Paul Makepeace ;-)

August 12, 2004

Technological surprises

Posted in: Drivel

Been playing with my new Orange M1000 Pocket PC phone. Found some secret audio recordings; realized my phone's a higher spec machine than my laptop; and discovered the coolest portable tunes player...

Secret party recording surprise

Poking around the phone's file system, chanced upon some unexpected WAV recordings in My Documents. Investigating, there turned out to be a couple of long accidently created recordings of the second party that happened during the Circle Line Party ("CLP3 v2"). Fun listening to the screaming, shouting, shhh-ing, and celebration as the party went through several stops. I was surprised to hear my brother in so many conversations before finally realising it was me. Intonations, inflections, idioms. Bit odd that, since we've been apart effectively since I left for uni (gulp) eleven years ago.

No surprise

Anyway. So this phone can play mp3s. Well, that's cool except mp3s are kinda old tech with pricey patent restrictions, lower sound quality and higher storage needs than modern audio encoding systems like OGG. Windows Media Player that ships with the phone doesn't play them, hardly surprising since OGG is Open Source and doesn't include DRM--two things not enticing to the corporate giant Microsoft.

Tune surprise

Anyway. A search for "pocket pc ogg" turned up an exceedingly groovy player, TodayPlayer. Free, featured, easy install, skins(!), and Just Works™. It runs on the PDA's main "Today" screen ultra-compact, or full screen with a neat form of "skin". The idea is elegant: you can set the background with an image file or photo, and then position the buttons around it. To reskin the buttons, simply draw them into the image file and switch off the real button's visibility so the image shows through. In other words, have a completely clear "button" over the "fake" drawn-in one. Clever!

You can see all this in Full Screen mode instructions.

phone running TodayPlayer with Swedish chef skin
Swedish chef!

phone running TodayPlayer with nemo skin

Power surprise

My trusty Sony Vaio PCG735 laptop sports a P266 (yes, that's Pentium [one]) processor with 128MB RAM. The phone is a 400MHz job with 128MB and 512MB Flash storage. The day will come when our phones sport faster, cooler, less power hungry chips than our desktops.

Memory surprise

Flash RAM is so cheap! The half gig I got from digimem for £60 or so. Exciting - carrying around endless e-books, party photos, favorite tunes, quickly snatched videos, ...

Who says tech ain't fun...

Posted by Paul Makepeace at August 12, 2004 15:44 | TrackBack
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