Adding Sound Files and Music to your iPhone

If you just got an iPhone and were wondering just how to add music to it from your computer, here’s how.

You would think you could simply drag and drop MP3s onto your iPhone. But why make it easy for us? iTunes is confusing, but once you figure it out, it is handy for keeping things organized.

I use folders and playlists within the folders to organize things. Folders just hold playlists and playlists hold tracks.



I have a folder called “Crooners” and in it, I have several playlists that I have grouped by the artist. Under it, I have another folder for my Japanese music.

To do this, first make a folder.

1)      With the newest version of iTunes (, you click on the top left.


2)      New > New Playlist Folder.


3)      Name the folder “Japanese Lessons” or “Kotoba” or whatever

4)      Next, make a playlist and name it whatever you want.


Next, plug in your iPhone, add that playlist, and sync.

1)      Click on the iPhone button to the top right.


2)      Click on “Music” at the top


3)      Select “Sync Music” and “Selected Playlists, artists, albums, and genres”


4)      Then choose the playlists you want.


Sync and you should see it on your iPhone.

Amazon's Kindle Turns Two

The Kindle is almost one, but Amazon just announced they are releasing Version Two on February 24th.

If you bought a Kindle 1, Amazon is putting you first in line for Kindle 2, but it doesn’t look like you will be getting  a discount. But that is the price of progress!

The main improvements seem to be:

  • Longer battery life
  • Larger storage space ( holds over 1,500 books–whatever that means)
  • Text-to-Speech ability when your eyes are tired
  • Improved screen with 16 shades of gray

One thing I like about the Kindle is Amazon allows you to re-download:

A copy of every book you purchased is backed up online at in case you ever need to download it again. You can wirelessly re-download books for free anytime.

(I bought a few movies and TV shows from Apple via iTunes before I found out I couldn’t re-download the episodes (not without contacting Apple at least).  I have no intention of doing anything illegal, but I would like the ability to re-download if necessary.)

I was holding out until the next generation Kindle came out.  I may wait until the first price drop, but I’m getting close to being sold on it.  Check out the Kindle 2 information page.

iPhone makes me hang up on Customers

I use Vonage for the store toll free number.  Last week I started having Vonage forward calls to my cell phone.  One small problem: I hang up on every customer.

The most annoying thing is when a call comes from someone not in my contact list the button to the left is ‘hang up’ and the button on the right is ‘accept the call’ or something to that nature.  I instinctively swipe my finger from left to right like I do when I turn on the iPhone.  Unfortunately this hits the ‘hang up’ button before it gets to the ‘accept the call’ button.

I know it is simply a matter of getting used to the location of that button, but if you have tried to call and got dropped, I’m sorry. 😦

Apple should have thought this through a bit better, though.  I am sure I’m not the only one who instinctively swipes his finger on the screen to turn it on. Maybe there is an option to fix this problem… checking…  nope, doesn’t look like it.  😦

Using Furigana in Microsoft Word

I received an email from someone asking how to add furigana (small hiragana) over Japanese text on her computer.  I mentioned I do it with Word using the Phonetic Guide.  She only had Works and Works doesn’t appear to have the Phonetic Guide.

For those who do not want to spend a few hundred dollars to buy Microsoft Office, I believe the free Open Office software does allow the user to add furigana over Japanese.

Since I am only familiar with the Word way of doing things, this post shows how to add furigana over kanji in Microsoft Word 2007:


What you need is called ‘Phonetic Guide.’  Highlight the Japanese in question and press the Phonetic Guide button.

I don’t think the Phonetic Guide button appears by default in Word 2007, but here is how to add the Phonetic Guide quick click button:

1) Right click on the top bar and choose ‘Customize Quick Access Toolbar’

2) When it pops up, choose ‘All Commands’ (where the top hand is)
3) Find ‘Phonetic Guide’ and click on the ‘Add’ button

It now should appear at the top quick launch button bar.

The default furigana guess is pretty good.  It guesses what furigana you want, but you can easily change it.  Although you have to go word by word (you want to make sure the furigana is correct after all), it is pretty fast and easy.

A Very Nice Comment from a Very Nice Customer

From time to time we get really nice emails from customers. Here is one about our $5 instant downloads for Beginners:

Thanks Clay and Yumi. These $5 downloads are by far, the best help a beginner can get! And for the price I got way more than expected. This is something I was looking for a long time ago: some easy level reading were I can practice my kanas (and some easy kanji), and at the same time entertain myself and not feel as I am all the time studying. And now finally found it!! and with audio!!! Thanks you for devoting your time and efforts to help people with Japanese language learning (specially in the Japanese page!). You guys rock!! And congratulations for the arrival of little cute Megumi!! Arigatou gozaimasu!


I am more than satisfied with the purchase and I wish every beginner could see the great product this download is! Finally something that is not boring to read (I am kind of bored of the same silly beginners conversations in text books “hi, what time is it? oh, it is very late! My name is Michelle, nice meeting you”).

Thanks!  After things slow down (things=Megumi) a bit, we’ll start work on the next beginner reader. We are always on the lookout for good beginner level stories. If you know of any, please let us know. Of course Japanese fairy tales are always great, but they can seem a bit childish–some however are far from childish.

If you haven’t checked out our $5 instant downloads, we have a little (right now, very little) for almost everyone.  This blog has most of them through PayPal here.  Or check out all of them at our store here.

Brand new Instant Japanese Reader Download


Chuumon no Ooi Ryouriten
The Restaurant with Many Orders
by Miyazawa Kenji

We’ve been working feverishly to get this e-book reader done before Yumi enters the hospital (tomorrow!). It took longer than I anticipated (Can you say ぎりぎり?), but it is done–and I think (read: hope) done well.

You can get a preview of the MP3 and learn about the PDF and Flash e-Book at the link below, but briefly, $5 will buy you 49 Megs of:

  • An E-Book in Flash for interactive reading and listening (listen to the entire page (21 pages) or click on individual paragraphs to hear just that)
  • A 33 Page PDF (for printing)
  • A full MP3 recording by a professional native Japanese speaker
  • Works with PCs or Macs (PDF, Flash, and MP3)

I will add it to this blog soon, but I want to wait until I can organize the downloads page better. It was fine when we had less than five downloads, but now that page is… a mess. 🙂

Learn more or purchase 注文の多い料理店 at for only $5.

(Take a look at the above link page–it has example pages and an example sound file.)

いよいよ – iPhone – 日本へ

In less than 30 minutes the new iPhone 3G will begin selling in Japan. According to the news just now, Japan will be the first country to be able to grab the new iPhone today. I’m sure this is due to time differences.

Today’s post is brought to you buy the word:

shin hatsu bai
New Product!

shin new
発売 hatsubai release (for sale); offering for sale; put on the market

Hmmm… I wonder if my iPhone can get the software update now since I’m in Japan… Probably not. But I’ll give it a shot.