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Finally!!! A Remote Control for Pocket Tunes on my Treo!!!

Ever since I bought my first Treo nearly two years ago I have been clamoring for a remote control that I could use to skip and pause tracks when I listen to music with Pocket Tunes Deluxe on the go – I’m ecstatic to say that I finally found a solution that works well and simply.

Quite by accident I came across an application aptly named ‘Freedom’ which integrates with Pocket Tunes to transform most corded stereo headsets with a call answer button available for our Treo into a remote control (my own preferred music headset continues to be the stereo Seidio 2in1 Retractable).

After installing Freedom (screenshots below) all you need to do is tick “Enable redirect audio to headset” and select “Head Set” under Manual Audio Output.  The second part is to push on the “Pocket Tunes Setup” button and then tick “Stop PTunes when I get a call” and adjust your headset button preferences – I chose Pause with one button press and Next Track with two – in essence this is like a single and double-click on the button.

  

The button and volume slider on Seidio’s 2in1 Retractable headset (below) are easily accessible and now thanks to Freedom sure beats having to 1) power the Treo and 2) press left/right 5Way every time that I want to skip or pause a track – particularly when you’re on the go and our Treo is in a coat or suit pocket as happened to me a few days ago.  Additionally, as I’ve mentioned before, I still consider the Seidio Shield Holster (below right) to be the single most convenient case for music (and one of the best all around).

I also tested this setup using the standard mono headset that comes with our Treo and if you don’t currently own a 2in1 stereo headset then you may want to test Freedom’s functionality with it.

  

There are no settings whatsoever required within Pocket Tunes but I suggest setting the volume to the maximum there and then control the volume directly via the 2in1 headset instead.

There are a two small and mildly annoying things that I found using Freedom and the headset as a remote control.  First, every time you press the button to control pTunes the screen will light (with Keyguard on) for 30 seconds (or more depending on your Power Prefs) and thus eat a little of your battery.  Secondly, if you press the button to pause you will have to resume playing within 30 seconds (Power Prefs again) because otherwise you will need to access pTunes on your Treo directly again.  I can certainly live with both of these tiny shortcomings in return for the benefit of remote control functionality.

It’s evident that I would much prefer to have Freedom’s functionality built directly into Pocket Tunes (which will hopefully happen at some point) but in the meantime the combination of this new application with Pocket Tunes, Seidio’s 2in1 Retractable headset and the Seidio Shield Holster are getting our Treo ever closer to a perfect MP3 player. 

Add to this a 1GB SD card (or larger) and a subscription to one of the music services like Yahoo! Unlimited that I reviewed last week or StationRipper to get your favourite Shoutcast stations or even Podcasts downloaded to your card and we’ll have enough to truly take the musical enjoyment on our Treo to a superior level. 

There’s no doubt that I’m completely and utterly over the moon to finally have found a remote control that works with Pocket Tunes and my only question is: why didn’t I learn about this sooner!?!?!

You can download a free 10 day trial of Freedom or purchase it for $14.95 (arguably a bit pricey but then again nobody else has come up with a solution that works).
Pocket Tunes Deluxe [Treonauts Software Store]
Seidio 2in1 Retractable Headset [Treonauts Shop]
Stereo Corded Headsets with Call Answer Button [Treonauts Shop]

Treonauts are always humming a new tune


Posted by Andrew on August 19, 2005 at 01:59 PM

Treo Software | Music

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Comments

1
by Dave | Aug 19, 2005 4:09:20 PM

Never mind playing music on your Treo -- how about MAKING music on your Treo?

Dave's Lounge, a weekly podcast showcasing the best in chillout, trip hop, and downtempo electronic music, recently featured an entire episode filled with music composed on Palm PDAs using Bhajis Loops, a music sequencing package for Palm OS 5. You can download that edition of Dave's Lounge from here:

http://www.daveslounge.com/index.php?post_id=15537

It's in MP3 format, so just about any version pTunes should play it just fine. And yes, Bhajis Loops is compatible with both the Treo 600 and 650.

2
by Jon | Aug 19, 2005 4:59:15 PM

The "Seidio’s 2in1 Retractable headset" looks cool but does it also work on the Treo 600 (the store page says it's for 650)?

3
by Jake | Aug 19, 2005 5:43:34 PM

Anyone know if Freedom also works with Real Player? Anyone?

4
by Andy | Aug 19, 2005 6:11:00 PM

Awesome. When pTunes 3.1.1 came out I got it, a Yahoo! Music Unlimited subscription, and that same Sedieo headset. Ever since, I'm always thinking, "Man, I wish I could use this button to control pTunes. Why the heck isn't that out there?" Bingo! Too bad its $15, but the other features may entice me to cough up the dough.

5
by Andy | Aug 19, 2005 6:41:42 PM

Ok, not quite worth the $15 yet. It seems to be a little buggy. For example, you can't listen to pTunes at all if the ringer switch is set to off. I do like the feature to switch to the speaker ringer after a set number of seconds when the the headphones are plugged in - BUT, it doesn't switch BACK if you don't answer the call. It changes your setting for Manual Audio Output to Speaker, at least until you unplug the headset and plug it back it. So if you forget to do that, the next time you go to play pTunes on your headset it'll play out the speaker and annoy everyone.

I wish they would just sell the pTunes remote feature by itself for a couple bucks.

6
by Andrew | Aug 19, 2005 9:20:05 PM

Dave - thanks for the tip. So far Transient's "pure veg ninja blobby" is my favourite. I'll have to check the rest out soon.

Jon - this particular Seidio headset will only work with the Treo 650 but there is another one for the Treo 600 here:
http://shop.treonauts.com/content/accessories/73-74--85.htm

Jake - sorry but it only works with Pocket Tunes...

Andy - I also just figured out the issue of the ringer switch. However, I wouldn't quite describe Freedom as "buggy" - one just needs to learn how to use it. Having been listening to music for a while with it I actually have to conclude that $15 is a bargain for the functionality and convenience that it adds to mp3 playback on my Treo.

Cheers, A.

7
by drake dawson | Aug 21, 2005 3:32:25 PM

Has anyone found a way to connect the treo to a home and car stereo for real MP3 action a'la Ipod?

8
by Alex | Aug 22, 2005 6:55:09 AM

Drake - You can either connect the Treo via a line-in or auxiliary input connection or use an FM transmitter.

9
by Raphael | Aug 22, 2005 9:51:32 AM

I doubt PTunes will include this feature because PTunes is not meant to be used solely on cell phones - it is a PalmOS software that may run on just a PDA. Also this feature may be phone model specific.

I agree that $15 is a bit pricey, but since there is no competition it's just supply and demand...

10
by Abdul | Aug 22, 2005 11:45:58 AM

Whats that skin on your Treo OS? Looks Mac-ish. How do I get it? :)

11
by Matt | Aug 22, 2005 6:59:21 PM

Whatever happened to that surge of news about the new treo!? No new news?

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