So, I promised a review of Media Manager once I’d used it for awhile. That would be now. So, here we go.
Installation and OOBE
I downloaded the installation file and ran it. But soon enough I was told that I needed to download and install some other tings first; QuickTime and Microsoft C++ lib’s. That was handled more or less automatically for me, so no biggie there. Actually it was pretty smooth sailing for me, but you mileage might very.
The rest of the installation was simple enough, a few questions and no real hassle. On Vista you of course have to permit it (you are using UAC, yes?) and of it goes. Grab a cuppa, cause it’ll take a few minutes to complete.
All in all not a bad OOBE, I’d rate it to 4 out of 6.
Basically what I wanted to do was;
- Subscribe to podcasts and transfer them to my phone
- Transfer some of my music to my phone
- That’s it!
So my demands for the software are pretty low and I won’t be living inside Media Manager.
Let me start with saying that Media Manager is slow. It’s slow to start, slow to transfer stuff and slow to react. I won’t blame it for slow transfer speeds, but I’m tempted… It really is a hog! At startup it requires 85 MB and during transfers/sync it requires up to 150 MB (observed). However the interface, as seen above, it simple (as in KISS simple) and easy enough to understand. I’d say it’s boring and non-inspiring, but that’s subjective. As can be seen in the picture I’ve subscribed to a number of podcasts and they’re downloaded and transferred to my phone without me having to take any action, other than connecting the phone via USB and starting Media Manager.
There are a few settings, such as default music format (MP3 or AAC) and bitrate. Nothing fancy, but in keeping with the rest of the software – Simple. I rather like it, few settings to mess with and few choices to make. As long as it does the job I’m okay with it. But I really have to make it clear; the performance side sucks. Big time. It really is slow and very unresponsive at times. It feels like a bad coded Java program from 2001. And that, my friends, is not good. I feel really bad, because the software is a .Net program! There is no reason for it to be this slow! I think the programmers at SonyEricsson need a performance course! And they need to learn how to use threads! It looks like everything is happening on the GUI thread… Not good! But this is just version 1.1, so I hope it’ll improve as time goes by.
And it’s translated into quite a few languages! That’s nice. I’m using the Norwegian version and the translation isn’t half bad, even though I’ve found a few mistakes here and there. Nothing major though. But I have not found a good way to communicate with the developers, which is sad.
In summary I’m gonna give it a 3 out of 6 here, mostly because of terrible performance.
The program does what I need it to do, but nothing more really. It’s no replacement for Windows Media Player or iTunes, that’s for sure. But it handles podcasts fairly well and you can transfer music to your phone without jumping through too many hoops. So it’s OK. Nothing more. For a more comprehensive review please read All about Symbian’s review.
I’ll give it a 3 out of 6 in total score. It lacks in performance to score 4 and lacks a lot to score any higher. Please SonyEricsson; open up and communicate with your users. Look at Microsoft, they’re opening up and improving big time! Seriously.