For the Love of Music

I am… a Mobile Geek.

Oooh… Shiny!

This may not be brand new information to many of you, but to others – it might.

Reason being, I don’t tend to write that much about my mobile geekery here in My Happy Place, which is kind of silly really given how happy my mobile life makes me sometimes. But the motivation for this is that whenever I do have something mobile-related to say, I use my platform over on Mobile Industry Review (MIR), formerly – and now incorporating – SMS Text News, to get the message out.

So this post comes forthwith for two reasons. First up I have to tell you about something that I’ve been using for quite some time on my N95 8GB but which recently had quite an awesome little update. The second is more of a question for you dear readers… Which I’ll come to later.

As I mentioned – I’d normally use MIR to put this up but given the social/sharing elements and the happiness that this one app bestows upon me, I thought I’d share it here..

I want to tell you about a thing called Mobbler.

Mobbler is a 3rd party application that you download and install onto your S60 Nokia device, (so that’s pretty much any N or E series device plus a few others thrown in for good measure) which, once activated, acts like for your mobile.

If you’re a user, (and if you’re not, why not? Go and sign up now). this is cool for many reasons:

First up you can stream music from any of Last’s ‘radio’ stations – chosen by the usual themes of artist, tag, user, etc… You can stream music that you’ve previously ‘loved’ and you can also stream music from any of the playlists that you may’ve pre-defined on the web interface…

All of this delivered over-the-air (OTA) via your network/carrier – Tres Cool.
Oo yeah, all of this streaming means you might want some kind of data bundle…
Don’t forget that.

But, that’s not all, the real reason I HEART Mobbler so much, is that it allows me to share.

As you can see from the image above, right now I’m listening to Justice – One Minute to Midnight. This track is, along with about a thousand others, stored on my handset’s 8GB memory and is playing through the phone’s onboard MP3 player.. and Mobbler, in it’s wondrous fantasticness, is broadcasting this choice of track straight to my user profile.

Which means you can go there and see what I’m listening to RIGHT NOW.
Instant sharing of what music I’m into, what’s making me strut and what is making me grin.

Thing is…

More and more recently my appreciation for all things musical has grown tenfold. From seeking out great new tunes to going to fantastic gigs or to just simply taking the time to really enjoy the emotional connection that certain compositions can have on the soul… Any and all of the above can make for a truly awe-inspiring experience.

Admittedly, having a trusted guide that can aid you through the mire of mediocrity that can sometimes exist on today’s CD shelves, (I’m sorry what? Who actually buys CDs anymore?!), can be a BIG help – but if you look hard enough, there are some true gems out there folks.. and being able to share these with you, whether I’m sat busy at my desk or on the move with my mobile, makes me a very happy Whatley indeed.

Oh and ‘reason for posting number two’…?
That question I mentioned?
I’ve thought about it now… and it doesn’t matter.

Thanks for reading folks.


The Mobile Geek of Glastonbury!

In the first of this year's Glastonblog-posts –
I bring you a quick review of last year's gadgetry plus a view towards this year's… 

Cross posted, with permission, from SMS Text News


Greetings readers, your friendly neighbourhood Whatley here!

While some of us are off gallivanting around the Maldives… sorry, ahem… A DESERT ISLAND …other bloggers, like myself, have to make do with the festival season to amuse themselves here back in the UK.

And what better festival other than the Mother of all festivals: Glastonbury!


Yes, it really IS that muddy. I took that photo myself.

Last year, I think I’m pretty safe in saying;

I was the ONLY person to live blog Glastonbury from a mobile phone.

Yes. That’s right, I blogged the whole darn thing (well as much as my battery would allow) from my Nokia N95-1 (the original silver one, the one with the REALLY poor battery, y’know?).

In fact the only reason my current blog exists is because of my then(?) obsession with Mobile Blogging.

You can go back and read some of my exploits here, here and here if you’d like.
But really, all you need to know is, at the time, the only way I could do this (AFAIK) was through VOX.

VOX has a neat little application that sits on some/most Nseries phones that you can download and is also available as one of the upload options in the Share Online app, also found on most Nseries phones.

Power wise, again only for last year, I had three N95 batteries (BL-5Fs for the true geeks among you) and these two things below:

That on the left is an independent battery charge-base and that on the right, a portable double AA battery powered phone charger.

The former proved itself to be extremely useful, then and indeed over the past year of ownership too. With that handy little device I can always have one battery in my phone, while another charges. This, of course, is all well and good until you go and lose the damn thing… which is what I did a matter of days ago.

I digress.

The thing on the right, I bought that from Amazon, thing is mind…

It . Was. Rubbish.

In fact I think it actually USED more battery power than it actually gave back. I ended up passing it onto some fellow festival-ite in our circle of tents…it conveniently came with a bunch of other adaptors – not just Nokia; covered SE, Motorola, Blackberry… the lot. You name it. So at least that much was handy about it…
However, for me – it was no good…

And don’t even start me on the quite frankly RIDICULOUS "Orange Charge Tent".
I mean, who wants to QUEUE for an hour to charge their handset, only to discover that when they get to the front, they then have to wait around for a further two hours to watch their phone charge at an unsecured bar.
Joined up thinking really not their speciality it would seem…

So… How did I stay charged?

Well, while the Orange monkeys were missing out on potentially 3hrs of great music, I managed to find a little store amongst the clothes stalls and falafel vendors, which specialised in phone charging.
You paid a fiver a go and it was kept under lock and key and all was fine. The system the guy had running behind him reminded me a little of chargebox and it wouldn’t surprise me if they were one and the same… I’ll ask them this year and see. Anyway, this little store became a daily haunt for my good self.

In the morning I’d get up, review any content from the night before, write a quick post or two and then upload as much as I could before my battery died. After that I’d mosey on down to aforementioned phone charging establishment, pay my fiver, and then go off and meet friends who I’d arranged to meet at a later time (do you remember when we did that?!).

Later that afternoon I would pick up my phone, liaise with all the folk that had been trying to reach me for God knows how long, and then get off to another stage where upon I’d take more photos/videos that I would later, no doubt upload.

Lovely stuff.
So aside from the not-so-brilliant portable phone charger, last year was a reasonable success.

But what about this year?

Well, my VOX blog is still up and running.
So I’ve got that working just fine, but now – look at all the other things I can do!

I can upload via SMS, MMS or Email via Moblog.
I can simply make a phone call and speak a blog post through SpinVox.
I can boot up Qik and stream LIVE content direct to the internet. Not only direct to my QIK page, but if I hit ‘55’ while I’m streaming, my 500-odd followers on Twitter will get told about it too!

The plethora of Social Tools now available to the modern, festival-going geek, really… truly… is a spectacle to behold.

I shall be using ALL of those services/apps/tools I’ve listed above… and probably more.

The question is Dear Readers, which ones do YOU think I should be using?

What should your Mobile Geek of Glastonbury be packing in his rucksack to ensure a complete all round mobile performance?

Leave your suggestions below or, if you have anything you want showcased/tested over the coming festival season, email

Yes – I know he’s on a 'desert island', but he’s already emailed me twice today with two new products that he’s been sent to give to me try out in the mud of Pilton…


The Glastonblog begins!

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Stupid, Stupid Barclays

or – “A rant about convergence, or lack thereof”

Right, if you’re reading this and you have any idea of the kind of person I am, you know how I feel about my mobile phone. You know I love it, you know I’m never far from it and you know that above all, if I could, I’d use it for just about everything.

This last point is the kicker for me.

To give you a rough idea of what I’m talking about, here are just some of the things I use my phone for:

  • Contacts/Address Book
  • Calendar/Diary
  • Gaming
  • Email
  • Internet
  • MP3/Music Player
  • Camera
  • Video Camera
  • Directions/Maps/GPS
  • TV/Video Player
  • Live-Blogging
  • Micro-Blogging
  • Tube Map
  • Instant Messaging
  • Etc etc…

Because I carry my N95 8GB (pictured above) in my pocket, quite a small device take note, I don’t have to carry an iPod, Nintendo, TV, Camera, TomTom, PC, map… the list goes on.

All of these things (and many others) are no longer clogging up my pockets thanks to this rather awesome little handset.


Well this is, in part, down to the innovations of the team at Nokia. However it is also owes a lot to my own personal preference; Nokia have enabled me to do all these things and have by doing so have also empowered me to stop carrying all of the other devices.

I don’t like carrying lots of things in my pockets. At best, I will leave the house with my keys, my phone and my bankcard. That’s it. Only those three items.

Right then. Keeping all of the above in mind, let’s direct our attention for a moment to this thing:

– Barclays PIN Sentry –

Could it be…

My First Calculator?
The latest toy from The Early Learning Centre?
Or maybe even a band new phone maybe?

No. No. And No.

That, there, is Barclays ‘PIN Sentry’.

Excusing the ridiculous name for a second, let’s take a look at what it’s actually for.
Any time I want to log into MY internet banking, I have to put my Debit Card into that contraption, enter my PIN number and then, and only then, will my bank allow me to log into MY account.

First up, the whole sodding point of having internet banking, to my mind, is so that I can access my account from anywhere where there is INTERNET.
Until they truly crack mobile internet banking (and trust me – on the basis of this – we’re going to be waiting a long time), then this really is the only option for anyone wanting to access their account anywhere… (short of actually going into a branch, but really, does anyone do that anymore?).

Second, I get the whole security aspect of it all, really I do, but do I actually need this thing as well?!
I already have a unique 12 digit unique ID number, an 8 digit secret password and a five digit passcode.

Do I really NEED more security?

Surely there has to be line drawn between security to entry and barriers to entry? Right?


Next point – it is clear, from the points laid out above, that I like convergence. I want one device to do everything for me…
…Of convergence, I am a fan.

I do not want to be carrying that stupid, stupid piece of plastic around with me everywhere I go just in case I might want to log in to my internet banking. Idiots. Really.

Just no joined-up thinking whatsoever.

Finally… This post has been a long time coming; Barclays started introducing this towards the end of last year, (as did a few other banks, so I’ve been told), so I apologise if it seems a bit late in the day as it were… But yes, the final point –

I’ve actually spoken to Barclays about this and I’ve outlined my point of view. As a result, I have now been opted-out of this new system and my PIN Sentry is happily gathering dust in a draw somewhere in my room.


If you’re a Barclays customer and you find this idea as absurd as I do then I would strongly urge you to do the same.
Call your bank, tell them they’re idiots and get yourself opted out. The opportunity cost of this, just so you know, means that you will be unable to set up any ‘new payees’ via your online banking. I’m happy to live with this. I don’t often pay new people and if and when the situation does arise I can simply call the bank and get them to do it for me.

Here endeth the rant.


On a lighter note – have been working my backside off lately, (super exciting new project for SpinVox), so next weekend I’m going to head off down to Pilton to a little music festival you may’ve heard of…

Next weekend I’m headed back to Glastonbury.

And I can’t WAIT!


Read about my Glastonbury Mobile Geek plans over on SMS Text News and yes, you guessed it, just like last year, I’ll be blogging the whole thing from my mobile phone, (although I doubt very much I’ll be doing any internet banking).


Catching up through the fog of jetlag

Greetings one and all! I’ve just got back from the States and I am shattered.

UK –> Dallas –> Las Vegas –> San Francisco –> UK

…and breathe…

Had to fly to Las Vegas for a work thing see
via Dallas.

Rather amusingly, it being the first ever flight from LHR (London Heathrow) to DFW (Dallas, Fort Worth) the Boeing we travelled in was given a welcome ‘hose down’ by the airport’s fire trucks…

I didn’t get a picture of that – but I found another example

Anywhoo – Vegas.

Nice place to visit and wotnot but I’d never wanna live there. Jeez.

I stayed at The Palms Hotel/Resort/Casino… The one where we held Mobile Geeks of Las Vegas… aka Mobile Geeks of London ON TOUR. What a fantastic night THAT was. Huge props to Mr Jeb Brilliant of Brilliant Expos for making that happen… and for also swinging it so we could just walk straight into the club/bar in the next tower. Nice work.

So yeah – What else did I get up to?

  • Took part in the ‘Mobile Web Jam Session’ – That was cool. Good people in the room. Same old same old problems mind…
  • Hung out with some cool folk – Namely: Darla, Amir, Jeb, Carlo, Rafe and Ewan. Carlo is actually insane enough to live in Vegas. But you wouldn’t think of it to know him. 🙂
  • Joined a Blogger round table regarding the future of mobile; thought about a Facbook Phone – I’ve already written up my thoughts on that.
  • Broke my shoes. Twice. Fixed the first pair, replaced the second.
  • Saw ‘some’ parts of Vegas. Not loads. Well… I saw the outsides of some of the more elaborate hotels.
  • And that’s kind of it really…

This was me, on the last day of the show, having just sat down and relaxed for the first time in about five days…

Not soon after this pic was taken I flew to San Francisco…
There’s more to come soon, I just need to get some shuteye…

Night night.