Our NotePad Conduit creates desktop files for the songs you have written on your Palm using the miniMusic NotePad software. The exported files are "Standard MIDI Files" which are a standard format for computer music. You should be able to open these files with any desktop music software available (this includes Apple's QuickTime and the Windows Media Player). This way you can continue working on music, print music, and build on the ideas you "sketched" on your Palm. It will also let you hear multiple voices and different MIDI instrument settings that cannot be played on the Palm's built-in speaker.
How do I download the Conduit?
Click on one of these links to get the appropriate version of the conduit:
Download NotePadConduit.PPC v1.1 (25k) -- for Power PC versions of the Macintosh (includes the iMac, iBook, G3, G4, and other "Power Macs"). This has been updated to support the new features found in version 1.1 of NotePad.
Download NotePadConduit.EXE v1.1 (503k) -- for PCs using the Windows operating system. This has been updated to support the new features found in version 1.1 of NotePad.
How do I install the Conduit?
When you click on the Mac links above, you will download a ".sit" file to your hard drive. Uncompress this as you would any Palm software (using a decompression utility like StuffIt) and you will get a file called "NotePadConduit.PPC" (The suffix stands for "Power PC", which is the chip used in all modern Macs). The Windows link will download an ".exe" executable file.
When you first installed the Palm Desktop software, a folder/directory was created on your computer. Inside that folder/directory is another folder called "conduits". Place the "NotePadConduit" file into the "Conduit" folder. The conduit is now installed and will run the next time you HotSync your Palm with your desktop computer. You must have installed the Palm Desktop software that came with your handheld computer before installing this conduit.
The file "NotePadConduit.EXE" will automatically install the componants of the conduit where they need to be in your Palm Desktop software. After downloading, simply launch this installer and it will create a folder of support files, a folder to hold the exported MIDI files of your songs, and place several DLLs (Dynamically Linked Libraries) where they are needed. You must have installed the Palm Desktop software that came with your handheld computer before installing this conduit.
How do I use the Conduit?
The conduit will run automatically during the next HotSync you perform. The first time the Conduit runs it will export every song in your NotePad library. During future HotSyncs, only songs that have been changed sinced the previous HotSync will be exported (writing over an older version if it exists).
The song files (Standard MIDI Files - type 0) are placed in a folder named "NotePad Songs" on your desktop computer. On a Macintosh this folder is inside of your 'User Name' folder (you typed this in the first time you did a HotSync. It can be found on your handheld: if you open the "Hot Sync" application, your user name will appear in the top right corner) which you will find inside of another folder called "Users" in the "Palm" folder. Sorry for all the folders, but these User Name folders are the only ones unique to each handheld device (in case you own several Palms). On a Windows computer you will find your User Name folder inside the Palm folder (no "Users" folder to worry about).
What if I have problems installing or using the conduit?
We would be most appreciative if you would let us know how your conduit experience goes. We have tested it on a number of hardware models, but we certainly can't replicate every possible combination of desktop computer, handheld computer, and operating system. Please let us know what Handheld device you are using, what desktop computer you have (Mac, Windows, etc.), and what version of each operating system you use (Palm OS and desktop OS). If the HotSync is unsuccessful, please let us know how far you got (did the NotePad Conduit install, did it say "Syncronizing NotePad" during the HotSync, etc.) and make sure that a normal HotSync works before trying one with the NotePad Conduit.
If you do have any problems, on a Mac simply remove the "NotePadConduit" file from the "conduit" folder to un-install it. On a Windows machine run the installer and choose "un-install". Send us an e-mail at: email@example.com to let us know what happenned.
What can I do with a Standard MIDI File?
This file format has been in use for about 20 years now, and almost any music software will be able to open or import these Standard MIDI Files. They are "Type 0" files meaning that they contain all the musical information in a single track; this is the simplest type of MIDI file and is supported by the widest range of software applications and utilities. MIDI files can be played with QuickTime (which is available on every Macintosh) or the Windows Media Player (which should be on every Windows computer).
With these exported files you can now use other software to expand the capabilities of NotePad - print music, add more voices, play all four voices together from your desktop computer. It will be some time before your Palm handheld will completely replace everything in your music studio, but hopefully this conduit will help to incorporate the portability of miniMusic software with the capabilities of your desktop computer and other music equipment.
You can also now share songs you've written with friends. If you are putting the file on the web, or transfering it to a Windows computer from a Mac, you should add the ".mid" suffix to the file name so that it will be recognized as a MIDI file. This suffix is automatically added by the Windows version of the conduit.
What is the difference between MIDI and MP3?
An MP3 file is pretty much locked. Like a CD, you can't make changes to it, choose to hear just the guitar part, or print out sheet music for a song. MP3 is simply compressed digital audio data, which is great for playing a song, but can't do much else. A MIDI file, on the other hand, is a much more flexible form of music. Like a file for a word processor it can be easily manipulated, printed, edited, or added to. Although the MIDI version of a song may not match the CD version exactly (it probably won't include the vocals), you can select individual parts, solo the drums, or add your own tracks. MIDI is ideal for creating music on computers, and only when the song is finished might you 'freeze it' as an MP3 file.