Getting media off your phone

Once you have captured your pictures, video and sound you need to get it onto your computer in order to later incorporate it into your organisation's campaign communications or your blogpost.

There are various ways to get images, sounds and videos from your phone to your computer;

  • Bluetooth
  • Wifi
  • Data cable

Bluetooth is a technology which allows two handsets or a handset and a computer within close proximity of each other to transfer information to each other. Most Bluetooth technology works over a range of approximately 10 metres. Although newer variants can reach further, up to 100 metres, the most likely way you are going to want to use Bluetooth to transfer data off your phone is by sitting next to the computer with the phone.

To connect your phone and your computer via Bluteooth you should follow the instructions on your computer about 'pairing' a device via Bluetooth. You have to make sure that both devices have Bluetooth switched on, and follow the instructions. If you are transferring data this way, always remember to switch Bluetooth off when you are finished. If you forget, it can leave an open door for others to install software, malware or files on your device later and may be a security concern for you. Some phones also have data cables which allow data to be transferred directly to a computer. Many new high end phones include Wifi connectivity.

You can also download programmes to your computer that will allow you to sync, back-up and manage the files on your phone from your computer. Or you can use software directly on your phone to do the same tasks – this may be provided by your mobile phone manufacturer or there are freeware packages available on the internet.

Multimedia messages allow users with Multimedia messaging(MMS)-capable phones to send text, photos, audio and video to one another across a mobile network. Unlike Bluetooth, the two phones can be far away from each other, even in different countries. Most phones today are MMS-enabled, particularly camera-phones which allow the sending of photographs taken on a mobile phone between two users. Different phones compile MMS messages in different ways, but in essence it is a similar process to email, where pictures, video and sound files can be sent as attachments.

If the receiving phone is unable to receive the MMS for some reason (perhaps it is not MMS-enabled, or it is an older handset), then the user of that phone will receive a standard text message pointing them to a website where they can view the message and attachments online.

MMS messaging can also be used by organisations who wish to send pictures to news sites to publicise events or activities.

While the potential of MMS is great, you should bear in mind that the cost of sending and receiving these images varies greatly between mobile phone service providers and countries. It is worth finding out about this before you start using this as a way of exchanging images or video as it may be much cheaper to rely on transfer to a computer rather than sending these between phones.