MobileInfocenter
Developer: The Price:
  • $400
The Pros:
  • Beautiful, 320 by 320 screen
  • 66 MHz processor
  • MP3 Player
  • Vibrating alarm
  • Comes with travel charger
  • Great price

The Cons:
  • Short battery life
  • No Control Wand
  • Uncomfortable buttons
  • Stylus too thin
  • No Mac Support

PalmInfoCenter.com Ratings*:
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Overall:

*Maximum Rating is FIVE (5) InfoPalms



Sony PEG-T665C Review
By Ed Hardy
6/24/2002


Overview
The PEG-T665C, to give its full name, is Sony's latest high-end color handheld. It has all the hallmarks of a good Sony device, including a hi-res color screen, a Jog Dial, a Memory Stick slot, and 16 MB of RAM. However, the T615C had all of those, too, and Sony isn't one to rest on its laurels. The T665C adds an MP3 player and a processor that is twice as fast.

Screen
There was a lot of hope that this model would have a virtual Graffiti area like the one on the NR series. However, this turned out to not be the case. I suspect Sony left it out because it would drain the battery too much.

The screen is an improvement over the one on the T615C in one important way. The T615C's screen was pretty good but it was a bit weak in displaying some colors, especially reds. The T665C doesn't have any such problems at all. It can display 65 thousand colors that look pretty close to the originals, though not exactly. Reds look very good. Don't judge too much from the picture I included with this review; the actual screen looks a lot better.

You'll still need to have the backlight on much of the time you are indoors, unless you are in a quite brightly-lit room. Outdoors, the backlight becomes unnecessary. The T665C looks fine in direct sunlight and much of the time I'm outdoors I can't tell if the backlight is on or off.

It has an on-screen slider to set the backlight brightness. There is no way to adjust the contrast, but you don't really need to.

Audio Player
The T665C has a special Digital Signal Processor (DSP) that allows it to play digital audio. The Motorola chip that handles the OS and the rest of the handheld's functions isn't powerful enough to do MP3 decoding.

The only downside to having an audio player is it uses a lot of power. There is no doubt that playing a lot of MP3s makes a major hit to the batteries. Still, Sony has done all they can to minimize this. The DSP uses less power than doing the same job with a general-purpose processor and the Hold switch on the left side of the handheld turns off the screen but still leaves the device on and capable of playing music.

With the screen on, Sony says you get about one hour and thirty minutes of continuous audio. With the screen off, you can increase this to about four hours and thirty minutes.

The AudioPlayer app does everything you would expect it to do. It pulls files directly off the Memory Stick, displays them in a list, and lets you play, fast forward, and reverse through them. You can play music in the background while you do other things with your handheld.

It has a nice feature called Mega-Bass, which enhances low-frequency sound. This helps deal with the tinny sound you get with a lot of small speakers.

Because the Palm OS will only let you store a few types of files in RAM, MP3's have to be stored on the Memory Stick. Of course, these are fairly large files so you probably wouldn't have room to store more than one or two in RAM anyway. If you are serious about using a T665C as an MP3 player, you should consider investing in an 128 MB Memory Stick. This will let you store between 65 and 170 minutes of audio, depending on what bitrate you use. Sony sells these for $90, though, you can find them cheaper elsewhere. Smaller sizes are available, too.

I probably shouldn't concentrate so much on MP3s. The T665C ships with a desktop app which will let you pull a song off a CD, convert it to Sony's ATRAC3 format, and copy it onto your Memory Stick.

It comes with a pair of ear-bud headphones but it doesn't come with the Control Wand that previous models with audio players did. I guess this is a trade-off for being able to release this model at the same price as the T615C. To help out, the headphones have a small volume control built into them so you won't have to use the handheld to change how loud a song is.

In fact, you don't have to have the headphones at all. You can play music without them. The audio on the little built-in speaker is loud enough that you can hear it in a quiet room but not if the ambient sound is even slightly noisy. Still, it sounds decent. At least to my not very picky ears.

Naturally, this means the built-in speaker on the T665C has to be much better than that on most other handhelds. It is both louder and capable of much richer sound.

The T665C comes with an app called Sound Utility 1.11. Together with a conduit on a PC, it lets you convert and play files from WAV and MIDI format. These sound good enough that you can understand a recorded voice.

Just so we're clear, the T665C doesn't have any sound recording abilities. It doesn't have a microphone and can't be used as a voice recorder. It is strictly playback. You have to do any recording on the PC and convert it for use on the handheld.

You can use any of these new sounds as alarms. Say goodbye to "beep beep beep" and hello to "It's time for your next agenda item, sir". Like I said, the improved speaker makes for loud alarms.

Speaking of alarms, the T665C comes with a vibrating alarm, handy for getting reminders to do stuff without bothering your coworkers.

Motherboard
The T665C is one of the first models to use the 66 MHz Dragonball processors Motorola recently began offering. With a faster processor you, of course, expect better performance, and the T665C delivers. Benchmark 2.0 rates the T665C at 310% of the speed of a Palm IIIxe.

Benchmarks are fine, but what does that mean in the real world? For example, it can run the spell checker in WordSmith as fast as the word processor on my desktop does. It can recalculate a big spreadsheet in TinySheet in less than half the time of an m505.

The T665C has 16 MB of RAM, which gives you plenty of room to store all your most frequently used apps and data. It has a Memory Stick slot for the rest, but more on that later.

It also has 8 MB of flash ROM, which will come in handy for those of you who still like to store extra stuff in ROM. It will also let you install upgrades, if Sony releases any for this model. Keep in mind, though, this handheld will not be able to run Palm OS 5. That new version of the operating system requires a completely different type of processor.

Video Player
The T665C comes with the gMovie Player preinstalled. I suggest you ignore that and go out and get the new Kinoma Player, which is an updated version that can take advantage of the hi-res screen. Don't worry, it's free. I've never been impressed with video on any Palm OS device... until now. The Kinoma Player is awesome on the T665C. I only regret Sony made me give the NR70V before Kinoma was released.

For those of you who have been feeling multimedia envy of your friend's PocketPC devices, get a T665C and Kinoma Player and your friends will start being envious of you.

Battery Life
Time for the T665C's main weakness: battery life. It really isn't very good. The backlight is frequently the biggest power drainer on a handheld so I did some tests with the backlight at various settings.

First, I set the backlight on full power. This gave me just two hours and five minutes of use before the first battery warning.

Next, I used it with the backlight on half power. I think this is the most realistic setting, as that's close to where most people tend to keep the brightness setting. I was able to get three hours and five minutes of use.

Hoping to get more, I finally put it on the lowest backlight setting, which got me three hours and thirty-five minutes of use.

Fully recharging the handheld takes a bit less than an hour and a half.

To come up with these figures, I used an app called Uptime 1.3.1, which tracks how much time a handheld has been on. I used my handheld normally. I played some games, I read AvantGo channels, I listened to a couple MP3s, my alarms went off as normal, etc. while the app was tracking how much time the handheld was being used.

This looks like a handheld where you are going to have to make a habit of putting it in the cradle to recharge every night. Sony does give you a few alternatives, though. There is a car charger and you can get the BC10, which can fully charge the T665C from four AA batteries.

Obviously, the backlight and the color screen are big power drains. I wonder how much current is being used by the faster processor, though. It might be worthwhile for someone to update one of the processor underclocking apps to work on the T665C. I don't really need the chip to be working at full speed while I read AvantGo pages and the additional power savings would be nice.

Memory Stick Slot
Of course, the T665C has a Memory Stick slot, though, it doesn't come with a Memory Stick included in the box.

The handheld comes with an application called MSGate that lets you access the contents of both RAM and the MemStick, including copying, moving, and deleting files. But be careful, rather than letting you choose which folders to look in, most applications expect their files to be in predetermined folders on the MemStick and can't find them if they are anywhere else.

It also comes with a pair of applications that make this handheld significantly easier to use than the competition. Memory Stick Import is an app that runs on the T665C while Memory Stick Export is a Windows app. Together, they allow a Memory Stick inserted in a T665C in its cradle to appear as a removable drive on the PC.

This means that you can directly access the contents of the expansion card through the Windows Explorer. You don't need to go through the hassle of HotSyncing to load files onto the card or to copy them off.

With this you can use your Clié as a removable hard drive. Say you have a file you are working on at your office. You can copy it onto the Memory Stick and take it home. Assuming you have a cradle at home, too, you can copy it back off the handheld and continue working.

Unfortunately, this isn't as easy if you are a Mac user because Sony doesn't support Macs. However, you can get Mark/Space's The Missing Sync.

The T665C's Memory Stick slot is on the top, along with the infrared port and stylus slot.

Universal Remote
The T665C comes with an app called the Clié Remote Commander which lets it control TVs, VCRs, and other such things.

I've thought this was a darn useful function since it first debuted on the T415. I almost always have my handheld on me so it saves me the hassle of hunting up the remote when I want to change the channel. Not too long after I got the T665C, I set the Calc button to open this app instead.

Programming it is quite easy. You just need to specify type of device and the manufacturer and you are good to go. It can control TVs, VCRs, DVDs, and AV-AMP. This works pretty well. I've been able to control everything I've tried to, with the irritating exception of my VCR. Still, it's worked fine with lots of other TVs and stuff I've tried.

You can also set it to do things with the Jog Dial and hardware buttons, like change channels or mute the TV. This makes channel surfing a breeze.

It's got a good range. With my TV it gets about 25 feet, though Sony rates it at just 15 feet.

Casing
The T655C is 4.65 by 2.83 by .50 inches by Sony's measurements. It weights 4.9 ounces. These dimensions might sound familiar as they are exactly the same as the ones of the T615C. I think it is great that Sony was able to add an MP3 player to this model without having to increase its size.

Speaking of size, I think this is a fairly average-sized model. It rides well in a front pants pocket but it is much too heavy for me to consider putting it in a shirt pocket.

My only complaint with the casing is kind of nit-picky. It has a metal loop just above the headphone port. This lets you clip it to a neck strap or maybe secure it to your desk. This isn't a bad idea but it sticks out kind of far, like maybe an eighth of an inch. Does anyone use this?

Buttons
While the T665C's buttons look cool, they aren't very user friendly. They are horizontal ridges rather than your typical concave buttons. This just isn't very comfortable to use, which will be a big issue for people who would like to do a lot of gaming on their handheld.

The small rocker switch that takes the place of the Up/Down buttons is equally hard to use. It's just too small and too close to the buttons on either side. I don't see how these made it through the testing process. They got on my nerves immediately.

Stylus
The T665C's stylus is regrettably the same one from the T615C, though there really wasn't much Sony could do about this without redesigning the whole handheld. This stylus is just too small. After writing with it for even a moderate amount of time, like a couple of sentences, it starts cutting into my fingers.

If you end up getting a T665C, I recommend buying yourself a stylus/pen combination the size of a regular pen like the ones from Pentopia or ttools. It won't be quite as convenient to carry around but you'll always have a pen with you and you won't be forced to use something the size of a coffee stirrer.

Earlier T series models' styli had the bad habit of falling out when the handheld was held upside down. Thank goodness Sony fixed this on the T665C.

Jog Dial
I know I've said it before but I love the Jog Dial. You can move through the OS and the built-in apps with just your thumb, saving a lot of time. You can even look up a phone number without ever pulling out the stylus, which is mighty convenient when you already have your mobile phone in the other hand.

If you like to use your handheld one handed all the time, the T665C has some great features to help. Say you are in the Address Book. Hold down the Back button for a second. The Category drop-down box will be highlighted and you can use the Jog Dial to scroll through it. Hold it down longer and the first Menu will drop down so you can scroll through it. You can even add additional functions to the menu, like Power Off or Find.

And it is really great if you read a lot of eBooks on your handheld. Scrolling down a long document is so easy.

Flip Cover
The T665C's flip cover is leather and has some kind of insert to keep it from bending. It looks great. It clips onto the back of the handheld and stretches across the top and then down the front. This blocks access to the Memory Stick slot, which really doesn't need the extra protection as it has its own door to keep out lint and such.

Cradle
The T665C's cradle is made up of the cradle itself with a USB plug for data. For power, a small plug goes from the cradle to a sizable power transformer and then to a wire with a plug on it.

When I got the T665C, I got the odd feeling that someone at Sony might have been listening to me. One of the things I complained about with recent Sony models is that the power cord can only be plugged into the cradle, not the handheld. This means you have to buy a travel plug unless you want to carry the whole cradle with you on trips. The T665C comes with an adapter that allows you to plug the power cord directly into the handheld, saving you some money.

Other Peripherals
Sony had to change the HotSync port on the T415 to fit it on that super-slim model and continues to use the new one on the whole T series, including this one.

After being out for over 6 months, the T series getting a decent number of peripherals. Keeping the same form factor for this new model will help a lot.

There still isn't a good option for a full-sized external keyboard. Think Outside keeps moving back when it will release a version of the Stowaway folding keyboard for it. However, Belkin recently announced it will have a folding keyboard out for it soon.

Sony has just announced that it will sell the PEGA-KB20, a mini clip-on keyboard that will work with all the T series.

Other Applications
In addition to Picture Gear Pocket, PhotoStand, and gMovie, which have appeared on previous Sony handhelds, the T665C comes with Clié Paint, a small image editing app. I don't think graphic artists will stop using PhotoShop in favor of Clié Paint but it is still fairly good.

An application that takes advantage of the improved speaker is the World Alarm Clock. It lets you set up to five different alarms and, unlike the built-in Date Book, assign a different sound to each one. This is a feature I've wanted for a long time.

Sony has taken a page from Palm's book and bundled DataViz's Documents to Go Standard Edition with the T665C. This means that you can transfer Word and Excel files onto the handheld, edit them there, and then transfer them back.

Conclusion
Sony has a done a bang-up job by adding some significant improvements to the T665C without raising the price. It's too bad the battery life is so short but I still think this is a very good handheld, especially for $400.

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Where?

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/24/2002 4:30:26 PM #
The only question I have is where can I buy it?
RE: Where?
Ed @ 6/24/2002 5:02:44 PM #
SonyStyle is supposed to begn taking preorders today but I don't think they have started. Their site is running very slowly for me right now.

www.sonystyle.com/vaio/clie/index.shtml

---
News Editor

RE: Where?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/24/2002 9:06:35 PM #
J&R of NY have it listed for $399.88 Pre-order.

http://makeashorterlink.com/?R31952021

I especially like the silver-color cradle. Also, look for the mini keyboard listed on the right hand side for $49.88.


RE: Where?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/8/2002 12:50:55 PM #
Buy it at Dell, Best Buy, or CompUSA.
RE: Where?
andrewholler @ 1/18/2003 6:58:00 PM #
What are some of the Canadian stores where this product is sold?

Another Clie??

I.M. Notorious @ 6/24/2002 4:23:03 PM #
What's the point of yet another DragonBall, PalmOS 4.1 Clie? Ok, one could argue that it has better screen than T615c and MP3 playing in the same form factor (but not NR70's virtual graffiti). Those in the know are going to wait to see the new ARMed Clie (or Palm), and not waste their money in a supposed "new" model.

I could only speculate that this handheld had been released to fill the N710c/N760c niche.

I.M. Notorious

RE: Another Clie??
kevdo @ 6/24/2002 5:12:43 PM #
I have to give credit to Sony for making this a 66 hmz model. If I **had** to buy a Palm OS PDA today it would be pretty hard to pass up this model over the Palm model at the same price, only slower and no MP3.

-Kevin Crossman
I don't get it
abosco @ 6/24/2002 9:09:23 PM #
I just don't get it. Why would Sony release an OS 4.1 device so close to an announcement of an OS 5.0 device? While I take into consideration an upgraded screen, faster processor, an mp3 player, and worse battery life, I hardly consider this an upgrade to the T615C. If you are willing to pay an extra $100 bucks for an mp3 player and faster processor, why not just get an NR70 for another $100 and you can get a trully beautiful screen (including a control wand :D). The T665C is too much of a mixture of both.

While most people will disagree, I will explain IMO why it may not sell.

•It's an OS 4.1 device while OS 5.0 may be making its appearance in devices in a month's time. Bad timing.

•Device is too much of a mixture of other devices whereas there is basically no target market for this.

•The closest thing to a target audience for this handheld is more of a pda geek and pda geeks regularly visit PIC, PDABuzz, Brighthand, PalmBlvd, etc., so they are aware that OS 5 handhelds are just about ready to hit the market. More likely than not, most people are willing to wait one month to get a better handheld.

IMHO it just won't sell as well as the other Cliés.

-Bosco
Waiting for ARMed Smartphone

RE: Another Clie??
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/24/2002 10:20:09 PM #
What's to get? By your standard the move from the M505 to the M515 wasn't a worthy upgrade, but I am sure there are those out there who would disagree. If adding a new processor, screen, and an mp3 player doesn't qualify as an upgrade, I don't know what does. What are you expecting from the first OS5 devices? With that mentality, I'm afraid you may be disapointed.

And note that the extra $100 is the difference now that Sony has dropped the price of the T615. You are essentially getting this for the same price of $400. The same as the "upgraded" M515. How is this a ripoff? The device might not be for everyone, but to say that it is overpriced is just ridiculous. Also note all those PIC readers who posted comments on the release of the NR70 about how they would buy a similar device if it was in the T615 form factor. Well here it is... and still complaints.

As far as target audience, Sony hits the nail on the head. Sony has never targeted business users. The Clie's are marketed as Personal Entertainment Organizers. Hence, MP3 players, cameras and hi-res screens fit right in. Want a more business like device? Get a M515.

Lastly my rant... This is an amazing device, not as amazing as my NR70V, but still amazing =) All of this cutting edge technology packed into a tiny form factor and people still find things to complain about. Note that not 6 months ago the same people were complaining about not having what the T665 is delivering now. People just like complaining I guess. Sony's next model could make coffee for you in the morning and I guarantee that there would be people here whining about how they don't drink coffee, so what are they supposed to do? Ack! I can't wait to read the review of the first OS5 handheld and see all of the complaints. Most, probably from those same people who are "holding out" for an OS5 device now. Now, as far as those complaining about battery life... Yes it could be better, but c'mon! Don't get a high-end device with all of the bells and whistles and expect the same battery performance. Do you buy a Hummer, then complain about the gas mileage? Or better yet, how about comparing the Hummer(palm) with a Focus(PPC) and then complain about the Hummer... Geez, if battery life is such an issue, get a PalmVx. I hear they last a long time, are cheap and doesn't have all that extra crap that no one uses =)

RE: Another Clie??
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/24/2002 11:49:00 PM #
"If adding a new processor, screen, and an mp3 player doesn't qualify as an upgrade, I don't know what does."

Agreed. I'm surprised that we have not had the "This is what the it should have been the first time" argument. If I already had a T615, I would consider this one a possible upgrade. I was one who sold my M505 to get the M515, something that I have never regreted. Yet I'm sure that most only think of the screen, while ignoring the fact that it had twice the RAM and much better battery life.

Oh well, it does not matter what you get, someone will complain. That being the case, I guess we should forget about buying devices for them, and just get one for ourselves.

RE: Another Clie??
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/25/2002 1:46:58 AM #
well said.....

RE: Another Clie??
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/25/2002 6:27:18 AM #
Who wants virtual graffiti, maybe sony is simply make a variety of products who have different needs and interests, some who have no need for a keyboard and couldn't care less about virtual gradfiti
RE: Another Clie??
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/25/2002 11:15:06 AM #
I think a lot of people want virtual graffiti but without the keyboard. So far only Handera offers this (plus voice recording and 2 expansion slots) but still no color, mp3, 16 megs etc
RE: Another Clie??
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/25/2002 11:37:32 AM #
At the rate Sony is releasing new device models, I don't think they are really focused on selling. They are just doing market research in what is, for Sony, a proven (albeit rather expensive) method. And I suspect they have the brains to adjust the meaning of the sales figures on this device upward, given how close its release was to that of OS 5.

Prp
Stick that in your pipe and plunge it.

RE: Another Clie??
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/25/2002 1:21:07 PM #
The Dragonball Super VZ just came out, and it doubles the speed of the unit with a minimum of effort. What's wrong with taking advantage of that... remember, the ARM-based OS was *just* released, and it's going to be a scramble to get new devices out by Christmas.
RE: Another Clie??
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/25/2002 3:41:35 PM #
This isn't an upgrade to the T615c; this is just the new half-year model, which auto manufacturers sometimes release to keep up the foot traffic of *new* buyers coming into the car dealer showrooms. With cars, they sometimes only add a little trim and a few horsepower more. Sony only had to add enough features to counter a few items in the bad reviews (better "reds" on the LCD) and keep up a little marketing buzx (66 MHz! mp3!).

The upgrade model will probably be the OS 5.x.x (x > 0) models (after the early-adopter OS 5.0 wrinkles are ironed out).

RE: Another Clie??
michaelfurman @ 6/26/2002 2:18:10 PM #
IMHO: I like most PDA geeks are awaiting the 5.0 releases. I'll see if the units are what they have been built up to be, but if not then I will grab a nr70v and be happy since I am sure they will be priced even lower a month after the ARM units hit.

Rant: So when do I get a device that lets me record quick verbal notes without having to buy another addon that will not travel with me when I upgrade next. I got my Prism for $250 in Feb/2001 with the $200 rebate @ COMPUSA that I had found out about here. BTW, the prism is not over rated. Great unit, and with the super bright screen, it lets me walk through the house without a night light ;-D.

So I guess I am perched on the fence waiting to see the next unit in the parade before making my upgrade choice. I am sure that many are sitting on th fence with me.

-Mike-

RE: Another Clie??
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/5/2002 12:52:29 AM #
What's the difference between the Visor Prism and the Sony Clie PEG T655C? I am looking to upgrade to the Sony, please help me out. thanks
RE: Another Clie??
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/21/2002 4:27:35 PM #
Posted by Brent

I just bought the T-665C a couple days ago and can say I am quite impressed. My other palm pilot was a Palm Pilot Professional that my friend gave 8 months ago. I used it every day and thought it was awesome. So for me the jump between the two was huge. I have always liked SONY because the quality of their products. I paid 359 dollars with a warranty at best buy. I also downloaded the Kimoma player for it because the Gmovie software that comes with it sucks. With the kinoma player you can pretty much watch movie trailers and other mpeg files in pretty good resoultion. I think it looks great for such a small device. The sound on this thing is unbelievable that little speaker can really sound out. I have read about many people saying that they will hold out for OS 5 but the SONY T-665 is pretty awesome and its out NOW.

P.S.

If you can afford it buy the NR-70 with the camera on it. its costs about 200 dollars more but its pretty cool.

RE: Another Clie??
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 12:59:41 PM #
The Prism is a great PDA but it's bulkier than the 665 and the colors on the Sony kicks butt over the Prism... 320 * 320 vs. 160 * 160... i switched from the Prism to the 665 and i'm enjoying the difference bigtime... plus, the 665 has 16mb internal vs. the 8 for the Prism... plus, i had some memory sticks lying around from my Sony digicam so i was able to have more memory at a cheap price... displaying pictures on the 665 is way better than the Prism... it was almost like i was viewing a pix on my computer and the software was free... for the Prism, i had to dl albums to go which was a demo... if you don't mind paying the diff, the 665 is a much better PDA but $100-$150 is a lot of money... if you're content with the Prism, it may not be worth the $100 investment especially with the new Palm OS coming out around December...

Sort MP3 list in AudioPlayer yet?

PalmAddict @ 6/24/2002 4:35:29 PM #
Ed,

You mentioned that they updated the audio player for Bass purposes, and it appears to have a new "equilizer" display mode, but I still have a couple of questions:

1. Can you reorganize the order of the songs or are you stuck with whatever order the Clie wants them in?

and

2. Are you still limited to 128K encoding on the MP3s or does it support higher bit rates, and if so, how high?

As the MP3 player is one of the major changes, I kind of feel these may be relevent.

Thanks.

"We're a planet of nearly six billion ninnies living in a civilization that was designed by a few thousand amazingly smart deviants."

-Scott Adams

RE: Sort MP3 list in AudioPlayer yet?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/24/2002 5:04:22 PM #
I don't think Sony has added any new features to the Audio Player besides the one I mentioned. I don't see any any way to change the order of the files. You can set it to shuffle, which plays them in random order, though. According to the documentation, it supports up to 256 kbps.
RE: Sort MP3 list in AudioPlayer yet?
CarlJ @ 6/24/2002 5:39:32 PM #
Not quite the answers you're looking for, but perhaps I can help...

1. I, too, wish the AuidoPlayer had playlists, or at least sorting, but there is some primitive control over the display order, as Audioplayer lists tracks in the order they physically appear in the MSAUDIO directory. I prefer tracks to be sorted by artist and then song title, so I keep a batch file on my PC in the directory where the "source" copies of the MP3s destined for my Clie live, and reload the msaudio directory from scratch occasionally ("e:" being the drive where my Clie appears when MS Import is running):

e:
cd \PALM\PROGRAMS\MSAUDIO
del *.mp3
c:
copy Judith.mp3 e:
copy PlanetClaire.mp3 e:
copy DevilsHaircut.mp3 e:
...

Takes a couple minutes to run, but, well, one less annoying problem.

2. As long as MP3s are encoded as 44.1khz and Joint Stereo, bitrate can be almost anything -- I've had VBR MP3s as high as 225kbps on my 710c (upgraded to 760c) and never had any playback problems whatsoever, even in the background with extensive use of other (in-memory) apps. I've read that the external player thingy (used with the 610/etc) had trouble above 128kbps, but the internal DSP-based players clearly do not. On the other hand, if other programs are pounding on the memory stick at the same time (msmount/pidirect, anyone?), you're likely to have trouble.

RE: Sort MP3 list in AudioPlayer yet?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/24/2002 9:51:48 PM #
Hey CarlJ - Isn't Planet Claire a fantastic tune!!!
RE: Sort MP3 list in AudioPlayer yet?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/25/2002 12:01:04 AM #
I got no problem in playing MP3 having bitrates of over 256kbps.
RE: Sort MP3 list in AudioPlayer yet?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/8/2002 8:06:34 PM #
Yeah I have 412 kbps Variable bitrate MP3s with a few problems at first, but they magically disappeared after a few days, don't know why, but they work now!
RE: Sort MP3 list in AudioPlayer yet?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/17/2002 8:32:22 PM #
Guess you guys haven't had a chance to play with one of these yet... I bought mine last night, and I think SONY finally went in the right direction again.

YES - it includes an app called MP3mgr that allows you to create *albums* from the songs on your memory stick and play them back in that order. It also includes a sound creator app for your pc that lets you convert .wav and .mp3 samples into system sounds for alarms and system tones. WAY cool.

IMHO - the NR series is serious technology that is overlooked by the bloat. I don't think larger and heavier is the way to go. I was hoping and hoping that SONY would take all the goodies from the NR series and pack them into a T series form factor, which is less than 5oz and thin as anything I've ever seen in the PDA game. I also didn't know if it was possible. Apparently it is! Good for sony, and good for me, because I bought one on sale at Best Buy for $359 last night. It is blowing my mind. Fast as heck! The 66 mhz Dragonball is incredible.

For all you OS 5'rs out there: YES OS5 will be out soon. Do you really think that v5.0.0 is going to be ready for prime time? LOL Nosir... If you want a real OS5 device, without being a beta tester that paid $600 for the privilege of doing so, then you'll be waiting an additional 3-4 months for v 5.x to come out.

No thanks. I'll take my brilliant display, 310% FASTER speed, MP3's and unlimited expansion RIGHT NOW!! And the Bluetooth MS and GPS MS have already been released in Japan. Give it 4 months and we should see them here. Or give me a japanese translator and I'll buy one now (they work on US models, just are doc'd totally in jap.)

Typo?

PenreeSoft @ 6/24/2002 4:42:54 PM #
Ed,
In the first paragraph you said:

"The T615C adds an MP3 player and a processor that is twice as fast."

Should that be T665?

Nicholas J. Penree
PenreeSoft
http://www.penreesoft.com

Oopsie
mentalsrule @ 6/24/2002 4:46:14 PM #
Ok first off great review and to have it out so quicly is nice... second i love that handheld for being so small and such... but i think i still love my NR70v better :)

third.. i would check your first paragraph for a spelling error of saying the 615 and not the 665.

and on the conclusion... it says 651.

just a heads up.

---------------------
They say when you play a Microsoft CD backward you can hear satanic messages...but that's nothing, if you play it forward it will install Windows
www.pratorian.net

They should...

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/24/2002 5:13:32 PM #
Sony should have spend the space used for the DSP on a larger battery. Many users of the T615 din't wanted MP3.


Ed what was the battery life of the late T615?

RE: They should...
danger @ 6/24/2002 5:35:09 PM #
I got 4hrs 15mins with my T615 with backlight on low.

I lived with it for about 4 months before I found the battery life and poor graffiti recognition were truly not worth the HiRes screen and switched back to my old m505. I wouldn't touch any PDA with less than 6 hours battery life now.

RE: They should...
Altema @ 6/24/2002 5:52:01 PM #
"I think Sony really messed up this time with the battery life; Geez it is lower than the Ipaq! Come on Sony this is a Palm not a PPC."

But the iPaq is a lot bigger, can't play video as well, and can't run WordSmith. Perhaps what they could have done is make the CPU load sensitive, keeping CPU speed low for common tasks and kicking it up for intensive ones. This is what FastCPU does, but I'm lazy and usually kick everything up to 40Mhz. However, it runs fine with no acceleration, and I forget it's turned off unless I'm mapping or doing my large spreadsheets.

RE: They should...
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/24/2002 6:39:32 PM #
The phone/pda just announced by Kyocera in another article here on PIC has DOUBLE the battery life of the T665C AND it has almost the same features plus phone/data capabilities. What gives sony?
RE: They should...
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/24/2002 11:35:25 PM #
'danger' said:
>I lived with [the T615C] for about 4 months before I
>found the battery life and poor graffiti recognition
>were truly not worth the HiRes screen and switched
>back to my old m505.

Wait a second, is poor Graffiti recognition a known
issue with the T6xx? It seems like I could enter
Graffiti much faster on both my Palm III/Palm V -- I
just assumed I was having a hard time with the
slimmer stylus of the T6.

Thanks for any info you can provide!


RE: They should...
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/25/2002 6:44:59 AM #
"But the Ipaq is bigger"


Yeah but there are other handheld with exact same capabilities that are smaller. The Toshiba e310, even trough it is a PPC it runs for 8 hours without a recharge and it is about as slim as a Clie. (this is incredible since it is running on a power hungry Stron ARM and PPC bloatware).


RE: They should...
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/25/2002 1:24:40 PM #
Doen't the Super VZ have a built-in media player? Are they using that or still using an external device?
RE: They should...
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/25/2002 3:55:57 PM #
The T615C units which I've played with seem to need heavier pressure on the digitizer in order to get the same Graffiti recognition accuracy. The toothpick stylus encourages just the opposite.
RE: They should...
Altema @ 6/25/2002 4:43:40 PM #
"Yeah but there are other handheld..."

Yes, I know, but the poster mentioned the iPaq specifically. I agree that the Toshiba has a heck of a battery, wonder if I can jump start my van with it?

This trend of Sony has brought up the opportunity for people to honestly say that PPC battery life is better than some Palm devices.

One very important point we miss though, when comparing battery life between PPC and Palm devices, is standby time. If you have a PPC and a Palm, both with 8 hour battery life while running, The PPC will only go a few days... even if not used. Palms can go for months. I have an M505 which I'm keeping for someone while they recover from a health issue. The last time it saw a charger was three months ago, and it's battery is still at 70%.

RE: They should...
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/25/2002 9:27:16 PM #
>If you have a PPC and a Palm, both with 8 hour battery
>life while running, The PPC will only go a few days...
>even if not used. Palms can go for months

True for all palm os devices exept the clies. According to the gadgeteer the clie (T615) goes to 25% battery in just a few days of standby.

www.the-gadgeteer.com/ubb/Forum441/HTML/000001-3.html

The low battery life of the Clie is not just while in just it also affects its standby time.

RE: They should...
Altema @ 6/26/2002 10:53:00 AM #
"True for all palm os devices exept the clies. According to the gadgeteer the clie (T615) goes to 25% battery in just a few days of standby."

Thanks for the info, I did not know that.

I wonder what Sony thinks we are supposed to do when we go on vacation. Leave it in a drawer at home to die before we get back? Take it with us to feed it and keep it alive? Put it in the cradle at home like it's on life support?

Maybe we can start 'Clie Sitting Services' where you drop your device off and they watch it and make sure it does not get low.

That m505 I mentioned earlier has been charged twice in 6 months, and that was only to top it off because I thought the owner was going to pick it up.

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