Monday, May 02, 2005

Voice recording on T5-is it possible

When the T5 was released, everybody was unhappy because it lacked a microphone. Recently, a strange report hit my eye:
1src thread
An user reported that a program called SoundRec actually could record some kind of sound on the T5. Lets quote him:

I have been playing with SoundRec 1.07b from infinityball.com on my Treo650 and on my T5. It seams that T5 can record some kind of sound (when you start recording take stylus out and knock few times on the plastic casing around the screen, when you've finished recording play that recording and you can hear that knocking!!!)
Can anyone confirm that? Maybe there is microphone hidden somewhere inside?

Lets have that sink in. The device actally recorded the taps. Users immediately urged the guy to go on testing, and it even was possible to record faint voices.
At first, this is totally unlogic. Even if a speaker is somewhat similar to a microphone(yes, it is), the machine would still lack a chip called A/D Converter that could convert the analog data(a microphone outputs voltage) into a digital form.
However, there is a possible reason: as we already said some time ago, it looks as if the T5 was rushed to the market. And who says that they didn't run out of time developing? PalmOne let the converter in, but removed Mic and record key! It is possible IMHO, as A/D converters are not so expensive anymore. But is it a good idea? Will a company do it? Loads of questions-what do you beleive?

Please keep in mind that all of this is based on a single source. He may just want to create a fuzz for himself-we are waiting for your experiences.

10 Comments:

Blogger Brad Green said...

As I said on the forum, it may be strange, but it could be feedback detected from the speaker. A speaker and microphone are essentially the same design. The difference is that one is built strong, and is sent a modulating signal to vibrate a magnet. The other is built very sensitively, so that it is affected by sounds, and the vibrations make the magnet move and modulate the signal. Its more likely that there is just a mic built onto the motherboard, but its worth a thought.

2:00 AM  
Blogger Dmitry Grinberg said...

No, it cannot be from the speaker! If usead as a microphone, a speaker like the one in T5 will generate voltages in the range of a few millivolts. This is not nearly enough for it to "feedback," as you say, to the input ADC. T5 just has a microphone inside.

2:28 PM  
Blogger Brad Green said...

Just putting forward the theory. I didnt really believe it, because the hardware configuration would have to be setup to allow feedback from the speaker. Thanks for the clarification.

5:35 PM  
Blogger Tam Hanna said...

Hi,
but: if it has a mic, why in the world would PalmOne not advertise it? The TT3's voice recorder also wasn't the clearest, but they still advertised it...
Best regards
Tam Hanna
P.s. I will get myself close to a T5 in the next few days in order to test this myself. A good friend of mine has one and is willing to help out.

5:36 PM  
Blogger Dmitry Grinberg said...

The case was designed for the ORIGINAL E2, and was then rushed as a T5 - they had no time to redesign the case but motherboards were allready in productin for the T5. The case had no hole for microphone and no buttun for voice recorder. Therefore the quality would be bad (and very queit) wihtout the hole for the sound to enter and thus they couldn't advertise it - it would be a a shame.

3:47 PM  
Blogger Tam Hanna said...

Hi Dmitry,
do you have any evidence? I could not yet get to a T5 for testing! All the info in this post is from a SINGLE source..
Best regards
Tam Hanna

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