blackberry

Playing Mobile Device Videos on Your Computer

Question: I emailed myself a video I took from my blackberry curve. When i try to play the video on my computer it says it can't find the file extension. What is the deal?

Answer: The deal is that you either need a program installed on your computer that can play the video file, or a program that will convert it to a common video format like Quicktime or Windows Media.

I'll cover both approaches, and will introduce you to some free and low-cost programs that'll handle the video viewing and converting. I'll also show you how to convert Quicktime or Windows Media videos into a format that can be viewed on a Blackberry, iPhone, or virtually any mobile device that supports video.

Video Players

Most computers come with some form of a video player, such as Windows Media Player that plays video files with a .wmv extension. You can also get the Quicktime video player for free from Apple that plays .mp4 video files.

However, videos that are recorded from a mobile device will usually have a different file extension, such as .3GP for movies recorded on Motorola RAZR phones. These videos won't play in Quicktime or Windows Media.

You'll need a video player designed to read the video format that your specific mobile device uses, or better yet - one that can play a wide range of video formats so that you'll still be in luck if you switch phones in the future.

Rather then look for a universal video file player, look for a video file converter. Not only will you get the ability to view all kinds of video files, but you'll be able to convert them to be viewable on other devices or other computer systems like a Macintosh. Two for the price of one.

Video Converters

Bluetooth web surfing with a Blackberry Storm?

Question: I'm considering the new, WiFi challenged, Blackberry Storm. Being that 3G is somewhat weak at home, I would like to know if it is possible to pair the bluetooth equipped Storm to my Internet connected PC and then surf the Web from the Storm via the PCs high speed connection?

Answer: (this question is waiting for an answer. If you know the answer, please feel free to use the comment form below and be sure to leave your name and a link to your website, so I can give you credit for your answer)

How to Prevent Duplicate Blackberry Emails

Question: I keep getting duplicate emails on my Blackberry Curve 8310, and it seems to be only messages that I reply to (where the original message will show up again after I reply to it, even if it was received several weeks ago). Is there a way to turn this off?

Answer: The trick for turning off duplicate emails was to switch the account type to use my company's outlook web mail address instead of integrating directly with the exchange server.

Basically I logged into the Blackberry email account setup screen and deleted my existing email account, and then created a new one that used the same web address that I use when I log into Outlook with the web client.

The devil is in the details however, and here are the tricks I used to create a blackberry email account that used my company's outlook web address instead of exchange.

First, I logged into the blackberry internet service page (http://att.blackberry.com for me since I'm with AT&T), and then deleted the account that I had set up.

Next, I created a new account using test@test.com (or some bogus email address that the service won't be able to find. This is necessary because it won't show you the super advanced account configuration options unless it can't connect to your mail server, so this fakes it out).

Are there any better web browsers for mobile phones?

Question: I have My Portfolio set up at iGoogle and can see it fine on a PC. But when I go to iGoogle using my Blackberry it does not show up - everything else on the iGoogle home page I have does. How can I see My Portfolio? (I used to have it at my Excite homepage but they no longer offer that service of showing your personal portfolio.

Answer: The default web browser that comes with Blackberry mobile phones is just "ok", but not great. It doesn't do a very good job of showing complex web pages, and usually strips them down to a more mobile-friendly smaller screen size.

Opera has a web browser that's completely free called Opera Mini, that runs quite a bit better on a wide variety of phones. It lets you view web pages in full view, and let's you zoom in on the areas that you want to see.

Here's the iGoogle page in full screen view:

Notice the rectangle on the screen? That's the zoom viewfinder, and watch how it zooms into that area of the screen when I click the scroll button:

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