Archive for the ‘PalmOS’ Category

PalmOS, QuickNews: Take a podcast with you

October 5, 2006

QuickNewsYesterday while I was looking for a good app that could download podcasts to my Palm Zire 71 I managed to find a really good one which fits my needs at about 90%. QuickNews. Not a super huge app, but rather big as for the Palm application. After installing to your device takes about 600kb.

QuickNews was intended to be primarily used as a wireless podcast receiver (on devices such as Palm LifeDrive or Palm TX, which have built-in wireless adapters, or Palm smartphones). I did not have a chance to test it as a wireless podcast receiver due to lack of hardware, but I made it work using HotSync. Yes, it can download podcasts from the Internet while it is performing the HotSync process. Everything would be good, but the speed during uploading to the device is really slow. The conduit works this way:

  1. Downloads the feeds you have set up inside your device in the QuickNews app.
  2. Looks whether there are any podcasts to download among those feeds.
  3. If there is one it downloads the latest one to the host PC.
  4. When it’s done downloading it starts uploading the mp3 file to your handheld and that’s where the speed is not that good.

Zire 71 has USB1.1 interface which should provide at least 1.5MBps (180KB/s) performance, but it does not. Instead I was getting only about 25-50KB/s. It took over 20 minutes to transfer a 40MB podcast from Mike Tech Show. I wish I had a chance to test that on some other hardware like top of the line Palm TX. That kind speed is a pain if you don’t have enough time to transfer a 40MB podcast. But if you’re going to the work in the morning you can set it up to sync while you’re doing your coffee and taking a shower :). That works for me.

You can choose to store the podcasts and feeds to memory card or the device itself. If you’re planing to get a bunch of podcasts every day a good idea is to buy at least 1GB SD card (2GB is highly recommended) unless you have a LifeDrive :). When podcasts are uploaded to your device (or a memory card) you can just tap the appropriate article in the feed and choose the the “Play Podcast” item from the menu. It will start playing the podcast in your favorite player (AeroPlayer, Pocket Tunes, MMPlayer, RealOne Player, TCPMP are supporter) without opening the player window (at least that’s how it works in Pocket Tunes).

My overall impression about this app are pretty good because it has so many features and preferences you can set up. The HotSync speed is slow but that won’t be a problem if you have a wireless enabled PDA or a smartphone.

Check it out on PalmGear here.