---------- ---------- PC Pro Realworld Computing: Paul Lynch - PDAs

Psion Series 5 Sound Conversion

One of the nice touches that proves how well thought out the Psion Series 5 is at heart is the memo recorder. The external buttons really convert it from just another toy application into a functional and useful part of a well rounded whole. Or that's what you might think...

I have a great sound bite of Steve Jobs getting passionate about Microsoft on a video, recorded from the Triumph of the Nerds off air sometime last year. It's a brilliant quote that I keep on my personal web page to remind me of the difference between great design and half finished hack work:

"The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste; they have absolutely no taste. And what that means is - I don't mean that in a small way, I mean that in a big way - in the sense that they don't think of original ideas, and they don't bring much culture into their products ... And so I guess I am saddened, not by Microsoft's success; I have no problem with their success, they've earned their success, in the most part; I have a problem with the fact they make really third rate products."

A friend of mine wanted the sound on his computer as a .WAV file for Windows NT, so I thought a quick grab onto the Series 5 would get me halfway there. Not so. Having recorded it, I had a small and perfect rendition on the Series 5; the compression options really are effective, and the full quote is a minute long. So I connect up to the PsiWin desktop software, and find that Psion haven't included a converter for Psion format sound files for .WAV. That's OK, because there are extra image and sound conversion utilities bundled separately on the PsiWin 2.0 CD as DOS command line utilities. However, the only one there turns out to be for converting WAV files to WVE (Psion's internal format). So I can convert sounds any way I like, apart from the one I need. Psion Series 3 format to Series 5, Series 3 to and from .WAV, and .WAV to Series 5. But not Series 5 to .WAV. I ended up using a laptop computer and external microphone to record the sound, all using Windows 95.

Words and design by:
Paul Lynch
Last updated: September 12, 1997

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