Oct 04, 2005

iPod beats A1000

About a month ago I got an Apple iPod 60Gb (sponsored by Apple Nordic and inLife) as a part in my efforts to help schools discover and explore the possibilities with podcasting. Those of you that understand Swedish can check out my podcast Skolsmart at skolsmart.skolmarknad.info.

An unexpected result is that I have completely stopped using my A1000 as an MP3 player. The iTunes integration with iPods is amazingly user friendly and convenient, in particular when it comes to manage the subscription of podcasts. In addition the larger memory just makes it totally uninteresting to fight with MP3 files on the A1000. The same holds for the audiobooks that I buy from audible.

Finally, after a brief e-mail conversation with Dave from Talkr (who commented my previous post) A1000blog is now totally Talkr-enabled. That is, you may listen to A1000blog as a podcast (feed found under the Talkr icon in the left column) or each individual post via a link in each entry. As far as I can see the only drawback is the female voice. Of course I like women a lot, but I'm a man and want this blog to express that in audio too. Guess a male voice will be added to Talkr's services later on.

01:53 PM in Audio, Podcasting | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sep 24, 2005

ALON Audio Recorder, soon on the A1000

ALONsoftware has released their new application ALON Audio Recorder. According to the specs it can record in both MP3 and WAV, save the output on the memory card, and work as a player as well. Even though the product Web page position it for the SonyEricsson P910/P900/P800 I quickly downloaded the demo application. And, of course, it didn´t work on my A1000. Just gave "Error 15".

Another big disappointment, I was hoping to be able record podcasts with the help of their recorder. But, maybe they will do a version for the A1000. I have e-mailed their support and hopefully we will know about their plans. Really quick response, ALON support says "we cannot name the date, but it will be not earlier that the beginning of November".

12:51 PM in Audio, Podcasting | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Aug 30, 2005

Audible in the A1000

A1000_audible March 18, 1998 I became a customer at Audible. I had learned about their services through Don Peppers (One to One Marketing guru) and decided to give it a try. At that time I needed the Audible portable player for mobile listening (see image). I purchased some content (a couple of books, some HBR articles and other stuff) as well as a couple of players. Sure, I listened to my purchases but stopped bying more after a while. It was too complicated to get content, slowly transfer it over to the player, maintaining the content in the player, etc.

This summer I learned throug Adam Curry's podcast the Daily Source Code that Audible was entering the podcasting scene. It turned out that they made a deal with Apple to be a part of the iTunes catalog/podcatching services. In addition the Audible file format (copy protected proprietary stuff) nowadays is available for AudibleReady (tm) players. These include different models from brands such as Apple, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, and Motorola (the list is rather long). Of course the A1000 is not AudibleReady.

Well, because I wanted to digest Seth Godins latest book All marketers are liars I decided to try getting it as Audible content through iTunes. Sure enough Audible had it, easily ordered and downloaded to my laptop through an iTunes plug-in. The piece is something like 4 hours and 20 minutes. I figured out a way to make it playable in my A1000. Probably not strictly legal, but I have no intention to use the audio book in a fashion that would exceed the copyrights Audible normally grant their customers.

It was a great experience. Both to listen Seth speaking out his book and to do it on my A1000. Yet another valuable use of the A1000. Actually it offered an unexpected advantage over my iRiver 899 MP3-player (which by the way is not AudibleReady either). The A1000 has a time slide for moving around in the audio. With over four hours of audio, browsing is virtually unmanagable on the iRiver.

In sum, I can recommend both the Audible improved services (although I had to strech them a litle bit) and Seths book (which contains many great new angles, in addition to a lot of repetitions and plentiful old thruths in new clothes). Now I am looking forward to listen to both Blink and The tipping point...

06:45 PM in Audio, Podcasting | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Apr 04, 2005

Still no MP3-recording

Over a month ago I initiated my search for MP3 recording capability on the A1000 (see that post). Yesterday evening I asked customer support at VITO Technology if they had any plans to port SoundExplorer from Pxxx to the A1000. Here is what they replied:

Time: 04/03/2005 22:49:04
From: [web] [1] (admin) support
we will try , but it will be not soon.

Too bad (I really liked that application when I had my Pocket PC).

09:16 AM in Audio, Podcasting | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Mar 04, 2005

Tuned to Virgin Radio - groove!!

VirginradioOK, I admit - I like listening to music too (in case you've seen my postings about the ignored non-music audio content).

This morning as I went to office I found a newsbite from My-Symbian waiting in my A1000 newsreader (doHeadlines in case you forgot). About 2 in the morning My-Symbian posted a note about Virgin Radio. They offer a new service where you can listen to radio over 3G or GPRS. What you need is a player (downloadable via My-Symbian or directly from http://wap.virginradio.co.uk). Since 3 Sweden this month is offering 3G data for free, I decided to give it a try. (Virgin Radio says that their stream is about 7.2 Mbyte per hour). It took me about a minute to download the software, put an icon on my desktop in the A1000, and start listening (see picture). The sound is good enough (although not as good as a heavy MP3 file).

Technically speaking this is not different than the streamed audio services offered by 3 (the operator) which I have used before. What we are getting now is a broader range of choices, which of course may be controlled by how much our operators charge for the data traffic. And I'm really not sure if their networks can handle a large, and dense, population of customers getting streamed audio from many different radio stations - or whatever they should be called.

Because I'm currently grading a master thesis, which means reading about 70 pages, listeing to some groove music just adds value (to the thesis which is really good by itself).

09:17 AM in Audio | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Mar 02, 2005

Soundplayer with music-skipping

The A1000 don't have a soundplayer with a music-skipping feature, but that's what I want right now. How about that all music lovers/providers!

One of the points with Personal Video Recorders (see PVRblog if you don't know what I'm writing about) is the possibility to do ad-skipping. That is, enjoy commercially financed TV-programs where the commercials have been removed automatically or with a skip-button.

At work today I used TotalRecorder to copy a realaudio-casted talkshow from the Swedish public radio channel P4. Then I bluetoothed the resulting MP3 file into my "haven't yet heard" folder in the A1000. That folder is by now quite big. In other words - there is a lot of stuff I want to hear. And here comes the point. The music, which supposedly is there to enhance the radio listeners experience, irritated me because it was the talk I wanted - not the tunes.

10:37 PM in Audio, Podcasting | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Mar 01, 2005

It's audio, not the music, stupids!

Swedish main stream media have recently (and myopically) reported about the discovery of mobiles as music players (sic!). The "journalists" are probably triggered by SonyEricssons PR-drive (e.g. the Reuter version) about how they mix the Walkman ingredient brand into the phone line. I wonder if they ever thought about non-music audio content, e.g. podcastings.

Online digital audio distribution is by all means nothing new. Seven years ago I used the services from Audible, but gave it up after a year or so (at that time proprietary and relatively cumbersome devices). Not to mention the audio stuffed shoved around in Compuserve, Prodigy, and the early AoL. And before those services there was all kinds fo things hyping around. Funny - I can´t remember the pre-dotcom names anymore.

Recently Audible, of course, have commented on the new podcasting development, as for example webpronews.com reports. True, I'm not not one of the kids seemingly obsessed by downloading the latest music hits. But I'm not alone, There are bilions of people like me (read older with a broader interest than, but not excluding, music). Guess that´s why Audible is growing both revenue and territory wise.

One interesting thing here is that it seems to me that most of the podcasting stuff is about non-music content, typically talk shows (albeit with music as part of the format). Maybe I see it that way because talk is what I am looking for - not music. But, if there is some thruth behind my hunch, then there is another thing (voice) driving podcasting than what (music)drove P2P.

I'll bet that next year the "journalist's" will discover video in the mobile...

07:19 PM in Audio, Podcasting | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Feb 25, 2005

Podcathing half-manually

While 3 Sweden is busy selling audio, video (streamed and filed) I am more interesting in podcatching. If you don´t know what I am writing about, search for podcasting, podcatching or visit iPodder.org. After a lot of browsing this is what I have learned so far.

To my great disappointment I have not found any podcatching software for the Symbian OS (which the A1000 uses). There are at least two apps for Mobile Windows, FeederReader and (update: added a name and a list) iPodderSP (see also the list at ipodder.org).

So, I decided to install iPodder v1.1 for Windows on my laptop. Then I picked some podcasts and catched them directly into my Transflash memory card inserted in the laptop. Whereas iPodder automatically transfers the catched content to iPods (and FeederReader Activesyncs to mobile devices) I then had to manually move the Transflash card to my A1000. Thought this would be easy enough, until I discovered/remembered that the A1000 audio player does not recognize files more than one directory under the /audio directory. Since iPodder files the different casts under different directories, all under the catching directory, I have to manually move the MP3-files up one directory. Sigh!

But, so far pretty good. My plan is to schedule iPod to catch stuff at night. In the mornings I will manually move the stuff over to my A1000 and then I'll listen to the casts while commuting etc. Later on I'll let you know how that works.

Now, the next step is to provide podcasting here on A1000blog.

p.s. I forgot to check A1000 forums for topics about podcasting, I will do that later tonight. d.s.

05:24 PM in Audio, Podcasting | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Dec 30, 2004

Language confusions for media folders

In the manual (i.e. the Swedish one - havent bothered to check other non-English manuals) there are instructions on where to put media files. The instructions use Swedish folder names (e.g. MediaFiler/Ljud), but the A1000 assumes English names (e.g. Media Files/audio) for all folders even though I selected Swedish language when I configured the phone.

Hence, it took me a while and some experimentation before I got the A1000 to play MP3 files. This might be a bug in the phone. If so, I will get problem when the software is updated. On the other hand, it might be a "bug" in the manual.

07:08 PM in Audio, Bugs, Video | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack