Andy LaTorre's posting reminded me -- I am way overdue to post my
review of ittyMIDI's Palm IIIxe MIDI player system.
First, am I reading the latest posting right, that ittyMIDI also sells
a version for the iPod? What I saw on their web site last month,
thanks to a posting here in MMD, was for the Palm IIIxe. Since
then, they've added support for another Palm model that allows those
little memory cards such as used in digital cameras, so you can store
days' worth of music (MIDI is very efficient, being punched paper in
another form). The Apple iPod outputs audio waveforms, not serial
digital bits. So I do have to ask.
Anyway, back to my Palm IIIxe. What ittyMIDI sells you is the Palm PDA,
a serial cable that connects to Palm to the PC whenever you want to
"synch" the two systems, and a second cable that attaches to where the
PC would go, but terminates in a standard "smiley" MIDI plug. Plus all
the normal Palm support software for your PC, and ittyMIDI's own
program for taking MIDI files from your hard drive and placing them
into the Palm program, so that the next time you synch machines, the
MIDI files will load into the Palm.
The player works fine. You can keep MIDI files in various categories
or "folders", then move them to "playlists" to be ready to play.
Navigating the menus is pretty easy. I've tested the unit on large,
"busy" MIDI files and it keeps a steady beat. You can adjust some
things, like channel assignments, during play, but then it loses a bit
of time while it stops to think.
If you really want something that you can just power up and play, you
can set up the playlist and get the Palm player program going, then
stop play and switch off the Palm. Palm PDAs always remember where you
were, and turn back on in the same screen or window (don't you wish PCs
worked that well).
As for remote control, you can use the MIDI cable (maybe with an
extension) to stand quite a ways from your music machine. Beyond that,
I know I've seen special organ players (by Stinson?) with remotes. But
for $99, the ittyMIDI Palm can't be beat.
[ The Palm IIIxe 8MB PDA (Personal Digital Assistant, or "handheld"),
[ which premiered in February, 2000, was originally produced by Palm
[ Computing, a unit of 3Com, now palmOne, Inc. The ittyMIDI Palm IIIxe
[ Bundle is described at http://www.ittymidi.com/product_a0013.asp
[ -- Robbie