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Friday, June 3, 2011

How to install Swype on [AT&T] Android phones with forbidden side-loads

 

I’ve read How to easily install third-party apps, even if your carrier prohibits it – Android and Me article and decided to try installing Swype keyboard on LG Phoenix. A link to Android Injector on that article is broken. A correct link is provided on XDA page.

Swype is a more difficult case than other apps: to install Swype you need to download and install Swype Installer app and then run it to install Swype itself. You can use Android Injector to install Swype Installer, but then your phone with forbidden side-loads will not allow Swype Installer to install Swype.
I found a work-around instruction for Sideload Wonder Machine and adjusted it for using Android Injector and adb tool (adb is installed as a part of Android SDK).
Here's how to do it:
1) Sign in for Swype Beta and download Swype Installer once they respond to your request.
2) On your phone enable USB Debugging (Settings -> Applications -> Development -> USB Debugging.
3) Connect your phone to your computer's USB. Do not turn ON USB sharing.
4) Launch Android Injector, find and select Swype Installer, install it to your phone.
5) Close Android Injector, you don't need it anymore.
6) On your phone launch Swype Installer. After selecting a Swype variant you need, you will get a message telling that loading non-market applications is disabled. Don't click anything, just leave your phone connected to a PC for a moment.
7) On your PC open a command window and navigate to a folder where adb.exe is located (.... android-sdk-windows/platform-tools/ folder)
8) Run the following command:
adb pull /data/data/com.swype.android.installer/files/mypackage.apk ./mypackage.apk
9) Run the following command:
adb install mypackage.apk
10) On your phone click on "Cancel" button on the warning. Proceed normally with installing Swype.
11) Disconnect your phone, close command window on your PC. You are done.

Monday, August 30, 2010

To set defaults to either GV or direct calls based on contact's group?

I'd like to propose adding Google Voice Android app settings to perform by default either Google Voice or direct phone call based on a contacts groups.

Currently, Google Voice Android app allows to wire all calls through Google Voice, to wire only international calls through Google Voice or to ask user on each call. I believe that there is a significant portion of mobile (Android) Google Voice users for whom this is not flexible enough.

Wireless providers commonly have a "family" type accounts which allow for placing calls between family members without spending wireless plan minutes. Obviously, by using Google Voice numbers to place calls between family members one will exclude this benefit: wireless provider won't see these calls as free inside-family ones.

I think that it would be logical to allow to set defaults for Google Voice versus direct calls on a mobile app per groups of contacts. So, I for example would set my Family Group to use direct calls by default and all other groups to use GV calls.

What do you think? Is it reasonable and feasible?

Discuss it on Google Buzz
See this proposal on Google Mobile Help Forum

An Update (9/1/2010):

Well, I got an answer on Google Help forum http://goo.gl/jerJ:
kworth082: _While I agree this should be built into Google Voice, there is a solution out there for this in the mean time. Download "Voice Choice" from the Android market. It allows you to save which numbers should be called without Google Voice. Just set the preference "Use Google Voice for all calls". Then when you call a number saved in Voice Choice it will abort Google Voice._
I've just bough this app and it works perfectly market://search?q=pname:com.voiceplus

 VoiceChoice

An Update (9/3/2010):

terrylg has posted an answer to the question "To set defaults to either Google Voice or direct calls based on contact's Google Group?":

Hmmm ... this is only part of it.

The more valuable compliment to this is ... when using Google Voice app for Android, it defacto dials out using (random) Google Voice numbers.

The joy would come from having the Android GV App do a call back, like the desktop app does. For the desktop app, it calls you using your GV number every time, allowing me to set that number as a myFav (TMobile version of Family) and NOT use any minutes for ANY call.

Since the Android App automatically uses some other number, it will use my minutes for GV calls from the Android App.

I've been going into the browser on the phone to GV via html, entering the number, getting the call back, and using ZERO minutes. Really nice.

One problem is that browser version, while it finds my contacts, can't successfully search (bug).

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Notion Ink Adam: Inception

    A new post by Notion Ink's Rohan Shravan about Notion Ink Adam Tablet possible release date and price. expected FCC certifications in the second week of November.
    LCD and PQ Variants, both will be available in Wi-fi only and 3G modes. A probable range of $399 to $498 for these four variants.
    Application designers can get hold of devices and SDK much early and are welcome to apply at relations@notionink.com.

Vladimir Kelman
http://www.google.com/profiles/vkelman

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Notion Ink <no-reply@wordpress.com>
Date: Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 1:39 PM
Subject: [New post] Inception!
To: vkelman

Inception!

Rohan Shravan | August 12, 2010 at 23:08 | URL: http://wp.me/pvwUE-3m

I don’t think it makes any sense now to keep all the information intact specially since it is out from un-official sources.

Hello everyone!

2 Basic questions which everyone has been asking for, is the price and the launch dates.

Now there are variables which I cannot predict, cos they are variables. Once we reveal this information officially there will be a lot more pressure on us, but you all have been immensely patient and I believe being little more transparent will only help us. After all we believe in an open system.

I have always loved interacting with you, because I believe it is the first time in history when a product is made by not a firm but by masses. We want to convert this into a revolution, where we will interact in a much better way to get the product out which we really want. I have read each and every comment of yours and a lot has gone in improving the product and our mind-set (for example upgrading from A GPS to GPS, etc). I treat Adam like my son, and the effort will go on unless we have him out in this beautiful world. All the fathers will understand how they will feel if someone hurt their kids! Probably that's what we felt some time ago.

The product will shoot for FCC certifications in the second week of November. And then it depends on them. Add few more logistics issues to that and it can swing either way. (Don't get surprised it we hit for certification in October, cos there is some tight buffer, though that will be extremely good news).

About the launch dates in countries: The interest in a certain country is directly proportional to the number of “Application Developer Collaboration Requests” we get from that country. And we can only respect them by launching in their countries earlier. So if you want it to his sooner, come join us! World is not small when it comes to shipping, but we will try to reach wherever you are, and online shopping is the best option.

Coming back on pricing, we want is cheap as well. I don't think profit is in hardware. It lies in the ecosystem. And when the best hardware can be clubbed with a massive eco-system, you are talking about a revolution. There are unusual barriers in hardware which will not allow anyone to reduce prices below a certain level. Reason I think is, as soon as a component hits large-scale manufacturing to become cheaper, next generation, better and faster component is available at the same. You probably have noticed this with Apple a lot.

How do we break this? Well we have ideas. But probably I will explain that with Adam 2.

Currently we will ship LCD and PQ Variants. Both available in Wi-fi only and 3G modes. I believe you will get a range of around $399 to $498 for these four. (Please remember I haven’t taken the fluctuations, so be little sceptical). We are also working on reducing it further down (let’s leave the good news for the future).

I am really happy with our UI designers. Specially Andre. He is really brilliant and it took a while before I could find him. Probably Jeff Raskin for us (if we leave a mark in history). Finding a right design lead is as good as finding your soul mate. When it comes to design, I am very adamant (but with work load I have learnt to compromise a little), and even after his decade of experience he is fresh and thinks out of the box.

Andre and I will soon start the UI Blog for you all. You can see and play with the UI there and start understanding how Adam will work. We will convert it into an initiative to design better and better interfaces with you all as the feedback professors.

Application designers can get hold of devices and SDK much early and if you are one of them, join us at relations@notionink.com. We have some goodies for you!

I know I have already disappointed a lot of you guys by saying it's going to be there not before November, and probably this was also the reason I was not speaking up. But then, neither can I hold on to you forever, neither can I give you a buggy device! Let’s just hang on for little more, and you all will proudly be able to say, you help design it! I need your support.

With Warm and True feelings!

Regards

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Is Google App Inventor evil?

Here comes Google App Inventor. Now anyone Can Create an Android App without coding.

Larry Dignan from ZDNEt said, “AndroidLib estimates that the Android marketplace will soon have more than 100,000 mobile apps. Apple’s App Store has more than 225,000.
And now you throw in App Inventor and it’s clear Google is trying to do to Android what it did for YouTube. You contribute and the ecosystem grows—exponentially. In addition, App Inventor is a nice way to show off what Android can do.”

On ZDNet, there are a lot of comments from programmers who stress the fact that app development cannot be easy and that "Do it without writing a code" approach could lead to disaster similar to VB applications - bad, lacking of any structure, tightly coupled.

@mejohnsn said,
"Rather, he hit the nail on the head: app development IS hard, developing good apps is even harder. All these tools pretending to make it easy have the same value as those books/courses promising to teach a foreign language without memorization and without effort: none."

As an experienced .NET developer I would mostly agree on what you said. No RAD environments can replace real programming experience and understanding of design principles.
At the same time, I believe that App Inventor could become an excellent teaching tool. Does it allow to see generated source code? I hope so. There are a lot of smart kids in schools, there are many programmers totally unfamiliar with Android environment. App Inventor could be a first step for such people.
And, back to VB analogy. VB was a crap language by itself from the very beginning. It promoted bad programming practices - every real developer understand what I'm talking about.
A bad language like VB + RAD tools = Disaster.
A good structured modern environment and Java language + RAD tools might lead to great success.

Friday, June 25, 2010

SMobile Systems unfairly tries to topple competitors

In a previous post I was talking about bad journalism: several prominent online portals (Cnet, ZDNet, Information Week, PC World, etc.) published sensational reports about disastrous state of Android security. No one thought that a real journalist must check third-party information they received before broadcasting it.

In a discussion, a PC World user securitydude6868 correctly insisted that I have to present facts before accusing SMobile Security in wrong-doing. He was right and I performed a little research.

*   *    *    *

@securitydude6868,

"If a third-party maliciously loaded these applications onto a person's device, the device owner would have no idea they were installed and by running an Anti-Spyware application, they would be able to detect if a malicious application was loaded without their knowledge."

Point is, that these applications need to be installed on user's machine. They do not hiddenly install themselves, as usual Web malware does. Those applications clearly stayed in their descriptions what they are doing. There is nothing hidden and evil. Oh yes, if you temporarily steal my Android phone, install "malware" applications on it and give me phone back requiring my promise to never look at the installed applications, then those apps could do a harm.
It's laughable, it has nothing to do with malware.

"I don't see how a completely different report which clearly states there are Spyware applications available outside of the Android Market could be used as a means to judge the report analyzing the Android Market itself. I also don't see any information you provided from this older report that is in dispute...
In recap, I fail to see a single item in the report that you dispute, or any evidence that the company to which you show so much disdain is falsely spreading information."

Contrary to what you think about me, I'm not spending all the time browsing Internet in an attempt to find anti-android articles. Sometimes, I'm working too.
However, you were right: to make strong accusations one needs to have facts. So, I spent a couple hours yesterday, reading all the SMobile Systems reports, checking applications they denounced as malware and contacting authors of those applications. Some of them already answered on my questions.
As we both saw, among common words in SMobile reports there were a few direct examples.

From newest report http://goo.gl/Wxv2

1. Several applications developed by Carrot App http://www.carrotapp.com/
Company openly presents purpose/functionality of its applications. Full contact info is present. I asked them a question and got a definitive response http://goo.gl/OLAD. Note, that CarrotApp and SMobile Systems are direct competitors.

From an older report http://goo.gl/MM7m
2. MobileSpy by Retina-X Studios http://www.spy-mobile-phone.com/
Clear description: "Mobile Spy is the next generation of smartphone spy software. Do you suspect that your child or employee is abusing their SMS privileges? If yes, then this software is ideal for you."
Full contact info is present.
Note, that Retina-X Studios and SMobile Systems are direct competitors. I'm waiting for a response from Retina-X Studios.

3. MobiStealth http://www.mobistealth.com
Company openly presents purpose/functionality of its applications.  Note, that MobiStealth and SMobile Systems are direct competitors. Full contact info is present. I asked MobiStealth a question and got a descriptive answer:
"Dear Customer,
Thank You for contacting MobiStealth Info. MobiStealth is not a malware as a malware gets installed automatically onto the target phone however to install MobiStealth physical access to the target phone is made compulsory. Try it yourself.
Our main customers include security agencies and even parents. As SMobile needs to stay in the market  they will not let go any chance of defaming their competitors, in simple words it is called negative marketing.
We appreciate your interest and hope to listen from you in future as well.

Regards,
Info Team"

4. DROID09. A real spyware, "phishing application that targeted banks." Found (?) and removed by Google. Obviously, Google didn't share this sensitive information with SMobile and I'm happy about that. Note, however, that DROID09 didn't try to hide the fact it was working with banks. You have to be a little stupid to provide your banking credentials to an unknown company. If you need online banking, read reviews and download Mint http://www.mint.com/.

Older SMobile report http://goo.gl/js1e

5. "Girlfriend Text Message Viewer was one of the first applications discovered by the SMobile Global Threat Center Team." I'm not a security firm, but I "discovered" that app long time ago. As I said, while purpose of this app is kind of crazy, categorizing such explicitly named app as a malware is laughable. One can take a knife and stab his girlfriend. Does it mean a knife needs to be arrested?

6. THEFT AWARE, http://www.theftaware.com/. Great site, tech support, user forum, contact information... It's an app from Android Market; its purpose is to prevent cell phone theft. "The austrian television (ORF) made a report about Theft Aware in its magazine KONKRET." I notified them, but haven't received an answer yet.

A conclusion: you prompt me to do a little research, thank you. As a result, it became absolutely clear, that not only there were numerous facts of bad journalism, but an original source - SMobile Systems reports - were intentionally misleading, full of false statements wrapped into common and correct words. In doing so, SMobile Systems not only tries to compete unfairly and toppled down Android developers, but it also causes harm to Android itself, eventually causing harm to itself. Frankly, I didn't expect its being so bad.
My only hope is that developers would be aware on SMobile Systems practices and won't have any deals with this company.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Android ruins permissions? Cnet spreads a BS and marketing ploy by SMobile…

Update:
Cnet and ZDNet  were spreading a BS and marketing ploy from a company which is trying to sell its own "security" application. In an original article, Cnet repeated a misleading marketing information from a anti-spyware firm called SMobile, which claimed that 20% of Android apps are potentially spying on users, share private data, even places some invisible for a phone owner calls and SMS...

What is interesting, Cnet author realized their mistake and edited article (see comments below)! I really applaud it!

"Android requires application developers to declare the permissions their application will need in order to interact with the system and its data" and SMobile is sucking an information which is freely available and required for each app and trying to sell it to us! There is an obvious conflict of interests. Every technically-savvy Internet user knows that 90% of so called “free antivirus and anti-spam” software is bogus, trying to sell us unnecessary things and displaying false alarms.

As it was mentioned in one comment, iPhone apps do the same thing as Android apps, because it's just required by their functionality, but don't advertise as clearly and loud as Android apps what they can do.

As we know, Android OS automatically prohibits any app from accessing a resource in case this access wasn’t declared. Does iPhone OS do this? It sounds like a better control than a human looking on each app source code. With 200,000 apps in iPhone Store I highly doubt that every app was really inspected. I think I’ve heard about some apps being pulled from App Store *afterwards*…
Also, users voting for an app by downloading it IS a pretty strict control. There was an information about Wikipedia being almost as accurate as Britannica...

Now, let’s think about what could and should be done.

As ztts said in a Cnet comment,
”This is one of the most remarkably misinformed articles I've read in a long time. Of course some apps have access to sensitive information. If an app is meant to help organize contacts, for example, of course it has access to your contacts. This is true on any platform, and is obvious and unavoidable. The nice thing about he Android market is that, whenever you download an new app, it informs you of exactly what sensitive information it has access to, so one can make an informed decision. The fact that an app has access to information does not mean that it misuses it, as this article implies that 20% of all apps do. Truly sensationalist reporting.”

inetperu says in Cnet comment,
"Palm is taking the lead on this one I think. Personal data is locked down pretty tight - too tight actually since some apps are not even possible with the current restrictions. The ideal system would be for a permission based system like Palm WebOS uses for apps that require GPS data. When you install the app it notifies you that the app needs access to the GPS data and you can accept or deny. Something similar could be used to allow an app limited access to your address book, phone functions, SMS, etc. The user GRANTS permission to the app after being warned of possible abuse AND if access to those sensitive areas were logged automatically so that the user could review it every so often it would keep bad developers in check. Imagine an app that could scrape your entire address book, phone records, GPS history, etc. - a spammer/stalker/identity theirs dream app."

Limited access sounds like a useful idea, but... But if an app is denied a permission it was asking for *during its installation*, it then cannot perform normally, right? And asking for a permission *every time it is needed* is not a solution either, because it would create a nightmare user experience (I remember Zone Alarm doing that, as a result I just uninstalled Zone Alarm. Most users would do the same.)
Obviously, Android's way of declaring necessary permissions during installation is far from being an ultimate solution either, because most of the users will install apps anyway - if they need them.

WebOS performs a required and automatic logging of an access to sensitive areas, right? That's sounds like a really good idea. Such system logs can then be analyzed by [system] security software.
I'm pretty sure Windows has this mechanism as well. Isn't there a similar API in Android OS? I don't believe Google didn't pay attention to this area.

Friday, June 4, 2010

About “The Race to the Perfect Phone” article

 

The Race to the Perfect Phone

This seems to be a rare unbiased review. Since I don't have other experience except Android, here's my 2 cents:

1. Lastly, I'm seeing more and more reviewers saying that they actually like stock Android 2.1+ *more* than Sense UI. Stock Android is simple and logical.

2. I don't understand what is "unprofessional Linux-distro feel" of fonts (BTW, Google recently released Open Source Web Fonts), I don't understand words about lack of color coordination.

3. About apps organization: there is no and cannot be a single perfect hierarchical organization of applications, because one can organize them using *different* criteria. (It's because of this reason, in GMail Google organizes email messages using *labels*, rather than folders. Each message can hold any number of labels. Labels and search - that's the key. I would suggest that allowing to dynamically group apps on a smartphone using labels and to search for apps would improve Android. Is WebOS "cards" something like a materialization of labels, so that a single app could be contained in several cards?
For now, though, having several home screens and single-level folders is not too bad (certainly better than iPhone's mess - displaying All applications, though iPhone 4.0 introduces folders too.)

4. "The problem is that for every HTC, there's a Sony-Ericsson or LG -- manufacturers that just haven't figured out why it's important to take this extra step in the software experience. This is what could kill Android: it places far too much faith in the manufacturers of the phone hardware. In the past, manufacturers haven't had to worry as much about providing their own high-quality software on phones."
I agree with what you said above, with exception of, in my opinion, problem is mostly not in inability of manufacturers to supply decent Android *software*, but rather in using sub-standard  *hardware*. I think Google should include a [stricter] minimum set of requirements on hardware for Android. For this moment such a minimum should be something like what we have on original Verizon Droid, or maybe even on Nexus One. Fast processor, 800x480, a good capacitive screen, etc.

5. Froyo (Android 2.2) *IS* going to be available on most Android phones; question is - how fast it will be. BTW, yesterday I installed Cyanogen 5 custom ROM on my old ADP1 (HTC Dream - the very first Android phone). Cyanogen 5 is an improved custom variant of Android 2.1!

6. Two major drawbacks for Android <= 2.1 is its lack of a decent copy/paste mechanism and a dismal battery life (latter is true for all current smartphones.)

 

Vladimir Kelman
http://goo.gl/M6kc - Non-Phone Android Devices Wave.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Nexus One is rock solid

The following was my long comment to Droid vs. iPhone 3GS: An Update article on Technologizer site.

Interesting! I never had Verizon Droid, but I used my beloved ADP1 (HTC Dream, G1) + Cyanogen mod on AT&T EDGE for one and half year and finally switched to Nexus One on AT&T 3G.
Yes, ADP1 was slow and clearly lacked memory and CPU power, but I still loved it and it became better and better with new apps and Cyanogen updates. It was necessary to kill some apps periodically and to reboot phone periodically, when it became to freeze or to behave irrationally.

Since I bought Nexus One I never had a real need in killing apps. It almost never becomes slow or strange due to too many apps running. In rare occasions, I prefer to reboot the phone, as Steven suggested above. Overall, everything is really stable and solid. Because of that, I didn't want to experiment with installing Cyanogen for Nexus One so far.
Yes, there are few quirks in this phone too (show me the electronic device which doesn't have bugs, please.) For example, after taking Nexus One out of a dock it sometimes starts to respond strange. But turning screen off with a top button and then back on and unlocking the screen fixes it immediately. So, it's quite minor bug, which hopefully they fix soon.

Otherwise - rock solid. I never had iPhone, so I cannot compare, but to me, Android's interface of Nexus One is absolutely sleek and intuitive.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Android’s Copy/Past issues

It looks like there is no way on Android to select and copy text from existing email in order to paste it to some other place. It's strange. There is so obvious need for that, why isn't it implemented after almost two years o the first available Android phone?
And that's not only email. I should be able to open a Web page in browser and to select some arbitrary area of a text on a web page and copy it to a memory buffer (clipboard).

http://tinyurl.com/ydn7p99

iPad hands-on, Notion Ink Adam, and reading electronic books

I've just had a chance to touch my boss' iPad.

First of all: it's really fast. I'm pretty sure it's faster than my Nexus One phone. It's either faster CPU, or maybe a faster graphic card. Its touch-screen is perfect in terms of responsiveness. It's nothing like a resistive screen of Archos 5 Android table which I happily sold on Ebay (I'm not even talking about awful resistive screen of Camangi WebStation.)

As a photographer I have above-normal requirements for visual quality of screen. I cannot work on bad PC screens. I'm very sensitive to pixelation of a screen, I hate screens on which individual dots are clearly visible. This makes many LCD screens unusable for photo editing. This makes Camangi WebStation's screen almost unusable. Another critical thing is a sharpness of black-white boundaries (i.e. text sharpness). I think that otherwise beautiful screen of Nexus One phone suffers from a bit blurry text. See Secrets of the Nexus One's screen: science, color, and hacks and my blog.

In terms of screen colors iPad's screen is very good. I probably didn't play with it long enough, but the fact it's screen is much bigger than Nexus One, makes it way more comfortable for browsing sites, looking at pictures, etc. (I like little "Select all", ... pop-ups which are displayed when you touch and hold input boxes.)
What I noticed, however, is a significant pixelation. It's not as bad as on 7" Camangi WebStation, but noticeable worse than on (smaller) Archos 5 Android tablet. It makes me really doubt iPad is a good device for reading books online. I would advise to stick with Kindle if you have one, or to wait for promising new Notion Ink Adam Android tablet   - a very first device to use Pixel Qi screen. (I'm eagerly waiting for Mirasol screens)

Note, that I didn't touch numerous slick interface features of iPad, good Exchange integration, etc., etc. But to me its claim to become better e-Book reader than Kindle does not stand.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Nexus One screen is blurry, not so good for text?

 

Secrets of the Nexus One's screen: science, color, and hacks
5 ways the iPhone beats the Nexus One

Here are interesting technical articles describing some deficiencies in Nexus One's AMOLED screen. Unfortunately, it seems to apply to other upcoming phones with AMOLED screens, including next generation of iPhone. I wonder if Samsung Spica's "Super AMOLED" screen would suffer from the same issue.

And yes, I also noticed that blurry text on my Nexus One. And it bothers me too. So far I only heard on all the popular podcasts (Engadget, TWIG, etc.) how beautiful is Nexus One's AMOLED screen.

I don't have iPhone, but I compared text on Nexus One with the same text on ADP1 (HTC Dream - smaller resolution) and Zii EGG.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Google Voice and soft keyboard on ADP1 + Cyanogen?

 

I use Google Voice app on my ADP1 (i.e. HTC Dream) + Cyanogen. If Call Presentation is enabled, to accept an incoming call I need to press "1". But incoming call does not activate soft keyboard. So, if I'm driving, I have to take my phone from a car holder and slide out a physical keyboard. Not possible.
Is it supposed to work this way or am I missing something?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Non-phone Android devices

I own several non-phone Android devices (“tablets”, a netbook) and support some unofficial Google Wave dedicated to such devices.

Currently these are

1. Acer Aspire One AOD250 dual-boot WinXp/Android netbook.
2. Zii Plaszma Platform / Zii EGG StemCell Computer (multimedia device).
3. ARCHOS 5 Internet Tablet with Android (8 GB SSD version).
4. Camangi WebStation 7" Android tablet .

I hope to blog about comparative features of these devices soon.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Google Wave: Non-phone Android Devices

I'm supporting a Google wave dedicated to non-phone Android devices: Media Tablets, Netbooks, smart controllers, etc. You are very welcome to visit it. If you need a wave invitation, drop me a note.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

General rules of organizing music files into libraries?

 

I was trying to organize folders with mp3 files on my PC in a logical tree structure. Something like that

Artist_1
  FolderWithSongs_1
    song1.mp3
    song2.mp3
  Folder_2
    SubFolder_3
      song3.mp3
      song4.mp3
    Subfolder_4

Event_3
  Artist_2
    song10.mp3
    song11.mp3
  Artist_55

. . . .

Sometimes, there are several Albums belonging to the same Artist.
Sometimes there is an Event (Concert) on which several Artists perform.
It's OK to have two folders with the same name located in different nodes of hierarchy.

Such hierarchical structure works well on a PC, but on Android device it is quite different.

If I understand it correctly, Android treats each folder as an album. It also recognizes tags of mp3 files and reads album and other information from those tags. And obviously, Music players on Android do not present music library as a hierarchical structure (a tree). Instead it looks like a flat list of albums.
As a result,a nice and complicated hierarchy of folders with mp3 files, set on my PC + tag information embedded into mp3 files create a mess on Android, with many albums basically pointing to the same songs.
Also, having two folders (albums?) with the same name presents a problem - how to distinguish them?

I suspect that on Android I should use some flat folder structure (no folders inside other folders)...
Should folder names always be the same as names of albums contained in them? MediaMonkey seems to suggest folder names which are combinations of album names + artist names.

If folder structure in a media library on PC is hierarchical and different from a flat folder structure on Android device, how to synchronize them?

Basically, are there general rules of organizing music files into libraries, so that it is easy and convenient to use on Android (and other portable devices? I cannot figure it out :(

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A problem with Music Player on Android Dev Phone 1: not indexing mp3 files

 

I found a solution for this Android bug on a Russian-speaking Google Wave devoted to Android! By the way, I encourage everybody to join Google Wave ASAP (no, I already used all my invitations).
A solution, or should I say - a workaround? - is to use Meridian Player http://sites.google.com/site/eternalsandbox/Home instead of Android's own Music Player. Meridian Player allows to forcibly re-scan media files.
As I was told on Meridian's forum, "Yes, it is an Android's media scanner issue, and I also don't know what's the actual behavior of the auto scanning. Before 1.1 it will do a full scan each time replugging SD card, but now it does not. Even manually invoke (by Meridian) sometimes fail...Hope they can fix this soon."
http://groups.google.com/group/meridian_android/browse_thread/thread/d3da70a557f1d545?hl=en

I wonder why Meridian developers know that, while Google Android developers do not.