Jazz Up Your Life with Ovi by Nokia

And the good news is, you don’t have to own a Nokia phone to benefit from some of these cool services.  Check out the ticker below.  Avid readers of my site know my passion in organizing event photos in mosaic style for sharing.  Now, I can share my photos easily in ticker, slideshow, and mosaic styles.  How cool is that?

Share Photos Anytime, Anywhere

And if you do have a Nokia phone, you can upload your photos anytime, anywhere (note: all the features described here, I have experienced them personally over the weekend).  You can even create a live feed channel to have multiple friends of yours contributing on the contents.  What if your friends don’t have a Nokia phone?  Not a problem.  Each public channel comes with an unique email address.  Your friends can email the pictures to this address and they will appear at your channel, live.  Not comfortable to share your media to the public?  Create a private invitation only channel instead.  Truly connecting people as what Nokia inspires to do.

So I was invited for an interactive demo of the new Ovi services at Geek Terminal presented by Raj Sambwani (director) and his team.  Apparently, Ovi means door in Finnish.  And you don’t need to own a Nokia phone to sign up at Ovi.com.  Besides Ovi Share for photos sharing, it features music download too. 

Making Use of My Nokia Music Voucher

After I have bought Shakira’s recent album during initial launch, she released a deluxe edition later that features a new song “Hips Don’t Lie”.  Boo!  I ain’t going to buy another CD because of that one song.  To my limited knowledge, I don’t think we can buy music online via the iTune Store or Amazon.com here in Singapore.  So, the first track I wanted to download from Nokia Music Store was obviously my beloved “Hips Don’t Lie”.

The music download process is relatively painless.  I was required to install a component to my browser and the downloaded song is in Windows media audio file format with a bit rate of 192kbps.  Pretty decent quality and it is comparable to the rest of the online stores.  The good thing is that you can download the same song multiple times and you can play it in any device that support this format.  For some reason, I can’t get it recognized by iTune, which is a bummer because my entire music collection resides in iTune.  Also, first time authentication is required to play the song.  Each song costs S$2 (or for album, S$16).  If you are willing to spend S$176 upfront, you can get it down to S$1.66 per song.  Personally, I think the price is a bit steep compares to iTune Store or Amazon.com.  If Nokia could get it down to S$1.49 per song before discount, that would be really compelling.  Perhaps my music taste at times may not lean towards the pop culture, I do have a bit of challenging time finding what I want.

Other Cool Features from Ovi by Nokia

For the Nokia phone users, Ovi offers maps, games, files, and sync.  In the event, one friendly Nokia personnel helped me to set up my Ovi account and within seconds, all my phone contacts, notes, to-do list, and calendar items are uploaded to Ovi.com via the Wi-fi connection at Geek Terminal.  That is some really powerful tool.  Imagine this, for whatever the reason you don’t have your phone with you, you can still look up your contacts and other personal information from the Internet via the Ovi site.  All the important information from within the phone can be backed up over the air.

Another really neat feature is to the ability to send an attachment that resides in either your PC (that is switched on) or from Ovi.com via your Nokia phone.  You can even preview the contents before sending it off.  For those who are always on the go, I personally think that it is an useful feature to have.  Imagine you are having a nice holiday overseas and you bosses or your clients wants you to send that document to them right now.  And you don’t have the document with you.  Fear not, all you need is to take out your phone, browse for the right document from Ovi.com that you have uploaded earlier on, and send out the link .  You can even set the time of expiry for that link.  The real benefit behind this feature is that you don’t need to pay a hefty fees for the air time.  Effectively, you are simply sending a download link out, not the actual attachment that could be large in size. Subscription fee applies though.

Conclusion

Ovi by Nokia is still in beta.  Though I do encounter some difficulties over the weekend such as multiple files upload and different service offerings within Ovi requires individual registration and sign on, it does have offerings that are ready to face the world.  But how will Ovi flair?  It is easy to say only time will tell.  Personally, I think the success of Ovi will still very much link to the success of the Nokia phones in the short term. What Ovi may have an advantage over others is the seamless extension to our hand-held device – a mobile phone.

PS. A big thanks to the lovely Communications team of Nokia for patiently answering all my questions and helping out this rather low tech user!

Related Website: Ovi by Nokia

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