I've been experimenting with my Tungsten E as an MP3 player this week, as mentioned in my post from last Friday and have been very impressed with the results. I thought a quick report today would be a nice follow-up from last week.
I found enough space on my 64MB SD card for a few tunes, so just for grins, I dropped five MP3s in the 'Audio' folder of the card, to test the TE as an MP3 player on the road. Using RealPlayer for Palm OS, I took the the fully charged TE along with a cassette player adapter, and headed off on an errand. The sound was quite good, and the TE's decent sound volume meant that I didn't have to push it all the way up to hear something on the car radio.
I like that RealPlayer can shut the screen down after 30 seconds, saving alot of battery juice. What amazed me most was the battery meter level when I returned from my errand: still at 100%! I left the house at 100% charge and had driven about 18 minutes or so without a hit on the battery... wow!
Does this mean that the TE might have a separate chip for processing MP3s that's very power-efficient? I don't know if MP3 players can cache music in the TE's RAM or not, but that might also be how the battery efficiency is achieved. Maybe a technical person out there can shed some light on this for me. However it was done, I'm very, very pleased with this feature.
I've also tried out AeroPlayer and liked the added features and skins, though for my needs right now, RealPlayer ought to suit me fine. Besides, it's free. The next step is setting aside a dedicated SD card for MP3 storage. A friend is sending me an old 32MB SD he isn't using anymore, so I might replace my 64MB SD card with the 32MB SD as a document/app card, so the 64 can become a dedicated music card. Eventually it would be trés cool to have a dedicated 256MB SD card for music.
iTunes on my Mac appears to also have a nice feature: I can build a playlist and then drag the songs in that playlist right from the app, onto the SD card. This copies the MP3s over without digging through nested folders. What a great thing -- I can build a weekly (or daily?) mix of tunes and simply drag them to the SD before an errand.
Overall, I'm very pleased with the results of my experimentation. I have a great little MP3 player in the TE and a Mac music player (iTunes) which integrates nicely with into the system. Once I have a dedicated music card, things here ought to be just peachy. ;-)
Wishing you all a great weekend!