Spark- Audiobooks, Podcasts ? - Page 2 — TomTom Community

Spark- Audiobooks, Podcasts ?

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  • bruiserbbqbruiserbbq Posts: 1 [Apprentice Traveler]
    Having just purchased a Spark Cardio + music.....I'm hoping this feature will be added real soon.....so I would like to cast my vote for this one. I'd really like the "remember playback position" option available for listening to podcasts or audiobooks.
  • Matt12345Matt12345 Posts: 2 [Apprentice Traveler]
    Hi,
    I also purchased a Spark last week and have just discovered this limitation. I also almost exclusively listen to podcasts when running, so for me the Spark is basically useless for the primary function for which I purchased it. I really wish I'd searched beforehand, but to be honest this functionality is so basic in any music playing device that it never crossed my mind that pause/resume ff/rw would be included. At the very least we need forward/reverse within a track!!! I think I will return it, as it wasn't cheap and since it was mail order I have a 14 day window. Otherwise, a really promising product but I think I will wait for a more refined version.
  • tfarabaughtfarabaugh Posts: 16,173
    Superusers
    Matt12345 wrote:
    Hi,
    I also purchased a Spark last week and have just discovered this limitation. I also almost exclusively listen to podcasts when running, so for me the Spark is basically useless for the primary function for which I purchased it. I really wish I'd searched beforehand, but to be honest this functionality is so basic in any music playing device that it never crossed my mind that pause/resume ff/rw would be included. At the very least we need forward/reverse within a track!!! I think I will return it, as it wasn't cheap and since it was mail order I have a 14 day window. Otherwise, a really promising product but I think I will wait for a more refined version.

    Forward/reverse within a track is a limitation of the headphones, not the watch. I can't forward within a track on my other devices either, as the headphones (all BT headphones, not just TT ones) do not include this control. It is Volume Up/Forward and Volume Down/Back only. You can control the music through the headphones if you are using the correct types of headphones (A2DP and AVRCP enabled, the two protocols necessary to play music). What they really need is to fix it so that it remembers the last played position, because it is a real paint o have to listen through the part you already heard to catch up.
  • Matt12345Matt12345 Posts: 2 [Apprentice Traveler]
    tfarabaugh wrote:
    Forward/reverse within a track is a limitation of the headphones, not the watch. I can't forward within a track on my other devices either, as the headphones (all BT headphones, not just TT ones) do not include this control. It is Volume Up/Forward and Volume Down/Back only. You can control the music through the headphones if you are using the correct types of headphones (A2DP and AVRCP enabled, the two protocols necessary to play music). What they really need is to fix it so that it remembers the last played position, because it is a real paint o have to listen through the part you already heard to catch up.


    Thanks for the reply. I would assume though that they could just put the controls on the watch? Not ideal (pause/resume is way better), but better than nothing? Music would be bad enough, but I am listening to a series of 1 hour podcasts at the moment - if I start from the beginning every time I run I will never get past the first episode! (and I'd probably go insane as well..). If someone from TomTom could come on here and give an assurance that this feature is coming (relatively soon) then I'd hold on to the watch - it really shouldn't be that hard to implement?
  • tfarabaughtfarabaugh Posts: 16,173
    Superusers
    Matt12345 wrote:
    tfarabaugh wrote:
    Forward/reverse within a track is a limitation of the headphones, not the watch. I can't forward within a track on my other devices either, as the headphones (all BT headphones, not just TT ones) do not include this control. It is Volume Up/Forward and Volume Down/Back only. You can control the music through the headphones if you are using the correct types of headphones (A2DP and AVRCP enabled, the two protocols necessary to play music). What they really need is to fix it so that it remembers the last played position, because it is a real paint o have to listen through the part you already heard to catch up.

    Thanks for the reply. I would assume though that they could just put the controls on the watch? Not ideal (pause/resume is way better), but better than nothing? Music would be bad enough, but I am listening to a series of 1 hour podcasts at the moment - if I start from the beginning every time I run I will never get past the first episode! (and I'd probably go insane as well..). If someone from TomTom could come on here and give an assurance that this feature is coming (relatively soon) then I'd hold on to the watch - it really shouldn't be that hard to implement?

    They are not going to confirm any future updates, they seem to have a policy against it. The issue they have with controls on the watch is that the button is used in all directions during an activity. But that is not really the issue with podcasts, the issue is the inability to remember the position of the last played track. The controls issue required remapping the buttons, while the playback position requires it to somehow retain a memory of the track and position which is a bigger development issue. I am hopeful they fix it as it is a problem for me to (I purposely limit myself to shorter podcasts or use my phone for longer ones), but you will not get a confirmation from TT unfortunately. I assume it will happen eventually but the focus seems to be on getting basic functionality (connectivity and accuracy) working, then getting promised updates implemented (phone notifications), so this may be pretty far down the list.

    If this is a vital feature for you and you are within your return period you may want to look at other devices that offer this option now. I would not count on it coming, you need to make your decision based on the features that are currently offered, and not what may come in the future.

    I hope this helps, please let me know if this answered your question. If it did, please mark it as a solution so others can look for it if they have the same question.
  • Ken DollKen Doll Posts: 1 [Apprentice Traveler]
    Likewise, I would like a "Remember Playback Position" option. I purchased this watch with the anticipation of listening to audio books when running. It's very disappointing to see this lack of basic functionality.
  • LegomolinLegomolin Posts: 1 [Apprentice Traveler]
    I too have to voice in my concern for the lack of audiobook/podcast-support. As a bare minimum it would be great with a way to continue where you left off in the mp3-track. What also would be basic functioning of the music player is to see track name and jump forwards/backwards in "playtime". This restriction make me rethink if i should buy the watch which otherwise is a nobrainer of a deal.
  • cryptothoncryptothon Posts: 19 [Outstanding Explorer]
    I am not much of a guy for audiobooks, but I certainly listen exclusively to podcasts of various BPMs to aid in my training. This makes it a bit annoying for me, as I cannot choose a specific podcast from the 40 or so I am able to load into my watch. I have, by trial and error, got around the problem by creating each podcast as a playlist on its own, but this is a tedious activity in itunes. I would like the ability to scroll through a list of tracks within a playlist and select one of them to play - not fussed about the starting point.
  • pinottopinotto Posts: 1 [Apprentice Traveler]
    So sad it doesn't remember where you left a track, basically you can only listen to short podcasts or run a lot: no audiobooks at all.
    It would be so cool to have audible support (as gps tomtoms), otherwise the device will lose most of his appeal
  • johnrebusjohnrebus Posts: 4 [Master Traveler]
    There is a new functionality - you can pause playing and then play again from this spot (version 1.3.160), but it still can not resume playing after reconnestion of headphones. Im also very sad about it beacuse the audiobooks are nearly the only thing Im used to listen :( Im waiting for the crucial upgrade and hope that it can be solved by software change and there are no hardware obstacles. One interesting thing that gives me a hope: maybe for 2 times my watches worked like I want - it resumed playing after fast reconnection...
  • haggaihaggai Posts: 6 [Master Explorer]
    I just bought the Spark 3 and I'm really surprised it's lacking the very basic functionality of fast forwarding a track. I listen mostly to one hour long podcasts and this makes it impossible to resume where I stopped before.
    +1 for fast forward and rewind
    +1 for resuming from where you last paused/stopped
  • tfarabaughtfarabaugh Posts: 16,173
    Superusers
    haggai wrote:
    I just bought the Spark 3 and I'm really surprised it's lacking the very basic functionality of fast forwarding a track. I listen mostly to one hour long podcasts and this makes it impossible to resume where I stopped before.
    +1 for fast forward and rewind
    +1 for resuming from where you last paused/stopped

    Agree on resuming where you left off (as long as you did not change the playlist or anything in the interim), but I believe fast forwarding within a track is a limitation of the technology. The protocols for headphones remote control (AVRCP) allows for going back a track and forward a track but not do so within a track. I do not know of any headphones that allow you to do this, even if the device does (and very few devices do - even an iPhone limits you to 15 second bursts or manually moving forward in the track, there is no fast forward button in the device).
  • haggaihaggai Posts: 6 [Master Explorer]
    Well, I actually don't understand why this has to be limited to the headphones. On the watch, if I press the right button it jumps to the next track. I would expect that if I long-press the same button, it will 'seek' inside the track, even if it jumps in 15 second intervals. This has been the standard behavior in all of my music players (including a dirt cheap player I was using until I got this watch), and I honestly don't understand what is the technical difficulty here.
  • haggaihaggai Posts: 6 [Master Explorer]
    mversion wrote:
    Do what I did. Completely ignore syncing with iTunes. Just hook up the watch to your computer. Manually copy and paste your tracks and create/edit the playlist.
    Just reference the existing folder/playlist structure in there.

    Works a treat. But, yeah, I still have to remember which track I was on on my previous run. And I still have to manually edit my audio files and create hundreds of little mp3 files.

    Hey, I'm also about to go down this path. Do you have an easy way to split your audiobook/podcast into tiny mp3 files with convenient ID3 tags?
  • gl00gl00 Posts: 965 [Revered Pioneer]
    haggai wrote:
    mversion wrote:
    Do what I did. Completely ignore syncing with iTunes. Just hook up the watch to your computer. Manually copy and paste your tracks and create/edit the playlist.
    Just reference the existing folder/playlist structure in there.

    Works a treat. But, yeah, I still have to remember which track I was on on my previous run. And I still have to manually edit my audio files and create hundreds of little mp3 files.

    Hey, I'm also about to go down this path. Do you have an easy way to split your audiobook/podcast into tiny mp3 files with convenient ID3 tags?

    thanks for digging that post up, I didn't see it and it's a good idea!

    just did a quick search and found this for mac... will try that asap.
    http://www.macsome.com/audio-splitter-mac/

    there are many mp3 splitters for windows too... apparently it's a common issue ;)
  • haggaihaggai Posts: 6 [Master Explorer]
    gl00 wrote:
    haggai wrote:
    mversion wrote:
    Do what I did. Completely ignore syncing with iTunes. Just hook up the watch to your computer. Manually copy and paste your tracks and create/edit the playlist.
    Just reference the existing folder/playlist structure in there.

    Works a treat. But, yeah, I still have to remember which track I was on on my previous run. And I still have to manually edit my audio files and create hundreds of little mp3 files.

    Hey, I'm also about to go down this path. Do you have an easy way to split your audiobook/podcast into tiny mp3 files with convenient ID3 tags?

    thanks for digging that post up, I didn't see it and it's a good idea!

    just did a quick search and found this for mac... will try that asap.
    http://www.macsome.com/audio-splitter-mac/

    there are many mp3 splitters for windows too... apparently it's a common issue ;)


    Yep, I researched it a bit as well and tried it out yesterday actually. I couldn't find one application that does it all though. So I ended up using one application to split the file to a lot of 1-minute-long files, and another application to set their mp3 tags correctly. A bit of a hassle, I really hope TomTom will just add the basic resume and fast forward functionality.
  • craig_musnicraig_musni Posts: 1 [Apprentice Traveler]
    PLEASE PLEASE ADD RESUME AUDIO to the functionality!!! This is the best watch for running + audio out there...but not being able to resume books or podcast is KILLING ME!!!!
  • MOT4711MOT4711 Posts: 1 [Apprentice Traveler]
    Mp3splt (http://mp3splt.sourceforge.net/mp3splt_page/home.php) works quite well for me while waiting for the resume function to be implemented. It can split an MP3 at "quiet" points close to requested split points. E.g., using the batch file below, a command line command "MP3SPlit Newname Podcast.mp3" produces ca. 5 minute long MP3 pieces ("Newname_01.mp3", "Newname_02.mp3"...) + an "Newname.m3u" playlist file for them. These can very easily be added to the watch with the TomTom Sports Connect. This allows me to skip in 5 min steps to the place were I stopped the previous time listening. Still an annoyance, and requires one to remember in which piece one stopped the previous time, but better than nothing. Shorter splits give less "relistening", but more skipping to find to the right place. The playback is continuous between the split MP3s, one cannot detect when the next part begins. The splitting is also done without re-encoding the MP3, so it is very fast.

    THe batch file below uses freely available TCC/LE CMD Replacement Shell (https://jpsoft.com/tccle-cmd-replacement.html), but it is not needed if one just runs the mp3splt program directly.

    MP3Split.bat
    @echo off
    IFF EXIST %2 THEN
    c:\mp3splt_2.6.2_i386\mp3splt.exe -a -f -t 05.00 -O 00.00 -g "r%%[@o,@N=1,@t=%[email protected]]" -m%1.m3u -o %[email protected] %2
    ELSE
    echo Usage : MP3Split [Basename] [Input MP3]
    echo E.g : MP3Split NewName InputFile.MP3
    ENDIFF
  • suku8usuku8u Posts: 1 [Apprentice Traveler]
    Thanks for the post. It was painful to get mp3 split work on a mac. I downloaded AudioSplitter for mac and did the split and copied the whole folder the Audio splitter created under Music folder and did my Sync through TomTom Sports app and things worked.

    It is a painful work around. Hopefully TomTom can address this and provide a simpler way to do this.
  • WimPxWimPx Posts: 1 [Apprentice Traveler]
    I have a Runner 3 with Tomtom bluetooth headset. I have to conclude that Tomtom does not have this feature (forward within a track or continue after pause) in the watch software, not in het headset software. They have not given any indication that they will create this feature. The headset does not have software updates; they have no plan to feature it in the sportwatch. If i want it, i should probably buy a headset from a different company. Suppose i buy this new headset that has the feature : "forward within a track", will my watch be able to deliver that? Does the protocol and watch support it? If so, which bluetooth headset should i buy? Is the AVRCP profile what is required in the Bluetooth protocols?
  • haggaihaggai Posts: 6 [Master Explorer]
    Just got the updated software, and I'm really glad you listened and added this functionality. Thanks for listening.
  • zardoz73zardoz73 Posts: 3 [Apprentice Traveler]
    Wait, does this functionality exist now? Because I just purchased a Spark 3 two weeks ago, have the newest firmware (I think), but it still doesn't remember the playback position. Or rather, it will remember the position of ONE audio file, but God forbid you change to another audio file; that first file's position is gone. In contrast, a smartphone will remember the playback position of ALL of your audio files.

    This isn't a storage or functionality issue, it's a coding thing. Maybe a few dozen lines of code added to the firmware to tag each audio file with a playback point.
  • stephen1018stephen1018 Posts: 3 [Neophyte Traveler]
    Go into the playlist menu (either up from the music player or down from the pause/linking screen) and when you select a playlist and hit right you can select normal or shuffle playback
  • zardoz73zardoz73 Posts: 3 [Apprentice Traveler]
    Thanks for the comment. But shuffle isn't my concern. My problem is when I listen to a long podcast or audiobook, say an hour long. If you stop that, say at the 15 minute mark, and play another file, when you go *back* to that original audio file, it starts at the beginning. So you have to FF through to the point you left off, which is annoying at best, and for all intents and purposes impossible.

    It's still better than carrying my phone with me on runs, but I have to have the patience to not switch to any other podcasts, or really any other audio track.
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