RealOne MP3 Player Coming For the Palm Tungsten T

RealNetworks and Palm, Inc. today announced a strategic alliance that will enable consumers to use their Palm Tungsten T handhelds as digital audio players. RealOne Player Mobile, which is based on the Helix platform, will deliver audio multimedia playback and storage for both RealAudio and MP3 files on Palm's newest handheld, enabling users to play and store music wherever and whenever. It will be made available as a free download by the end of the year.

The RealOne Player Mobile will enable consumers to:

  • Transfer personal audio media collections from their RealOne Player on the PC onto their Palm Tungsten T handhelds
  • View full display of current tracks playing, including song name, album and artist
  • Select and playback songs from sound device cards
  • Easily access content with the Tungsten T handheld's 5-way navigation
  • Run multiple tasks while listening to RealAudio or MP3 programming
  • Conserve battery power through the auto-dimming capability

"Our recently introduced Palm Tungsten T handheld empowers users to efficiently manage information with business-critical functionality in an industrial-strength handheld computer," said Ken Wirt, Palm's senior vice president of marketing and product management. "Now with the added audio multimedia feature from RealNetworks' RealOne Player, users will be able to download, store and play back news, entertainment and music -- an exciting element for Palm's innovative new handheld."

The RealOne Player Mobile for the Tungsten T handheld is based on the Helix DNA Client, a software engine that device manufacturers and software developers can use to build a multiformat media player for any device. RealNetworks is working with the Helix Community to make the Helix DNA Client available for the Palm OS(R) 5 platform, which will enable other media applications to be developed for the Tungsten T handheld and other Palm handhelds.

"We are delighted to enable Palm's customers to enjoy portable music on their Tungsten T handheld," Dan Sheeran, vice president, Media Systems, RealNetworks, Inc. "This is a great example of how the Helix platform enables new media experiences for today's mobile consumers."

Palm Tungsten T handheld users will be able to download the RealOne Player Mobile for free from by the end of the year. The RealOne Player Mobile also will be shipped with select future Palm handhelds.

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Yes, but when???

Foo Fighter @ 11/18/2002 11:16:33 AM #

"it's better to be a pirate than join the navy." - Steve Jobs
RE: Yes, but when???
Foo Fighter @ 11/18/2002 11:26:26 AM #
Never mind, just found it:

"it's better to be a pirate than join the navy." - Steve Jobs
RE: Yes, but when???
ska @ 11/18/2002 11:28:12 AM #
The press release footnote:

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including statements relating to the availability of the RealOne Player Mobile by the end of the year and whether and when the Helix DNA Client becomes available for the Palm OS 5. Actual results may differ materially from the results predicted.

Cynical translation:
it might, might not be out by Dec 31 24:00, if it comes out it might or might not working. If it works, it might or might not work correctly. But enjoy the press release anyway.

RE: Yes, but when???
Perry Rhodan @ 11/18/2002 1:21:35 PM #
Usual press release disclaimer....

The announced features on the other hand are Great.

RE: Yes, but when???
sr @ 11/18/2002 1:38:53 PM #
I guess this also answers the question "Can Palm OS 5 multitask", sounds pretty good.

RE: Yes, but when???
bcombee @ 11/18/2002 2:24:54 PM #
The Palm OS 5 streaming sound support has explicit support for setting up a thread to provide sound data while other programs are running. This isn't generalized to other applications but is sound-output specific. So in general, OS 5 doesn't multitask, but there are exceptions.

Ben Combee, CodeWarrior for Palm OS technical lead
Programming help at
RE: Yes, but when???
iebnn @ 11/18/2002 2:43:07 PM #
The Palm APIs don't have uspport for decoding realplayer audio, though. So how is the threading done for this is developers don't have any access to threading APIs?

Multitasking sound playback
bcombee @ 11/18/2002 4:28:55 PM #
Basically, the API is setup so that the OS calls a routine you register on a regular basis, asking it to fill a sound buffer so it can play it after the current buffer is finished playing. Your routine can do whatever it wants, including reading data from a .ra file and decoding it to raw sound. No, the OS doesn't directly handle decoding the audio files, but it provides the mechanism so that software you write can do it, and can do it while other programs are running.

Ben Combee, CodeWarrior for Palm OS technical lead
Programming help at

RealOne player may not be a blessing!

benL @ 11/18/2002 11:49:21 AM #
I'm doubtful about this. The RealOne player is a sneaky beast. I once installed it on my PC and it not only trying to grab all my media files and won't let go, but also trying to phone home to make report to I unstalled it immediately and scrubbed my registry clean; still sticking to the old Real player.
RE: RealOne player may not be a blessing!
JPVann @ 11/18/2002 11:53:21 AM #
You are right on that one! I won't go anywhere near ANYTHING marketed by Real Networks. I'll wait for some intrepid shareware author out there before I'll buy anything from them.

Jer 23:29
RE: RealOne player may not be a blessing!
mtc111 @ 11/18/2002 11:54:54 AM #
Yes, I had similar scary experiences. And, it looks like the way to get content to the handheld is with RealOne (first bullet in the article). Let's hope we can simply plop an mp3 in the appropriate SD folder in order to play it.
RE: RealOne player may not be a blessing!
onestar @ 11/18/2002 12:23:11 PM #
I must agree. I don't like...or trust...anything Real produces.

Has anyone heard of alternative MP3 playes yet?

RE: RealOne player may not be a blessing!
CKMOOSE @ 11/18/2002 12:24:15 PM #
I just wonder if RealOne for the Palm will crash as often as it does on my PC...Real...YucK!!
I agree. We need someone like WinAmp to come out with an MP3 player for the Palm

RE: RealOne player may not be a blessing!
hkklife @ 11/18/2002 12:27:21 PM #
I agree heartily--I posted some similar feelings a few weeks ago when word first got out about Real being our first/only mp3 player provider. I MAY install it just out of curiosity upon its release, but I am going to use extreme caution when doing so. Aside from the file-leeching service clients and perhaps ICQ, I've never seen such a messy piece of bloatware as the Real player. It siezes file associations left and right, spews dialog boxes everywhere, and installs some sort of proprietary propaganda "Real Messenger" that tries to lure you into paying for their premium service. Now, you can get past most of this if you are familar with the program, but to the average novice PC user, they will end up with the Real player constantly appearing for any and all media formats--they'll also have a nice "1000 free hours of AOL" on their desktop. Sigh....

WinAmp (or even like a Kinoma-lite mp3 player) would be SO much nicer to have on a Palm...if not something developed in-house by Palm (I am assuming it's only a question of expense). Also, i really do hope it's drag-and-drop support for Mp3s...I gave my girlfriend a Creative Nomad Mp3 player last year and the poor thing still cannot figure out the cryptic process of installing mp3s onto her player using the SDMI-compliant Playcenter. So I have to update the thing for her whenever she wants to hear new tracks. There is *no* reason for manufacturers to make these mp3 devices to needlessly complex and unintuitive.

RE: RealOne player may not be a blessing!
The Phantom @ 11/18/2002 12:34:23 PM #
I agree with comments about RealOne - I installed it and immediately un-installed it because I didn't like how sneaky it was. I still use the old realplayer occassionally, as some sites still insist on using it exclusively (the BBC for one) and everytime I quit the thing it sticks up an ad for RealOne that you have to close seperately. - annoying!

I think I'd only use a Real-based mp3 player if it was free of all that 'sneakiness' - which I doubt it will be.

The Phantom Strikes again

RE: RealOne player may not be a blessing!
painted_dog @ 11/18/2002 12:43:21 PM #
Not, that it needs to be said, again.... but DAMN straight! Real & all its info grabbing, spyware, etc. suck ! Just make a good program. As a previous post speculated, hopefully Kinoma or other will put together an alternative !


RE: RealOne player may not be a blessing!
palmit @ 11/18/2002 1:09:23 PM #
Talking about MP3's, is there any way to speed up the process of
copying data to SD cards? It takes so long. Has anyone tried using
USB SD card reader to write directly to SD card?
RE: RealOne player may not be a blessing!
cbulock @ 11/18/2002 1:26:22 PM #
A USB SD Card reader makes a huge differance in the time it takes to write to SD Cards. If you want to transfer lots of large fies to the card, it's sure worth the $20 they cost.

RE: RealOne player may not be a blessing!
McMagnus @ 11/18/2002 1:38:27 PM #
I won't write off Real's mp3-player just yet. The Helix platform is some kind of open-source so that should eliminate spyware and sneakiness.

Let's hope they won't sneak up on us.

RealOne Player is pretty good
killah fury @ 11/18/2002 1:43:12 PM #
C'mon guys - give RealPlayer a break... it's a good player and they're finding it real tuff battling against the mighty empire, that is MicroSoft... I've got the new Windows Media 9 Series player installed and it's all good and everything but it does the same with your media that RealPlayer does and you can't create MP3s in it... only Windows media files (not even WAVE files anymore..)

RE: RealOne player may not be a blessing!
M3wThr33 @ 11/18/2002 2:32:45 PM #
So you guys have never installed ANY other media players? They all require you to uncheck preferred media types. RealOne isn't bad at all once you go through the options and disable the bad parts. Getting lazier are we?

I don't think you understand the gravity of the situation. We're in space.
RE: RealOne player may not be a blessing!
hkklife @ 11/18/2002 2:33:36 PM #
Well, in this instance, at least, the MS Media Player is by far the lesser of the two evils. The UI is very clean and uncluttered, everything works as promised, it integrates well with Windows (obviously) and it doesn't gobble system resources too terribly much. Most important, (to me anyway) it's not as tremendously "in yer face" as the wack-ass Real player is. Yes, the lack of mp3 encoding is a huge drawback, but I suppose if one grows so attached to the player, then they can always buy one of the add-in packs to permit mp3 encoding. I just use the Windows media player for all of my playback needs and leave the encoding to Musicmatch.

RE: RealOne player may not be a blessing!
Take1 @ 11/18/2002 3:27:26 PM #
Real Player on my PC is only for .ra and .ram files. .mp3 and .wma are done through Music Match and videos are played through Windows Media Player.

I'd love to see a Winamp client or a Music Match client for the TT.

The one thing that makes me curious is that there was not a mention of a playlist editor/creator. The T and NR series can't generate or use playlists and it's a real PAIN to organize music.

RE: RealOne player may not be a blessing!
EdH @ 11/18/2002 6:18:32 PM #
I wouldn't touch realanything with a 10 foot pole. Even if it didn't install the spyadware on your Palm, the installer on the desktop definitely would.

RE: RealOne player may not be a blessing!
Fly-By-Night @ 11/19/2002 5:01:16 AM #
Personally, I only use WMA for music files. It encodes about twice as fast as MP3, and produces significantly smaller files for the same quality. It's about the only thing the Beast does well.

As the Helix code appears to be open source, I don't suppose we will have to wait too long before alternatives to (get) Real appear.


RE: RealOne player may not be a blessing!
MikeInDM @ 11/19/2002 9:41:39 AM #
"I installed it and immediately un-installed it because I didn't like how sneaky it was."

It couldn't have been *that* sneaky if you could immediately detect it was doing something.

But then, it doesn't sound as dramatic when bashing something if you can't exagerate the negative.

RE: RealOne player may not be a blessing!
Jonathan_2k1 @ 12/1/2002 3:29:37 PM #
Luckily, for all of the poeple who believe theat RealNetworks is a spyware company, there is an alterneative. I went on , went to Multimedia, and lo, and behold, there was an alternative audio player that would work with anything more recent than PalmOS 3.0 and could compress files to as low as 500KB a song. It mentioned taking advantage of enhanced sound like Palm Tungsten, and old ones like TRGPro and HandEra. Don't know if it works with MP3's though.

I have been working with computers for 1/4 of my lifetime. Beat that.

Mac support?

RiddlerG4 @ 11/18/2002 2:19:34 PM #
I didn't buy my TT with MP3 in mind but it's just leaped up my list of priorities because my wife has just stolen my iPod!

The thing that worries me about this is the way they say "transfer music from RealOne Player" I'd bet me left butt cheek that written in invisible font next to that is "Windows only"

However the RealOne Player for MacOS X is really quite an impressive thing unlike the old OS9 variant which was a dog.

Time will tell.

RE: Mac support?
Davy Fields @ 11/18/2002 3:37:20 PM #
Nah.... it's all a matter of dropping the songs in the directory that realplayer uses. Unless they pull a Microsoft, there won't be any special formatting things, it'll be easy enough to do. Hopefully.

-Davy Fields

Tungsten has no MP3?

digilaw @ 11/18/2002 3:35:40 PM #
Sorry if this is a lamer question but I've been out of country for a while. Does this mean that the Tungsten T can't play MP3s natively? Can it play MP3s at all without the real player?
RE: Tungsten has no MP3?
alee @ 11/18/2002 4:10:55 PM #
The MP3 capability is there in the hardware, but there is no software that supports it. Allegedly, the RealPlayer was going to be the bundled MP3 player, but Palm didn't want to hold up the release of the Tungsten as a result of this.

RE: Tungsten has no MP3?
arielb @ 11/19/2002 4:38:03 AM #
it will be free. don't worry

will this work on the new sony nx70v ?

killah fury @ 11/18/2002 6:28:51 PM #
..there was no mention of it in this story... but hopefully it will work with it when released...

RE: will this work on the new sony nx70v ?
Galley_SimRacer @ 11/19/2002 1:48:53 AM #
I was wondering the same thing.

"Life is what you experience between racing games"
RE: will this work on the new sony nx70v ?
Impartial @ 12/18/2002 5:23:37 PM #
I don't think so. The NX has a sound chip inside of it (a physical one) whearas the Tungsten's sound capabilities are integrated into the OS' API.

Am I helping yet?

RealOne Player for the PC

Galley_SimRacer @ 11/19/2002 1:49:14 AM #
Geez, am I the only one who loves RealOne Player? I even have the Plus version. It's interface is top-notch, and it's easy to use.

"Life is what you experience between racing games"
RE: RealOne Player for the PC
Zuber @ 11/19/2002 1:53:00 AM #
I like it too. It does go on a bit making you fill in all the forms on install.

But at least you can put rubbish in and you don't have to activate it by them sending an email to make sure it's genuine. The ones I really hate are where you have to give a real email address in order to get it operational. Then you know you are on the junk mail list.


RE: RealOne Player for the PC
ganoe @ 11/19/2002 8:09:42 AM #
I like it and use it pretty much daily, BUT it certainly is not easy to install into a configuration that the average person would want. By default, it takes over a lot of media types, and intalls some annoying messaging software that is CPU consuming. If you know what you are doing, you can configure the media types during install, and disable the messaging "service" through a couple of preferences checkboxes after install. Anyone who just double-clicks and lets it install by themselves is likely to be unhappy with the result.

My only "real" complaint with the PC version is that even though I've set up my radio presets numerous times, it always seems to lose them.

RE: RealOne Player for the PC
swinginjonny @ 11/19/2002 9:43:22 AM #
I love Real products. True that the spyware stinks and it does take some configuring but I prefer to use just one media player and RealOne does it all. RealOne was actually a huge step DOWN in UI from RealJukebox but I still like it better than the alternatives. Others are better at certain things but once you get RealOne set up, it does everything well enough. The last thing I want on my Palm is pop-ups and spyware but that stuff isn't really practical with no web connection so I don't think they'll include it. I think Palm is smart for having someone who does music build the software instead of assuming they can do it just as well.

(Self-confessed Palm Geek)
RE: RealOne Player for the PC
ganoe @ 11/19/2002 10:53:52 AM #
As far as I know, there is little about RealOne that could be described as spyware. The messenger service is annoying and CPU consuming, but only checks for messages and updates from Real. The problem is that it by default runs ALL THE TIME. You can set RealOne to only provide that service while you are using the player. Go to Preferences, Connection, Internet Settings and set "Only perform automatic services while RealOne Player is in use."

The only info it sends out by default about you or your system is the config info it sends when there is an error. That feature is in most every piece of software (Windows anyhow) today, and can be turned off on the same panel. The other settings on that panel control what content is sent by the player while it is in use (most of which I think defaults to off). There is also a separate preferences panel to set what media types Real Player is the default player for.

Everything is there and user configurable, the main problem is that Real configured the player to behave by default the way Real would like it to, rather than how the average user would prefer.

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