Walt Mossberg

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Make This Palm Play Music

There’s no other major item most of us own that is as confusing, unpredictable and unreliable as our personal computers. Everybody has questions about them, and we aim to help.

Here are a few questions about computers I’ve received recently from people like you, and my answers. I have edited and restated the questions a bit, for readability. This week my mailbox contained questions about how to use the Palm Treo 650 as an MP3 player, firewalls for Windows 98, and the new version of iTunes.


I use a Palm Treo 650 with a one-gigabyte memory card. No one can explain to me how to use this phone as an MP3 player. Can you?

Yes. You have to get a Treo-compatible software program that plays MP3s, install it on your Treo and then copy your MP3 song files onto your memory card. The music software will find the files on the card and allow you to play them.

There are two Treo music programs I have used successfully on the 650 model. One is called Pocket Tunes; the other is RealPlayer for Palm. You should check the CD that came with your Treo. One of these programs may be included. It may even be on your Treo already. If not, Pocket Tunes, which costs $15, is at: www.pocket-tunes.com. RealPlayer for Palm is at: www.real.com/palm. It’s free, but it may require you to set up an account with Real’s music service.

Q: My computer’s operating system is Windows 98. Since my current firewall program no longer supports Windows 98, what firewall can I install?

There may be several possibilities, but here’s one. The 2005 edition of Norton Personal Firewall supports Windows 98. If you buy the boxed $50 version of the newer 2006 edition (which doesn’t support Windows 98), the 2005 edition is included. Or you can download the 2005 edition by itself from www.symantecstore.com for $30, though it’s hard to find on the site.

You gave the new version of iTunes a very positive review, but why didn’t you mention that they eliminated two very good features — the equalizer and the “browse” mode that let you sort songs by genre?

Because these two features haven’t been removed, just relocated. The equalizer can be summoned by clicking on the View menu and selecting “Show Equalizer.” The Browse mode is invoked by clicking on the icon shaped like an eye at the lower right corner of the screen.

* * *

Because of the volume of email I receive, I can’t routinely answer individual questions by email, or consult on individual problems or purchasing decisions. I read all questions I receive and select three each week to answer in the column.

Write to Walter S. Mossberg at mossberg@wsj.com


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