Monday, April 15, 2013

Japanese Radio & Android (AKA My Tattoo is Getting Old)

Lately I've been listening to a lot of Japanese radio. Not only does it alleviate some of the tedium of work, but it also helps improve my Japanese simultaneously. Brilliant.

Of course, support for doing this on Android is excellent. I believe I only downloaded a couple of programs before settling on TuneIn (that's not to say that TuneIn is the best... Just that it took me almost no time at all to find a decent internet radio program). The internet radio has a search function which can be very quickly used to identify Japanese radio stations (I primarily use FM Hirakata and BanBan Radio, perhaps a discussion for another time).

My rapidly ageing HTC Tattoo, however, was an altogether uglier case. The HTC Tattoo still runs Android 1.6, and virtually no one makes apps for it anymore (myself included, for the most part). I downloaded a variety of music players and other apps in the hope of simply being able to stream from the station's URL...

Eventually I settled on mediaU, which has all the functionality that I use with tuneIn (station search and favourites). It's a bit ugly, but it works on my elderly Tattoo, and that's good enough for me!

Unfortunately, I'd intended to use this set up to listen to the radio on the way to Southampton over the weekend, and didn't realise how much mobile network eats the Tattoo's battery (which, by the way, tends only to last a day after a couple of years of use). I think I got about 30 minutes of radio out of it before deciding that I'd best conserve the battery... But it was a good 30 minutes with only occasional cut-outs, and better quality that I'd expect considering I was travelling by car. This really is a testament to the stability of mediaU and the HTC Tattoo... And to some extent the network coverage Orange offer in Dorset...

Much as I've enjoyed my Tattoo over the last couple of years, it seems it is reaching the end of its useful life... Android 1.6 is becoming increasingly neglected by developers, and I wonder how long it will be before I lose some "critical" functionality like aedict.

That said, I'm more inclined to get a new battery than dispose of it. Then, perhaps when it finally does die, I'll frame it to show my grandchildren...

"Back when I was a young'n, we had to lug these bricks around! The batteries only lasted a coupl'o' days and you couldn't even plug them into your brain!"

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