Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Exporting contacts to Lixin e80 and i9

I recently had a question on my YouTube page about importing contacts into the Lixin phone. Now, I'm NOT Lixin Tech Support, but I have worked out a way to do this that works for both the i9 & the Lixin e80 phone. I am afraid these only apply to Windows. I have no idea if there is a way to do this on Mac OS or Linux.

After cruising around the i9 support forum, I found a piece of software called PhoneSuite (available from here). This is a piece of software supposedly from MediaTek that allows communication with the MKT6205 phones similar to phone interface software suites from other manufactures. It allows you (supposedly) to upload your contacts and manage pictures and ring tones on the phone. I have never used these features, but I did figure out the contacts thing.

Phonesuite doesn't have an install routine, you just run unzip it into a folder somewhere and run Phonesuite.exe. It looks like something that has been whipped up in Java. Anyway, first go to the "Settings" dialog:

You need to select the MTK6205 option and whatever COM port the phone is on. To get the phone communicating with PhoneSuite:
  1. Plug in the USB cable from the phone to an available USB on your PC.
  2. Select "COM Port" on the e80 or i9.
  3. In PhoneSuite, select the COM (serial) port your phone is on - usually it will be a number higher than the COM 1 & COM 2 ports which refer to your PC's RS232 port.
There is an option to just load the phone book from Outlook. You can try this, but it didn't work for me. When I select this, first Outlook will ask if Phonesuite can access your address book. Once you give permission to allow the access, then I get:

The application then will completely die! It seems that PhoneSuite dies when it hits any standard phone number characters like "(",")" or "-"!

After much trial and error, I found that you can import contacts from a CSV file - a comma delimited text file created by a spreadsheet program like Excel.

First, Export your contacts from Outlook to a CSV file.
  1. Go to "File" > "Import and Export".
  2. Select Export to a file and click Next.
  3. Select "Comma separated values" - either DOS or Windows, I don't think it matters.
  4. In "Folder to Export" select "Contacts".
  5. Select a file name.
  6. Click "Finish" and it will proceed to export everything to a CSV file.
If you look at the file in Excel, you will see that you have loads and loads of headings! Here is a partial list:
  • Title
  • First Name
  • Middle Name
  • Last Name
  • Suffix
  • Company
  • Department
  • Job Title
  • Business Street
  • Business Street 2
  • Business Street 3
  • Business City
  • and on and on and on...

However, PhoneSuite can only accept the following fields:
  • Name
  • Mobile
  • Home
  • Company
  • Email
  • Office
  • Fax
  • Birthday

This is where it gets tedious! You will need to go into Excel and cut out all the columns you don't need and merge columns like first & last name. What you need to end up with is a spreadsheet that looks like:

Test User+15555555555+125555555555Test Companywho.are@you.com+135555555555+1455555555551/4/2004

How do you get rid of the "(",")" & "-"? You need to do a search for these characters and replace them with nothing. Just check the Excel documentation on how to do this.

Once you have everything cleaned up, save the contacts file as a CSV within Excel. Just go "File" > "Save as" and select "CSV".

Now, to get it into PhoneSuite and with the phone connected:

  • Click the File icon in the upper left:
  • Select "Import" and navigate to the CSV file you just created.
  • This should import all your contacts into a "PC Folder" called "Import".
  • Select all the contacts you just imported and drag them to the "Handset Folder".

If everything is set up right, they should all transfer to your i9 or e80 and be accessible. If you get "Invalid Characters" warning, then you have to go back and scrub the file further in Excel and look for pesky tray brackets or dashes!

It is kludgy, but it does work. For my Samsung T509, I never could figure out a way to do this!

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