Comments on: PocketTunes Plans Palm OS WMA Support

Normsoft, the developers of the PocketTunes audio player, recently announced they are planning to bring windows media audio support to their next version. This would be the first application to support wma files and music stores such as Napster.
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Slam @ 4/2/2004 5:08:17 PM #
thats big.
these devices can turn into real music players if they produce better hardware...

what about apple's format, seems that might be interesting too...

"Unofficial Normsoft release
gfunkmagic @ 4/2/2004 6:41:40 PM #
Here is the statement from the yahoo group fyi:

"Disclaimer: Please note that this is an unofficial announcement; our plans
may change, or be delayed, or we may run into problems that cause us to
cancel these plans. But I wanted to keep everyone informed as to our
current roadmap.

We have a ton of great changes planned for Pocket Tunes 3.0, which is
tentatively scheduled for release around June. One of the big features
we're planning is support for WMA files. We have this mostly working
internally, and we're just putting the finishing touches on.

What I think is even more exciting, though, are our plans to support
protected WMA files from downloadable music stores such as Napster 2,
BuyMusic, etc. We should be able to support WMA downloads from any music
store that allows their music to be transferred to a portable device. (You
will need to have Windows to use this; sorry Mac and Linux folks - we
haven't had the bandwidth to look into other platforms yet...)

We don't have the protected piece working yet, but we're working on it. I'm
fairly confident we can get it working, but I'm not going to make any
promises just yet. There's a small chance that we won't be able to figure
it out.

We're also working on a desktop interface, which will likely be integrated
with Windows Media Player. This should make it much easier to install music
to your Palm. This desktop interface will be required for installing
protected WMA files, due to the way that portable device authorization
works. The desktop will be optional for unprotected audio formats.

In case you're wondering: Yes, of course this is all being done
legitimately; we've got all the necessary licenses from Microsoft.


We want to be fair about our upgrade policy. At the same time, we need to
be able to pay for our additional licensing and development expenses for the
3.0 release. Our current policy looks like this (this is a draft; we
reserve the right to change this without notice prior to the 3.0 release):

- WMA support will be part of the Deluxe version.

- If you have an unlimited upgrade registration code (starts with "ptx"),
then Pocket Tunes Deluxe 3.0 will be a free upgrade for you. (These
registration codes were sold as a special promotion for a limited time when
2.0 came out.)

- We don't want recent customers to feel like they're getting a bad deal
because of an upgrade shortly after they purchased the current version. So,
if you purchased Pocket Tunes on or after 3/27/04, you will receive a free
upgrade to Pocket Tunes 3.0. (If you purchased Pocket Tunes 2 Basic, you
will get Pocket Tunes 3 Basic. If you purchased Pocket Tunes 2 Deluxe, you
will get Pocket Tunes 3 Deluxe. The free version that comes with the Treo
600 is not eligible for this free upgrade.)

- Otherwise, if you've purchased a past version of Pocket Tunes, you will be
eligible for a reduced price on the new version. We haven't yet determined
the prices, but rest assured that you will get a nice discount.

We think this is a very fair upgrade policy, especially for those of you who
purchased Pocket Tunes for $5 in 2002 and have had free upgrades ever since.

If you have any comments or questions, feel free to post them on this group
or send us an email!

Take care,
Tim Norman
NormSoft, Inc."

I support


RE: Wow!
dona83 @ 4/3/2004 12:29:53 AM #
agreed, I love the WMA format, all my songs are in the WMA format (the ones I own at least), and it would be so nice to get songs onto my Palm without having to convert to different formats. Although it's not too much of a hassle to convert to OGG.


Supported via Plugin?

Bartman007 @ 4/2/2004 5:18:09 PM #
I personally would like WMA support to be done via a plugin. I don't want pTunes to become more bloated just to support WMAs. In the future I might want this capability, (though I doubt it,) and if/when that time comes then a plugin would be nice, but until then, I would prefer a slimmer version.


RE: Supported via Plugin?
Konstantin @ 4/2/2004 11:35:37 PM #
Dont worry.
In Cobalt it would be supported via threads, so if you dont like it I guess you will be able to terminate the thread.

music store support...

kblank19 @ 4/2/2004 5:22:41 PM #
as far as supporting "music stores such as Napster" goes, the latest version of the realplayer for the palm supports songs purchased through the real music store.

RE: music store support...
Galley_SimRacer @ 4/3/2004 1:15:17 AM #
You sir, are correct! In fact, I have purchased 100 songs from there so far. :-)

"I'm not a cool person in real life, but I play one on the Internet".
RE: music store support...
Altema @ 4/5/2004 1:24:11 PM #
Yes, but the RealOne player is rather buggy, uses more resources, and has very few features. Nothing like leaving on a road trip and having RealOne suddenly tell you that you don't have rights to play the music you purchased. Oh yeah, just turn around and drive back home to sync again? I think not.

On top of all this, the RealOne audio quality is relatively poor... both the player and the tracks from their music store (compared to even 128k MP3 formats). Both AeroPlayer and PocketTunes are far superior in both sound quality and features.

RE: music store support...
treo007 @ 4/5/2004 1:39:45 PM #
Not to mention the file format is huge. I don't really like the idea of a music file taking up 12 to 18 megs on memory card.


chbm @ 4/2/2004 7:23:40 PM #
Just as long as there's a lite version and I don't have to pay for silly patents I'm not going to use they can knock themselfs out :)

RE: Ok
tl47 @ 4/4/2004 9:00:24 AM #
I totally agree with you. I hope they will keep a "non-WMA" version available at a discounted price (i.e. without the microsoft tax). As pointed out by others as well, Real (free) already allows purchase of online music. As long as they keep a discounted non-WMA version... they can knock themselves out :)

What about video and ebooks?!

mikecane @ 4/2/2004 9:00:59 PM #
If these guys can license WMA for audio, why can't another vendor license WMV and MS Reader file formats?

BTW, will this also play *non-protected* WMAs? (I have zip experience with this file format, preferring straight non-DRMed MP3...)

RE: What about video and ebooks?!
JonathanChoo @ 4/4/2004 9:50:28 AM #
MSReader totally blows even on the PPC platform with all their weird and psycho DRM e-books.

PDAs: Psion 5> Vx > m505 > N770C > T625C > NR70V > e310 > T/T > HP h2210 > T/T3 & h4150
Mobiles: StarTac > T28m > T39m > T68m > T610 > T630
DigiCam: DiMage E323

Better than AeroPlayer?

vesther @ 4/3/2004 3:31:30 PM #
I recently checked out the PocketTunes page and realized that it received an award from the guys at PalmSource. I currently use AeroPlayer as my MP3 Player. Is PocketTunes worth having? Or should I stick with AeroPlayer?

A Palm-Powered Handheld is the bread and butter for many people. Without a Palm-Powered Handheld, your progress is all for naught.
RE: Better than AeroPlayer?
JonathanChoo @ 4/4/2004 9:51:51 AM #
PTunes has cross fade and DIA support. Nice but the playlist does not support ID tags hence it shoes the file name. Not nice as my file names includes the artist name - album title - tracke number - track name.

PDAs: Psion 5> Vx > m505 > N770C > T625C > NR70V > e310 > T/T > HP h2210 > T/T3 & h4150
Mobiles: StarTac > T28m > T39m > T68m > T610 > T630
DigiCam: DiMage E323
RE: Better than AeroPlayer?
Agent007 @ 4/4/2004 2:41:08 PM #
I recently just switched to PocketTunes. I compared AeroPlayer and PTunes about 8 months ago when I got my Palm and found AeroPlayer to be better. I found that hitting the power button in PTunes stopped playing instead of just turning off the screen. The new version of PTunes does not have this bug. Plus, PTunes has a popup console that you can bring up in any program, which is very convenient when you're typing in WordToGo and you want to increase/decrease the volume. Still, AeroPlayer has the advantage of a smaller file size. I hope this helps.

There are 10 kinds of people: those who understand binary and those who do not.
Healthier options!!
Winter_ @ 4/4/2004 6:53:33 PM #
MPEG2/AAC is an official standard, and the logical evolution from MP3. I think that it's not patents-free... but at least it IS Microsoft-free!

On any case, as others have pointed out, I sure hope there will be a Pocket Tunes version which won't make me pay the M$ taxes!



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