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Hit magicButton and your Treo headset

A few months ago I mentioned how an application called Freedom could be used to transform most corded headsets with a call answer button (particularly Seidio’s 2in1 Retractable one) into a remote control for pausing or skipping music tracks with Pocket Tunes.

However, Freedom had not been specifically designed for this purpose so it felt like a bit of a ‘hack’ instead of a proper customized solution and at $14.95 it could also be thought of as a bit pricey.  However, the developer took my comments to heart and shortly after my post began to write a new application called magicButton which I helped to design that would work exclusively to provide remote control functions for Pocket Tunes.

Since I listen to mp3’s on my Treo on a daily basis with Seidio’s 2in1 Retractable headset, magicButton has become an absolutely essential application for me.  So much so in fact that now that I’ve gotten used to it I can’t imagine trying to listen to music without it.  I actually recently had the unfortunate experience to have been unable to use MagicButton for a couple of weeks because of an unrelated conflict on my Treo and I couldn’t have missed an application more – thank heaven it’s working again now.

magicButton ($9.95) is an extremely simple application with two screens (above) which allow you to enable the basic configuration as well as the headset button setup.  Although we don’t _yet_ have a proper remote control with all of the Play, Forward, Rewind, etc buttons (I hope that someone at Palm is listening), MagicButton enables a single button on the headset with multiple functions so that in my case a single press will Pause my music.  You can choose your own button press actions and additionally you can preset the seconds to Forward/Rewind which is great if you listen to podcasts or audiobooks and want to quickly jump forward in say 60 second increments.

As I mentioned, the two elements that MagicButton works in combination with are a button headset such as my Seidio 2in1 Retractable ($34.95) below (which also has the advantage that I can switch from music to answer a call) and naturally Pocket Tunes which I recommend as the best available digital music player for our Treo.  There is no additional setup whatsoever required in either the headset or PTunes to make MagicButton work.

If you already own this or another of Seidio’s button headsets or use Pocket Tunes on a regular basis then magicButton should without a doubt become an indispensable item on your shopping list.  If you’ve never experienced this setup I can assure you that you’re seriously missing out and that you won’t be disappointed if you try it now.

Treonauts always have the best music on the go

Posted by Andrew on November 3, 2005 at 10:08 PM

Treo Accessories , Treo Headset , Treo Software | Music

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by Fred | Nov 4, 2005 1:03:11 PM

This is why I look at the Treonauts site every day! Thank you for letting us know about this. I also thought that $14.95 was a bit much just to pause or skip tracks, but this new program looks great. And I also really like the Seidio 2 in 1 headset. I especially like the volume control since for some reason the music I've converted to .mp3 isn't all the same volume.
Thanks for this review!

by Mike Hardy | Nov 4, 2005 2:03:42 PM

I tried freedom too, but didn't purchase for the same reasons in the article. This does look tempting though, I'll definitely try it.

Fred - you mentioned sound levels in ripped music being different. You did know this was a conspiracy, right? Okay, its actually an artifact of monopolistic competition between the music houses trying to get your attention, but same difference.

I wish I were only kidding:

I'm about to code up a script that scans mp3s, finds their median sound level and transcodes them, re-leveling. I've got source mp3s with enough bitspace headroom that a transcoding still generates high quality files though. In the end though, why is this necessary? Why are old Hank Williams songs nearly silent while new music is almost too loud? Annoying.

by Victor Turegano | Nov 4, 2005 2:20:51 PM

I've used Freedom a couple of weeks ago and I wasn't that surprised with the functionality: it didn't worked as well as I expected.
I came up with two options: magicButton and HeadsetControl. For now I've only tested HeadsetControl (10 day trial. $7.00 to keep). It works pretty well!
These are the differences:
- It tells between Short press and Long press so you get a total of 6 combinations.
- You can use your headset to dial prefered numbers, redial and dial voicemail.
- It works with Pocket Tunes and Aeroplayer.

I'll try magicButton as well when this trial period ends. I also think this is functionality is a must have if you like to listen music in your Treo.

by Felipe | Nov 4, 2005 3:24:48 PM

HeadsetControl? when can we find info on this.

I d/l MB, and it works.

the prev track doesn't work, it just starts the current track from the beginning.

I am concerned about the warning of reduction in battery life that the help doc says can happen when u let MB work in sleep mode. got to keep an eye on that.

by Paul G. | Nov 4, 2005 11:10:17 PM

Lovely idea though and kudos to the author for coming up with it in the first place. I do love those odd combinations of things that lead to new and unexpected functionality. Very good indeed.

And as we (& the kids) say in NZ, a top o' the morning to yas and snappity dingdong!


by Raphael | Nov 6, 2005 1:28:19 PM

Headset Control is here:

I'll try both and see what I like best.

by chris Theberge | Dec 28, 2005 11:39:12 PM

I bought magic button for ptunes with the seidio but its not working. The developer cant help at all and suggested i post here. You mentioned an unrelated conflict? Would you mind explaining?

by dafttreo | Jan 2, 2006 1:31:07 PM

Does anybody know of Treo 650 software that gives this same sort of "magicButton" headset button functionality for the Audible audio-book player?

by Mark | Jan 13, 2006 1:30:14 PM

Is there any way to keep it from conflicting with Treo Voice Dial? Unfortunately, there seems to be no way to disable headset button launch of Treo Voice Dial except by uninstalling the program.

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