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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



. . . .

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 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."

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

Saturday, October 24, 2009

It’s a time for big new things

I actually wrote this (well, almost) message using AndroBlogger application (by Russian team from MFTI) on my beautiful Android Dev Phone 1 (i.e. HTC G1 “Dream”), but when I hit “Send” AndroBlogger crashed…  Despite this, Android is just beautiful, learning it is exciting. I’m easily connected to most social networks there, starting from Facebook and finishing with Russian friends net on And sure, Gmail, Contacts, YouTube, Google Voice are integrated and work perfectly. I had some problems with Android Music Player, which didn’t want index music files on a SD card. I didn’t find any info on Google, but help finally came from… people on Russian Google Wave devoted to Android.

I’m waiting for Acer AOD250-1613 10.1-Inch Black Android/XP Netbook to come from Amazon. Then, life will become even more interesting.

Google Wave is another exciting story. Sure, it’s an early alpha, but I managed to get invitation and play with it more and more.

And at this time I installed Windows 7 Pro 64 bit edition on my another computer. Installation was really smooth and so far I like it very much. The only driver I couldn’t find so far is for my ancient HP LaserJet 4M Plus. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

How to upgrade Android DevPhone 1 to Android 1.6

I was struggling against my Android phone recently… While HTC instruction was pretty clear, I couldn’t understand how to “Reboot the device into recovery mode by holding down the HOME key during reboot”. I was under impression, that that one has to hold HOME key during a shut up, not during powering phone up. Luckily, I found a correct answer here (hold HOME during powering a device.)

After successful upgrade, my DevPhone showed a message that all the custom data will be wiped out if I press a Send key, otherwise upgrade won’t be installed. So, it was necessary to set up my phone for AT&T access once again.