Friday, September 08, 2006

Blackberry Pearl

Those of you that read my blog know that I’m very happy with my Treo, but I missed some specs about the Blackberry Pearl that lead me to believe that this one phone may generate some massive industry changes.  I am not referring to the fact that Blackberry finally got a camera on a phone or that the phone is more consumer-focused, rather I am referring specifically to the music capabilities of the phone.

The Pearl is not yet for sale, but is listed as “coming soon” on the T-Mobile site.  Interestingly, when I view the “features” section of the phone’s page on the T-Mobile site, I find this information across from the “Music Player” category:

MP3, WMA, iTunes, and ACC

I’m going to assume that “ACC” is actually “AAC,” but the reference to “iTunes” makes me wonder if this phone can actually play DRM’d iTunes Music Store files.  I did a little bit more digging and came across actually screen grabs of the Pearl manual on BBHub — here are some of the features:

  • True side-loading of music on to the phone.  Unlike other phones that require a user to go through some steps to hack and get music on to their phones, the Pearl allows true loading of tracks from your computer on to the phone.
  • Here are some of the audio extension files that will play: .aac, .amr, .m4a, .mp3, .wav; no mention of .m4p, so unfortunately it does not appear to have the capability to play songs purchased from iTMS.
  • Songs can be played either off the phone’s internal memory or from a media card
  • Playlist capabilities.
  • Shuffle capabilities.

With a little bit more digging, I was able to find the full user guide for the phone on Engadget Mobile — here’s some more information:

  • All other features of the phone can be used when music is playing.
  • Ringtones in all formats above can be side-loaded.

I’ll be very interested to see if any carriers attempt to disable the music features in the Pearl or if they all decide to let the features be as described in the manuals and screen grabs as they stand now.

Link — T-Mobile Pearl Features page

Link — BBHub

Link — full user guide on Engadget Mobile

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