Comments on: Pocket Tunes Deluxe v3.1 Released with DRM Support

NormSoft has announced the availability of Version 3.1 of its audio player Pocket Tunes Deluxe. This new version will support the playback of content from online music providers that use Microsoft's Windows Media 10 digital rights management (DRM) for delivering content, including Rhapsody To Go, Napster To Go and Yahoo! Music Unlimited.
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DRM Nightmares

souterj @ 7/19/2005 12:54:22 PM # Q
As far as the music industry is concerned, this is a good thing. As far as punters are concerned, it is good to see a Palm music player that supports some for of DRM - but I can't help feeling that the effort may have been better rewarded if Normsoft had supported the iTunes DRM standard first.

iTunes has truely set the standard for online music services, that the other music providers are struggling to even begin to compete with. iTunes also offers the home user more choices for playback - supporting network streaming to up to 5 workstations as well as "Airport Express" wireless music devices. It is a shame that there is no legitimate way to play those iTunes downloads (there is a sneaky trick available through Pocket Tunes main competitor - but it does involve surgically stripping the DRM out of your iTunes downloads - so is of dubious legal standing... but it works well, even when my Palm T3 is simultaneously running TomTom Navigator 5!)

So perhaps we should lobby Normsoft to consider investing in Apple's DRM technology, and let's really remind those iPod owners what a (very nice but) one trick pony they own!

Perhaps then the Palm community will be able to comfortably and legally play their iTunes music files wherever they like without having to buy a THAT apple music player.

Hmmmmm.


KultiVator
From the centre of rural Britain
(That doesn't make me a UK Redneck)

RE: DRM Nightmares
Cikub @ 7/19/2005 1:41:26 PM # Q
"So perhaps we should lobby Normsoft to consider investing in Apple's DRM technology, and let's really remind those iPod owners what a (very nice but) one trick pony they own!"

I would suggest that you lobby Steve Jobs first. I'm sure Normsoft and a hundred other developers out there need no convincing.

C

RE: DRM Nightmares
ChiA @ 7/19/2005 5:50:42 PM # Q
if Normsoft had supported the iTunes DRM standard first.

Much as I'd love it to happen, I don't think it'll happen anytime soon. I remember Apple had said it made little, if any profit from iTunes; they use it as a loss leader to sell iPods which make the money for them. Therefore it's unlikely they'll license iTunes access for a competitor's own product, especially something like the LifeDrive.

I acknowledge that the above explanation doesn't quite fit with Motorola's iTunes phone, who knows what's behind that arrangement? I suspect the iTunes phone is an insurance policy for Apple or may be the first sign of further joint devices from the two. I also suspect that neither NormSoft nor Palm can't afford the licence fees Apple may be demanding for iTunes access.

----------
"What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight � it�s the size of the fight in the dog" - Dwight D. Eisenhower

RE: DRM Nightmares
Altema @ 7/19/2005 8:42:59 PM # Q
I agree that Apple makes the larger profits from selling the iPod hardware. I've asked them about using iTunes songs on any non-Apple hardware, and they would not even reply. Don't know what's up with the Moto deal though...

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Lifedrive users...

wilco @ 7/19/2005 2:36:38 PM # Q
Q1: Is the basic version a free upgrade for Lifedrive users? After all, Palm has paid them for it and the included version is less than optimal.

Q2: Does $24.95 upgrade to deluxe version apply to those that have the Free extra CD from Palm? That's highway robbery, isn't one of the extras on that CD the Full Deluxe version of Pockettunes, if so, that's like paying twice...once by Palm, Inc. and now endusers. If it only applies to those Lifedrive owners that didn't get the free Cd, then this second question is moot.

This is still after all a 3.x release, not to say 4.0 where upgrade fees is justifiable...


RE: Lifedrive users...
Adrenochrome @ 7/19/2005 3:43:14 PM # Q
I already owned PT 3.0 Deluxe before I bought my LifeDrive, but I've upgraded to 3.1 without any problem (just remember to turn off the PC Connection in the menu if you're not going to use it). I imagine you'd have the same luck.

So far, this update is doing everything they promised. Music is good, no stuttering, crossfade is working smoothly. Still a delay when clicking to a new song, and still no hardbutton support, but otherwise, it's a pleasure.

RE: Lifedrive users...
SoS @ 7/19/2005 4:13:31 PM # Q
then this is a bugfix version and should be available to lifedrive owners...right?
Well, it isnt because it has 'extra features' and isnt a 'bugfix version'. If this is true, it is an absolute disgrace imho and Palm should do something about it...

I'm sure things were easier before they became more simple

Tungsten T, Lexar 256Mb, Mac G4Ti OSX

RE: Lifedrive users...
OzPalm @ 7/19/2005 7:57:42 PM # Q
Ask NormSoft how much Palm did pay them and you might be surprised. If Palm choose to integrate Pocket Tunes into the Palm device range, they may have been given a lite version by the author as a tid bit only and to encourage end users to upgrade to the full version to access all the features. The Lifedrive specifications only mention MP3 player so that is all you can really expect.

Anything is better than RealPlayer though :)

RE: Lifedrive users...
Puppy @ 7/20/2005 1:12:32 AM # Q
I installed it on my Lifedrive, and it basically overwrote my previous version and unregistered it.

WONDERFUL! I'm guessing I'll have to hard reset the LD and reinstall from scratch to get PocketTunes back. Thanks Normsoft! Great of you to warn us! I'll really pay you money now!

Obviosly I don't care about Windows Media DRM, I just hoped it would fix the static problems.

RE: Lifedrive users...
Puppy @ 7/20/2005 1:55:09 AM # Q
Turns out you can just delete the new version of pTunes and the old one comes back. Still, they should give a warning, and they (and/or Palm) should fix the audio issue.

Amazing that TCPMP is the only program to not only acknowledge the issues, but actually do a work around for them. And its Open Source software by a developer with no vested interest in selling Lifedrives!

RE: Lifedrive users...
jfme @ 7/20/2005 7:47:39 AM # Q
Puppy,
The same happened to me. Since it did not fix the static issue, I have not interest in shelling out $25 for the same thing with the same problems. I first need to see a patched version of the Lifedrive bundle Pocket Tunes before I even consider purchasing the Deluxe version.
RE: Lifedrive users...
wilco @ 7/20/2005 11:08:54 AM # Q
[quote]Ask NormSoft how much Palm did pay them and you might be surprised. [/quote]

If Normsoft didn't consider it financially rewarding, they should have decline Palm's deal in the first place. Since they have, they should provide a good working (even if lite) version, and bug fixes should be free...nobody asking them to provide the DRM or WMA portion for free, but at least fix the static and stuttering issues.

Maybe Palm should consider Aerodrome's Aeroplayer, Electric Pocket's Busker, Dioplayer, or TCPMP next time around if Normsoft will make it hard for Lifedrive customers...after all, it was included for Lifedrive to compete better with Windows Mobile devices, but the lite version leaves much to be desired, and is just marginally better than the previous free Real Player...

RE: Lifedrive users...
mikecane @ 7/20/2005 12:44:35 PM # Q
>>>and still no hardbutton support

I asked about this months and months ago when I bought PTunes for the TE. It's an *OS* issue. Yet Another PalmOS Stupidity.

RE: Lifedrive users...
potter @ 7/20/2005 1:48:03 PM # Q
mikecane wrote @ 7/20/2005 12:44:35 PM #
> >>>and still no hardbutton support
>
> I asked about this months and months ago when I bought PTunes for
> the TE. It's an *OS* issue. Yet Another PalmOS Stupidity.

Sounds more like a developer's excuse.

M.Potter
A developer

RE: Lifedrive users...
Adrenochrome @ 7/20/2005 3:18:15 PM # Q
> Sounds more like a developer's excuse.

While Normsoft has been pretty good about their customer service, I have to agree with you on this. Once I suggested that they integrate some hard-button support for things like opening playlists, etc., and they said they couldn't because it was an OS limitation. Puhlease, half of my programs have the option of redesignating the hard buttons. The workaround can't be all that tough.

"Yet Another PalmOS Stupidity."
joad @ 7/22/2005 5:27:03 PM # Q
To save space in the forums, maybe we need an acronym for what seems to be so prevalent: "Yet Another PalmOS Stupidity" can just be shortened to "YAPS."

As in "YAPS, the Treo 650 'upgrade' has even LESS memory than the 600!!"

or

"YAPS, I can't program my hardware button to the program I want!!"

RE: Lifedrive users...
acmorton @ 8/3/2005 12:05:28 PM # Q
Same here, upgraded to new 3.1.1 release, just like the nice email they sent instructed me to do. The message said it was a "free" upgrade to 3.0 customers (which I am since I own a LifeDrive). After install I then found that my version was no longer registered and non-functioning. Then I saw on their website that it wasn't a free upgrade to LifeDrive owners, which tells me I should have looked a little harder than simply going on what their email said. After going in and deleting ptunes from the application list, my old version is back with the music I had loaded.

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