BitPim for Mac OS X

July 17, 2006

BitPim OS XBitPim is one of the coolest, cheapest (freeware), easiest, ugliest apps available to Mac users with cell phones. Ever since I got my LG VX8300 from Verizon Wireless, I have been wanting a way to transfer pictures, ringtones, etc. to my cell phone from my Mac and vice-versa. I struggled after failing to browse the device via Bluetooth because of Verizon’s crippled OBEX (Object Exchange) and trying USB alternatives, which also did not work. BitPim supports USB transfers, but I decided to go wireless and stick with Bluetooth.

BitPim saved my LG VX8300 and me from Verizon’s crippled OBEX. BitPim doesn’t exactly have an iApp interface, but it does have potential. Setting up my phone on BitPim wasn’t necessarily “simple”, but it was possible. Here are the steps I took to pair the phone and my Mac with BitPim via Bluetooth:

  1. Check to see if your phone is compatible with BitPim.
  2. Open the Bluetooth preference pane in System Preferences.
  3. Turn on Bluetooh.
  4. Click “Set up new device…” in the Devices tab.
  5. Walk through the Bluetooth Setup Assistant and pair the phone with your Bluetooth-capable Mac.
  6. Download the latest version of BitPim.
  7. Open BitPim and access the BitPim settings.
  8. Select “Phone Wizard” and select your cell phone carrier, manufacturer, and cell phone model.
  9. Click next and choose either “auto” or one similar to “/dev/cu._________-BTDIAG-1”.
  10. Click “Detect Phone” to test the connection. Passed means BitPim found and communicated to your phone. If BitPim does not detect the phone, click back and choose another Bluetooth port. *Make sure your phone has Bluetooth powered on.
  11. OK it.
  12. Be amazed.

Uploading ringtones was really easy with BitPim, because all of the editing capabilities needed to make the MP3 file compatible with your phone is all in BitPim. When uploading MP3 files as ringtones, I suggest using only a 30 second clip of the song with a 7-9 db volume. Uploading wallpapers and pictures are also easy, with editing capabilities within BitPim to upload your wallpaper at the correct resolution for your phone.

BitPim also lets you download your pictures from your camera phone with ease. After downloading to BitPim, you can export your pictures to the Finder or iPhoto. But make sure when you upload your files to be careful not to select “Replace All” or all of the files could be erased either on your phone or BitPim.

BitPim also includes functionality with other important features, such as calendars, digital phonebooks (vCard), memos, SMS, to-dos, call history, etc. Some phones do not work with some of these features, visit the BitPim website to check if your phone is compatible.

142 Responses

  1. FREQ440HTZ says:

    I cant get the 8300 to work on the usb cable with OSX 10.4.10
    are there settings in the phone that i need to change???

    August 31st, 2007 at 1:05 am

  2. Ryan says:

    For some reason the bitpim cant find a connection with my phone. How do i make it find my phone?

    September 9th, 2007 at 11:39 am

  3. Larry says:

    I’m trying to connect my Samsung A930 with Bitpim 1.0.1 to my Macbook 10.4.10 using a usb cable. It sees the phone using setup and assigns a port but then I get this message when I try anything else.

    A930 on usb::002::002-04e8-6640-02-00::2: “The phone is not responding while manipulating the filesystem.”

    Help. I really want to be able to get the pictures and video off my phone.

    Thanks – Larry

    September 14th, 2007 at 11:13 am

  4. hiutopor says:

    Hi all!

    Very interesting information! Thanks!


    September 17th, 2007 at 12:56 am

  5. Steve says:

    I used bitpim with a usb cable on my ibook PPC/10.4.10 and had success in uploading my addressbook as a vcard and transferring to my LG VX8300. Weeks later I tried to transfer ringtones. Bitpim did not recognize my phone, nor could I manually select a phone and comm port – all failed. So I deleted Bitpim 1.0.1 and installed its latest beta. It recognized the phone and worked for a few ringtones (although I had to turn the phone off and on again). I then quit bitpim. When I went back later to do the same with other ringtones, bitpim did not recognize the phone. I deleted ~/bitpim-files/.bitpim with a command line, and then I was able to recognize the phone again. Not a convenient work around – to have to delete .bitpim each time. Any idea what is going on?.


    September 18th, 2007 at 4:06 pm

  6. Larry says:

    OK in total frustration I bought a Micro SD card with the Mini adapter. The card works fine in Samsung A930. I can save to the card and view fine.

    But when I put the card into my camera it can’t see any files on the card.


    September 21st, 2007 at 6:50 pm

  7. popeye cahn says:

    Thanks for the tutorial!

    I am able to connect to the phone (using pilottech’s suggestion) to my Intel iMac running 10.4.10 with the PPC version of Bitpim 1.01 as the Universal 1.02 build crashes.

    The problem I’m having is adding or getting data from the phone, the ‘OK’ button is grayed out in the Add/Send Data windows no matter what I check or uncheck. Adding ringtones or wallpaper to the app works fine.

    Any thoughts anyone?

    September 30th, 2007 at 12:14 pm

  8. Larry says:

    The Micro SD card with a Micro SD reader works just fine. No problem putting my mp3 files with the extension .mid into my_sounds folder and using them as ringtones. Still haven’t gotten my mp3 music files to show up in the my_music folder.

    Anyone worked that out?

    MacBook 10.4.10 Samsung A930

    October 4th, 2007 at 2:24 pm

  9. mike says:

    I got my LGVX8600 to pass the detection. I can see the phone info and filesystem, but it doesnt allow me to see anything on my phone (phonebook, call history calendar, etc…). When i try to get data from phone, it doesnt let me hit ok. What do i do?

    October 6th, 2007 at 3:42 pm

  10. James says:

    I think my problem is my 8300 is not pairing with my mac even though it says it is its not after even typing in the passcode it says it pair but bit pim doesn’t pick up my phone at all. So i think its because my phone isn’t paired at all to the computer. Shouldnt’ it have a little pairing sign on the phone up top with the bluetooth sign is ? Cause mine does not. Any ideas anyone? Help please

    October 17th, 2007 at 9:23 pm

  11. D. P. Wynter says:

    If you receive this message while attempting to transfer data from BitPim to your phone: “LG-VX8300 The phone is not responding while manipulating the filesystem”, I believe I have found the solution. The problem seems to be other Bluetooth devices interfering and causing the failure. If you are using a Mac, just go to System Preferences> Bluetooth> Devices and disconnect all other devices except for your phone. This would be any wireless keyboards or mice, etc. After I disconnected those devices I tried the transfer of data (wallpapers, sounds, etc.) to my phone it worked brilliantly.

    Best of luck and smooth transferring!

    October 23rd, 2007 at 10:37 pm

  12. Mike S. says:

    Hi, I have a problem.

    I have a VX8550 and the newest version of bitpim. I try connecting through the usb, because my computer does not support bluetooth. Everytime bitpim tries to connect to my phone, it ends up crashing on me. I can see that it found the phone, and it starts to read my files, but before it ever finishes, it just crashes.

    I have a powerpc, please help me!

    October 25th, 2007 at 11:07 am

  13. SupahStah says:

    hi, i was wondering if someone could help me figure out why i cant get bitpim to connect my lg 8600?
    ive tried all the settings and it wont detect my phone, and i have even tried repairing my phone with my mac. and no dice

    any help would be appreciated!

    November 6th, 2007 at 11:31 pm

  14. momo says:

    I just got LG8700 and try to connect with my iMac Leopard. I downloaded BitPim 1.0.4 and followed everyone is talking about. No matter how many times I tried the BitPim won’t recognize my phone. Phone type is selected LG-VX8700 and as Com Port, I tried “/dev/cu.LG8700-BTDIAG-1″, /dev/tty.LG8700-BTDIAG-1” “LG8700-BTDIAG-1” or “auto”…. no luck.

    Also Bluetooth on iMac says “dev/tty” but BitPim shows “dev/cu.” anyone can tell me what it means? Am I doing what wrong? Please help!!


    December 30th, 2007 at 8:59 pm

  15. CARLY says:

    I have been trying everything you have suggested and when I try to go to phone wizard bitpim freezes on my mac. I can’t figure it out and I am getting very frustrated!

    January 8th, 2008 at 5:43 pm

  16. Neenu says:

    I want to transfer pics to my computer because i cant text them anymore to my email. ive downloaded bitpim but it wont detect my phone, i looked at the FAQ and it said something about phone signatures or something which i dont understand. Can someone please help me?

    January 12th, 2008 at 11:37 pm

  17. Brian says:

    D. P. Wynter’s solution worked perfectly for my 8300 THANK YOU

    January 17th, 2008 at 9:11 pm

  18. Jillian says:

    Hi, I need help. I have the new LG Voyager. And cannot for the life of me get it connected on BitPim. Some help would be highly appreciated. I got it set up with bluetooth and paired on my powerbook g4. But from then on, BitPim will not detect my phone, i tried every port thingy, I have no idea how to get it to work. Thanks

    January 23rd, 2008 at 11:40 pm

  19. Jonathan says:

    Hey i have an lg vx8350, and while i can connect via bluetooth to my macbook with leopard, bitpim will not detect it. i also have a usb cable for the phone, but it also will not be detected. bitpim says it supports my phone, but for some reason will not work. what can i do?

    February 4th, 2008 at 5:35 pm

  20. PC@washstate says:

    Hi i have been trying to connect my Lg vx 10000 voyager with bitpim and it says that there isnt a proper serial port to use, i try manually setting up which port for it to use but it fails everytime. I have been trying to use bluetooth as well as the usb but i believe the usb might be less effective. Furthermore the phones bluetooth settings show that my computers “serial ports disabled”. I set up new ones but they arent recognized when i try to run the program or the bluetooth stuff.
    Thank you so much for any help any of you might have.

    February 12th, 2008 at 6:06 am

  21. Heather says:

    I have a lg ax260 which is the same phone as the rumor for sprint. It does not say that it is supported on the bitpim site but on a forum there is a tutorial for how to use it with the phone. Would your method work? Or does the phone have to be one on the bitpim list?


    February 14th, 2008 at 8:32 pm

  22. John says:

    Heather…did you ever get anything to work with your LG AX260? I just purchased one and love the phone but I’m really disappointed with the lack of ability to sync with OSX. I’d love to know if you’ve found out anything since your last post.

    February 24th, 2008 at 7:05 pm

  23. Jeff says:

    editor of this article says to use a 7 – 9 db volume. DO NOT use a 7 – 9 db volume.. it’ll skew your ringtone to pieces.. keep it at 0 or down to -3 at most.

    April 4th, 2008 at 3:32 pm

  24. Cyan says:

    doesn’t work for Samsung m300, which also has crippled bluetooth.

    I tried using a USB data transfer and the bluetooth protocol as you suggested, BitPim still refuses to “detect” my phone.

    April 9th, 2008 at 10:48 pm

  25. Cyan says:

    I’ll be chasing more drivers/apps that help me make this work. Email me if you have any suggestions PLEASE. lol =)

    April 9th, 2008 at 10:51 pm

  26. Jared Cramer says:

    I kept getting the same error message many have noted: “Phone detection failed while manipulating the file system.” However, D. P. Wynter’s solution also worked perfect for me. Just disconnect other bluetooth devices first. Yay.

    April 25th, 2008 at 12:04 pm

  27. Solta says:

    curious – anyone having problems with this freezing? Bitpim keeps freezing then I have to reboot to get it to quit properly. I have tried force quit but it leaves it sorta open – can’t use it but still docked and in the force quit list. I have looked at the activity monitor and can’t figure out which process I need to kill (if you know i love you – tired of reboots!!!)

    Also… anyone know which file to dump a ringtone in on a venus?


    can you push a calender onto a venus from bitpim? when I try the phone reboots…


    May 14th, 2008 at 10:43 pm

  28. Nikki says:

    Hi! I realize that people are not posting on this as frequently, but I have used BItPim with my LG VX9800 for two years. I recently got the LG VX10000 and it is not configuring with my macbook pro. Does anyone have advice?

    I don’t even have the option to edit serial ports, although I can browse the device and transfer things using “browse device”. I’m really confused. Please help!

    May 23rd, 2008 at 3:50 pm

  29. Ryan says:

    somehow my phone has not passed the detection status for BitPim. if there are any other options i can take, then please help. my Phone is paired with my mac, but BitPim cannot pair it with the app

    June 3rd, 2008 at 9:32 pm

  30. Leopard10.5 says:

    The author’s instructions work, but Leopard 10.5 users add this setup, after 3:

    1. Open System Prefences

    2. Under Sharing, check “Bluetooth Sharing”

    3. Proceed with author’s steps.

    June 24th, 2008 at 7:53 pm

  31. Adam says:

    I am not sure how often this is checked….but i am having an issue with BitPim.
    I did import my contacts to BitPim with no problems. Now I cannot seem to export them. I have tried every vCard option too.
    I get the same error:
    BitPim version: 1.0.6.i386-Test
    An unexpected exception has occurred.
    Please see the help for details on what to do.

    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “importexport.pyo”, line 2281, in OnOk
    IOError: [Errno 13] Permission denied: u’bitpim.vcf’

    Variables by last 8 frames, innermost last

    Frame OnOk in importexport.pyo at line 2281
    dialect = ‘vcard3’
    k = ‘vcard3′
    filename = u’bitpim.vcf’
    v = Keys [‘description’, ‘profile’]
    {‘profile’: {‘addresses’: , ‘numbers’: <function
    self = <importexport.ExportVCardDialog; proxy of <Swig Object of type ‘wxDialog *’ at 0
    _ = <wx._core.CommandEvent; proxy of <Swig Object of type ‘wxCommandEvent *’ at 0xbf

    I have no clue how to fix it to it work properly. Hopefully someone can help me

    August 17th, 2008 at 5:42 pm

  32. Jim says:

    Having toughest time. Just got a mac. bitpim was fine on MS.

    Tried checking on bluetooth in sharing in addition to the other instructions but no go.

    Now get the following message:

    Device needs attention – LG VX8350 on /dev/cu.Bluetooth-PDA-Snyc
    The phone is not responding while transitioning mode from none to brew.


    November 2nd, 2008 at 7:55 pm

  33. Leslie says:

    considering LG Dare or Voyager via bitpim to MacBook running 10.4.11:
    Does this offer true iCal *synching* of must you keep track of which calendar entries are new on each and send them back and forth?
    hope you can help, tired of looking 🙂

    December 8th, 2008 at 9:20 pm

  34. Danny says:

    I just installed BitPim 1.0.6.i386. It runs and and recognizes my LG VX8300. I followed the original instructions and turned on Bluetooth Sharing (running Leopard 10.5).

    It won’t import my phonebook, however. BitPim says it’s busy, but nothing happens (it won’t allow me to shut it down either).

    Are there any settings I might have missed?


    December 29th, 2008 at 5:05 pm

  35. Michael says:

    I have just installed bitpim on my g4 mac and would like to use it to add music to my LG dare so that I can have my album art and other ID3 tags with the music. However, if I try to add music it always has me convert the mp3 like I would for a ringtone. Since I have alot of music I do not want to do this for each song. How can I get around this?

    January 21st, 2009 at 12:39 pm

  36. J says:

    Buy a micro sd card and dump all your music on there, in the music folder. quick, easy and painless.

    February 27th, 2009 at 12:46 pm

  37. Hanni says:

    I’m on a Mac OSX – Leopard 10.5.8. I have an LG Vu CU920 (LGX8700) that can accept files through Bluetooth from my laptop totally fine.

    My problem is that Bitpim cannot find my phone. I’ve tried to set up the BT DIAG serial port, but BT DIAG isn’t an option under my “Edit Serial Ports” preferences; I’m allowed LG Sync SPP, LGE OPP Server, LGE FTP Server, LGE BPP Sender, and LG Voice Gateway. No BT DIAG service option in sight.

    Why does my computer not have a BT DIAG option? How can I add one?

    August 7th, 2009 at 10:41 pm

  38. Andrew says:

    I just bought a LG Dare and I am running OSX 10.5.8. When I turn on BITPIM it cannot find my phone. I get the error message”

    “A Bluetooth serial failure has occurred. Failed to open an RFCOMM serial channel. Check if authentication needs to be enabled on your device.”

    I have tried reconnecting my device multiple times and it still doesn’t work.
    I am pretty sure I am doing things the right way. Maybe you can help me.

    August 15th, 2009 at 11:58 pm

  39. Misty says:

    I am running mac osx version 10.5.8 on a powerbook g4. Thanks!

    February 23rd, 2010 at 11:48 pm

  40. Andy says:

    I just bought an LG chocolate touch… amazing phone, but cannot find a way to sync it to my macbook. USB plugin will only charge the phone, but will not show connection in iTunes. Is there a way to take my music off iTunes and put it on my phone via bluetooth? I am completely illiterate with all this so bear with me!

    March 3rd, 2010 at 11:54 pm

  41. Steve says:

    Entire process works well, but detecting phone fails.
    LG VX8300 and Macbook Pro OSX 10.5.8

    May 27th, 2010 at 12:08 am

  42. Dave says:

    Version 1.07 Bitpim
    Change setting of phone from LG 8300 to LG 8500 (Chocolate). Export iCal Events calendar to desktop. Import to Bitpim. Export data to phone (my LG 8300). Worked! Success! (also changed to 8550 but didn’t work, maybe the combination of changes?)

    July 20th, 2010 at 12:21 pm

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