- 02-18-2013, 04:39 AM #1
I flip flop a lot with gadget decisions, but I'm slowly becoming won over by wp8 lately with my upgrade due next month and have a few questions I need to know about.
1. How, if at all, are LAN file transfers done on this OS? If I'm connected to my home network over wifi, is there a way to transfer files to and from my windows 8 PC directly over my LAN?
2. Kind of the same question but for non windows tablets. Here's how I currently do it: I start an app called Wifi File Explorer on my android phone which basically turns my phone into a file server. On my blackberry playbook tablet I connect to my phone's mobile hotspot, I enter the IP address of my phone into the tablet browser, and that brings up an interface that allows me to transfer files back and forth over Wifi. Can anything like this be done with a wp8?
3. How can I play my own ripped mp3 music on a wp8? Can I create playlists?
Last edited by omniusovermind; 02-19-2013 at 02:50 PM.
- 02-19-2013, 02:53 PM #2
Have another question to add:
I've spent hours reading all the threads about WP8 multitasking but can't seem to find an commonly accepted agreement on this so I'll ask here:
Let's say I don't want to be bothered 'backing' out of apps to close them most of the time. Can I just leave them running and allow the WP8 OS to handle memory management automatically without any negative effects on battery life or UI speed/smoothness?
02-19-2013, 06:59 PM #3
- 654 Posts
Questions 1 & 2: Effectively, there is no file system. (Obviously, there is under the hood, but you shouldn't think of the phone as a file storage device as you do your PC or your current Android phone. WP7 supports Media Transfer Protocol, but not USB Mass Storage.) Without a file system, there's not much call for file management utilities. Also, the security model gives each app its own storage space. As such, even if one were to write an app to accept files over the network, those files would get stored in a place that only the server app could access, making them useless to other apps.
I tell potential buyers that if they want to be "users" of their phones, Windows Phone is great, but that if they want to be "administrators" of their phones, WP is probably NOT for them. Microsoft set out to make WP something between the wide-open chaos that Windows Mobile, Linux, or Android can be and the "walled garden" of iOS. They wanted something a park rather than a garden -- a bit more freedom to move around than Apple will give users but far less than Google will.
Question 3: When you connect your WP8 device to your PC via USB, you can see a "view" of the phone's files as presented by MTP. MTP exposes the music, videos, and pictures, as well as a "Documents" folder. You can drag files back and forth from/to the PC and the phone.
Question 4: WP8 runs one task at a time, with a few exceptions. Ignoring the exceptions for now, if a task is not visible on screen, it is NOT receiving any CPU time and thus not draining your battery at all. If you open an app then press the Windows key to get back to the start screen, open another app, and repeat, you'll have several apps loaded in to memory, but only the visible one is getting CPU attention. If the OS determines that it needs memory, it will unload apps as needed (probably based on least-recently used, but I don't recall for sure).
Q4 exceptions: Microsoft's first-party apps are allowed CPU time when off screen. These include the phone app, music player, and several others. Third-party apps have a few options for off-screen CPU as described below:
1) Apps may ask to keep running under the lock screen; this lets them keep working on tasks after the screen times out and turns off. It doesn't let the app run if you press the Windows key or switch to another app. This is useful for tasks that take a while to complete or that are by their nature long-term (GPS logging, for example).
2) Apps may use one of several functions written to allow background continuity such as VoIP calling, music streaming, and large data downloading.
3) Apps can register a "periodic task" and/or a "resource-intensive task" to get work done even when the app isn't running. (Think of this as a limited form of cron in a Linux world.) Periodic tasks are kicked off every 30 minutes and must complete within 15 (or 25, I don't recall) seconds, must not use too much memory (6MB?), and have no UI since they are run in the "background." (These tasks can display a toast alert or update a live tile, though.) Resource-intensive tasks get more time and memory (unlimited?), but can only run when the phone is plugged in (i.e., not on battery) and has a Wi-Fi connection (i.e., not cellular data).
4) (This one is only tangentially related to the multi-tasking question, but it's worth adding.) Apps can register for pushed data. A server can then push alerts and tiles to the phone whenever they want and as frequently as they want. Obviously, the information pushed has to be something that the server can know about since it is doing the pushing (via the Microsoft Push Notification Service). This means that server-initiated tile updates might not be a good idea for a weather app since the server won't know where you are at any time. (That's why most of the weather tiles use a periodic task to update their tiles. Our app uses server-push to let students know when new grades have been posted for their course since the source of the data is another of our servers rather than the phone itself.) Because this kind of background work requires a companion server app, few apps use it.
- 02-19-2013, 08:15 PM #4
Excellent info, thanks so much for all that information! Just to pick your brains if I may a little more about my question #2
I guess the easiest way to ask is by telling you specifically what I would like to do: If I have a .avi movie file on my wp8 phone, can I enable my phone's mobile hotspot, connect to it with my blackberry playbook tablet, and then use my phone to transfer that movie file over my wifi connection to my playbook (or whatever device)?
02-19-2013, 08:32 PM #5
- 721 Posts
Ill be honest with you, WP just might not be the OS for you. You can do all youve asked and more with Android as im sure you know.
If its something you think you could live without, i would still recommend waiting to see what MS has in store for the next big update for WP8. At keast wait and see if it appears theyre going to be committed to WP8. Many have questioned their commitment. We have plenty of features and fixes we are expecting and wanting. If I were you, I'd wait and see how they deliver.
02-19-2013, 09:35 PM #8
- 59 Posts
AFAIK you can transfer files via NFC (near field communication, AKA tap two phones together that support this) so I don't see why you wouldn't be able to transfer a movie between one device to another without needing a PC. I have no idea how to, mind you, but I'm sure its possible.
02-19-2013, 10:09 PM #9
- 1,360 Posts
Microsoft is committed to WP, regardless of what people say otherwise. MS just completely overhauled all their products based on WP, I'd say THAT is commitment!
If you want a solid, fluid, and simple experience, than WP is for you. If you are ok with a cluster**** OS that has every little feature creep you "need" then Android is for you.
02-19-2013, 10:27 PM #10
- 129 Posts
Q. 1 - NO there will be no LAN transfers
Q. 2 - No there will be no downloading of files from the phone (unless you plug into a computer via USB)
Q. 3 - MS's skydrive (its like drop box) I don't use it so I don't know if you can sync music to it with your phone. I suspect you can do that. Other wise drag and drop via USB connection to pc.
- Q. 3-a - You cannot create play lists on the phone. I think the lattest update may enable this but I have a dev version of the phone so that update is not available to me yet. The only other way is to create the play list in windows media player and then sync it with the phone which is hit or miss. Good luck
Based on your questions I would not recomend this phone for you. Not having a File Manager puts a drag on useability. People will tell you "Oh you don't need it, MS does it like this, think of it as this or that, just upload to skly drive then walk around the corner for a minute and come back for no reason at all and then sync with skydrive" " in reality you will not be happy. it looks nice. its fun to use. has some cool features. Not the ones you are looking for. I would Op for Android if I were you.
02-19-2013, 10:33 PM #11
- 129 Posts
If you want I can give you an entyire laundry list of every day things this phone can not do. Mostly basic things almost evry other smart phone can do. Let me know I would not mind composing such a list to keep people informed. I can also do the same for some of the really cool things it does and does right, ehhh, almost right,, pretty good.
02-19-2013, 11:07 PM #12
- 99 Posts
02-20-2013, 02:24 AM #16
- 1 Posts
After years of Zune and Windows Phone experience, Iíve kind of lost sight of the old way of doing things. But Windows Phone 8ís support of the Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) means that Microsoftís latest smart phone platform isnít as closely tied to the firmís media software as were previous products. So you now have a wider range of choices when it comes to syncing music (and podcast) content.
Reader Wayne V. tipped me off to this, which is head-slappingly excellent. Iím embarrassed I didnít think of this.
MTP is what makes Windows Phone 8 handsets available from File Explorer in Windows 8 and via Windows Photo Gallery and other photo acquisition tools. But this capability also means that youíre able to copy music, playlists, and podcasts from a variety of third party applications to Windows Phone 8 devices.
If youíre using iTunes to manage your media collection, Iíve already written about how you can use this tool in tandem with the Windows Phone desktop application in Windows Phone 8 Tip: Enjoy Podcasts on the Go. It works pretty well, in my opinion.
Of course, not everyone likes iTunes.
The tipster suggests using MusicBee, which he says works just fine with Windows Phone 8 devices, and lets you sync your PC-based music, playlists, and podcasts.
Songbird is another similar option. (Be sure to leave the ďMTP Device SupportĒ add-on enabled during Setup.) And while I didnít do a ton of testing yet, I was able to drag and drop songs and playlists to the phone, and they work fine.
You can also use Windows Media Player, which is built into Windows (all supported versions except Windows RT) of course.
Does anyone else have a favorite media player application that works like this? Let me know, and Iíll add a link to it here.
02-20-2013, 08:19 AM #17
- 807 Posts
When managing larger playlists it is easier to use windows explorer.
Connect the phone via USB to the PC.
With windows explorer open the music, playlist folder.
Right click the playlist file, select properties, resources tab.
You can add to the playlist from songs on your phone using drag and drop into the resources tab window.
From the recources tab window you can also delete files from the playlist and set the play order
02-20-2013, 03:38 PM #18
- 59 Posts
All my digital content/subscriptions I don't even bother plugging my phone in for. Such as I subscribe to the podcasts I listen to right there in Xbox Music on my phone and new episodes are automatically downloaded when they come right on the phone.
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