> PS I am using a 256 MB Panasonic card, and it seems to work
All sizes work fine. Those of you only interested in voice over keitai
may want to tune out right about now.
>PPS The phone dos also have a music player, but it
> doesn't play mp3's, just secured music -- pretty much useless
> as a music player for me with all the file transfer
> inhibiting protections, etc.
"all you need", hypothetically, is an application that will write
SMDI-compliant files to the SD card. The reality is that the only
available option is the SMDI-compliant software written by Panasonic,
which is based on RealPlayer. You then follow the obscure upgrade steps
to make it RealOne-compliant, which of course fail totally. So,
conceptually, the task is to place an MP3 file on an SD card that will
only play from that SD card. The reality is, you end up with software
written by Panasonic, who choose not to follow Windows usability
standards (for example, there's no icon on the task bar), and who also
decide which SD writer you can use. Of course, you're limited to a
couple of USB 1.1 products, so transfers are very slow. To compound
this, the actual encryption process is ludicrously slow, so importing
CDs and other MP3 files will come as quite a shock to those of us who
are used to working with real MP3 players.
Note, the Real application core spends its life attempting to "phone
home" and demonstrate its importance to your daily life. It's a bugger
Oh, the Panasonic solution (the only one which exists if you live in
Japan and the US) is incompatible with Intel 810 and 815-series
chipsets. This means most notebook computers. This is why you seem to be
able to import music files, but they're not displayed on the PC to SD
screen. Actually, they're there, so if you click randomly in the file
name window you can select them, they're just invisible because the
foreground text color is the same as the background color. A non-3.x
version of the software is necessary to get around this.
The solution I've succeeded with is the IO-Data rebundling of the
Panasonic software with IO-Data's own SD reader. It's stuck at version
2.4 of RealJukebox, which places it back in the dark ages pf audio
capture and management. The UI is pathetic, but don't attempt to
If one looks at what SMDI was supposed to achieve, then Panasonic have
managed, in that peculiarly Japanese way, to over-engineer the product
in a manner that guarantees that no-one other than anal
do-it-at-all-costs morons such as myself, would ever be persuaded to buy
and use the software. The idea is that music copied to a card should be
playable from that card only. Panasonic have managed to apply the
concept such that the serial number ot the authoring software plus that
of the card reader/writer has to be known, too.
Oh, let's have a last look at usability while we're here. One can enter
a Kanji playlist name, but offers furigana as well. Simple person that I
am, only having had a fleeting contact with software systems that need
to be transparently usable, I would imagine that typing anything in the
kanji text field would clear out the furigana field, but no, it APPENDS
the text in that field. So you end up having to clear two text boxes to
enter on box of text.
This wouldn't be so bad if Panasonic actually had a clue how to write
socially-usable software, and did some kind of beta-testing that
included users of the product. I guess I just think this Panasonic
software is a pile of crap, and Vodaphone/J-Phone need to tell Sharp
that such SMDI bollocks is untenable unless Sharp can find someone
better to work with. The Sharp and Panasonic approach is that we are all
thieving bastards, and they will stop us in our tracks. Poor ol' Sharp,
for following its traditionally clueless approach to consumer
electronics, where they release elegant hardware with the software side
managed by Captain Cretin, and all I can say to Panasonic is that this
is why everyone giggles at you, guys.
Golly, what a rant. If there are any more J-SH52/3 users out there, they
could tell me and I'll mention it next week having polaxed my J-Phone
opponent with a couple of unnaturally strong beers.
Received on Sat Jun 7 16:45:28 2003