is on “silent”, it doesn’t care, the media player works on its own volume. What kind of feature is this…? It seems like the only solution to having it not play music when random buttons are pressed is to delete my music library.

The above is just a minor quirk, I’m aware, unless of course I’m in a meeting and have to explain why Ozzie is singing “Bark at the Moon” from my pocket. I never have and probably never will use this phone for music listening, video watching, or any of the other things for which it was intended. I dislike the interface, but it’s functional, barely. This combined with the fact that I’m missing my digital to-do list devices of the past, namely and most notably my Viewsonic V37 PocketPC, I’ve decided to upgrade my phone.

So I bought used (found with the Forum FS/FT Thread Notifier) a Palm Treo 700wx. It is a little less powered than my Viewsonic V37 was (312MHz XScale compared to 400MHz XScale) — btw how is this even possible, my Viewsonic was made in like 2003. At any rate, I look forward to getting this going and playing around with it. It should at least hold me over until Android devices are out.

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MP3 Ringtones on LG Fusic (LG LX 550)

I received an LG Fusic LX550 with my Sprint Plan about 6 months ago. There didn’t appear to be any simple way to put MP3 ringtones on it, unfortunately. After some research (mostly through Howard Forums), I found a way that I could get these ringtones onto the phone without a whole lot of trouble.

This tutorial requires
1) An MP3
2) An LG Fusic / LG FX550 phone.
3) Windows XP (untested otherwise)
4) USB Data Transfer Cable for the LG Fusic

First, prepare the mp3. You probably don’t want an 8 minute song as your mp3 ringtone. I’d suggest keep it at ~30 seconds maximum. If your phone rings for more than 30 seconds… you really don’t deserve a cell phone. I used WavePad trial edition, then very easily trimmed, adjusted volume levels, and resaved my mp3. You can go with low quality, since it’s on a cell phone. I encoded it at 128kbps, mono channel. Rename this saved file to “MP3.mid”.

Next, connect your phone to your Windows XP computer, and install drivers as necessary. My computer actually found the drivers on its own, here’s what I did. After it’s connected, right click on My Computer, go to Manage. Go to Device Manager and find the device that doesn’t have drivers installed (should have a yellow exclamation by it). Right click on it, select Update Driver. On the following screen, select “Yes, this time only”, for letting Windows Update search for a driver. Next check “Install the software automatically”, then click Next. When it finds it, the driver won’t be WHQL certified, so you’ll have to click “Continue” to let Windows install it. Wait a few minutes, and the driver should be installed. This might introduce a few more “Unknown” devices to the Device Manager, so repeat the same process until all relevant Devices have drivers installed.

Next, on the LG Fusic. Go to Tools => Music Composer => Compose Melody => Keyboard Mode. Play a key, then save it as MP3. We will be overwriting this and using it as the MP3 ringtone later.

Next, install BitPim for Windows XP. From their website, “BitPim allows synchronization of Phone Book, Calendar, WallPapers and RingTones and manipulating the embedded filesystem in CDMA cell phones”, but we’ll only be using it for last one, “manipulating the embedded filesystem in CDMA cell phones”. Once installed, assuming your phone is still connected via USB, setup and configure your phone. I knew mine was connected when it said “Other CDMA phone on COM6 – Detected”, with a green Circle next to it. Go to the View menu, and ensure that “View Filesystem” is checked. On the left pane you should see “Filesystem”, near the bottom. Open that, and in the next pane you should be able to navigate to “/melodyComposer”. Drag and drop “MP3.mid” from the first step into this window in BitPim, overwriting the existing file.

Finally, on the phone go to Settings => Sounds => Ringers => Caller ID => My Melodies => MP3.mid. And wha-la, presto, sha-zaam.

Worked for me as described. Let me know if your experience varies from the above.

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