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#324697 - 28/07/2009 00:45 Re: The Palm Pre [Re: hybrid8]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12310
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: hybrid8
Things that I find really slow it down are accessing your music over the network, especially when it's doing things like checking for gapless information and updating artwork. Things it does every time you add new tracks and that you cannot (in any way) disable. You can cancel, but it will do it again/continue the next time you add tracks or restart iTunes.

Yeah, the big slowdown for our newly network-ized iTunes library is when a lot of new music is added to the library on one computer, and then the other computer logs on and takes forever to update the genius information. I'm not sure why this isn't stored along with the library on the network, therefore only requiring one copy of the information, but whatever.

Quote:
Song Bird developers defend this by saying that they're not copying, they just implementing the most reasonable methods, which iTunes just so happens to also use. Yeah right.

I'm not a huge fan of how either one does it, but at least Songbird has more potential for improvement, IMO, due to add-ons. For instance, my Songbird installation is fundamentally different from how it works by default and how iTunes works, because I have a Now Playing add-on that creates a sort of fusion of iTunes and Windows Media Player. Normally I'd say "great, two terrible music managers in one!" but I really like how this works now. Anyway, I'm a huge Songbird fan, and I'll say again: it does something that iTunes is completely incapable of and most likely never will be: syncing with my G1 (and almost any device, for that matter).
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#324699 - 28/07/2009 02:42 Re: The Palm Pre [Re: hybrid8]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5522
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: hybrid8

iTunes has a LOT of (huge) room for improvement. But no one has written anything even half as good for any platform.

My only experience with such programs is Emplode and Rio Music Manager -- both of which are vastly superior for my usages.

To add music to my player with Emplode or RMM, I find the files, drag them to my player, click on "Synch".

To add music to my player with iTunes, I find the files, tell iTunes to add them to the iTunes library. Once that is done, I delete the files from the iTunes library that I no longer want in the player, then copy the files in the iTunes library into the Playlist library. Next, organize the Playlist library so the tracks (audiobooks, in this case) are in the proper sequence so that chapter four comes after chapter three. Check the settings to make sure that the "Random" box is unchecked, then click on Sync, in the full knowledge that my placemark in the file I was last listening to will certainly be lost so that I have to search through the book to find where I left off.

[RANT]I know that some of this is "It's different from what I'm used to so it can't be any good" attitude, but every time I use Apple software (particularly on SWMBO's Macintosh) it is an excercise in absolute frustration that makes me want to throw things. There seems to be no middle ground with Apple: Either you operate at the absolute dummy level and let the OS take care of everything, or you become an absolute Macintosh expert in order to find out simple, obvious things like just where in hell a file you downloaded is actually located on the hard drive. SWMBO downloads pictures from her camera, the Macintosh sucks them up and stores them someplace and she can view them anytime she wants with some sort of Macintosh picture viewing software, but God help her if she wants to attach one of them to an email. Apple's policy of hiding all the ugly nuts and bolts of system level operations from the user makes me crazy. [/RANT]

There, I feel much better now. smile

tanstaafl.
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"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"

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#324700 - 28/07/2009 03:05 Re: The Palm Pre [Re: tanstaafl.]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Originally Posted By: tanstaafl.
God help her if she wants to attach one of them to an email.

Yep. Dragging the picture from iPhoto to the compose window sure is a nightmare.

Oh, you still want to know where the file is. Hmm, where could that information be hiding.... Let's try the context menu. Hm. "Show File". That couldn't be it, could it? Ah, nope. It just opens a Finder window to the directory the picture file is in, with the picture file selected. I suppose you're out of luck; I don't see anything that will give you the actual path.
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#324701 - 28/07/2009 06:25 Re: The Palm Pre [Re: hybrid8]
Roger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 18/01/2000
Posts: 5673
Loc: London, UK
Originally Posted By: hybrid8
iTunes has a lot of really slow portions, but clicking from one item to the next in the source list (the list on the left) is usually instantaneous.


Not on my Windows PC. What annoys me most about iTunes is that it doesn't have any feedback to tell you it's noticed the click. On almost all Windows apps, you click something, the focus/selection changes, and _then_ it updates the window.

Oh, and the Windows version doesn't obey Fitt's law. Try clicking on the close button on iTunes when it's maximized. There's a single-pixel-width line across the top that does nothing.

Frankly, I could write a better piece of music management software. Oh wait. I did. Twice.
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#324706 - 28/07/2009 08:01 Re: The Palm Pre [Re: hybrid8]
peter
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/07/2000
Posts: 4165
Loc: Cambridge, England
Originally Posted By: hybrid8
Things that I find really slow it down are accessing your music over the network, especially when it's doing things like checking for gapless information

It's amazing to me how Apple's failings here depress everyone's expectations of other media devices. Here's The Register reviewing some kind of Central+Receiver setup from Sony:
Originally Posted By: El Reg
An unexpected surprise was the Gigajuke's ability to work out which of the albums we copied across were gapless the recording of Turandot we imported played back without a moments silence between the cue points.

Is gapless playback a subtle and hard-to-determine property of an album, that's secretly being calculated somewhere and communicated to the thin-clients? Or is it perhaps that this device just does what's obviously right -- what every CD player in the world does -- and that today's ready availability of fail has blinded people to that?

Peter

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#324710 - 28/07/2009 12:09 Re: The Palm Pre [Re: tanstaafl.]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Originally Posted By: tanstaafl.

My only experience with such programs is Emplode and Rio Music Manager -- both of which are vastly superior for my usages.


I should have further clarified that no one else has written anything that does close to everything that iTunes can do. Emplode was fine for moving files over the the empeg but that's about it.

Your use of iTunes seems a little cumbersome - it's not the way it's designed to be used. Seems like you'd be better off turning OFF automatic sync and just dragging whatever files you'd like to the iPod yourself. You're not using iTunes as a music manager but rather as a file loader.

I'm not sure about iPhoto, but in iTunes you can get "info" on any track and it will display the full path to the music file on the first tab of the resulting window.
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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#324715 - 28/07/2009 12:29 Re: The Palm Pre [Re: peter]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Originally Posted By: peter
Is gapless playback a subtle and hard-to-determine property of an album, that's secretly being calculated somewhere and communicated to the thin-clients? Or is it perhaps that this device just does what's obviously right -- what every CD player in the world does -- and that today's ready availability of fail has blinded people to that?

I'd like to point out that the empeg doesn't do gapless properly. (Maybe it does with the 3.alpha versions?)

But this is all based on a failing of the mp3 format, with its fixed-time-length frames and no way to tell a decoder to ignore certain portions. This has been resolved by retrofitting, but those are ad-hoc standards, at best.
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#324718 - 28/07/2009 12:35 Re: The Palm Pre [Re: wfaulk]
peter
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/07/2000
Posts: 4165
Loc: Cambridge, England
Originally Posted By: wfaulk
I'd like to point out that the empeg doesn't do gapless properly. (Maybe it does with the 3.alpha versions?)

Yes (and with Karma and Vibez, although not Carbon, Nitrus, or the flash players).

Peter

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#324724 - 28/07/2009 13:42 Re: The Palm Pre [Re: peter]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Okay, sorry. I still don't run 3.x. It seemed to keep crashing on me. Maybe I'm misremembering.

Still, it relies on ad-hoc LAME-"proprietary" headers, which weren't even introduced until late 2001, I think. Point being that it would be nice if the standard had the ability to encode arbitrary-length audio. (Well, without intentionally blank samples. Even CDs have to be in quanta of 44100ths of a second.) It's the spec that should have the fail attached to it in this case, IMO.
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#324728 - 28/07/2009 14:00 Re: The Palm Pre [Re: wfaulk]
peter
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/07/2000
Posts: 4165
Loc: Cambridge, England
Originally Posted By: wfaulk
Still, it relies on ad-hoc LAME-"proprietary" headers, which weren't even introduced until late 2001, I think.

It only guarantees sample-accurate gapless with the headers, but the heuristics used on files without the headers are actually pretty good in practice.
Originally Posted By: wfaulk
Point being that it would be nice if the standard had the ability to encode arbitrary-length audio. (Well, without intentionally blank samples. Even CDs have to be in quanta of 44100ths of a second.) It's the spec that should have the fail attached to it in this case, IMO.

CDs have to be in quanta of 75ths of a second: track breaks can only come at frame boundaries. And while in a sense the MP3 spec does come with built-in fail, other formats (Vorbis, FLAC, WMA) can encode arbitrary-length audio, and any added fail there is purely proprietary. I'm not sure about AAC; the Wikipedia article groups it with MP3 in the post-hoc-hacks list.

Peter

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#324740 - 28/07/2009 15:02 Re: The Palm Pre [Re: peter]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Originally Posted By: peter
CDs have to be in quanta of 75ths of a second

Oh yeah; I forgot about CD frames.

Originally Posted By: peter
It only guarantees sample-accurate gapless with the headers, but the heuristics used on files without the headers are actually pretty good in practice.

Of course, again, unless I'm mistaken, the LAME headers, sadly, predate anyone's heuristics implementations.

Originally Posted By: peter
other formats (Vorbis, FLAC, WMA) can encode arbitrary-length audio

That's great for the eight people who want to use those formats, own no players that can't support them, and have the proficiency to rip their CDs using them.

Originally Posted By: peter
any added fail there is purely proprietary

True, and if you had a soup-to-nuts ripping and playback solution that didn't need any compatibility with any other system, or had very little restriction on storage space, there's no excuse for failing gaplessness. Otherwise, it's best-effort. (Of course, that effort should now include the use of LAME headers on MP3s.)

I've lost track of my point....

Oh, yeah. The expectation of fail in this space is derived directly from the mp3 spec. In general, I emphatically agree with your complaint about diminished expectations, but I think we should point fingers in the right direction: the mp3 spec and mediocrity-loving idiots.


Edited by wfaulk (28/07/2009 15:04)
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#324742 - 28/07/2009 15:05 Re: The Palm Pre [Re: tanstaafl.]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7868
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: tanstaafl.
[RANT]SWMBO downloads pictures from her camera, the Macintosh sucks them up and stores them someplace and she can view them anytime she wants with some sort of Macintosh picture viewing software, but God help her if she wants to attach one of them to an email. Apple's policy of hiding all the ugly nuts and bolts of system level operations from the user makes me crazy. [/RANT]

This is one of the reasons I like my Mac and the programs it comes with. The computer handles the mundane tasks, I can handle the actual getting work done tasks. I plug in a camera, and import photos. I don't care where or how they are stored, just that said operation happens. Then up to an hour later, the backup kicks in and makes sure I now have a redundant copy stored off on the NAS. I don't want to manage hundreds of date labeled folders full of photos, I want to manage events, faces and such to find photos easier, and know all my work is backed up and safe.

As far as mailing a photo, there are many easy ways, all that don't require ever bothering with low level files. Bitt explained drag and drop. There is also a Photo Browser button in the toolbar when composing e-mail that shows me the photos in the same organization structure iPhoto uses. Or I can go to Attach File under the File menu, get a finder browser, and also a media browser that does the same as the Photo Browser button. Lastly, I could just click the Mail button from iPhoto.

Under the hood, I know where all the files are, since a context click (right click) on a photo allows me to reveal the source file. If I choose to move to another platform (Windows or Linux), I can easily still get to the files. If I wanted everything, I'd just copy my User folder, since everything is in there, but none of my installed applications to bloat the size.

As for iTunes, I'm still in middle ground there, and haven't fully moved away from my manual file managing days. iTunes has a decent selection of what music I want randomly synced to my phone, along with all of my podcasts. The main reason I even considered an iPod and iTunes years back was due to the lack of a seamless podcast solution with other products. I want my system to download the podcasts automatically, delete ones I've listened to, and sync new ones to whatever device.
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Tom

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#324745 - 28/07/2009 15:35 Re: The Palm Pre [Re: wfaulk]
peter
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/07/2000
Posts: 4165
Loc: Cambridge, England
Originally Posted By: wfaulk
Originally Posted By: peter
other formats (Vorbis, FLAC, WMA) can encode arbitrary-length audio

That's great for the eight people who want to use those formats, own no players that can't support them, and have the proficiency to rip their CDs using them.

But most players support at least one of those, and very few do so gaplessly; the point I was trying to make was that such devices don't fail at gapless because of the infelicities of the MP3 format: they don't get that far, they've already fallen at an earlier hurdle. (In case anyone relevant is reading, the secret is to bang the rocks together, guys have enough buffer downstream of your decoders, that you can switch track and have the first samples of the next track coming out of the decoder before your DAC has underflowed. Which is why the flash-players couldn't do it: not enough resources.)

Peter

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#324752 - 28/07/2009 16:12 Re: The Palm Pre [Re: peter]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Worse Is Better

I don't 100% agree with Gabriel (and it could be written less clumsily), but the basic scenario is correct. People use bad things because bad things are available first. Then they not only get used to the badness, but expect it. Fixing the badness becomes a waste of time.

I think, really, we're in violent agreement here.


Edited by wfaulk (28/07/2009 16:15)
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#325072 - 13/08/2009 03:43 Re: The Palm Pre [Re: wfaulk]
tman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 24/12/2001
Posts: 5528

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#326287 - 23/09/2009 02:09 Re: The Palm Pre [Re: Dignan]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7868
Loc: Seattle, WA
http://digitaldaily.allthingsd.com/20090922/usb-if-slaps-palm/

Looks like Palm's plan to try and get the USB-IF to side with them against Apple backfired, and Palm has 7 days to explain why their device uses another companies vendor ID.
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Tom

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#326288 - 23/09/2009 02:19 Re: The Palm Pre [Re: drakino]
gbeer
carpal tunnel

Registered: 17/12/2000
Posts: 2665
Loc: Manteca, California
So what is to stop Pre from enabling a config item that lets the user choose to spoof the id? Much like mac id's are.
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#326297 - 23/09/2009 11:29 Re: The Palm Pre [Re: gbeer]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Originally Posted By: gbeer
So what is to stop Pre from enabling a config item that lets the user choose to spoof the id? Much like mac id's are.


They'd still be in violation of the USB spec. They'd probably be kicked out and not able to use the USB logo. Perhaps even face some legal action for having violated their agreements.

It's just a waiting game anyway. Palm is still on the way out, not in.
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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#326298 - 23/09/2009 12:01 Re: The Palm Pre [Re: hybrid8]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Originally Posted By: hybrid8
not able to use the USB logo

Oh noes!!!11!!1!!1!
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Bitt Faulk

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#326299 - 23/09/2009 12:04 Re: The Palm Pre [Re: wfaulk]
peter
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/07/2000
Posts: 4165
Loc: Cambridge, England
Now if there were a hack that made an Iphone appear on USB as a Palm Pre -- which is mass-storage class -- then that would be worth having.

Peter

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#326300 - 23/09/2009 12:11 Re: The Palm Pre [Re: wfaulk]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Originally Posted By: wfaulk
Oh noes!!!11!!1!!1!


I know, it's not a big deal for a company that sells some 10-15 phones per month like Palm. wink

The reason this whole fiasco is taking place is that the budget required to create a sync application would likely quadruple the revenues of the Pre, making it a losing proposition. As an aside, Apple has probably spent more money developing iTunes than Palm's last investment from Elevation Partners (that's $100M).
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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#326301 - 23/09/2009 12:54 Re: The Palm Pre [Re: hybrid8]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Yeah, you can tell how big a deal it is with how prominently the USB logo is featured on the iPhone box.
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Bitt Faulk

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#326315 - 23/09/2009 22:18 Re: The Palm Pre [Re: wfaulk]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
So, in more relevant Pre-related news, the Pre App Catalog gets paid applications tomorrow. The quality of the free apps is already quite good, though not near the level of refinement of the best iPhone apps. I suspect the ability of app developers to finally make a buck on their apps will push up the quality of the best apps and the quantity of the worst apps.

Still really liking my Pre. Been playing a lot of Word Ace (basically Scrabble and Texas Hold'em combined) which I guess is also available for iPhone now as well. Some really great stuff happening on the third-party homebrew front as well.
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my empeg stuff

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#326342 - 24/09/2009 21:09 Re: The Palm Pre [Re: peter]
altman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/05/1999
Posts: 3457
Loc: Palo Alto, CA
Really? You know the Palm Pre goes into airplane mode when you plug it into USB as, being MSC, it can't deal with the user filesystem not being accessible?

I think I prefer the way the iPhone does it. I can receive calls when plugged in and syncing (the sync just gets aborted cleanly)...

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#326350 - 25/09/2009 03:51 Re: The Palm Pre [Re: altman]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12310
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: altman
Really? You know the Palm Pre goes into airplane mode when you plug it into USB as, being MSC, it can't deal with the user filesystem not being accessible?

I think I prefer the way the iPhone does it. I can receive calls when plugged in and syncing (the sync just gets aborted cleanly)...

Then I guess I get the best of both worlds. When the G1 is plugged in, it only takes over the SD card, which leaves the rest of the phone available to take calls. Of course, any apps that use the SD card for data are unusable, but that doesn't matter much as I only put it in transfer mode when I need to.
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#326352 - 25/09/2009 07:11 Re: The Palm Pre [Re: altman]
peter
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/07/2000
Posts: 4165
Loc: Cambridge, England
Originally Posted By: altman
Really? You know the Palm Pre goes into airplane mode when you plug it into USB as, being MSC, it can't deal with the user filesystem not being accessible?

I didn't know that, and it does sound a bit poor -- you'd think there'd be some sort of "phone-only" mode. Perhaps SMS is the problem; I've no idea whether the air protocols let a handset decline (defer) SMS while still taking voice calls, which would be the ideal.

But I'd happily put up with full airplane mode -- or for that matter car-player-esque locked-out "synchronising" mode -- if it got me mass storage. The user-story, which had happened to me shortly before writing that post, is this: I'd realised, just before heading off to lunch with Dave, that there was a photo on my PC that I wanted to show him (an osage-orange fruit in the Botanic Gardens that I'd snapped the previous day). I further realised that an Iphone, with a nice colour screen and the zoomy inny outy stuff, would be a good way of showing it. But gphoto2 seemed unable to send the photo to the Iphone over MTP ("operation not supported"); transferring the photo to the only PC with Itunes on (which is the laptop, outside the firewall), only to wrestle with the Itunes UI to work out how to send a photo, didn't seem appealing; and though t'internet alleged it was possible to store photos without Itunes, it seemed like a big hassle.

I could've had the photo onto the Vibez in seconds, and would've except of course the screen is about one squillionth the size. So (to the best of my knowledge) Dave still doesn't know what an osage-orange fruit looks like.

Peter

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#326353 - 25/09/2009 09:52 Re: The Palm Pre [Re: peter]
sn00p
addict

Registered: 24/07/2002
Posts: 618
Loc: South London
Originally Posted By: peter
I further realised that an Iphone, with a nice colour screen and the zoomy inny outy stuff, would be a good way of showing it. But gphoto2 seemed unable to send the photo to the Iphone over MTP ("operation not supported"); transferring the photo to the only PC with Itunes on (which is the laptop, outside the firewall), only to wrestle with the Itunes UI to work out how to send a photo, didn't seem appealing; and though t'internet alleged it was possible to store photos without Itunes, it seemed like a big hassle.


In that situation I just email it to myself, and get it from the mail client on the iPhone.

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#326354 - 25/09/2009 10:02 Re: The Palm Pre [Re: altman]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14424
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: altman
Really? You know the Palm Pre goes into airplane mode when you plug it into USB as, being MSC, it can't deal with the user filesystem not being accessible?

My Samsung SCH-R540 does that as well -- cannot walk and chew gum at the same time. I suppose this means it has some ultra crippled WinOS inside it, too.

Cheers

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#326365 - 25/09/2009 23:40 Re: The Palm Pre [Re: mlord]
Shonky
pooh-bah

Registered: 12/01/2002
Posts: 2006
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
Originally Posted By: mlord
Originally Posted By: altman
Really? You know the Palm Pre goes into airplane mode when you plug it into USB as, being MSC, it can't deal with the user filesystem not being accessible?

My Samsung SCH-R540 does that as well -- cannot walk and chew gum at the same time. I suppose this means it has some ultra crippled WinOS inside it, too.

Cheers

My imate 8502 with Windows Mobile 6.1 doesn't have any limitation like that whilst syncing or accessing the file system via USB.
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#40104192 120Gb (no longer in my E36 M3, won't fit the E46 M3)

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#326420 - 29/09/2009 03:37 Re: The Palm Pre [Re: peter]
altman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/05/1999
Posts: 3457
Loc: Palo Alto, CA
You could have emailed the photo to an email account that the phone could access, then when viewing the mail on the phone press and hold on the photo which brings up the "what do you want to do with this photo" menu. Tap save and it ends up in the photo app.

Yes, a bit roundabout but IMO less hassle than plugging in for a single photo. I don't particularly like iTunes dealing with getting photos on my phone but OTOH it's sufficiently seamless that I actually do have recent photos of Chloe on there that I would have if I had to manage it manually...

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