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Comments on: Audio Patch Released for the Tungsten T

Palm SG has released an audio update patch for the Tungsten T hadheld. The patch has been released to address sound quality issues when playing back certain digital audio files.
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Volume?

I.M Anonymous @ 2/6/2003 12:58:58 AM #
Does this patch also lower the volume as much as the beta one?

RE: Volume?
cyberdude @ 2/6/2003 1:08:04 AM #
Finally it works just as it should. I tested it just briefly but not only is the audio much improved, ubut it does not lower the volume. Big bonus IMO is the fact that it will now play audio in the background allowing you to work, play or whatever with many programs and still listen to your music. Thanks guys, good job.
RE: Volume?
asiayeah @ 2/6/2003 1:12:02 AM #
It works perfectly!

Cheers,
Tony Cheung

--
With great power comes great responsiblity.

Another observation
cyberdude @ 2/6/2003 1:22:50 AM #
While playing music in the background, some programs like Bejeweled, for example run noticeably slower. It was not enough to really bother me and best of all; audio quality is not compromised while "multitasking".

Re: Another observation
hotpaw4 @ 2/6/2003 2:10:25 AM #
>While playing music in the background, some programs ... run noticeably slower.

That's what happens when you multitask with only 1 CPU. If the Real player uses the OMAP DSP instead of the ARM9, then the slowdown of the foreground task should be less. (Almost) 2 CPU's is supposed to be the big advantage of the TI OMAP over the XScale or MXL.

How much was the slowdown? In percent.

RE: Volume?
dsm363 @ 2/6/2003 6:45:20 AM #
Works great! This is awesome. There was a problem and Palm addressed it in a timely matter. Now if only Palm or Sandisk would do something about their large SD cards (sync speed issue) my Tungsten T would be perfect.

multitasking
mj6798 @ 2/6/2003 8:15:15 AM #
That's what happens when you multitask with only 1 CPU.

That's not what should happen. Neither an MP3 player nor Bejewelled should take far less than 50% of a 175MHz RISC chip. And that means that if you run them simultaneously, neither of them should experience any slowdown.

If there is a slowdown, it is really a software architecture problem in Palm OS 5: some combination of poor multitasking support, busy waiting, etc. That's not surprising, given the history of Palm OS. Let's hope it gets fixed for good in Palm OS 6.

RE: Volume?
ChipKerchner @ 2/6/2003 12:33:43 PM #
> That's not what should happen. Neither an MP3 player nor Bejewelled should take far less than 50% of a 175MHz RISC chip. And that means that if you run them simultaneously, neither of them should experience any slowdown.

That's not necessarily true. Bejewelled isn't native ARM code so it is dependent on the "emulator". My guess would be more than 50% since Bejeweled was designed for a colored Palm (approx. 33 MHZ - I may be wrong in these assumptions). MP3 is a fairly complicated "application" as well. So a T|T (144 MHZ) could be struggling with two time intensive programs.

RE: Volume?
mj6798 @ 2/6/2003 2:00:33 PM #
MP3 players are barely noticeable on modern CPUs, and Bejewelled should be doing little more than wait for input, blink, and move a bunch of sprites around occasionally. A 144MHz ARM should, in principle, be able to handle all of this with plenty of room to spare; a few years ago, that kind of machine was considered a high-end desktop workstation, used for engineering and CAD work.

There is nothing wrong with wasting CPU cycles when there are CPU cycles to waste. But let's not pretend that something is a CPU limitation when it is pretty clearly due to some combination of emulation, limitations in multitasking, and busy-waiting applications. This is fixable, and software authors and Palm should fix it.

RE: Volume?
sr @ 2/6/2003 8:39:38 PM #
Modern CPUs run at 3 GHz, not 144 MHz. MP3 decoding is *not* a trivial task. Consider that:

a) MP3 decoding is not even possible on CPUs slower than 50 MHz (generally speaking).
b) Bejeweled is running in emulation.

The other person was right - a program utilizing DSP for MP3 decoding would get around this nicely.

RE: Volume?
mj6798 @ 2/7/2003 8:44:11 AM #
"a) MP3 decoding is not even possible on CPUs slower than 50 MHz (generally speaking)."

Good. So, that means that 2/3's of the TT CPU are left for playing Bejewelled. You just made my point for me.

"b) Bejeweled is running in emulation."

Indeed. Which just goes to show that Palm's claims that emulation doesn't impose a lot of overhead are wrong. Because 2/3 of an ARM processor should be plenty for a game that mostly sits around and waits, with some simple sprite animations on a tiny bitmap every now and then.

"The other person was right - a program utilizing DSP for MP3 decoding would get around this nicely."

It would. But that's not the point. The point is that these kinds of applications should not require special hacks: they should just run efficiently, out of the box.

Palm needs to fix Palm OS and come out with a native version quickly. No emulation. Proper multitasking. No ARMlets. Anything else is just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

RE: Volume?
orb2069 @ 2/7/2003 7:57:18 PM #
Palm needs to fix Palm OS and come out with a native version quickly. No emulation.

Oh, that's a GREAT idea. Instead of Bejewelled running slow, then it wouldn't run at ALL. It's a 68k application, remember?

The only reason I tuned into this discussion is to find out what people were going to find to complain about NOW since Palm gave them exactly what they were asking for, for free. Thanks for not dissapointing me.

Proper multitasking. No ARMlets. Anything else is just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

Better the titanic than the Kursk, thanks. I don't see the point in forcing all those software authors to redo all that software immediately - It hasn't been working too hot for Apple, and their users are a LOT more aggressive/loyal than Palm's.

RE: Volume?
mj6798 @ 2/8/2003 6:22:58 AM #
Better the titanic than the Kursk, thanks. I don't see the point in forcing all those software authors to redo all that software immediately - It hasn't been working too hot for Apple, and their users are a LOT more aggressive/loyal than Palm's.

Huh? Apples 68k to PPC transition worked very well, and OS X does not require people to rewrite software. Apple has lots of problems, but they have managed their platform transitions very well.

Oh, that's a GREAT idea. Instead of Bejewelled running slow, then it wouldn't run at ALL. It's a 68k application, remember?

There is nothing wrong with providing emulation, but there is everything wrong with not providing a fully native API and good multitasking. You may say that this is a tradeoff Palm had to make.

But no matter what the reason, the fact remains that you can't run an MP3 player and Bejewelled simultaneously on hardware that is perfectly capable of doing that with ease (in fact, frankly, it should be able to do that in emulation--the problem must be deeper).

Palm OS 5 just isn't a very good system. Stick with Palm OS 4 until Palm OS 6 comes out. A 68k-based Sony Clie is perfectly capable of running Bejewelled and an MP3 player simultaneously, and it's cheaper and lighter than a TT as well.

RE: Volume?
mj6798 @ 2/8/2003 6:37:00 AM #
A 68k-based Sony Clie is perfectly capable of running Bejewelled and an MP3 player

I should say that this is my impression from the documentation, not first hand experience. The best and cheapest way to get simultaneous MP3 playback is--to buy a separate MP3 player. That's essentially what the Sony Palms seem to do anyway.

RE: Volume?
MP3 @ 2/9/2003 1:52:42 AM #
Excuse me mj, but I would like to set a couple of things straight here:

---"Because 2/3 of an ARM processor should be plenty for a game that mostly sits around and waits, with some simple sprite animations on a tiny bitmap every now and then."---

I hate to break this to you, but Bejeweled is NOT as simple as you make it. It's not just a "a game that mostly sits around and waits, with some simple sprite animations on a tiny bitmap every now and then"; it's much more than that. Remember, Bejeweled's addictiveness stems partially from the fact that it is somewhat hypnotic. Therefore, Astraware couldn't run any risks of having it run slow and jerky (as this would ruin the "hypnosis"), and I, as a beta tester of Bejeweled, can testify that this was no simple matter on Clies - HiRes graphics with a slow Dragonball CPU?! Forget about it!

At first, Howard Tomlinson even refused to make a HiRes version of Bejeweled at all, until they would be able to find a way around this. Fortunately for us, he and David Oakley managed to develop some sort of assembly-level trick for getting the job done, and we now have a HiRes version of Bejeweled.

Thus, you are right about the "waiting around" part - in fact there is so little happening then, that Bejeweled lowers the frame rate to conserve battery life. HOWEVER, the "simple sprite animations", I repeat, are NOT simple - you have 64 gems that have to glitter, roll, slide, sparkle, fall, appear on the board, be taken off the board, and more, and combinations of these actions are happening all the time.

Therefore, naturally you wont notice the lag when sitting and waiting - there's nothing happening then anyway! The "lag" being referred to here refers to when the jewels are moving, right? Well, of course that's when you'll notice the lag - even a powerful ARM chip can't decode MP3's and animate Bejewelled at the same time - after all, both of these require timely processing, (you can't wait for one to finish before working on the other) and the interspersal that is acheived through multitasking is not nearly as good as multiprocessing - thus resulting in "lag", even on a fast processor - remember, this is multitasking, NOT multiprocessing.

If the MP3 player were to use the DSP on the other hand, LIKE IT IS SUPPOSED TO (!), then it would be like multiprocessing, so there would be no problems.


---"'The other person was right - a program utilizing DSP for MP3 decoding would get around this nicely.'

It would. But that's not the point. The point is that these kinds of applications should not require special hacks: they should just run efficiently, out of the box."---

EXCUSE ME, but using the DSP is NOT A SPECIAL HACK - what the heck else did TI implement a "multimedia DSP" into the OMAP for??!! You're not making any sense, buddy! The TI OMAP's DSP is there for a reason - to be used for MP3 decoding!

RE: Volume?
mj6798 @ 2/9/2003 8:42:01 AM #
hate to break this to you, but Bejeweled is NOT as simple as you make it.

If it runs on a 33MHz 68k and if Palm's claims are correct that their 68k compatibility hack is very efficient, it should be using only a small fraction of a 144MHz ARM chip.

even a powerful ARM chip can't decode MP3's and animate Bejewelled at the same time - after all, both of these require timely processing, (you can't wait for one to finish before working on the other) and the interspersal that is acheived through multitasking is not nearly as good as multiprocessing

Any reasonable audio system buffers hundreds of milliseconds of audio in hardware, and process switch latencies for modern multitasking operating systems running on 144MHz chips should be somewhere in the microsecond range.

EXCUSE ME, but using the DSP is NOT A SPECIAL HACK - what the heck else did TI implement a "multimedia DSP" into the OMAP for??!! You're not making any sense, buddy! The TI OMAP's DSP is there for a reason - to be used for MP3 decoding!

At issue is not how to make this work (after all, using a separate MP3 player makes it work), at issue is what this observation tells us about Palm OS 5.

The upshot is: the observation that MP3 and Bejeweled can't smoothly multitask shows that there must be some serious limitations in Palm OS 5, in the areas of audio, multitasking, and/or emulation speed; it simply isn't up to the standars of what we would expect from a native multitasking ARM operating system, and it seems to me you are effecitvely not getting much more than with Palm OS 4.

So, my recommendation would be: save your money and get a Sony SJ-30 instead of a Palm T|T.

Dang

MP3 @ 2/6/2003 1:24:10 AM #
In a word, Sh*t.

It was JUST YESTERDAY that I took the plunge and installed the buggy, volume-reducing beta version of this patch, and now I have to find a way to get rid of it already and install the new one. Oh well, look at the bright side: at least it's finally here! ;-) Now, if only RealOne/RealPlayer would get moving... ;-)

RE: Dang
asiayeah @ 2/6/2003 1:36:58 AM #
No need to say the S word.

The beta version is not supposed to be released for the public.

For the installation instruction, you may refer to another topic in this site, "MP3 on the Palm Tungsten T", someone has posted the instructure there.

Tony

--
With great power comes great responsiblity.

removing OS extensions
hotpaw4 @ 2/6/2003 2:03:17 AM #
HotSync. Backup. Warm (no-notify, up-button) reset, delete, soft reset. Or change the type to '0000' with filez or rsrcedit, soft reset, delete.
RE: Dang
adamrichman @ 2/6/2003 9:17:49 PM #
Do a search on the Brigthand TT forums, there's detailed instructions on removing the beta patch.

http://discussion.brighthand.com/palmhandhelds/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=151

Not in OS 5.2?

McMagnus @ 2/6/2003 1:47:18 AM #
I was kind'a dissapointed, not by the quality or volume, but by the fact that it was released separately from an OS update. That makes me suspect I will have to pay for it when it arrives.

I can't in my wildest dreams think that Palm released it just to be nice.

Hello?
Mengoxon @ 2/6/2003 2:19:28 AM #
"That makes me suspect I will have to pay for it when it arrives."

...ahhh.... it has arrived ... and...duuuhhh.... you don't have to pay for it!

Your dreams should become a bit wilder!

Why would anyone (other than Microsoft) charge for a bug fix (cause that's all it is) anyway?

RE: Not in OS 5.2?
asiayeah @ 2/6/2003 2:22:30 AM #
The patch is just released and is free for all Tungsten T users.

The patch is not related to the Palm OS itself, it's only for the Tungsten T. So it won't be part of any OS update.

Tony

--
With great power comes great responsiblity.

RE: Not in OS 5.2?
I.M Anonymous @ 2/6/2003 2:25:12 AM #
The good news is that we don't have to suffer through Graffiti 2.0 in order to get good quality sound.

RE: Not in OS 5.2?
jjsoh @ 2/6/2003 10:18:41 AM #
: I was kind'a dissapointed, not by the quality or
: volume, but by the fact that it was released
: separately from an OS update. That makes me suspect
: I will have to pay for it when it arrives.

What's there to be disappointed about? I don't think there's any need to jump to conclusions so quickly. I don't recall Palm even releasing a 5.2 update yet for Tungsten owners (as it's not offered on the software download page of their site). For all we know, it could already be included in the next update, but they made it available for us now. I, for one, am glad they didn't have us wait longer for an update to enjoy better sound quality today.

And if Palm OS software history is any indication, updates (x.2, x.2.1, etc) are free for download. Upgrades (v6.0, v7.0, etc) are what we might have to pay for.

Jim

RE: Not in OS 5.2?
Bumbleluck @ 2/6/2003 11:45:47 AM #
Ah, but 4.1 was a purchase only update.

History rarely repeats itself, if it is observed! :-)

I'm hopeing Palm will release 5.2 as a free update.

ChriS

RE: Not in OS 5.2?
Clemau @ 2/6/2003 12:40:19 PM #
Think 4.1 is only a purchase upgrade if your Palm didn't come with 4.0. It is free for M505 & M515.

Seeing that the TT has 5.0, 5.2 should be a free update..... but you never know.....

RE: Not in OS 5.2?
rsc1000 @ 2/6/2003 1:02:49 PM #
>>Think 4.1 is only a purchase upgrade if your Palm didn't come with 4.0. It is free for M505 & M515.

Yes - although m505 users had to wait months after everyone else to get the 4.1 upgrade. At first, Palm reps claimed that m505 users didn't need the upgrade, because 4.1 was just a 'version of 4.0, but for non-4.0 Palms' (actual quote from a palm rep). They apparently didn't want to incur the cost of fixing their mistakes. Anyways, i have a TT now and the patch works - so its all 'water under the bridge' as far as i am concerned :)

RE: Not in OS 5.2?
jjsoh @ 2/6/2003 5:53:41 PM #
: Ah, but 4.1 was a purchase only update.
:

Bumbleluck

Please reread my comment, as not to confuse 'upgrades' with 'updates.' When upgrading, the OS is moving up a full version (i.e. v2.0 > v3.0, v.3.2 > v4.1, etc). When you are updating, they're only incremental moves (i.e. v3.1 > v.3.2, v4.0 > v4.1, etc).

: History rarely repeats itself, if it is observed! :-)

Only if observed more carefully. ;)

Jim

RE: Not in OS 5.2?
Bumbleluck @ 2/7/2003 9:34:38 AM #
=) Well said.

I think that it would be a tough sell that 4.1 was a true "upgrade". But I concede your point.

RE: Not in OS 5.2?
nuopus @ 2/7/2003 6:01:49 PM #
4.1 was only pay if you didnt already have 4.0. Most companies charge for major updates. Tell me that more than 80% of companies do NOT charge for major upgrades and ill tell you that you are full of crap.

The first digit is normally a major upgrade while the second is minor. In unix a 3rd is patch update. The jump from 3 to 4 was done because they felt that it was different enough to warrant it. 4.0 to 4.1 is a free patch because they contain minor changes and didnt warant a purchase.

When iSilo went from version 2 to version 3 they made you pay again. When eWallet went from 2 to 3 they made everyone purchase again.


RE: Not in OS 5.2?
nuopus @ 2/7/2003 6:01:49 PM #
4.1 was only pay if you didnt already have 4.0. Most companies charge for major updates. Tell me that more than 80% of companies do NOT charge for major upgrades and ill tell you that you are full of crap.

The first digit is normally a major upgrade while the second is minor. In unix a 3rd is patch update. The jump from 3 to 4 was done because they felt that it was different enough to warrant it. 4.0 to 4.1 is a free patch because they contain minor changes and didnt warant a purchase.

When iSilo went from version 2 to version 3 they made you pay again. When eWallet went from 2 to 3 they made everyone purchase again.


problem with audio patch

jsulmeyer @ 2/6/2003 2:17:36 AM #
Well, I installed the patch and have noticed that the default click sound on my Tungsten sounds different - the best way I can describe it is that it is louder, more tinny, slightly distorted and occasionally it stutters (very fast double or triple clicks). Is there a way to delete it so I can compare the new sound to the old sound? It's really bugging me...



RE: problem with audio patch
Lemon @ 2/6/2003 5:01:14 AM #
Why this patch says it can make background play?

Aeroplayer can do this without the patch!

Lemon

RE: problem with audio patch
palmit @ 2/6/2003 9:16:08 AM #
Turn off the system sound!
More Problems with audio patch...
Amleth @ 2/6/2003 9:37:40 AM #
The patch fixed mp3 playback perfectly for me, but ruined system sounds. It plays a noisy "pop" sound at the start of, and sometimes at the end of each system midi sound. On longer sounds, you only hear it at the beginning or end, but on shorter sounds, like the system click, the pop is almost the same duration as the midi, so you hear them both at once, making it sound distorted, and "tinny". It's really _very_ annoying.

The weird thing is, if you turn system sounds off, you can play midis fine, with no distortion, and when you turn them back on, the initial "click" determining the volume level plays _perfectly_, but every one thereafter is distorted...

At first I thought I had a bad Tungsten (I've had several. 4th one!), but you seem to be experiencing the same issue.

What I'm wondering is, is it only a few users like usaffected, or does everyone have this problem, and it's just that most haven't noticed, like the dust under the screen?

RE: problem with audio patch
pbuckler @ 2/6/2003 10:19:04 AM #
I get a problem with the system sounds after the patch was installed. I guess there will be a PalmAudioUpdate Update soon.

RE: problem with audio patch
dreslism @ 2/6/2003 10:54:16 AM #
I just have to ask after seeing all these posts about the system sounds. Who in their right mind uses system sounds!!!!?????? I mean how annoying is that to next to someone with a Palm and system sounds on? I have been using Palm's since 1997, and have never seen anyone use them, so I am very suprised about all the people saying Oh, my system sounds are affected by this audio patch. I would love to see a poll on who uses system sounds on their Palm's.

RE: problem with audio patch
PFloyd @ 2/6/2003 11:09:57 AM #
You guys crack me up. It shouldn't be a big surprise that the system sounds are different. Supposedly the Tungsten was designed to optimize voice (I imagine from 400 to 4000 Hz). The "patch" is supposed to remove that optimization so that full audio quality is available. You're going to hear sounds differently...

RE: problem with audio patch
Amleth @ 2/6/2003 1:01:09 PM #
PFloyd, it doesn't sound different because of increased dynamic range. It sounds different because of the "pop" sound it makes when it plays a system sound. You know the sound the speakers make when you switch on the amp in some hifi systems? like that, but a much smaller scale. After the fraction-of-a-second pop it sounds normal, but it's still irritating.

And for the guy above, I imagine a lot of people use system sounds (though on low, of course). It's nice to get some additional feedback when you interact with the GUI.

RE: problem with audio patch
adamrichman @ 2/6/2003 9:21:31 PM #
If the regular click sounds didn't annoy then how could these? A minor little pop at the end but you tolerated the horrible tap sounds all this time? Come on man, disable your system sounds to enjoy mp3's. That was the first setting I changed - turning off the system sounds...

The point is that the system sounds aren't
Dolmangar @ 2/7/2003 5:22:58 PM #
messed up all the time. Set the system sound to off, then switch it to high. The beep comes thru clean. Now select med, or high or low. You'll notice a pop, or a scratch sound.

The point isn't that the sound is annoying, it's that they patch is poorly written if it can handle the first beep, and then fails. Think about it from a programatic standpoint.

The only thing that would make sense to me would be if shutting off the sound reverts the system to OS sound driver, and switching the sound back on, enables the new sound driver. However, that would mean that then the MP3 problem wouldn't be fixed when the system sounds are off. Since this isn't the case, it means that the updated sound drive is capable of producing the "clean" beep sound, and then fails to after the first time.



RE: problem with audio patch
Zilch @ 2/8/2003 8:57:35 AM #
I second that. Argh... the system "tick" sound now sounds awful. Has anyone reported this to Palm?

And yes, I do use the system sounds. Deal with it.

Do you think this is a bug in the patch? Or are we just now hearing high frequences on the "tick" sample (?) that always existed but were being filtered out before the patch?

Zilch

RE: problem with audio patch
mawest @ 4/2/2003 2:44:23 PM #
I've removed the audio patch, and will not be using the TT for
MP3 playback. After serveral days and as many calls to Palm's
tech support to resolve the "popping" sound induced by their
patch, I've given up. Palm's tech support was telling me that
the problem could NOT be with the patch, since it's been out
there for months, and NO ONE else has EVER called with a similar
problem report. Therefore, the problem MUST be with MY TT, and ONLY
my TT. I was ready to accept getting a used (though, "refurbished")
TT from Palm (in exchange for my barely a month-old TT) as their
conscession to this problem.

The audio patch clearly induces the extraneous noise, and from what
I've read from others here, the TT doesn't function well as an MP3
player anyway. Adequate, average, and minimal are the words I've heard
used to describe the TT's MP3 playback capabilities.

Yes. It's finally here

Wuju @ 2/6/2003 5:27:15 AM #
I'm so happy. I've installed it and the sound is perfect. :)

RE: Yes. It's finally here
adamrichman @ 2/6/2003 9:22:31 PM #
Me too! =)

Real has blown it!

solemar @ 2/6/2003 9:02:55 AM #
Full marks to Aeroplayer for the way they have taken the initiative in releasing the various betas of their MP3 player. Now with the first proper release, and the availability of the sound patch, Tungsten owners have got what I feel is a more than adequate music player. Since you can just drag and drop your MP3s onto the desktop install tool (which knows you want to put them in the /Audio directory of your SD card) who needs yet another conduit and a desktop program which, if it's anything like the windows Realplayer, just doesn't know when to go away.

Who is still waiting for the Real player? (unless it's going to be free..)

RE: Real has blown it!
robman @ 2/6/2003 9:41:59 AM #
Reasons to check out RealPlayer

1) Since RealPlayer is (supposedly) going to use the built-in DSP instead of doing all the MP3 decoding
in the CPU (like AeroPlayer and PocketTunes supposedly
do), it should be significantly *smaller*, *faster* (if it supports background play) and *use less battery power*.

2) RealPlayer will almost certainly support more formats, including at least the .rm format. And it's support for plugins will almost certainly be stronger with future support for video.

3) RealPlayer will probably have better (read: any) integration with browser products for the Palm for those of us who need to browse to media formats.

4) RealPlayer may (should) come with the capability to sync content sources (with Real has plenty of) a-la-AvantGo so you can automatically download the latest tunes, news, weather, and other media to your device.

Not that any of these couldn't be developed into AeroPlayer or PocketTunes, just hoping that RealPlayer has been delayed to hone these particular aspects (and assuming Real Network's considerable resources are hard at work making the best media player for the Palm)

We'll see soon enough.

Palm Researcher at the University of Texas at Austin
http://www.edb.utexas.edu/petrosino/pda

RE: Real has blown it!
Bumbleluck @ 2/6/2003 11:39:46 AM #
Very valid points. However you do not address:

1. Use on other than Windows PCs. Real usually just created PC based supporting software, conduits etc.

2. The (more than likey required) use of their "supporting" software.

I want an MP3 player (read media as well), runs on my Palm, and accesses the media files that I choose. I don't need nor want to be tied down to supporting software to get the features stated available when I purchased the TT. Since MP3 capabilities were never listed as requiring a Windows based PC, I hope Palm doesn't change that non-requirement.

I'm sure many others feel the same way. I purchased Aeroplayer, some use Pocket Tunes. We are getting what we were told from Palm was or would soon be available.



RE: Real has blown it!
rsc1000 @ 2/6/2003 12:04:33 PM #
>>Who is still waiting for the Real player? (unless it's going to be free..)

hmmm - i was actually assuming it was going to free. Does anybody know the deal here?


RE: Real has blown it!
dreslism @ 2/6/2003 1:58:53 PM #
Palm previously had said on their website that it would be a free download by the end of the year. That being last year.

On another note, I just checked Real's mobile player website and saw the following:

SUPPORTED DEVICES

Supported Devices include:
Nokia 9210 Series Communicator
Nokia 7650
Palm OS5 Based Handheld
Audiovox's Maestro Pocket PC
Casio Cassiopeia E-200 Series
Compaq iPAQ Pocket PC H3600, H3700, and H3800 Series
HP Jornada 565, 567, and 568
O2 xda from mmO2
NEC MobilePro P300
Sagem WA3050 (audio only)

This is a static list on the site. You then enter in a pull down, for which device you want to download for. Well guess which device is not in the pulldown list?

The Palm one...

RE: Real has blown it!
robman @ 2/6/2003 5:02:41 PM #
Bumbleluck:

>1. Use on other than Windows PCs. Real usually just created PC based supporting software, conduits etc.

You can download RealOne Player for Mac OS X, as well as versions for OS 8/9. I will say that since Palm has unusually good support for Macintosh (compared to certain other major players in the PDA field), it will be interesting to see to what degree Real supports the Mac.

>2. The (more than likely required) use of their "supporting" software.

Real is clearly in the content business, while the makers of AeroPlayer and PocketTunes are in the software business. Since Real is selling content, they are going to do their best to try and lock you into using their media player exclusively and any supporting applications, plus a regular monthly fee.
I wouldn't be surprised if the free version came with ads.

Of course, this is exactly what many Palm users DO NOT want, and that's fine.

HOWEVER, I do think that a company like Real is *uniquely positioned* to do some very interesting things with a "sync-able" device like the Palm running their media players. I'm exicted to see what they offer.

Finally, I will say free adware may beat out free nagware, and Real has the power (and the relationship with Palm) to really give the small-time makers of AeroPlayer and PocketTunes quite a shakedown.

It's an exciting time for Palm audiophiles!



Palm Researcher at the University of Texas at Austin
http://www.edb.utexas.edu/petrosino/pda

RE: Real has blown it!
jjsoh @ 2/6/2003 6:05:38 PM #
Here's a comment I posted in another thread:
http://palminfocenter.com/view_story.asp?ID=4943#73745

Just to reiterate some points, it should be free and due for a release mid-Februrary (registered Tungsten owners should receive official word via e-mail when available) according to the RealNetworks reps at LinuxWorld Expo in NYC 2 weeks ago.

But I haven't read/heard anything since then.

Jim

RE: Real has blown it!
wrongnumber @ 2/7/2003 2:59:11 PM #
Does real offer free software anymore? I would not hold my breath on a free realplayer...

Areodrome is excellent, plays the files I want and I do not have to be concerned that it will take over media types on my pc (as most real products do). I think the realplayer is vaporware anyhow...

RE: Real has blown it!
enjolras @ 2/10/2003 2:21:57 PM #
Real also has (or at least had) support for Linux... I wouldn't argue that they don't support multiple platforms well.

Real Player is playing their move

Konstantin @ 2/6/2003 12:19:43 PM #
I guess the reason of RealPlayer delay isnt related to Real, they wont release a product that will run with bad sound quality on a buggy PalmOS 5. If their product works fine but then TT wont let it run as designed and distort the sound, well , ?who needs to spend time and money on a tech support because a problem unrelated to software? I think Real is protecting themselfs, who need bad publicity? Die hard fans will try to get the most out of their TT but most of the people do not buy products that need to be fixed 'out of the box', think it out: Do you spend money to adquire problems, or you spend money to get solutions?

RE: Real Player is playing their move
asiayeah @ 2/7/2003 3:01:14 AM #
Would be it Real & Palm kind enough to delay the RealPlayer for Palm, so as to let PocketTunes and AeroPlayer have the head-start in making some registrations?

Tony

--
With great power comes great responsiblity.

background play?

Origen @ 2/6/2003 2:11:52 PM #
I hate to sound like an imbecile...but how does one have MP3s in the background while other apps in front? I am running the Aero Beta (also added the patch) and when I switch to another app it invariably ends the music.

Origen

RE: background play?
JKingGrim @ 2/6/2003 2:49:04 PM #
Is the Aero Player the latest one? Also, I think there is a bug in background play that is fixed either in the 5.2 update or the released audio patch.

RE: background play?
rsc1000 @ 2/6/2003 2:58:08 PM #
You have to turn this on in the Aeroplayer settings. Goto the menu (tap top left of screen), select 'settings'. there should be a checkbox called 'Background playback', check it then click 'ok'. voila.

RE: background play?
Ben C @ 2/6/2003 3:13:15 PM #
options/settings/general/bg playback


-Ben [:)]

RE: background play?
krosfyah @ 2/6/2003 3:55:21 PM #
On Aero, you have to turn Background play on in the Settings.
RE: background play?
bcombee @ 2/6/2003 4:07:06 PM #
You need to go to the Aeroplayer preferences to enable background play. This works pretty well for me in Aeroplayer 1.0.

--
Ben Combee, CodeWarrior for Palm OS technical lead
Programming help at www.palmoswerks.com

audio quality ?

jackpipe @ 2/6/2003 2:42:42 PM #
Can anyone comment on the actual audio quality (ie through high quality headphones) of a patched TT ?
How does it compare to, say an iPod, or other dedicated mp3 players ?
ie is this real hifi (or even potenially audiophile quality), or is it a toy ?

RE: audio quality ?
Lidocaineus @ 2/6/2003 4:59:42 PM #
Unfortunately, the headphone amps in most handhelds are just a step above crap. This includes the T|T. It can barely drive cheap headphones (anything under $100) to a decent level above subway train ambient noise, and forget it if you want to use audiophile-grade cans.

Compared to the NX70v (which I have handy to compare), they are comparable in quality. Compared to the Creative Zen and iPod (which I also have handy), the amps seem of similar quality, though the Zen and iPod have more headroom (more power), and they also have customizable EQs to iron out some of the deficits. It's most evident when you want to crank the music - the T|T (and most other PDAs) will start clipping violently.

Now for most people, this will be fine. If you're picky about audio, you usually don't puch much faith in portables anyway, and those that do almost always get external can amps (headroom.headphone.com is a good place to go to learn about that stuff).

RE: audio quality ?
jackpipe @ 2/6/2003 5:55:16 PM #
Thanks - the comparison sounds mildly encouraging.
I'd plan on a heaphone amp in any case, but my main concern would be with noise, pops and whistles from the amp (unless there is a line-out socket), and with any DAC problems.

RE: audio quality ?
rsc1000 @ 2/6/2003 7:28:17 PM #
Just patched it - the difference is quite noticable. I listened to a couple of clips just before i applied the patch - for comparison purposes. I was surprised - night and day difference in terms of quality.

RE: audio quality ?
plainsong @ 2/6/2003 8:27:39 PM #
Ugh, you've got to be kidding! I wouldn't call that Audio very quality at all. It doesn't compare to an iPod, but I wouldn't really expect it to. I can hear clicking and distortions. Sound is harsh, bright, and compressed. Aeroplayer handles it noticeably better than Pocket Tunes but not by much. As it is now, sound was better on my Clie 760c, and certainly it's better on my husband's Loox, although it's true that neither of those could compare to an ipod.

Gear used to test:

Beyerdynamic dt990s, Etymotic er6, Grado sr60s, Sennheiser px200, Porta Corda II headphone amp. All tested amped and unamped.

Best match - Sennheiser px200 unamped.

Normal home rig - Grundig 4100 portable cd player, Porta corda, Beyer dt990 or ety er6

Portable rig - Ipod, Sennheiser px 200 or ety er6

RE: audio quality ?
Lidocaineus @ 2/6/2003 11:39:21 PM #
Well, those are all symptoms of a low powered amp, which is exactly what I said. I also mentioned that most people would find it acceptable, because, well, most people will.

If you play an MP3 (128kbps) without any EQ settings with mediocre headphones at about 50% volume on the iPod normalized to that scale, you will get practically identical results - very tinny, harsh sounds. I used Aeroplayer for testing. When you get into those headphone amps that are included in portables such as these, they're all so low end that there's not a significant difference among them; the better sounding ones (iPod, etc) are purely a function of a slight increase in power, and not real circuitry (where they're all very similar). In fact, try listening to one of the original iPods - the ones with the scroll wheel and lower powered head amp - you'll be surprised at how (when flat) the two will sound very much alike.

RE: audio quality ?
plainsong @ 2/7/2003 3:27:42 AM #
Well I wouldn't call the Porta Corda II a low-powered amp, especially if it's running in a mode ment to use more power. Search the audio forums, it's definately one of the better (if not best) portable amp. If anything, the amp brings out more of the distortions.

I can hear distortions even with the px200s. I honestly can't see how people can't not hear them. I'm not asking for md or ipod sound quality. What I'm asking for is for it to at least match other pdas. It can't even match the Clie 760c, and in the audio department, Pocketpc can walk all over Palm.

RE: audio quality ?
wrongnumber @ 2/7/2003 3:07:17 PM #
WHY WOULD YOU COMPARE TO IPOD? The ipod is designed specifically for sound playback... It doesnt sound as good as my car stereo either, but it is sufficient to carry some tunes to carry me down the road when I forget my cd's at the house...

RE: audio quality ?
DarkKnicht @ 2/7/2003 4:18:36 PM #
You mean that it doesn't have an Optical Out built in? Well, I am waiting for the Tungsten TxI with 5GB built in hard drive and super subwoofer built in. I mean what's the use of carrying four songs on my palm pilot when I have 4,000 on my shiny iPod?!? Talk about a waste of money and space

RE: audio quality ?
jackpipe @ 2/8/2003 8:53:47 AM #
Thanks - sounds like (excuse the pun) it will be fine for recorded talk radio, audiobooks etc, but not up to much for music.

The reason for asking is that I am frequent train/plane traveller, and am looking into getting some er4 or er6's headphones. These are earplugs that are also amongst the very best headphones available - ie they will likely make a crap source very evident.

I also don't buy the palm philosophy of carrying separate dedicated devices around (and their chargers, sync cables, etc, etc) - I want as many functions in a single (small) device as possible - I wish palm 'got it' in this respect, since many other companies do (eg nokia, with build in cameras, mp3 players, web, etc).

Finally I wanted to experiment with lossless encoding, and add dolby headphone type stuff, etc to the output, - which the stand-alone players don't do.

RE: audio quality ?
plainsong @ 2/8/2003 10:11:08 PM #
I have er6s, and both amped and unamped..ugh. They basically show you just how bad your source is.

If you were thinking of something like the ipod, it does handle Audible books as well, but yeah the Tungsten's audio use is kind of minimal.

Again, I'm not asking it to be as good as an ipod, but it should at least be able to compete with what other PDAs even a year ago could do.

RE: audio quality ?
rsc1000 @ 2/9/2003 12:55:34 PM #
>>Again, I'm not asking it to be as good as an ipod, but it should at least be able to compete with what other PDAs even a year ago could do.

Agreed - though the patch does make quite a difference. I'll wait to see how the RealPlayer sounds - maybe this is just a matter of making proper use of the OMAP DSP - before i pass judgement.

RE: audio quality ?
Zero23 @ 2/10/2003 1:13:21 PM #
My expectations have been met. As far as quality TT vs. Ipod. The iPod pulls ahead, but that should be a given. That's kinda like asking how do the PIM apps on an iPod compare to a Palm?

I was on a couple of flights this weekend. The only time I used my iPod was in the hotel gym. There was nothing like walking around the airport killing time reading my latest book and listening to my favorite band at the same time. Oh yeah, then watching a couple of clips that I made of the bands videos. Then listening to my daughter say "hi dada" in memo recorder and hi res pictures of my family. After all that checking my calendar and reading some docs that I imported into DesktopToGo that had intinerary info. Which then gave me the idea? Hmmmm....maybe it would be cool to upgrade my wireless phone plan to include data and buy a bluetooth enabled phone. All this and pretty much no worries of battery life. Pretty cool. I was happy with the quality considering the device.

As far as my ear for quality. Put it this way. My external recording gear of choice is a Sony PCM-M1 and DPA-4061 mics. If you don't know what that is and are happy with a MD recording. Well....you aren't as critical as you may think.

Overall, it's really in the ear-of-the-beholder I guess. Overall, I'm very happy. :)


RE: audio quality ?
adamrichman @ 2/10/2003 11:29:07 PM #
Neat story - puts into perspective all the wonderful uses of the TT =)

RE: audio quality ?
Stune @ 4/6/2003 7:57:15 PM #
Music maestro!
This is intresting,
1. Does anyone know how long the battery life is when playing music on the T|T?

2. Is T|T able to handle all kinds of samples for MP3 from 56 kbps up to 192kbps?

3. Does it take long time to sync down say 10 songs of each 5Mb via hotsync? How long?

Thanx in adv

Palm Audio Update debacle

mawest @ 4/2/2003 2:32:15 PM #
I finally removed the audio update patch from my Tungsten T
after several days and as many calls to Palm's tech support.
The audible noise at each stylus action that results from the
patch being installed was "claimed" by Palm to be indicative
of a problem with MY TT, since no one else has EVER called with
the same problem. I was actually ready to have my NEW TT
sent back in exchange for a refurbished one from Palm...
something I considered to be extremely unsportsman-like
since the unit I was sending them was new. So, I guess I won't
be using my TT for MP3 playback after all. From what I've read
here, it's not a very rebust MP3 player, even WITH their much
vaunted, thoroughly tested and completely reliable patch (sarcasm
intended).

MWest

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