Before we get to the nitty gritties of enabling the FM transmitter, in case you are new to the functionality, here’s a small recap of what it does. (Feel, free to skip if you already know what I am talking about).
The functionality allows you to broadcast your own music playing on your N78 to any equipment that plays FM, basically the phone acts like your personal radio station. The range isn’t much but within your car or near your music system, this setup will rock. The advantage of such a feature is that you can share your music effortlessly without needing any cables whatsoever. I find this especially convenient when I want my own music playing in the car or even at home in my room. Most car audio systems these days come with a 3.5 mm input which allows you to connect your phone to, but that constant irritation of a cable remains. Also, when travelling in a friend’s car this feature comes in handy if his system does not have an audio in or you simple forget the dammed cable.
When the N78 was first launched in India, the use of an FM transmitter was prohibited in the country (and a few others like France, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy) for whatever reason and the N78’s sold here therefore, lacked that wonderful functionality. When I first became aware of this, an idea stuck me that it was quite possible that the hardware part was present and Nokia’s was blocking the functionality via changes in the software. Therefore, a simple change of the product code and firmware update would have been a cure. Sadly, I didn’t get to try this first hand due to certain circumstances.
Later, OTA firmware update v 12.046 was rolled out and I updated the same day and this killed my chances of trying the above method out. The Nokia Software Updater would not let me ‘re-flash’ the device despite a different product code and the phone’s device manager too would give me the following:
In between all of this, the Indian government apparently made the use of an FM Transmitter legal and Nokia’s latest v12.046 firmware now supports the transmitter for Indian product codes too. So here’s how to enable it:
A. WITHOUT CHANGING THE PRODUCT CODE
If you are lucky enough to not have upgraded to the v 12.046 till now, then getting the FM transmitter is a simple matter of simply downloading the latest version of the Nokia Software Updater, backing up your phone, upgrading and restoring the data. Between all of this, the FM transmitter should have reared its head and would be present in the Music folder, which you can find in the Menu.
But if you, like me, weren’t so lucky and had upgraded to the latest v12 before the transmitter became legal in India, then you will need to visit one of the many Nokia Service Centers and ask them to flash the phone for you. Believe me, its worth the ordeal.
B. CHANGING THE PRODUCT CODE
If you live in a country that still doesn’t allow the use of a FM transmitter and you still want it, the procedure is again pretty simple. But please bear in mind, that this may void warranty and/or subject you to formal charges.
First we will need to change the product code to that of a country which allows its usage and also has a language pack that you require. Choose from this list. (Example: 0546543 – Euro 1 Warm Silver and Pearl White – Supports English)
- Download and install the Nemesis Service Suite.
- Next, simply plug in your phone and wait for the drivers to get installed.
- Then, run NSS and select ‘Scan For New Device’ on the upper right side of the window
- Click on ‘Phone Info’ and then on ‘Scan’
- In the box next to the words ‘Product Code” enter the new product code.
- Mark the box labelled ‘Enable’.
- Hit ‘Write’ and you job’s done.
- Close the Nemesis Service Suite.
Once you have changed the product code, simply use the Nokia Software Updater to update as you usually would.
To use the functionality, simply go on to your music folder and activate FM transmitter. Input the frequency to whatever you would like the phone to broadcast at. Tune your music system/car radio/whatever that supports FM to the frequency you just set on the N78. Play a song in the music player, choose Options and then select ‘FM Transmitter’. Next hit ‘Change’ and turn it on, the music should now be audible from your system.
Although this feature has been available as an add on accessory for a long time for a variety of devices such as the iPods, the ability to be carrying it in your pocket and the comfort of using it without any ‘extra’ is amazing.