CEBIT - Nokia updates mobile blogging software

Nokia introduced a new version of its Lifeblog software.

Mobile bloggers using a new version of Nokia's Lifeblog software can automatically attach location, time and relevant calendar information to photos, videos and audio clips, Nokia said Wednesday. The new software, Lifeblog 2.0, will also allow users to attach audio clips to their blogs.

Lifeblog 2.0 comes in two parts; software that is loaded onto phones plus compatible software for PCs. Users can take photos and videos and make audio recordings on their Nokia Nseries phones, then upload the files wirelessly from their phones to an online blog, provided they have a blog set up through Six Apart. The PC software is designed to make it easier for users to organize and share the files, Nokia said.

The Lifeblog 2.0 PC software is available for download now and the compatible phone software is expected to become available in April.

A new tagging capability can make it easier for users to find photos and other files, said Andreas Myka, research and development manager for Lifeblog at Nokia, from the sidelines of the Cebit trade show in Hanover, Germany. Software on the phone detects photos as soon as they are taken and then looks for certain information to attach to the photo as a tag, said Myka. For example, the software finds information in the nearest cell tower that indicates which country the phone is in and attaches a tag with the country name as well as the time to the photo, he said.

The software also looks in the user's calendar and attaches any calendar entries as tags, he said. That could later help users identify the files based on the calendar entry, which could indicate that a photo was taken at a conference or during a holiday, for example.

While the tags can be automatically attached to the photos, for privacy reasons, they aren't automatically uploaded if a user then posts the photo to a blog, Myka said. The tags are primarily useful in making it easier for users to search for photos, videos or audio clips on their PCs or phones, he said.

Lifeblog 2.0 also improves the user interface of the PC software, Myka said. The software now works within Windows, making it easier for users to drag and drop files between programs, he said.

The first version of Nokia's mobile blogging software came out in 2004 but other phone makers have recently made announcements of services designed to make mobile blogging easier. Last week, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB introduced a new phone that is integrated with Google's Blogger application. Users can set up a new blog using the phone and take and upload photos from the phone to the blog.

Samsung Electronics Co. is featuring photo blogging in a section of its Samsung Mobile stand at Cebit, but until the show floor officially opens on Thursday it's unclear exactly what type of mobile blogging capabilities Samsung will display.

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