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1,000,000 Songs on my Treo with Pocket Tunes Deluxe

If a few years ago someone had told me that they had a million songs at home I would have had to conclude that this person was not only an avid music fan (perhaps a famous artist or DJ) but also an extremely wealthy one – my own CD collection did not go much beyond a couple of hundred at a cost of a few thousand dollars.

I also remember the days (I’m starting to sound like my Grandfather…) when I would excitedly walk into a Tower Records, head to one of their ‘Listening Stations’ and spend hours sampling and discovering new artists – typically leaving the store delighted with a handful of new CD’s to enjoy.

That was then, this is now – the Internet and a few smart companies are completely changing the music game.  Today you can get your own million+ digital song collection and personal listening station via the web and music subscription services from companies such as Napster, Rhapsody and Yahoo! for anywhere from $5.00 to $15.00 per month instead of forking out some $1.000,000 for the jewel case variety.  To be honest, I very much doubt that I’ll ever buy another CD or walk into a music shop – there just doesn’t seem to be a point in doing that anymore and I have actually not done so in quite a while.

Now, thanks to Pocket Tunes Deluxe’s latest version 3.1.1, Treonauts can enjoy all of the benefits of these music subscription services.  pTunes converts your Treo into a “supported device” for these music subscription services – thus overnight transforming it from being able to only play ripped music from your personal collection to one that can play any one of the million songs available via your subscription.  Additionally, Pocket Tunes Deluxe also supports WMA (DRM-protected) songs purchased via these services if you prefer this option instead of subscribing to an “all you can download” plan.

Screenshots of Yahoo! Music Engine, Rhapsody To Go and Napster To Go (Click to Enlarge)

For this review, I downloaded, installed and subscribed to Napster To Go, Rhapsody To Go and Yahoo! Unlimited plus naturally pTunes which was already installed on my Treo.  There are two key aspects of my overall music experience with pTunes and these services that I consider critical and which I categorize under Search and Control. 

  • Search: I want to be able to easily and quickly search and sample the vast music collection offered to discover new artists that I like and dismiss those that I don’t – something which can often be like finding the needle in the haystack.  The tools such as reviews, lists, charts, categories, artist/genre data, recommendations and news among others must exist to facilitate the process, save me time and contribute to my experience.  Essentially, I love discovering and listening to artists that I like but absolutely hate wasting my time sampling crap music.
  • Control: With such a vast collection of artists, albums and songs as well as other information it is evident that I want the proper control tools to manage, create, share and personalize all of this content – without these one would easily get lost in the sea of choices (read “The Paradox of Choice”) and it would all become completely unmanageable.

All three tested services offer unique benefits but there is no clear leader as none can yet be rated as excellent – it will probably take years for that to happen.  Overall, to different degrees with each service, I still felt that they were ‘pushing products’ instead of ‘delivering solutions’ – fine if you’re a teenager with hours to spare but not if like me you want to find what you’re looking for and manage your growing collection as quickly and efficiently as possible.  Only Yahoo!’s service offers a complete set of personalization and collaborative filtering tools which over time will help to refine the results and recommendations that you get.

Having said all this, the fact remains that these services offer the undeniable value of access to a million songs at a very reasonable price and many of the existing functionalities (though still requiring additional refinements) are nonetheless already very good.

For example, you can download individual songs from the streaming (ad-free) radio stations with both Yahoo! and Napster – something which I’ve always wanted to do when listening to radio in my car but couldn’t.  Yahoo! offers sharing functionality via its messenger and also email so that you can let friends know about a cool artist, album or song that you’ve found.


You can easily transfer any of the WMA DRM-protected songs that you download via any of the services directly to your Treo or SD Card (Yahoo! only) and listen to them with pTunes.  First, make sure that you’ve run the full v1.3.1 .exe installer to ensure that the PC integration is set correctly.  Then all you need to do is start up pTunes while your Treo is attached to your PC with the sync cable.  In pTunes, a pop-up will appear that says “Communicating with PC. Please wait…” which engages the connection with either of the music services (I’ve been running all three simultaneously with no problem).

Next in your chosen music service you’ll see under ‘devices’ the ‘NormSoft Pocket Tunes Device’ to which you’ll either be able to drag and drop the downloads that you have in ‘My Music’ or alternatively sync all of your downloads automatically.  Unfortunately to transfer music you will always need to use the music service application and will not be able to simply drag and drop to a card – this is just how the DRM works.  However, once the tracks are on your SD card then you’re free to move them about as you like and listen to them with the ease-of-use that pTunes is renowned for.

Pocket Tunes’ support for DRM protected WMA content is obviously terrific news but I’m naturally already waiting for the next step.  Namely, a logical evolution will be for pTunes to become not only a ‘player’ but also a full music Search and Control application through which we’ll be able to discover and manage our music while on the go instead of just listening to it.  I would much rather be sitting in the park with my Treo discovering new music than in front of my PC at home or work.  The day will undoubtedly come – hopefully soon…

In the meantime, I would personally suggest that you download, install and have a play around with all three of these music subscription services (all offer free trials) to get a feel for the differences between each and to choose the one that best fits your needs.  As I mentioned earlier, I cannot categorically recommend one over the other yet (I’ve discovered some great new music via all three) but I will continue to evaluate them all over the next two months and write another review at the end of this.

I hope that Palm is working on my future 20GB Treo…

Napster To Go, Rhapsody To Go and Yahoo! Unlimited
Pocket Tunes Deluxe v3.1.1 [Treonauts Software Store]

Music Treonauts
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2. Is Pocket Tunes the preferred mp3 player on your Treo?


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  Yahoo! Unlimited
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Treonauts love unlimited music collections

Posted by Andrew on August 11, 2005 at 02:44 PM

Treo Software | Music

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Tracked on Aug 11, 2005 8:30:10 PM


by Hitz | Aug 11, 2005 4:53:06 PM

I'm very happy that Pocket Tunes now supports the DRM used by the unlimited servies, mainly because it got me to try out Yahoo! Music Unlimited. I'm like that I can put the music on my Treo, but frankly, the transfer rate is unbearably slow. It's a little faster using Windows Media Player to do transfers, but it really is an overnight process if you're putting on a couple albums.

Still, for $5 a month, Yahoo! Music Unlimited is well worth it. I've been listening and rating music on Launch since before Yahoo! bought it, so it knows my preferences well and made good recommendations from day one. I download music at home with it, and at work I use the preference that streams everything instead of downloading - On a fast office connection, you hardly notice the difference and save all that space. Downloading a song at home adds it to my music at work, and adding it at work will make it download at home. Then I throw some tunes on the Treo at night for the commute the next day, so that I'm never away from my music :)

Yahoo Music Engine is pretty new, so its not as good as Real Player, MusicMatch, Windows Media Player, or Napster. But it should hopefully improve, the service behind it is great, and the tie-in with IM is nice. Plus, you can always use YME just to download and then Real or WMP as your player if you want.

by Andrew | Aug 11, 2005 5:02:21 PM

Hitz, RE slow transfer rate: that's very strange. In my case it takes no more than a couple of minutes to transfer a few albums (300MB) to my Treo using Yahoo! Unlimited. I'm using a USB 2.0 connection but still it should not take much longer via standard USB.

Cheers, A.

by alan | Aug 11, 2005 5:15:20 PM

I don't understand the comment on the slow transfer w/ Yahoo either, this issue has been mentioned frequently in the treocentral forums. For me it transfers as fast as WMP. I haven't tried the subscription service yet, but have been using the Yahoo engine to transfer podcasts to my Treo daily. It's kind of roundabout - I download podcasts in iTunes, then open YME to sync w/ the Treo. The advantage over WMP is YME recognizes aac files so you can use it to transfer some of the aac podcasts from iTunes easily (although Pocket Tunes won't play those - I use TCPMP for aac).

by HItz | Aug 11, 2005 6:41:28 PM

Regular mp3/wma/ogg transfers are fast and no problem. The problem is with transfers of downloaded songs from the subscription services, which have the Janus DRM to make sure you can't play them if you cancel the subscription. Maybe something's wrong with my setup or computer, but these all take a long time, like maybe a quarter to a half of the actual song legth (I haven't timed it).

by Hitz | Aug 11, 2005 6:47:52 PM

I missed that Andrew is getting good speeds with songs from Yahoo! Unlimited. I've got USB 2.0, too, so something must be wrong, or else I'm just too spoiled from the iPod speed. Has anyone experienced slow transfers but been able to make it faster?

by laika | Aug 12, 2005 1:05:41 AM

hi... maybe it's not relevant here but i'm a mac user and i'm looking for a good vdo player for my Treo650. what are the good options?

by Mr. Peabody | Aug 12, 2005 12:56:36 PM

Hey, I've subscribed to eMusic.com for 2-3 years, and if you're looking for music that's 1) in MP3 format and 2) not necessarily easy to find (you prefer the more cool/obscure stuff), then I highly recommend it. $15 a month gets you 60 songs. (Do the math as you see fit.) And you can re-download your collected library at any time.

by albert | Aug 16, 2005 1:01:22 AM

great tips. however, I've been looking around for step by step and can't seem to find. anybody point me in the right direction? for example, when I go to the updated ptunes, my computer keeps on searching for new drivers (found new hardware) and I never see the "communicating with PC" dialogue. thanks.

by DJL | Sep 4, 2005 12:35:11 PM

Anyone know why the Treo 600 isn't supported for subscription based music? Any tweaks or hacks that can make it so?

by Mike | Dec 30, 2005 5:07:15 PM

Do you have to have Yahoo! Music Unlimited TO GO in order to be able to put downloaded songs onto the Treo 650? I keep getting a message saying I need to upgrade. Or, if I manually put the songs on my SD card it says it can't find a license... HELP!

by Jonny M | Dec 19, 2006 4:43:59 PM

I use Rhapsody to trasnfer music to PocketTunes on my Treo 700p and it is unbearably slow. I have a 4gb expansion card. I haven't really timed it, but WMP seems just as slow. I am also interested if anyone has any tips to speed this up. Could it be my card?

by David | Jan 1, 2007 2:32:07 PM

I'm having difficulty in getting Napster to Go to work on my Treo 650. I have a subscription, PTunes 3.0 and Windows 10. When I open PTunes and press the "Connection to PC" button, it says "Communicating..." but nothing ever shows up on Napster. It never recognizes the device. Am I missing something? Napster customer support has been a joke. Are there instructions anywhere? Thanks, David

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