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Yahoo! Music Unlimited On Your Treo

Last week I added yet another 2GB SD Card to my collection which brings my total close to 20GB of storage for my Treo – over a third of which is dedicated to classical, jazz and other music which I avidly and regularly listen to with Pocket Tunes Deluxe pretty much everywhere I go.

In recent months I have become particularly interested in classical piano but with little to no time to properly explore and discover new works and composers I was stuck replaying the same ones that I already had over and over again.  I wanted to change this and find a solution that would allow me to:

  1. Search and sample as many piano works as possible
  2. Provide me with the lowest possible cost for the most possible albums
  3. Easily transfer all of this music to my Treo

As you might recall, last year the functionality of Pocket Tunes Deluxe was updated to finally support DRM-protected WMA music provided by companies such as Napster To Go, Rhapsody To Go and Yahoo! Music Unlimited – all of which offer an ‘all-you-can-download’ service for either a flat monthly or yearly fee.

My preferred service has since become Yahoo! Music Unlimited To Go (you have to choose the ‘To Go’ for use with your Treo) which I have subscribed to for $119.88 for one year and which provides me with over a million tracks that I can either simply stream on my PC, download to my PC and more importantly also seamlessly transfer to any SD card on my Treo.

Evidently my classical piano music tastes may not agree with your own but I’ll simply use this as an example to demonstrate how easy it is to search and sample music and then transfer it to your Treo using Yahoo! Music Unlimited To Go.

To get started you will need to have Pocket Tunes Deluxe (latest version 3.1.3) installed on your Treo and the Yahoo! Music Engine on your PC as well as paying for at least a monthly subscribtion to the Yahoo! Music Unlimited To Go service.  Then without connecting a HotSync cable to your Treo open Pocket Tunes and in Menu > Copy From PC Prefs > Communication (select MTP) > Choose where to save music (select your SD card). 

After this, first exit Pocket Tunes and plug your HotSync cable to your Treo and relaunch Pocket Tunes.  This will bring up the ‘New Device Detected’ message on your PC which will prompt you for a driver location (select Automatic).  Once the drivers have been installed you can launch the Yahoo! Music Engine and there you will now have ‘Palm Handheld’ displayed in ‘Portable Devices’ (see below) ready for you to start adding music.

In my particular case I specifically wanted to search, sample and download classical piano works so I simply looked for ‘Piano Works’ in the Albums search box which returned 75 results.  I started listening to each album (you can listen to the full tracks and not only the first 30 seconds once you subscribe) and discarding the ones that I didn’t like while adding the ones that I did like to a new playlist which I simply named ‘Classical – Piano’.

As I progressed in my classical piano discovery process I became increasingly excited finding composers that I had never even heard about (such as Friml, Gianneo and Guridi) and which I most definitely liked.  Eventually I ended up adding over 20 composers from Bartok to Velazquez and over 30 albums (equivalent to about 30 hours of playback) to my classical piano playlist from which I then simply ‘dragged and dropped’ the ones that I wanted to the ‘Palm Handheld’ icon [Note: each 2GB SD card should be able to hold approximately 25 albums]. 

Overall the Yahoo! Music Engine (YME) and the Music Unlimited To Go service work well and offer terrific value for money but there is naturally room for improvement.  Among others I found YME to be somewhat slow refreshing pages, there is somewhat of a learning curve to fully exploit the application, it can take up to 10 minutes to transfer a downloaded album from your PC to your Treo, not all albums are properly categorized with ‘genres’ (particularly for classical) and the classical track names often do not include the name of the composer which makes it difficult to manage your collection. 

Having said all this I have to fall back on the undeniable value that I perceive from having the Yahoo! Music Unlimited To Go service combined with my Treo 650, Pocket Tunes Deluxe and one or more large SD cards – you simply can’t beat an ‘all-you-can-download’ service for about $120 per year.  I very much doubt that I will ever buy another CD or even opt for a ‘pay-per-song’ or ‘pay-per-album’ now that I have such an ‘unlimited’ choice.

Finally, for a ‘total music solution’ in addition to one or more large SD cards I highly recommend the Seidio 2–in-1 retractable headphones as well as an application called Magic Button which converts these headphones into a remote control for Pocket Tunes.

Treonauts always look for great value

Posted by Andrew on March 28, 2006 at 09:47 AM

Treo Software | Music

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by Chris Harris | Mar 28, 2006 10:52:55 AM

Can you tell me what headphones you use to listen to music?

by Andrew | Mar 28, 2006 11:16:16 AM

Chris - these are the ones that I use:

http://shop.treonauts.com/content/accessories/11-29--475.htm (the retractable model).

Cheers, A.

by Greg | Mar 28, 2006 12:06:33 PM

I still haven't purchased an SD card, but I don't know if I need one yet. I use the Pocket Tunes for listening to internet radio, especially NPR and LiveIreland. anyone know of a way to get URLs into the bookmark area quickly?

by R | Mar 28, 2006 12:40:04 PM

Unlimited service is great, but don't you lose all access once you stop your subscription?

by Father Dan | Mar 28, 2006 1:02:31 PM

AllofMp3.com is the best music source on the Internet. After you register and fund it with PayPal use the AllofMp3 Explorer to download entire cds for about $1.50 US - No DRM, choose your format, own it, share it, etc.

by Andrew | Mar 28, 2006 1:30:59 PM

R - yes you do lose access if/when you stop your subscription. This will therefore only appeal to people who plan to download a 'significant' number of songs/albums.

Father Dan - thanks a lot for the tip! I will definitely check AllOfMp3.com - sounds like another terrific value.

Cheers, A.

by Traveller | Mar 28, 2006 2:10:42 PM

it looks like all of mp3 is using the music with out paying the artists. very dirty

by Matt | Mar 28, 2006 5:20:19 PM

What about Yahoo!'s Launchcast? Have you tried that yet on the 700w?

by Keith | Mar 28, 2006 8:55:15 PM

as a recording musician, I would strongly urge you to patronize only those outlets which pay the appropriate commisions back to the artist. Recording an album is not exactly a cheap endeavor, and this type of stealing will leave us with only mass marketed, lowest-common-denominator music.

by proee | Mar 28, 2006 11:43:53 PM

Yes, I subscribe to Yahoo music unlimited for my pc but have not yet been able to take advantage of the mobile applicaition since I am still using a treo 600. I would instantly upgrate to a 650, but am discouraged to hear that the speed of transfer between yahoo unlimited and the treo is painfully slow. 10 minutes per album is unbearable. Does anyone know if the 700W is able to speed this transfer rate up? If so, maybe this means that the next 700P will be faster as well. Any comments with regards to speed here is apprehated. Thanks, joe

by npbeers | Mar 29, 2006 9:00:09 AM

when i attempted to install teh drivers it failed... do i need to have my TX CD in the drive?

by Beyonder | Mar 29, 2006 9:18:40 AM

20 Gigs on SD Cards for music? Why don't you get a iPod... :-) ?

by Chris Harris | Mar 29, 2006 10:39:26 AM

I posted the comment asking what headphones you use. I bought the same ones, but only get mono sound through one ear. Do you think I am missing a setting or have a defective phone? I sent back the first set of headphones because I thought it was them.

by Jason | Mar 29, 2006 6:25:15 PM

I've tried all of the major PlaysforSure retailers and the experience has been far from ideal, it is just nowhere near as easy as using an iPod + iTunes and just leads to frustration.

For example you often need to sync your Treo with the PC you purchased the music on to renew the license, which seems to happen randomly or possibly when you sync your Treo with a different PC. At the moment with Real Rhapsody I have a decent amount of content on the Treo but I don't have a Windows PC available at the moment so I have no way to refresh the licenses on the DRM so the damn music will play.

I have the Seido Noise Isolating headphones as well, which makes for a great music listening experience but PlaysforCrap doesn't. Now if only Apple would license FairPlay for the Treo....

by Alisa | Mar 30, 2006 8:14:19 PM

I have the pocket tunes, the yahoo to go, a 2gb SD card and the treo 650 and I still can't get the yahoo engine to recognize my palm. I followed the directions and when it came to pref's I had "automatic" or "internal memory" to choose from, I chose auto. When I start the ptunes it said I had new hardware I chose automatic and it couldn't find any drivers for my palm. I even tried putting the CD that came with it and it still said thesame thing--HELP!

by Toby | Mar 31, 2006 5:07:06 PM

I went a step further and installed an Aux input to my car. Logjam electronics had the Soundgate adapter I needed for my Honda Accord. It also required an audio out coupler to get the sound working for some reason. But now I'm able to download any music I want from Yahoo Unlimited and listen to it in the Car without headphones or FM tuner.

by Law | Apr 4, 2006 4:43:44 PM

Does this Yahoo service work for the 700w?

by Ron | Apr 11, 2006 9:30:31 AM

I purchased the Yahoo Music but there are two problems with it - at least from the PC side of things:

1. The DFX Enhancer diesn't work with downloaded songs.

2. DFX also doesn't work with some of the radio stations.

Also, a question - how do you get the radio stations to work with P-Tunes? I've experimented with this but can't quite figure it out.


by FloFlo | Apr 21, 2006 11:57:29 PM

So I've done the same with my Treo and Rhapsody To Go but the download speed through the pocket tunes device on the puter to the phone is way tooo slow. Is there anyone out there that has suggestions on accessing my rhapsody or yahoo accounts and stream music on the treo? I'm sure terminal services might work but it's too much overhead to stream I'm sure. Any thoughts are appreciated.

by Billy | Aug 14, 2006 11:25:46 PM

I have 2 questions. 1) Can you use bluetooth headphones to listen to mp3 with either pocket tunes or real player? and 2) My real problem is that I want to use my treo 650 to run with. I have tried to use it with standard headphones, but it is very testy and I think it has to do with the need of the headset connector piece. Does anyone have a suggestion? Thanks.

by Irene | Oct 22, 2006 3:18:27 PM

Does anyone know if there is an FM Tuner available for Treo 650? I saw FM tuners for Pocket PC but couldn't find it for Treo 650. I considered Pocket Tunes but it seams to me that you have to pay your carrier for an unlimited access to the Internet in order for it to work. I'd like to listed to the radio on my Treo, please help.

by Mike | Dec 23, 2006 12:59:57 PM

I am going out of my mind. I've called every number I could find for the devices and accessories I wasted my money on (Treo 680, SanDisk, SanDisk card reader, etc...)and no one has been able to help. After downloading music I always get a message that they couldn't find a license for the file. I can play music that I transferred from Windows Media Player 10 that was originally on CDs. I have Pocket-tunes Deluxe What am I missing here?!

by bobby | Jan 10, 2007 11:42:56 PM

Would this also work on the Windows Mobile Treo's? Specifically I'm interested in the Treo 750, but am unable to find out if it usable with subscription music services. thanks

by john | Jan 14, 2007 5:58:33 AM

I am having the same problem as Mike and can't get yahoo music engine to synch with the 700p and ptunes deluxe...anyone have any ideas. I already reformatted the card and latest downloads of Windows Media Player and Ptunes deluxe..

by Dana | Jan 15, 2007 10:06:32 PM

same problem with Rhapsody and the Treo. I've tried both a 650 and a 700w with the same basic problem - DRM licensing is a joke. I have messed with this for months, went up through Rhapsody 3rd level support, got it to work for a little while and then a few days later, 'unable to find license' or some such error. This is so frustrating, I have had it with Rhapsody.

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