- how to transfer music and photos etc between the LG Shine KE 970 mobile phone and your computer
- how to use your own sound files and picture files for ringtones and wallpaper or contacts, and
- how to sync contacts / schedule between your Shine phonebook and contacts on your PC stored in Outlook, Outlook Express or a .CSV or .TAB file, and add new contacts or edit contacts via your PC
- (updated 11 June 2007, thanks Koekiemonster!) how to transfer Java games and apps from your PC to Shine phone and install them.
(See also my initial review of the Shine phone, links to download Shine user guide / manual and software, official press kit pics of the Shine, and how to get Gmail on your Shine and browser tips).
Click any pic below to see a larger image.
For beginners, skip straight to to the beginners' bit.
The quickie - for experienced usersThe Shine KE970 mobilephone operates in two separate and different modes:
- "Mass storage" mode, when it works as a removable USB drive, like a USB key or flash drive - you can transfer music and pics back and forth this way (PC or Mac)
- "Data service" mode, which you have to use if you want to sync it with Outlook or Outlook Express address book contacts or schedule via the LG GSM Sync software (PC only).
In addition, for Data service mode to work, you must have already installed the drivers for the phone from the software (on the CD, or download it) before you attempt to plug it all in. It says they're "modem drivers" but actually they do more than that, you can't use Data service mode properly without those drivers. If it's a mess, uninstall the lot and try again, this time making sure the drivers are installed.
USB drive - MP3s, ringtones, pics etcTo use this mobile as a removable USB drive (this should work for both PCs and Macs if it's like the Chocolate but I haven't tried Mac myself), you should do these steps in exactly this order (or else it may not work):
- turn the phone on
- put it in "Mass storage" mode if it isn't already (Menu, Settings, Connectivity, USB connection, select "Mass storage", make sure that's ticked)
- THEN (not before), connect it to your PC via the supplied USB cable. (It doesn't work if you connect it to your computer then turn it on)
- open your file manager e.g. My Computer, you should see two extra drives - one for the phone, one for the memory card (even if you haven't inserted a card). Oddly on my system the first drive letter is for the miniSD card, the second one for the phone. See the screenshot below of the sorts of folders you should see on the phone
- you can now drag and drop files (e.g. MP3s, JPG wallpaper) from computer to phone and vice versa. See below for more on the Shine folders.
Syncing with Outlook, importing other contactsTo synchronise the Shine cellphone with Outlook / Outlook Express or import contacts from a database, you need a PC. No Macs, sorry. First, you have to do these steps in exactly this order (or else it may not work):
- Do NOT under any circumstances try to connect your Shine phone to PC yet, even (especially) while the phone is in data service mode - or you'll get error messages about the hardware etc (I did!). If you've installed the LG GSM Sync software but got horrid errors on hooking up the phone, UNinstall the software and make sure it's fully uninstalled; then reinstall fully. (I had to do that.)
- Don't think that just because you have LG software for another phone (like the Chocolate KG 800) already on your PC, that it'll work - it won't, and you'll get problems. You still have to install the Shine software. (You might even have to uninstall the Chocolate one, worse comes to worse.)
- BEFORE trying to connect the Shine to PC in data service mode, you MUST have FIRST installed the Shine's LG GSM Sync software (it's on the CD in the box, also see this post for download link and more info) - because this installs the "data service" drivers for the Shine, as well as installing the Sync software
- Install everything. That includes, especially, the "Modem driver". Don't think "Nah, I don't plan to use this phone as a modem, I'll skip that bit". If you do, you won't be able to synchronise your contacts and schedule with your PC. So if you skipped that step before, do the install again, and make sure everything, but everything, is installed on your PC.
- Turn the phone on. It's best not to try to connect the cable first and then turn it on. Turn it on, first of all, disconnected.
- Put it in "data service" mode (Menu, Settings, Connectivity, USB connection, select "Data service", make sure that's ticked) - this info isn't in the manual or on the CD, which is ludicrous. It darn well ought to be; what on earth were LG thinking? I only knew what to do here through using the LG Chocolate phone (whose manual did at least mention this, though only in very small print)
- THEN (not before), you can connect the Shine to your PC via the supplied USB cable.
- NOW you can launch the LG GSM Sync software (note, not the same as the "LG GSM" software (without the "Sync") which you may also have if you've got the Chocolate KG800).
The long and slow - for beginnersThe Shine's connectivity isn't exactly its strong point. It's nowhere near as easy as it should be to move stuff between Shine and computer. Lots of people have had problems, and still do, with the Shine's predecessor in the Black Label Series, the LG Chocolate KG800 cellphone (see my previous posts on Chocolate connectivity, transferring Java software from PC to Chocolate, and troubleshooting LG phone-PC connection problems generally).
In some ways the problems are similar with the Shine - but in other ways, unfortunately, they're worse. (See the end of this post, on Java). In particular, the manual is much worse, missing vital info out (see below), wrong in parts, inconsistent in others (e.g. folder names). I just don't understand why LG can't pay someone (like me!! gizza job, anyone?) to write them a decent manual that's useful and comprehensible to users. I guess as long as people like me are doing it for free, why should they. But not everyone will take the trouble to search the Net for the answer, cue handset returns that they could easily avoid, and to be frank no company can survive forever on cool-looking designs alone, at some point they're going to have to focus on features and customer service and user-friendliness if they want to get to the top and stay there long term. It's such a pity because LG have really got it right on the looks front now, if only they could sort out the features, openness and flexibility plus usability (manual and software as well as handset), they could wipe the floor with most of their competitors.
OK, here goes. I'd never have figured all this out by myself if I hadn't had the Chocolate (and had to work much of it out for that too), because the info you need for syncing is simply not in the manual, not on the CD, not on their website, anywhere provided by LG. I hope LG sort this sort of thing out, I really don't think it's on. And just wait till I get to Java!
Anyway, never mind the problems, let's have the solutions.
Connecting Shine to computerThe Shine has two modes when it comes to communicating with your computer. It can behave as:
- a removable USB disk drive (mass storage mode), or
- a "modem" (data service mode).
This is the mode it has to be in if you want to transfer music or ringtones (e.g. MP3s), other audio files (e.g. sound recordings using the voice recorder), pictures or photos (e.g. for wallpaper) and other files from Shine and computer or computer to Shine.
In data service mode, it only works with PCs. This is because special driver software is needed for it to communicate with the computer in that mode, and LG have only produced drivers for Windows. This mode is what you have to use if you want to sync contacts (and your calendar and memos) between Shine and PC, and again the LG software for this is Windows only.
How to transfer music, ringtones, wallpaper, pictures, etc to ShineThis is relatively straightforward. The Shine just works as a removable USB drive.
1. Switch on the Shine ,and make sure it's in USB removable disk mode - it usually is, by default (Menu, Settings, Connectivity, USB connection, select Mass storage i.e. make sure that's ticked).
(Note: don't connect it to computer then turn on the Shine, it doesn't seem to like it. Make sure it's switched on before you connect it to the computer.)
2. Connect it to your computer with the supplied USB cable. (Unlike with the Chocolate, you can then close the slider and this will still work. But best to leave the slider open as you connect it, just in case.)
3. Open your computer's file manager e.g. My Computer or Windows Explorer if you have a Windows computer.
4. The Shine will show up as an extra removable disk, in the case of my computer it's drive G, see the pic below which shows its subfolders (Documents, Images, Others etc):
5. In fact, two separate removable drives will show up:
- one for the Shine phone's built-in internal memory (just 50 MB for the current 2G model, see my review - a 3G Shine phone with 560 MB internal memory will be launched soon), and
- one for any micro-SD card you get (no card supplied; you have to buy your own but you can get up to 2GB) - in the pic above it's drive F, the card shows up as an earlier letter than the phone memory, go figure. Of course if you don't have a card you'll just get "Please insert a disk into drive WHATEVER" if you try to click on the memory card's drive and you'll have to Cancel out of it).
- Documents - put DOC, XLS, PPT, PDF, TXT files in here and you can view them on the phone if they're not too big
- Images - put JPEGs, GIFs and SWF files in here
- Others - use this as storage for files you want to transport. You can't view or play anything that's in here, sadly. But you can put .jad and .jar files for Java games and other Java applications in here, and install them from here - see below.
- Sounds - put MP3s or WAVs in here for ringtones or the music player - yes you can have subfolders unlike with the Chocolate, see below
- Videos - put video files here.
Sounds folder - the Shine manual is misleading (well OK, never mind tact, it's just plain wrong). It says you have to put MP3s in the Sounds folder only (there are wrong references to a My Media folder too, not to mention an "MP3" folder). That's the case with the Chocolate - you can't play anything that's in a subfolder - but not with the Shine. I started investigating as I noticed that despite the manual there was a menu command to create a new folder within Sounds. From trial and error I've found that:
- you can create a subfolder of Sounds called "MP3", and in fact on my phone anyway the original sounds from the phone as well as new stuff magically appears in that folder
- you can also create other subfolders within Sounds, and both WAVs and MP3s put into that folder are fine. So you should be able to organise your music more easily into subfolders, and still play them. Which is as it should be.
Documents folder - for Word, text, Excel, Powerpoint and PDF documents - they'll display on the Shine if you put them in that folder. Read-only, i.e. you can only view them, you won't be able to edit them. But you can move around the document quite well and zoom in and out. Note you can only open small documents - you can try transferring big documents to the Shine if you like, but if you try to view them it may not do it, or may crash, or both.
Images folder - a fun touch - if you have Flash .SWF files, you can put them in Images and play them on the Shine. There are some on there already that you can play with; I do!
8. Disconnecting the phone - the Shine has big warnings on its screen about making sure you safely remove hardware. So best to do that. See "Disconnecting" on my Chocolate connectivity post on how (for Windows PCs anyway).
How to use your own MP3s as ringtones and pictures as wallpaper or contacts pic (picture ID)Once you've dragged your files to the Shine from your computer (see above about making sure they're in the "right" folders) and disconnected the phone safely, you can use your own MP3s as ringtones. There's more than one way to do this.
RingtonesIn the Menu go to My stuff, Sounds. Navigate to the subfolder you want, if necessary. When you see the sound file you want to use as a ringtone, highlight (but don't open) it. Then press the left "soft" key (Options), and select Set as. You can use the selected file as a Ringtone, or as what they call a Ringtone ID i.e. ring tone for a particular contact that's been saved in your Shine. (Choose that and you get a list of contacts to associate it with).
In the Menu go to Profiles. Pick the one you want to choose a ringtone for e.g. General, then Personalise, Ring Tones, and you get taken to the Sounds folder where you can select your folder and audio file as above.
(For a specific contact) Go to Contacts. Scroll to the contact you want the ringtone for and open it (press the center of the scroll key or choose Options, Edit). Scroll down towards the end, to Ringtone. When "Default ringtone" (or whatever the current ringtone is for that contact) is highlighted press the left "soft" key (Options), and select Sounds. This opens your Sounds folder and you can then pick the ringtone you want for that contact from the MP3 or other audio files in there. See Troubleshooting below if necessary.
WallpaperIn the Menu go to My stuff, Images. Navigate to the subfolder you want, if necessary. When you see the image file you want to use as wallpaper or for a contact, highlight (but don't open) it. Then press the left "soft" key (Options), and select Set as. You can use the selected pic or photo as Full image wallpaper; Landscape wallpaper; or as what they call a Picture ID, i.e. a pic for a particular contact that's been saved in your Shine. (Choose that and you get a list of contacts to associate it with).
(How to set a picture ID for a specific contact) Go to Contacts. Scroll to the contact you want to add a pic to and open it (press the center of the scroll key or choose Options, Edit). Scroll down to, to Photo. When "No picture" (or whatever the current photo is for that contact) is highlighted (you'll just see a photo of a smiley face on a cork noticeboard), FIRST press the center of the scroll key (or else it may not work, go figure), THEN press the left "soft" key (Options), and select Images. This opens your Images folder and you can then pick the image file you want for that contact from the JPEG or other picture files in there.
If instead of selecting Images you pick New picture, it fires up the camera and you can take a pic of that person there and then. Then choose the Insert option (instead of the usual save for photos taken with the camera), that's the left soft key, and that'll save the new photo for that contact.
TroubleshootingCan't see a Ringtone option when you scroll? That's probably because the contact is saved to your SIM. This only works for contacts saved to the phone itself. With a contact just highlighted (but don't open the contact), hit Options and scroll all the way down to a hidden bit that says Copy to handset (you'll have the option to keep the original or delete it from your SIM; if you keep it you'll see the contact show up twice on your phone but a little icon shows whether it's the handset version or the SIM version). Instead of doing it one by one you can copy all contacts across from SIM card to handset, in Contacts choose Copy all. (Set where new contacts are saved by default in Contacts, Settings, Default memory).
Can't see a Photo option within a contact? Guess what, same thing. Try the same solution. Also go to Contacts, Settings, View options and check "With picture" is ticked, tick it if necessary.
How to sync Shine phonebook with Outlook or Outlook Express contacts or database, and scheduleYou can only sync the Shine with Outlook or Outlook Express contacts and diary on a PC. Not Mac or Linux. In summary, you need to:
- connect the phone (in the right mode)
- read in the address book etc info from the phone handset and SIM
- read in contacts etc data from Outlook, Outlook Express or a database, and then
- copy from one to the other, edit on the PC screen, etc.
Connect in data service modeTo do this:
- first follow the basic steps above to install the software, put the phone in Data service mode and connect it to PC, then open the LG GSM Sync software
- when you launch the Sync program you'll see something like this:
You may well now wonder, huh, what next? I certainly did.
Well, now you should check the Shine has connected OK - e.g. via the Tools, COMM Option menu (or click the icon that says Set Communication Port if you hover the mouse over it, does the same thing):
If all's well a box will pop up and you'll see the phone is listed and highlighted in the list as LGE Mobile USB Modem (the actual COM number may vary, mine was COM9):
You can now click OK or Cancel or, if you're really paranoid, click Connect Test whereupon it asks you to wait a few seconds while it checks the connection, and if all is still well you'll get this:
(By the way if you ever lose your connection you can always re-connect via the toolbar button labelled, wouldja believe it, "Connect" in blue writing - see the pic below, to the left of the red circled calendar icon.)
Read in contacts from phone handsetSo, now you're happy that it's connected, how on earth do you access your phone address book? The answer is you have to click this little icon in the toolbar (circled red in the pic below), to make the software read your Shine handset's internal address book and SIM card contacts. Yep I know it's a pic of a calendar not a phonebook, but hey life wouldn't be so interesting if things were intuitive and logical, would it...
After a few seconds or more, depending, that should make it display the name and phone numbers etc from your phone on the right hand side of the Sync window, and anything you've imported from Outlook or other database (see later) on the left:
If you don't see anything at all on the right, try the Connect icon in the toolbar again. If the stuff on the right hand side vanishes, well, click Connect again. Or the calendar icon. Or one then the other. Or the Refresh button, numbered 9 further below. You get the picture... If you see a "Transmitting.." pic pop up (which it may from time to time), you can be reassured that it's trying to connect properly and phone and PC are talking to each other:
Now, back to the Phone book view, see at the right near the top there's a dropdown list (SIM)? Circled red in this closeup:
That dropdown switches the bottom right quarter of the window to show what's in the phone's internal memory or the SIM card. If you click the dropdown and select Phone Memory, the bottom right quarter will show the contact details that have been saved to the Shine's handset instead.
Basic principle to remember about the Phone book view -
- left half, PC (and it's labelled PC too) - represents what's stored on your PC by LG Sync (NOT what's in Outlook etc, but LG's own copy of that info)
- right half, Phone - represents what's stored on your phone handset (SIM card and handset internal memory both).
Read in (import) contacts from Outlook, etcNow, if you want to copy your contacts from your PC to the phone, you first have to import them into the LG GSM Sync software so that they'll show up on the left side of the phone book screen.
To do that, use the menu File, Import:
You can import contacts from Outlook, Outlook Express or "File". Here, "File" means your contacts stored in tab delimited .TAB or comma delimited .CSV format. So if you don't have Outlook or Outlook Express but you can export your contacts to one of those formats, you can still copy them to your Shine.
Here's how to do it from Outlook. Obviously you pick Outlook from that menu. Then you get this something like this:
Click the folder you want on the left, navigate to the Contacts subfolder you want so it's shown on the right, make sure the Contacts name on the right is highlighted (click on it if necessary), then click the Tick button and you'll get this:
Go OK, and you'll get something like this:
Click the dropdown and pick the longest time you can, I'd go for 10 minutes at least myself, especially if you have a large Contacts list on Outlook. Give it a while to do its thing, and voila it should read in your Outlook contacts and show them on the left of the Phonebook view. (Don't worry if it takes time, the phone actually seems to get charged up by the PC while it's connected via USB. Best to make sure it's not too low on the battery though before you connect it, just in case.)
The most difficult bits are done. You can now edit, delete, add, transfer contacts etc to your heart's content. See below for more info. As you'd expected, you click on a particular contact to see more info on it or work with it; you can tick the boxes to select more than one contact (e.g. to copy 5 selected Outlook contacts from PC to phone), etc. Even add a new contact that's not in Outlook. And use the left and right green button arrows in the middle (see below) to copy stuff across both ways.
The LG GSM Sync Phonebook
Here's a more detailed PhoneBook view walk through, see the pic above. I've put in the bold the functions people will be most interested in, namely "Download" of PC contacts to the phone, and "Upload" the other way round. Note this isn't true synchronization - it's just copying between phone and a special LG GSM software copy of your Outlook etc contacts.
1. Card view of the contact whose details are highlighted in the bottom left quarter (2).
2. List of contacts whose details have been imported into the LG Sync software e.g. from Outlook (Express), or copied from the phone.
3. Search box. Only searches contact names from the list in the bottom left quarter i.e. imported from Outlook etc.
4. Add new contact.
5. Edit details of contact highlighted in bottom left quarter (imported contacts).
6. Delete highlighted contact's info from the list in the bottom left quarter.
7. Download - LG calls it "download", this is really copying the details of the contacts you've ticked in the bottom left quarter to the phone. Click this right arrow to "download" to the phone.
8. Upload - this is to copy from the phone to the LG software the contacts you've ticked in the bottom right quarter. Click this arrow to "upload" to the LG software on your PC.
9. Reading the contact info data from phone - this button reads (or refreshes) the bottom right quarter of the window with the contact details that are on your phone.
10. Card view of the contact whose details are highlighted in the bottom right quarter (12) i.e. read in from the phone.
11. Search box. Only searches contact names from the list in the bottom right quarter.
12. List of contacts whose details have been read into the LG Sync software from the phone.
13. Edit details of the contact highlighted in the list in the bottom right quarter i.e. click this button to edit the info on the phone itself.
14. Delete the highlighted contact's info from the list in the bottom right quarter i.e. from the phone.
Groups. You can filter by groups. Even though you're stuck with the group names LG provided and can't make up your own.
Exporting contacts infoYes you can export the contacts info. It seems to export everything, from both halves of the screen! You can give it a filename and pick the style i.e. tab or comma delimited. You don't get a choice, it automatically saves the .TAB or .CSV file in the program's folder i.e. in my case C:\Program Files\LGE GSM PC Sync\LG GSM Sync.
Synchronising Schedule / Calendar, MemoI'm not going to go into this in detail. Just under the main toolbar are the icons to switch views, helpfully labelled PhoneBook, Schedule, Memo. Click one of those tabs and then you can copy, edit etc your calendar. It won't copy schedule or memo info from Outlook Express, only Contacts, though. And it'll work with .TAB etc files as mentioned.
(Updated 11 June 2007) Java games and appsWith many thanks to Koekiemonster, this is how to install Java games or apps to your Shine phone after downloading them to your computer, rather than incurring data costs having to download them over the air to your phone.
Note that it only works with some Java apps - I don't know which ones work and which don't, you need to try and see. If anyone gets anything to work (or finds it doesn't work) please post a comment ideally with a link to where to download the Java game or app, and I can update this post.
I was able to get Jetris to work, and installed Opera Mini successfully but it wouldn't connect to the Net (could be my network operator, haven't had a chance to try another SIM in it yet). But still no joy with the Gmail Java app.
Here's a step by step:
- Download the .jar and .jad files to your computer. There are lots of sites where you can get Java apps etc for mobile phones, e.g. Getjar or for games Mobilerated.
- Turn on your Shine phone, make sure it's in Mass Storage mode (see above), then connect it to computer via the supplied USB cable.
- Find the phone's internal memory in your file manager. Copy the .jar and .jad files from your computer to paste inside the Others folder of the phone (there's a screenshot showing the main folders of the phone above in this post).
- Disconnect the phone using Safely remove hardware (howto: see "Disconnecting" on my Chocolate connectivity post)
- On the phone (hit the disconnect/hangup button if you have to), go to Menu, My Stuff, Others folder. Highlight the .jad file. Left soft key Options, pick Install and say yes / go ahead to everything. You can save it in a new folder if you want, and name it. If it's going to work, it'll install fine, and it should then let you immediately open the midlet you've installed.
- In future, to launch the game or app you installed, go to Menu, My Stuff, Games & Apps. It'll be there inside Games & Apps or in a folder within Games & Apps if you created one.
LG have taken that away, with the Shine. They no longer provide the Contents Bank software which came with the Chocolate, which could be tweaked to transfer Java apps as well as ringtones and wallpaper. Apparently it wasn't considered necessary because you can use mass storage mode to transfer MP3s etc, so LG have got rid of Contents Bank. If anyone knows a hack that now works, let me know! I doubt there's one, though.
So, it seems we're stuck with having to download Java games etc OTA (over the air), which means paying data charges to our networks unnecessarily. Plus, Java apps won't necessarily work on the Shine anyway, e.g. the Gmail Java app (a.k.a. "Gmail for mobile application") I know sure doesn't - this was a deliberate design concept. Why? Maybe they want to download LG Java games only, which they can charge for. But really, how much money can they make from that? If they stopped us using our own MP3 ringtones and our own pics, and forced us to buy our ringtones or wallpaper only from them, a lot fewer people would get their phones, which is maybe why they don't do that. Surely it's just as counterproductive for them to do that with Java games and apps?
I really don't know why LG are becoming more restrictive and crippling their phones at a time when generally companies are becoming more open and flexible about helping users to use their products in the way they want, when they want to (e.g. the recent agreement by EMI, yay to them, to make available music in non-DRM, freely transferable MP3 form on iTunes). People want flexibility and breadth of choice, and if LG don't give it to them, someone else like Nokia will. LG have a chance to get in there, as so many people are buying their phones based on looks alone, but they need to prove that they're not just a pretty face before the fickle markets move on to the next prettier thing.