PocketTunes Review

Review: PocketTunes

Ratings: 5

By: Christopher Meinck

Looking to extend the features of your Treo? PocketTunes for Palm OS by
NormSoft is a robust audio application for the Treo. It turns your Treo
into a portable MP3 player and streaming audio device. There is a basic
version and deluxe version available.

PocketTunes MP3 Player for Treo

iTreo not iPod

With the addition of PocketTunes, you'll be enjoying MP3's on your Treo
in no time. Simply add files to your SD card and locate them in
PocketTunes. You can listen to music through the Treo's built-in
speaker or though stereo headphones specifically made for the Treo.
PocketTunes allows you to create playlists (Gym, Commuting, etc) and a
convenient shuffle feature. Moving MP3's via a USB port can be time
consuming and the lack of an iTunes type sync makes the iPod the clear
choice when looking for strictly an MP3 player. However, that's not why
people buy Treo's. They purchase Treo's so they can carry one device
and do more with that device. PocketTunes and the Treo are just another
shining example of the many functions of the Treo.

Personlize With Skins

One of the fun features of PocketTunes are the available skins. For
years, desktop MP3 players have had skins to customize the look and
feel of your audio player. PocketTunes is no different. You can find
freeware skins or purchase skins . There is even a very well designed
iTunes skin. Simply select Tools > Choose Skin and select from the
variety of skins installed on your Treo. For my money, the included
Hi-Fi skin was perfect. Not only does it look great, but the buttons
are easy to see and operate. You can either use the touch screen or the
5 way directional. PocketTunes fully supports the 5 way Treo
navigation. Up and down handles your volume while left and right
shuffles songs. The center button pauses and plays. Very simple and
nicely integrated.

Sounds Good

There is a built-in equalizer in PocketTunes that allows for 8 presets.
PocketTunes does not come with any presets. This would have been nice
to provide various settings (Acoustic, Spoken Word, etc). You can
rename the presets, so a little trial and error will get you the EQ
settings you need. If you don't feel comfortable with EQ settings, you
can check out iTunes settings for various music genres and copy the
settings on PocketTunes. This might be an easy way to get good settings
with minimum effort.

Streaming Audio

This is simply one of the features that wowed me. It's available only
in the deluxe version and makes the deluxe version the way to go.
PocketTunes has support for Shoutcast internet radio. So, you can
choose from a variety of music types and stream audio right to your
Treo! The easiest way to do this is to access TreoMobile via your
Treo's web browser and select Music: Shoutcast Links. Currently, we've
set up 8 categories including 80's music, Alternative, Pop, Country,
Metal, Jazz, Rap and my favorite Sports Talk. Each category has a links
to Treo friendly streaming music (under 64kbps). Select a link and
Blazer will ask you download. Hit Yes and you will be prompted to Open.
This will launch PocketTunes and will begin the audio stream. Switching
to the PocketTunes application will continue the stream and provide you
with details on the broadcast. As of this writing, I'm listening to
Firehouse "Don't Treat Me Bad" on Hair Band Radio. If you have
suggestions for new streams, please send them to us with your
PocketTunes Shoutcast request. We'll do our best to include these in
TreoMobile.com. Update: As pointed by a reader, you will not be able to receive calls while streaming since this is akin to using the data connection.

Support For Others

There are countless applications that require the use of MP3 player and
have chosen to support PocketTunes. If you own one of these
applications , than PocketTunes will be a worthy additon. For example,
the excellent ringtone manager CallFilter (see Everything Treo review)
requires PocketTunes to play MP3 ringtones.

Treo 650

While the Treo 650 comes with RealPlayer, we have not had the
opportunity to evaluate this application. It does not offer the
streaming capabilities of PocketTunes, so if this feature is important
then PocketTunes is your answer.


The Treo 600 does not come standard with an MP3 application. With
robust MP3 capability, integration with countless 3rd party
applications, streaming audio using Shoutcast and the ability to skin
your player, Everything Treo recommends PocketTunes as an essential
application for Treo owners. The basic version retails for $14.95 and
the deluxe version runs $27.95. Click here for more information. NOTE:
The trial version does not allow for streaming audio. The only way to
get streaming audio is to puchase the deluxe version. Treo 650 owners
looking for streaming audio should consider PocketTunes as an addition
to their RealPlayer.

Pocket Tunes Deluxe retails for $34.95. Pocket Tunes Basic retails for $14.95.

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