Steve's Palm/AudioTron Page

First off, if you don't know what an AudioTron is, go back to my home page and read about it there or better yet check out the AudioTron web page.

We've had our AudioTron since December of 2000 and we absolutely love it. The only issue we've had is that it's sometimes hard to select music -- unless you're sitting in front of the stereo. You can select music from the remote control, but only if you can read the tiny display on the front of the AudioTron from where you sit (which is a challenge from our sofa)

The AudioTron folks are an amazing team. They run a mailing list for AudioTron owners, and have released *several* pre-release firmware updates that consistently add new features requested by (and fix bugs reported by) folks on the mailing list.

Last year they added a web server to allow the AudioTron to be controlled from a web browser running on your desktop (or laptop) computer. However, as cool as that might be, the UI was driven by JavaScript and just wasn't as usable as I had hoped. In addition, a laptop is a pretty heavy device to carry around as a remote control.

Again in response to requests from the mailing list community, a more generic API was added in a recent firmward update that allows one to completely control the AudioTron over TCP/IP (using HTTP commands). Thus, programmers are now able to create their own UI -- and several are reportedly doing just that.

Since I have several Palm powered devices around the house (including a Palm m500, m505, and i705), some of which are even equipped with Xircom 802.11 wireless sleds, it seemed obvious to me that what we really wanted was an AudioTron remote control application written for Palm OS. (As soon as the tiny new Palm Bluetooth SD I/O card becomes available in the U.S., I'll investigate switching to that as it adds very little to the size or weight of a Palm handheld.)

Within hours of the release of the first AudioTron firmware (on Friday, February 15) that supported the remote API, I started writing my app. By the end of that weekend, I had the basics, including communications with the AudioTron and a basic status screen.

This is still very much a work in progress, but I wanted to post some screen shots of my efforts to date. The application actually works -- the status screen displays "now playing" and "next up" song information, elapsed and total time for the currently playing song, and offers a "selection" dialog that allows you to select any genre, artist, album or (eventually) song title to be played. I'm listing to random jazz tunes (selected by my app) as I write this...

The application was written in standard C using CodeWarrior for Palm OS and the Palm OS Emulator but there are lots of other tools available for writing Palm applications. The whole application currently occupies about 15K of memory on the Palm device, and the UI is very simple and quite snappy, as I had hoped.

The Palm OS Emulator is a great development tool, and since it runs the app on my laptop I can not only get screen shots, but actually use it as a pretty neat GUI front-end for the AudioTron even on my laptop.

Here are a few recent screen shots:

More to come... Stay tuned!

The application is still very much in development stage and is not ready for distribution. Hopefully I'll get it cleaned up enough at some point to be able to post it in case anyone is interested in trying it with their own AudioTron.

I need to come up with a name for the app... I'm not sure if I could use just "AudioTron" (though it's a good placeholder for the time being). I thought about "PalmioTron" but I'm just not sure about that. If you have any great ideas for a name, please let me know.

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Last update: 3/10/2002. Created: 2/28/2002.

©2002 Steve Lemke (