People usually get a Windows Mobile–powered phone because they want to get e-mail on their phone. That's a good reason. There's something really cool about being able to check your e-mail wherever you are. I never fail to get oohs and ahhs whenever I show people e-mail on my phone.

But even if you purchase a Windows Mobile–powered phone for e-mail, and you're a super serious "get things done" kind of person, there are going to be times you need more. Say you're working late at night, putting the last touches on a presentation. Or you're cooling your heels waiting for a meeting to start. Or you have to travel to meet a customer. In other words, you probably have lots of down time to fill. That's when you'll want to listen to music on your phone.

Image of Windows Mobile user interface

To listen to music on your phone, here are some things you'll need and some things I recommend:

  1. Windows Mobile–powered phone with Windows Media Player Mobile 10 for the best experience.
  2. A desktop computer and Internet connection.
  3. A storage card to store your tunes on.
  4. A stack of your favorite CDs.
  5. A good set of headphones.

The rest of the article gives you some tips to help you get started.

Store more music
I have two sizes of storage cards that I use on my devices. I use a 128 megabyte (MB) and a 256 MB storage card. Since I have a smartphone that uses mini secure digital cards (miniSD), and a Pocket PC phone that uses a regular SD card, I buy miniSDs and use an adapter so that I can use my storage cards on both devices.

I recommend that you go out and get a storage card right after you first get your Windows Mobile device, if not before. There are so many things you'll want to add, and there isn't a lot of extra storage on the device.

You can get storage cards from a lot of places online, though they're much harder to find in brick and mortar stores. I have found them at Fry's, which we're lucky enough to have in Washington State.

A rough guide to how much storage you'll need is to allow for about 4-5 MB per song. Different devices require different types of memory, so check your owner's manual to see what type of memory you need and how to install it. Read more about storage solutions in "4 ways to store your data."

Rip your favorite CDs
You can load your music onto your device with just a few clicks. You'll need to be using Windows Media Player on your desktop, and have Windows Media Player 10 Mobile on your device.

  1. Put your CD into your desktop computer.
  2. Open Windows Media Player on your computer.
  3. Select Rip from the bar that runs across the top of the player.

You will see a list of all the tracks on your CD. Windows Media Player automatically downloads artist and song title information from the Internet. This is where it gets fun. Most people like only a selection of songs on any CD that they own. But if they play the CD on a “regular” player, they have to listen to all the songs, unless they hit the skip button.

When you sync your music to your device, you can sync your favorite songs and leave the rest behind.

Click the check box on the left side of the column headings to deselect all songs. Then go ahead and check just the ones you like. When you've made your selections, click Rip. Songs will appear in your library. You can then sync them to your device using the sync tab.

Learn more:
Quickly Rip CDs to your computer Take your music and video with you

It's important to always sync your music through your mobile device. Do not attempt to copy the music directly to your memory card through a card reader. Songs that you buy online often come with a license. That license will only be copied if your device is connected to your personal computer. Keep in mind that not all music services allow you to copy music to your portable device.

There are two options for syncing your music. The easiest is automatic. Whenever you connect your mobile device to your personal computer, Windows Media Player will review your library to determine your favorites. It keeps records of how many times you listen to particular songs and also allows you to rate tracks on a scale of one to five stars. It will fill your mobile device with your highest-rated and most-listened-to selections, as well as any songs you recently downloaded.

To sync automatically, launch Windows Media Player 10 on your personal computer and then connect your mobile device to your computer. Select Automatic from Windows Media Player 10 on your desktop computer. You will only have to do that once. From then on, whenever you connect your device, your music will sync.

The other option is manual and it allows you to specify which tracks will be sent to your mobile device. To copy music, go into your Windows Media Player library on your personal computer and right-click on a song you want to copy. From the pop-up menu, select Add to and then click Sync List. Repeat that process for all the songs you want to copy.

When you're done, connect your device to your personal computer and select the Manual synchronization option. Select the Sync button at the top of your Windows Media Player and then select Start Sync. An indicator will tell you when it's done.

Buy some good headphones
The headphones that come with Windows Mobile devices are standard. You can get a better experience by buying a set of headphones that are more comfortable and more noise cancelling.

I'm not talking about headsets, which work well for your Bluetooth connection for the voice; I'm talking about headphones, which you'll use for listening to music.

I like the Shure headphones that are noise cancelling. They come in a nice case that's easy to carry around. You may have to get an adapter to use some of the models with different versions of your Windows Mobile phone.

Now that you're set up, get ready to dance to your favorite tunes, whether you're sitting in your favorite chair at home, or out for jog.