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LG VX8600 Transfer Guide for Music, Photos, Videos, and Ringtones

** Warning: use these instructions at your own risk.  Accessing or manipulating your phone as described below may void your warranty and potentially damage your phone.  The author assumes no liability. This site is not endorsed by or affiliated with LG in any way.  **

Overview - Prerequisites - Problems With 'Music Essentials Manager'
Transfer a Song - Transfer a Picture - Transfer a Video - Transfer a Ringtone
Setting Up the Phone to Save to the SD Card - Advanced Info

Overview

The LG VX8600 is a spectacular little phone, and LG has really made it accessible.  This makes me a big fan of their phones!  This document describes how to transfer songs, photos, videos, and ringtones to and from your phone.  This is really easy, and it has worked great for me so far!  I'm a Verizon subscriber, so some of these instructions may be specific to Verizon, but you'll figure it out.

Prerequisites

  1. You'll need either:
    1. The phone-to-USB cable that comes with the Verizon Music Essentials Kit, - or -
    2. A MicroSD card and a card reader for your PC.

If you want to transfer ringtones, you must get the USB cable.  Otherwise, just get the MicroSD card.  I got a 1GB MicroSD card for like $12 at NewEgg, and it came with a standard SD/MMC card adapter so I could just stick it in my standard SD card reader I already had for my PC.

The Music Essentials Kit is $30 from the Verizon online store.  It comes with the cable, a set of stereo headphones, and the USB drivers you need.

Problems With Verizon's 'Music Essentials Manager'

The Music Essentials Kit comes with a software bundle that includes the USB drivers as well as an application that's supposed to allow you to sync music on your PC with your phone.  However, I have had horrible results with this software so far.  The drivers seem to work OK, but the application won't sync.  I have 3 PC's here, and I've gotten one of them to work properly, but the other two don't.

If you do want to try using this application, at least get the latest updated version of Music Essentials Manager.  You should go ahead and install it and the drivers, since you'll need the USB drivers from this download to use the USB cable.  However, the USB drivers are the only interesting thing you'll need from that software; you can do everything else you need to in other, more reliable ways, described below.

Easy Tutorial 1: Transferring an MP3 to your VX8600

Initialize the MicroSD Card First

  1. Power off your phone.
  2. Stick the MicroSD card into your phone.
  3. Power on your phone.  This will create a few necessary directories on the MicroSD card.
  4. Power off your phone and remove the MicroSD card.

Transfer a Song onto the MicroSD Card from your PC

  1. Stick the MicroSD card into its SD adapter.
  2. Stick the adapter into your USB card reader.
  3. Plug the USB card reader into a USB port on your PC.  This will mount the MicroSD card as a drive letter on your PC.  On my system, it's H:.  Notice that there are 4 directories on there: my_flix, my_music, my_pix, and my_sounds.
  4. Find an MP3 song you like, and place it into H:\my_music (replace H: with the appropriate drive letter on your system).  Do not create any subdirectories under my_music; they won't be recognized.  All MP3 files must go directly into the my_music directory.
  5. Remove the MicroSD card from your PC and stick it back in your phone.

Test it Out

  1. With the MicroSD card back in your phone, power up your phone.
  2. Go to Get It Now - Music & Tones - My Music.
  3. Go to '4. Songs'.
  4. You should see your song listed there.  Press OK to play it.  Yay!

Problems?

If the song you transfer doesn't work for some reason, check the following:

  1. Filenames must be less than 32 characters total.
  2. Special characters in the filename can cause problems.  Spaces, dashes, numbers, and letters are OK.
  3. Bitrates should be 192k or less.  Higher bitrates are reported to cause problems.
  4. Do not place your songs inside subdirectories; they should be at the root of my_music.

Easy Tutorial 2: Transferring a Photo

  1. Power off your phone, remove the SD card, and mount it to your PC (as described above).
  2. Copy a JPG into H:\my_pix (replace H: with the appropriate drive letter on your system).
  3. Remove the card from your PC, stick it back in the phone, and power it up.
  4. Go to Get It Now - Picture & Video - My Pictures.
  5. You should see the thumbnail of your new picture in the list somewhere (scroll around if you need to).  Press OK to view the picture.

Resizing to Save Space

You might want to consider making a copy of your pictures and resizing them first before copying them to your phone.  Microsoft's Image Resizer PowerToy is a free and easy way to do this.  I make a copy of the photos I want to put on my phone, then resize them to a custom size of 240x185, which makes them really small (like 15K each) while still looking good on the phone.

Tutorial 3: Retrieving a Video From the Phone

This one's a little more complicated, since it requires using the USB cable instead of the SD card.  Before starting,  use your phone to record a video so we'll have something to work with.  (Get It Now - Picture & Video - Record Video)

Getting Set Up For USB

  1. Install a copy of BitPim, an excellent free program.  I'm using version 0.9.10.
  2. If you haven't already done so, install the USB driver from the Music Essentials Manager software bundle.  (You'll have to install the Music Essentials Manager too, but we won't use it for this tutorial.)
  3. Once the USB drivers are installed, plug the USB cable from the Music Essentials Kit into your phone, then into your PC.  You should see a message in the system tray saying your hardware is installed and ready to use.

Running BitPim

  1. Run the BitPim application.
  2. Make sure your phone is powered on.
  3. When you start it up, it should detect that you have a phone connected, and it'll ask you to enter a name (e.g. 'David').  If the phone isn't automatically detected, do Edit - Detect Phone.
  4. Once your phone's been detected, do View - View Filesystem.
  5. Click the 'Filesystem' icon on the left-hand pane.
  6. The middle pane will show you the filesystem tree of your phone.  Expand the directories as follows:
    /brew/16452/lk/mf
  7. In here, you'll find one or more obscurely-named files that end with '.sg2'.  These are the video clips you've recorded with your phone.
  8. To copy one, right-click it, then do 'Save'.  BitPim will download it from your phone, then prompt you to save it someplace on your PC.
  9. You can use Quicktime Player or other media players to view the video -- it's in the 3GP standard format.

Tutorial 4: Adding a Ringtone to the Phone

Ringtones also require the use of the USB cable.  Ringtones, unlike other media types, may only reside on the phone's memory; they can't be stored on the SD card like photos, music, or videos.

Find or Create a Ringtone

  1. First, find a ringtone you want to use.  For this example, let's use this cool CTU Desk Phone ringtone [ed.ac.uk] from the TV series '24.'  Download this file (it's just a short MP3 file) and save it someplace on your PC.  (Instructions for creating your own ringtones may be found in the 'advanced' section below.)  Any MP3 or MIDI file will work.

Transfer It to your Phone

  1. Follow the instructions for 'Getting Set Up for USB', above, if you haven't already done so.
  2. Make sure your phone is powered on.
  3. Run the BitPim application and detect your phone, as described in the previous tutorial.
  4. View the filesystem, as described in the previous tutorial.
  5. Navigate to this directory on your phone: /brew/16452/lk/mr
  6. Drag the ringtone file you saved above into this directory.  BitPim will copy it to your phone.
  7. Close BitPim and unplug your phone from your PC.
  8. Power off your phone, then power it back on again.  This is required to have your new ringtone recognized.
  9. Go to Settings & Tools - Sounds Settings - Call Sounds - Call Ringtones.  You should see your new ringtone in the list here.

Tutorial 5: Setting Up the Phone to Save to the SD Card

Once you have a MicroSD card for your phone, you can set it up so that all pictures you take and videos or sounds you record will go to the card instead of to the phone's memory.  This is good, because the phone has very limited memory, and since ringtones can only reside in phone memory, they'll wind up taking up most of the free space on the phone.

To do this:

  1. Settings & Tools - Memory -Save Options
  2. Pictures - Card Memory - OK
  3. Videos - Card Memory - OK
  4. Sounds - Card Memory - OK

To see how much space you've got left on your card:

  1. Settings & Tools - Memory - Card Memory - Card Memory Usage

Advanced Information

Converting Your Own Videos

You can convert standard MPG, AVI, or other video formats to the 3GP format the phone requires.  Search download.com for '3GP'; there are a number of utilities you can use to convert the files to 3GP format (use the extension '.3g2' for the files).  The videos recorded by the phone are 176x144.

Trimming Down an MP3

If you want to use a snippet of an existing MP3 as a ringtone, you can use the excellent free utility Audacity to trim the file.  Open the MP3 file with Audacity, highlight a section of the waveform displayed, then do File - Export as MP3...  Note that Audacity will need the LAME encoder (lame_enc.dll), which may be found here and other places with a quick search.  An MP3 that's 15-20 seconds long is a good length for a ringtone.

Accessing the MicroSD Card Over USB While It's Still In the Phone

From BitPim, view the filesystem of the phone.  Look for the directory /mmc1.  This is the directory for the MicroSD card when it's in the phone.  This is handy if you want to transfer files to and from the card but you don't have an SD reader for your PC.  It's a lot slower using the USB cable, so you probably won't use this much, but it's handy if it's the only option you've got.

Interesting Directories On the Phone's Filesystem

When viewing the filesystem in BitPim:

  • Phone memory:
    • My Flix:             /brew/16452/lk/mf
    • My Ringtones:    /brew/16452/lk/mr
    • My Pictures:      /brew/16452/lk/mp
    • My Ringtones:   /brew/16452/lk/mr
    • My Sounds:       /brew/16452/lk/ms
  • MicroSD Card memory:
    • My Flix:            /mmc1/my_flix
    • My Music:        /mmc1/my_music
    • My Pictures:     /mmc1/my_pix
    • My Sounds:      /mmc1/my_sounds

You can transfer files in and out of any of these locations; sometimes you'll have to power off your phone then on again to get new content recognized, as the phone will rebuild its database upon reboot.

Thanks to LG

While this site is not affiliated with LG in any way, I want to thank them for making this excellent phone so accessible and easy to customize with media.  This is a very customer-friendly phone, and I love the fact that they've left the filesystem accessible via USB.  It makes owning the phone twice as fun, and makes me a more loyal LG customer.  Nice work.

 

                                                         Last updated: June 28, 2014