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PERSONAL TECH

It's good cheap fun by phone

Music Phones
The Nokia 5300 XpressMusic Phone, available through T-Mobile (about $100, after discount and rebate, and with a contract), is a cute, lightweight slider with rubberized music control buttons and a blue-backlit keypad that slides beneath the display. Because the keypad slides underneath, you get a bigger screen, helpful when, with the phone turned sideways. you are taking pictures and viewing still images and video.

The 5300, according to Nokia, holds up to 1,500 songs and syncs up directly with a Yahoo Music Player library, for example (PC only). Mac owners can drag and drop some of their iTunes tracks onto the phone via USB.

You can listen to your music with standard headphones, using an adapter that is included. You can also connect to Bluetooth headphones if you have them. Playback sounded good enough, however, with the earbuds that come in the box.

Blogging

Clipmarks 2.0, a sweet shortcut for grabbing video, text


Blogging can be a pain when you're trying to incorporate images, videos, and text from the same source. Then there is the attribution you have to add to the original material, after logging into your blog.

Last week, I became hooked on Clipmarks (clipmarks.com), a blogging tool and service that is close to perfect for creating and commenting on excerpts from other sites. It is incredibly easy to learn and delivers professional-looking source material for your blog.

I have experienced only a few minor problems with Clipmarks, some of which may be the result of problems with the pages I'm clipping. Those glitches require me to go into my blog to edit my posts.

The downloadable plug-in -- for Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Flock -- is free. With the latest version, Clipmarks 2.0, you can clip video and text and post it directly to your Blogger or Wordpress or Six Apart blog (the latter include TypePad and Movable Type).

I use Clipmarks with Firefox on my Apple iBook. If I come across something I like for one of my Wordpress blogs, I click the Clipmarks button in my Firefox toolbar, click on a video, highlight some text, clicking on the small clip buttons that pop up along the way. From there, I can blog, save, e-mail, or print my clips. Clipmarks automatically logs into your blog, and posts the clip, along with your comments . You can also switch off the Clipmarks logo, so it doesn't appear in your post.

Another big plus: Clipmarks automatically generates a "clipped from" attribution and link, which appears at the top of the clip. It helps you avoid the sin of sourcing another blog or website without a clear attribution, which can leave the impression that you produced the original material.

On the downside, it seems that either Clipmarks or Wordpress does not recognize certain characters, so I find myself cleaning up lots of question marks generated by the software. Nor can you select your blog's categories for your post within Clipmarks (at least with Wordpress). To do that, you'll need to edit the post afterward.

Mobile Media

Blingplayer adds ice to your high-tech ensemble


Your track suit and flashy pot leaf medallions say Ali G, but your flat, white iPod says Borat.

Now you can add an iced-out MP3 Blingplayer, with a metallic chain, to your wardrobe. It may even get you noticed at the next BET Spring Bling show.

Next month MediaReady Inc. (mediareadyinc.com) will release two "jeweled-out" versions of the 2GB media player, the Dogtag and Skull 'N' Bones.

With a suggested retail price of $200, I'm thinking faux jewels.

The Blingplayer holds more than 30 hours of music or more than 16 hours of video, according to MediaReady. It also includes an FM radio and a voice recorder.

The Blingplayer has a 1.5-inch color screen, an equalizer, and an address book. The device is Windows-compatible.

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