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There are three ways to connect the N91 to a PC for file transfer. This is a Series 60 handset (it actually runs the latest, third edition, of the Symbian software), and has built in contacts, diary and to do list software which can be synchronised using Nokia’s PC Suite.
If you want to synchronise music then you can opt for ‘Media Player’ mode, and the N91 will show up as a device you can synchronise with Windows Media Player 10. If you don’t feel any affinity towards Windows Media Player 10, or don’t actually want to synch music, then you can simply treat the N91 as a mass storage device and drag and drop or copy files from your hard drive.
All three connection types are made using the provided USB cable, which, thank the Lord, is not proprietary at the handset end, but mini USB. You simply choose your preferred connection method from a list that pops up when you make the link.
There is more good news when it comes to music playback and headsets. Nokia provides a two-piece headset. At the handset end a 3.5mm port is used to connect a section with inline controls and voice call microphone. A 3.5mm connector from this goes to the provided earbuds. This means you can substitute your own cans for those Nokia provides and still, if you want to, have the inline controls. There is a ‘but’, though. You need to use the Nokia headset to listen to the built in FM radio as the antenna is located within it. It supports Visual Radio, but that’s still not actually working in the UK at the moment.
You don’t get stereo playback from the handset speaker itself, which some might find a tad annoying. But there is plenty of volume and I found it fine for listening to with the handset sitting on a desk. In fact, while playing music continuously to see how long the battery could stand up for I had to put the N91 into a drawer to muffle it while on the (other) phone – it is that loud!
During the battery test I set the power save time out set to the maximum available which is 30 minutes, the light time out to the maximum available which is 60 seconds, the screen brightness to highest available and the music player volume at its highest. Playback was through the loudspeaker. The battery delivered a rather good eight hours and 12 minutes of music. Nokia suggests you should get ten hours of playback, and you should be able to achieve this or close to it by using different power save and light time out settings.
Music playback stops when you take a voice call on the N91, and starts again from where it left off when you hang up. Plenty of file formats are supported, among them AAC, MP3, WAV and WMA. There is DRM support if you are into that kind of thing.