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  1. Fofer's Avatar
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       #1  
    I recently learned that you can record voice in the Sound & Alerts application, and assign that to your ringtones (instead of boring MIDI.) Pretty cool. Here's a relevant thread.

    And here are thorough notes on the feature from PalmOne.

    That link also explains how to convert standard MP3 files into these "AMR" files, so you can use your (converted) MP3s as customized ringtones without having to use any 3rd party apps on the Palm.

    Now, as many of you know, you can also assign pictures to incoming callers. (This used to be in their speed dial settings on the Treo 600, it's now in the updated address book itself.) But you can also assign customized ringtones to incoming callers that are in your speed dial list, in the same place as before. And here's where the oversight comes in.

    When you see the pulldown of available ringtones, all of your sounds (including the voice recordings and imported MP3/AMR conversions) are there... but only the MIDI files actually WORK. In other words, you can select a voice recording, but when that particular person calls, the ringer tone you hear is instead what you have set as the default for a "known caller."

    Since I already have pictures of my speed dial friends I thought it would be cool to also record them in their own voice, announcing that they are calling. That would be easier (and more fun!) then remembering what MIDI tone equated with what person. "Hey Fofer, it's me, Donna. Pick up the phone!"

    The fact is, the recordings show up as choices, but don't work. Instead you end up hearing another sound.

    Since apparently PalmOne hasn't updated the speed-dial code to recognize (or properly play?) these AMR files, the "customized ringer" feature falls flat on its face when it could have been a cool slam dunk.

    Last edited by Fofer; 12/25/2004 at 12:55 PM.
  2. Fofer's Avatar
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       #2  
    Is this a bug in speed-dial? Any way for a hack or program to overcome this? Or can it be reported to PalmOne for a fix?
  3. #3  
    BTW, I did some playing around today, and found something else out.

    Let's say you have a contact for whom you want a custom ringtone (let's stick with MIDI for now) AND a custom picture. Well, you can assign a picture to a contact, and a ringtone to a favorite button, but that's it.

    Normally, this isn't a problem - create a favorite, lookup the contact, and do the assignments.

    This falls down in one particular circumstance - when the favorite button doesn't match the contact. For example, I have a contact for my wife under her name, with her cell and our home numbers. It has her picture in it. However, the favorite that I programmed (way back on the Treo 300) has "Home" on it - with a custom ringtone.

    While reading this thread, I realized that I never got the picture on the phone when she called! I *DID* get the ringtone.

    So, to fix it, I had the choice of either changing the button to reflect her contact, or to create a contact to mirror the button. Either will work.

    I just can't believe that Palm can't integrate that better.
    Highly Mobile iPhone User

    Palm Pilot -> Palm Pilot Pro -> HP 620LX -> Palm VII -> Palm VIIx -> Ipaq 3270 -> Treo 300 -> Treo 600 -> Treo 650 -> Treo 700p - iPhone - iPhone 3G
  4. #4  
    Yes, this is a very annoying problem. Since the only documentation talks about the specific ringtones supported, I can't really tell if this is a bug or a limitation of the favorites.
    Main Phone: Treo 270/600/650/700w/700p/750v/Motorola Q/iPhone
    Tried but sold: Motorola Q/Nokia E61/700wx/HTC TyTN/Treo 680
  5. Fofer's Avatar
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       #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeTampa
    So, to fix it, I had the choice of either changing the button to reflect her contact, or to create a contact to mirror the button. Either will work.

    I just can't believe that Palm can't integrate that better.
    That's odd JoeTampa, because I had the opposite experience this morning. I noticed that when I am selecting a speed-dial name, and then hit the space bar, that I am presented with a pull-down menu of that person's OTHER numbers. And this works even if I created their speed-dial entry "manually," that is, not using the lookup feature but rather typing in their name (or nickname) from digit-by-digit from my own memory. And I was kinda impressed by that, because what this means is that the speed-dial app is doing a reverse-lookup of the phone number from my contacts, and then presenting me with a list of other matching numbers for that name. This was even more impressive when I saw that it still worked for the speed-dial entries that had a *82 prefix. (I block my outgoing caller ID as I don't want clients having my cell phone number... and *82 lets me unblock it for select few friends and family.) It was all pretty seamless, actually.

    Pictures have worked for me as well.

    That said, I haven't tested the customized ringers and pictures features extensively, other than realizing that the voice ringers weren't working (as mentioned above.) So I doubt I'll be playing much further until/if Palm ever gets around to fixing that. To me, that's a missed opportunity; we'd be able to get audio alerts as to who exactly is calling without having to take the phone out of our pockets.

    I get the sense that the Speed Dial app was programmed at a different time from a different team from the Contacts app. They communicate with each other, sorta, but not completely, and certain functions aren't working the way they should. Which is a disappointment for a top-tier "smartphone."

    Is Palm listening? Clearly this feature wasn't tested AT ALL prior to release.
  6. #6  
    I'm pretty sure that when a company utilizes mp3 encoding, they must pay a fee to the group that owns the patent. If this is the case, Real would pay the fee for their Palm OS player to use the technology, not Palm.

    So in essence, this would be one less thing Palm would have to pay licensing fees for.

    BTW, if I'm mistaken, someone feel free to put me in my place
  7. Fofer's Avatar
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       #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by bcaslis
    Yes, this is a very annoying problem. Since the only documentation talks about the specific ringtones supported, I can't really tell if this is a bug or a limitation of the favorites.
    It's a bug. Has to be. Check this (surprisingly thorough!) info page:

    http://kb.palmone.com/SRVS/CGI-BIN/WEBCGI.EXE?New,Kb=PalmSupportKB,ts=Palm_External2001,case=obj(19349)

    Add AMR ringtones

    The Treo 650 smartphone uses two formats for ringtones: AMR and MIDI. This section talks about AMR, which is best suited for voice clips rather than music.

    AMR ringtones are recorded using your Treo 650 smartphone's built-in voice recorder. It's an ideal way to add alerts like "Hey, Larry's Calling!" or "You have an appointment" to your repertoire.

    Unless "Hey, Larry's Calling!" would make sense as a ringtone for all known callers, then I have to imagine they intended for this feature to work as we're wanting.

    These AMR recordings do show up in the available list when selecting a customized ring tone. They just don't WORK in practice.



    /crossing fingers for a BUG FIX
  8. Fofer's Avatar
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       #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by Muzz27
    I'm pretty sure that when a company utilizes mp3 encoding, they must pay a fee to the group that owns the patent. If this is the case, Real would pay the fee for their Palm OS player to use the technology, not Palm.

    So in essence, this would be one less thing Palm would have to pay licensing fees for.

    BTW, if I'm mistaken, someone feel free to put me in my place
    These aren't MP3 files we're talking about; they are AMR files, created directly on the Treo itself. See the tech info note I linked to above, PalmOne even discusses a free MP3->AMR conversion app we could use.
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by Fofer
    These aren't MP3 files we're talking about; they are AMR files, created directly on the Treo itself. See the tech info note I linked to above, PalmOne even discusses a free MP3->AMR conversion app we could use.
    I guess I was referring to people saying that it would have been easier for P1 to use mp3s for ringers.
  10. Fofer's Avatar
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       #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by Muzz27
    I guess I was referring to people saying that it would have been easier for P1 to use mp3s for ringers.
    Perhaps easier, but for as long as AMR voice recordings don't work then it's pretty much a moot point. Sure, it's nice to customize the "known caller" ring tone and all, but I want to customize the ringers of individual callers!

    The lack of direct support MP3s as ringers is a separate issue and irrelevant to this thread. Specifically we are talking about a BUG in the customized ring tones, and how they don't work the way it's been advertised at the Palm road show and how it's characterized in the tech note cited above.
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by Fofer
    Perhaps easier, but for as long as AMR voice recordings don't work then it's pretty much a moot point. Sure, it's nice to customize the "known caller" ring tone and all, but I want to customize the ringers of individual callers!

    The lack of direct support MP3s as ringers is a separate issue and irrelevant to this thread. Specifically we are talking about a BUG in the customized ring tones, and how they don't work the way it's been advertised at the Palm road show and how it's characterized in the tech note cited above.
    Geeze, you could have just said I was off topic... _
  12. Fofer's Avatar
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       #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by Muzz27
    Geeze, you could have just said I was off topic... _
    Sorry if I came off as harsh, that wasn't my intention. I just wanted to be clear that this is a bug/omission in what is currently being promised to purchasers of the Treo 650, and not a matter of wishing for something that was never promised in the first place. Because even if MP3 support was built in, we still wouldn't be able to assign them to specific callers, due to this bug.
  13. #13  
    This is CLEARLY a bug in the Treo 650 -- it's right there on PalmOne's website!! This is so very annoying. Does ANYBODY know how to get ANY feedback to PalmOne? They're such a gigantic, unresponsive, pathetic, un-customer-oriented company, I'm surprised that they're even around anymore. I hate PalmOne. How can we get ANY sort of a bug report to them? To somebody that would listen?
  14. Fofer's Avatar
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       #14  
    Seeing that this is a BUG and I don't know how to even report it to PalmOne (or if they are keen to fix it) would "Call Filter for Treo 600" work?

    http://www.velocityware.com/callfilter/cfinfo.htm

    I hear the developer is updating the app for 100% compatibility with the 650. I'm looking forward to checking it out. Sort of a bummer that I'd have to pay yet another $30 for a capability that I was told would come WITH the Treo 650 to begin with.
  15. Fofer's Avatar
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       #15  
    PalmOne is sneaky. Rather than FIXING the problem here, they've just changed the example text of what a customized ringtone can do.

    Note in my link above, the text I quoted was

    Add AMR ringtones

    The Treo 650 smartphone uses two formats for ringtones: AMR and MIDI. This section talks about AMR, which is best suited for voice clips rather than music.

    AMR ringtones are recorded using your Treo 650 smartphone's built-in voice recorder. It's an ideal way to add alerts like "Hey, Larry's Calling!" ...
    Well now, going back to the same page, the text now reads:

    Voice recorder ringtones are recorded using your Treo 650 smartphone's built-in voice recorder. It's an ideal way to add alerts like "Larry, pick up the phone!"
    http://kb.palmone.com/SRVS/CGI-BIN/WEBCGI.EXE?New,Kb=PalmSupportKB,ts=Palm_External2001,case=obj(19349)



    Note the subtle difference? In the first text, it implies we'd be able to assign customized recordings for each speed dial. So for example, their own name can be announced when they call.

    In the second (replacement) text sample, it's just telling "Larry" to pick up the phone.


    Looks like a lame cover-up to me. I bought this phone excited about that feature (I wanted to record friend's voices, take their picture, all on the phone, and assign those to their speed dial buttons to identify when they were calling. This doesn't work on the Treo 650. And rather than FIX it, they've just gone in and changed the sample text.)
  16. Fofer's Avatar
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       #16  
    Update: rather than fixing this bug, PalmOne has also added this caveat to the same page:

    http://kb.palmone.com/SRVS/CGI-BIN/WEBCGI.EXE?New,Kb=PalmSupportKB,ts=Palm_External2001,case=obj(19349)

    Voice recorder ringtones do not work as Caller ID Ringtones
    Please note, you cannot assign voice recorder ringtones to Favorites as Caller ID Ringtones. If you do assign a voice recorder ringtone, you will hear the Default ringtone whenever that person calls you.
    They also changed the suggested recording from "Hey, Larry's Calling!" to "Larry, pick up the phone!"

    That's not what it said when I bought the phone.

    And the speed dial UI still allows these recordings to be chosen, they just DON'T WORK when they're supposed to.

    So PalmOne just changes the technote to imply it's not possible? How about FIXING it instead, PalmOne?

    Call me lame for grousing over a silly feature, but folks with bad eyesight or even just gearheads would like to know who's calling without having to take the phone out of their pockets. Customized voices for each speed dial would have been cool and was promised to us. Now all we get is a shoddy coverup.
  17. #17  
    I think that the Ringo application does all of this.
  18. Fofer's Avatar
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       #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by dsrlb
    I think that the Ringo application does all of this.

    Okay, for the sake of argument, I just installed the trial of Ringo Pro, and trying to add a contact to the "Friends" list I clicked on "lookup" - and the phone reset. Not a great first impression.

    Then I get past that. I go to "Sound & Alerts," record a new test sound. Go back to Ringo, create a new "Friend" (my home landline) and then assign this new test tone to that number. I call my Treo from my landline... and guess what? Another reset.

    Mind you, I've wrestled with this Treo for months now and it's been stable for many, many weeks. I've streamlined all the extras, got rid of anything non-essential, turned off many bells and whistles (IR receive, Bluetooth, etc.) and now it's finally been usable and stable. I'm not about to introduce Ringo, if it has even an inkling of causing my Treo to reset when an incoming call arrives!

    Now, it's possible this incompatibility is just due to my (otherwise successful) update to 1.08 firmware. Maybe Ringo Pro will be updated. Until then, it's not a suitable replacement for me, and the trial app has been deleted from my Treo.

    And if it did work, even reasonably well (as I'm sure some folks will pipe in and say?) So I'm expected to pay another $30, for a 3rd party app that's been known to cause even more instability to an already-somewhat-shaky device, to bring me functionality that was promised as a built-in feature.

    Is PalmOne gonna reimburse me for Ringo? (Yeah, right, don't bother answering that.)

    Ugh.

    I just wish Palm would fix the built in software to work the way they SAID it would work when I bought the Treo.
    Last edited by Fofer; 03/24/2005 at 10:46 AM.
  19. #19  
    This is one of the things that I was hoping would be silently fixed in the 1.08 Sprint update. Unfortunately, it looks as though they've decided to about face and just say it isn't supported. Rediculous...
  20. #20  
    Glad to see I am not the only one having this problem. I was very unhappy when I made my own AMR ringtone file and could not assign it to a speed-dial button. Even worse, it seems like these ringtone applications are not that great.

    I would not mind paying $20 for a ringtone app if it was bug free. Any reccomendations?
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