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Spirit1, Spirit2 Real FM Radio General Thread

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By mikereidis, Inactive Recognized Developer on 1st May 2011, 09:23 PM
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6th February 2013, 02:41 AM |#5331  
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The Price Of FM In Sprint Phones? $15 Million Worth Of Inventory (IE, ad time, plus a 30% cut of geo-targeted ad revenue)

For some background, see my Jan 11 post: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...postcount=5154

"Inventory" is an ad industry term for ad time. Note that Sprint is a US carrier and is unrelated to Spirit.

Sprint is being paid in radio advertising time, which they can use or re-sell. Short article and a few comments, including mine here:
http://www.allaccess.com/net-news/ar...million-worth-

See after the quote for a longer article I quoted. Highlights include Sprint activating FM in 30 million phones over 3 years and a clear indication that negotiation is occurring with other US carriers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikereidis

I think the "rumor" of US carriers being paid to not disable FM is true. Huge news for FM on Android IMO.

I've seen countless posts on other threads doubting whether the OEMs/carriers would purposely disable FM, and why they'd do that, but I think the proof is coming out now.

At CES Sprint has announced coming FM support on Android and WP8 phones, and a NextRadio app: http://newsroom.sprint.com/article_d...rticle_id=2488

Here's a press release from Emmis about their NextRadio app: http://www.emmis.com/press/story.aspx?ID=1812333

Reading between the lines a bit, my take is that the NextRadio app will have interactive features that will provide some "monetization". For example, "Click here to buy current song or current advertised product".

And maybe the NAB or other industry groups will allow the carriers to access that income, so as to avoid directly paying the carriers. Otherwise, it might be more obvious the carriers are holding the broadcasters to ransom.

My guess is that the groups are negotiating with other carriers too. It would be very interesting if devices with no official FM support became enabled with carrier software updates this year.

I'm also going to guess the APIs are not going to be public. Emmis et al doesn't want competition.

...more at original post: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...postcount=5154


One of the longer articles I found on the subject: http://www.insideradio.com/Article.a...0#.URGuj5GUx0w

Quote:

Radio’s Sprint bill begins to take shape.

About $10,000 worth of inventory per station. That’s the estimate of what it will take for the radio industry to raise the $15 million that’s being pledged to Sprint in each of the next three years. In exchange for the money, the carrier guarantees to install and activate FM receivers in at least 30 million cell phones. Sprint may get radio inventory in the arrangement, but the spots won’t be used to market its products.

Many of the specifics are still being worked out in the deal announced last month between the industry and Sprint, which has agreed to give its users FM access. “Based on the response that we’ve gotten so far, I don’t think that will be a problem,” says Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan, who is spearheading the industry’s effort. Smulyan is hoping to collect signed commitments from radio groups over the next few weeks.

A preliminary model will see the $15 million commitment divvied up in groups by market size. For instance, $5 million worth of inventory could come from big, medium and small markets. While one broadcaster in smaller cities worries that formula could disproportionately burden stations outside the major markets, Smulyan says they’re still working through the details and vows the process will be transparent. How the numbers break out will be a lot clearer once all the commitments are in hand. “We’re going to try to make it as fair as is humanly possible,” he pledges. Exact inventory requests are likely to be based on a company’s share of revenue in the overall industry.

The millions of dollars of airtime that broadcasters commit to Sprint to get FM chips in phones won’t necessarily promote the carrier or its new radio-equipped products. Instead, the ad time will be sold by a rep firm, with the cash then going to Sprint minus any commission to the ad seller. Smulyan says they’ve had discussions with a few companies interested in selling the Sprint inventory, and are open to talking with others. “We’re in the early stages,” he says. “First we want to get commitments and then we’ll figure out what to do with them.”

There’s no guarantee the ads won’t be sold to existing national advertisers, which could mean a hit on station’s national revenue. Smulyan agrees it would be best to bring new clients onboard, but he believes any lost revenue could be made up with new dollars placed by advertisers on the FM-enabled geo-targeted ads on their handsets. “If we’re even partly right about the new backend revenue, it will be many multiples of the commitment — and that’s all brand new dollars to the industry,” Smulyan says. “And we’re an industry that needs a shot in the arm.”

Under the terms of the arrangement, if Sprint doesn’t deliver the promised 30 million FM-equipped handsets, broadcasters can cut back on how much cash is paid. Smulyan doubts that will happen however, saying they’ve been “wonderful partners” so far.

The system that’s being built among broadcasters and Sprint promises to put any station on handsets regardless of whether the company plays along or not. Emmis has agreed to even supply the cell phone company with a station logo so it looks just like all the other station’s basic tile. Smulyan says the only way Emmis will make any money on the project will be through the licensing of Next Radio’s advanced features to stations. They include the ability to offer better visuals on the smartphone and to sell geo-targeted ads. Sprint will get a 30% cut from those ads, with the rest will be split between the station and Emmis. “If there’s a chance that Emmis does profit by this, it’s only if the enhanced advertising that we’re building on the backend is successful,” Smulyan explains. Broadcasters could avoid that cost by developing their own app, he adds.

Emmis will also get a management fee that Smulyan says will help his company recoup some of the costs it racked up through the years as he was jetting off to lobby Congress, the FCC, FEMA and the individual cell phone companies — as well as the money spent developing Next Radio. He declined to say how much was spent, other than to say the company is “way in the hole.”

Paying for distribution is a new concept to most broadcasters. “I don’t see the industry paying to get FM in cars,” says one group head still weighing whether to pony up what’s being asked of his company. He and others worry that by agreeing to give Sprint an eight-figure payout that it will cost even more to gain access into AT&T and Verizon, both of which have much larger market shares.

Smulyan says it’s impossible to say what cost — if any — there will be with the other carriers. “If this is something that consumers love, other carries will be very anxious to adopt this — but we as an industry needed a starting place,” he says. Yet in an era where companies including Sirius XM Radio, Pandora and Spotify are paying admission to device makers, broadcast radio may have no choice but to open its wallet.


A few sentences of note to me:

- "The system that’s being built among broadcasters and Sprint promises to put any station on handsets regardless of whether the company plays along or not."

- "Broadcasters could avoid that cost by developing their own app, he adds."


So,... the chips will be in the phones, and some broadcasters could avoid this ransom by developing their own app... OR IMO licensing from a 3rd party an app such as Spirit I guess. Hmmm... Anybody know UI design ? LOL.

This 3rd party app "loophole" makes it even more likely IMO that my guess about their using an undocumented proprietary API will be true. But even with a public API, such as the proposed Android FM API, Sprint could lock out other FM apps by requiring that such apps be signed by them. At least one OEM already does that.

And even with custom ROMs, I have the impression that one of these days (if not already w/ Qualcomm's WCN3660), FM access will be cryptographically locked in the same way that bootloaders are. This to serve carriers and OEMs avoiding patent fees.

And perhaps "pirate radio" will one day apply to reception (not unlike the UKs antenna fees) and pirates will be those who dare to find a free and interactive ad-free way to listen to over-the air signals. Cue the dystopian tales of a future with bans on music, as seen in Mali or the works of Zappa and Geddy Lee, LOL.
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6th February 2013, 01:08 PM |#5332  
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Re: [APP] Spirit FM: Broadcom,Texas Instruments,Samsung Silicon Labs & Qualcomm FM ch
Very sad indeed. I hope reason prevails and fm radio is not held for ransom.

--
Enviado desde mi móvil.
6th February 2013, 02:43 PM |#5333  
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We've been saying the same thing over and over since the days of the Sprint/Verizon versions of the older Windows Mobile devices. I remember having this same conversation with others over why the FM radio was grounded out on the CDMA versions of the Touch Pro 2. We always half-jokingly said it was because carriers couldn't make money off of FM radio. No one knew that for sure, but it made sense at the time. Now I guess we know for certain.
6th February 2013, 08:35 PM |#5334  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcano

Very sad indeed. I hope reason prevails and fm radio is not held for ransom.

In the US at least, IT HAS and IS being held for ransom. Only now we are finally seeing more open negotiation, and a deal, albeit with a smaller US carrier, I think #3 or #4 after the top-dogs ATT and Verizon.

I'll admit though that one persons' "ransom" is another persons "legitimate business deal in a capitalist economy".


Quote:
Originally Posted by cajunflavoredbob

We've been saying the same thing over and over since the days of the Sprint/Verizon versions of the older Windows Mobile devices. I remember having this same conversation with others over why the FM radio was grounded out on the CDMA versions of the Touch Pro 2. We always half-jokingly said it was because carriers couldn't make money off of FM radio. No one knew that for sure, but it made sense at the time. Now I guess we know for certain.

The US carriers, and their suppliers the phone OEMs, excuse has been that there is little demand for OTA FM. There is some truth in that too IMO; most Americans (and many others) don't think about OTA FM capability when buying a phone.

And every day I speak with people disappointed their device has disabled FM capability; but many of those people "love" their Nexus or US GS3 or Note2 or whatever and wouldn't give it up for another phone.

But I also note that the major US (and now Canadian too) carriers hide FM capabilities on their web-sites. This helps people forget that FM might be possible, useful and a checklist item they should demand. Try going to any of their websites and see if you can figure out which of their phones, if any, support FM.

I've done this, trying to get answers myself and help people out. Often the only solution is to download a user manual and search for FM in it. And lately it seems that 10% or fewer of the phones have FM; and most of those are low budget phones.

----
I think the carriers are saying:

"We control the pipes, AND we control the phones. If you want us to carry your signal, you, or someone, will have to pay."

This is similar to the situation with cable TV, and some other forms of video broadcasting or distribution.

Streaming is dealt with by data plan fees, and is muted by the high royalty rates on music from a streaming station.

From a purely capitalist perspective, this all makes sense and seems "reasonable". I am not a proponent or fan of pure capitalism however.

----
BTW, I've been getting more emails lately, from various people with interests in this matter. And they are getting more interesting.
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6th February 2013, 10:17 PM |#5335  
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Things are a little bit better here in Spain then. Phone makers usually include whether their devices are fm capable, and many people do look for that when shopping for a new one. In my case the lack of fm in Nexus 4 was determinant in getting an Xperia T instead.
(And AOKP was determinant in me purchasing Spirit Unlocked... ).
6th February 2013, 11:42 PM |#5336  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikereidis

In the US at least, IT HAS and IS being held for ransom. Only now we are finally seeing more open negotiation, and a deal, albeit with a smaller US carrier, I think #3 or #4 after the top-dogs ATT and Verizon.

I'll admit though that one persons' "ransom" is another persons "legitimate business deal in a capitalist economy".




The US carriers, and their suppliers the phone OEMs, excuse has been that there is little demand for OTA FM. There is some truth in that too IMO; most Americans (and many others) don't think about OTA FM capability when buying a phone.

And every day I speak with people disappointed their device has disabled FM capability; but many of those people "love" their Nexus or US GS3 or Note2 or whatever and wouldn't give it up for another phone.

But I also note that the major US (and now Canadian too) carriers hide FM capabilities on their web-sites. This helps people forget that FM might be possible, useful and a checklist item they should demand. Try going to any of their websites and see if you can figure out which of their phones, if any, support FM.

I've done this, trying to get answers myself and help people out. Often the only solution is to download a user manual and search for FM in it. And lately it seems that 10% or fewer of the phones have FM; and most of those are low budget phones.

----
I think the carriers are saying:

"We control the pipes, AND we control the phones. If you want us to carry your signal, you, or someone, will have to pay."

This is similar to the situation with cable TV, and some other forms of video broadcasting or distribution.

Streaming is dealt with by data plan fees, and is muted by the high royalty rates on music from a streaming station.

From a purely capitalist perspective, this all makes sense and seems "reasonable". I am not a proponent or fan of pure capitalism however.

----
BTW, I've been getting more emails lately, from various people with interests in this matter. And they are getting more interesting.

It can only be ransom, since the hardware is physically disabled in most cases. Any intelligent human being knows that it's cheaper to leave it alone than to expend more time and resources to disable it.

The only reason I don't use the international model of my Note 2 is for the one simple fact that T-Mobile's 3G network uses that weird AWS band that no one else in the world uses. Until they refarm the network, I'm stuck with T-Mobile branded devices if I want 3G or higher speeds. Unfortunately, given that choice, I have to pick 3G data speeds over FM capabilities, since the data speeds are needed for work, whereas the FM radio is not.

I'm just glad we were able to get it working on the Deft XT a while back. That little phone runs Spirit like a champ now.
7th February 2013, 12:24 AM |#5337  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcano

Things are a little bit better here in Spain then. Phone makers usually include whether their devices are fm capable, and many people do look for that when shopping for a new one. In my case the lack of fm in Nexus 4 was determinant in getting an Xperia T instead.
(And AOKP was determinant in me purchasing Spirit Unlocked... ).



Xperia T ? We're we emailing about the antenna issue ?

The T may be capable of FM transmit, but unlike the ST-Ericsson CG2900 devices, a Debug-> FM Chip setting won't enable it and I'm not sure I'll ever have one or enable transmit.
7th February 2013, 12:39 AM |#5338  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cajunflavoredbob

It can only be ransom, since the hardware is physically disabled in most cases. Any intelligent human being knows that it's cheaper to leave it alone than to expend more time and resources to disable it.

Gee, I hate to take the "anti FM" side even a little bit, but...

It does take at least a few cheap components, coils, caps and whatever to connect the FM antenna pin to the headset ground. Literally, I think, maybe a penny or two in volume.

And at a minimum the QA folks have some additional testing to do, and a little bit of developer time may be needed, at minimum. In other cases, the costs could add up.

But my guess is that, depending on volume, this might add 10 cents to a dollar to the cost of a phone. More if sales of the device are low.

There may also be a few patents to pay to license. And I don't know if additional FCC required testing is needed for FM receive.

On the other side, having a single "SKU" and not having to deal with variants can save money. In some cases perhaps, that means it DOES cost more to disable/not enable FM. And on the other side again, if 100 or 1,000 more people buy the phone because it DOES support FM, that improves the profit.

We can only guess what the costs or gains might be in most cases. And yes, issues like carriers only supporting certain bands can complicate this, but again this is mostly a US phenomena.

And carrier-wise, I'm happy to live in the now mostly GSM (w/ LTE now too) country to the north of the US. I have a grand-fathered unlimited data plan for 25 cents a day, through a discount MVNO re-selling one of the main 3 carriers, Bell. GSM is fast enough here for me; LTE has little interest to me, especially with the cheap old plan I have.
7th February 2013, 02:22 AM |#5339  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikereidis

Feb 3 Free:
GT-I9100g mods:

- It turns out the 9100G CM is using a VERY old circa 2009 Samsung FM driver. It uses Ioctl numbers that were stupidly re-used in newer drivers for different functions.

I made changes to automatically detect and deal with that. This should enable RSSI and RDS and likely fixes other things. AFAICT previous releases may have been unable to select Mono/Stereo or Band de-emphasis properly.

Audio changes were made though that might cause some volume problems. If so you can try setting Debug-> BC 4330/20780 to "Disable" and restart Spirit. You could also try setting Debug-> External Volume to values between 1 and 28-30 and restarting Spirit.

I've had a recent report that on the second start, tuning is stuck on a low frequency. I hope this will fix that.

I've also had a report of problems with FM audio not returning after an audio notification. I've heard that pause/play might restore it for 3 seconds and that speaker/headset might restore properly.

Please let me know of any remaining GT-I9100G issue.

Feb 7: http://d-h.st/EY1

Also on Play.

Main change from Feb 3 test release is GT-I9100g defaults to using Debug-> Silent Loop instead of Debug-> Play Audiotrack.

I changed this because it fixed problems for a few people.

This, and some other possible continuing 9100g issues, has to be dealt with by just putting the new release out on Play, and seeing if more people have problems than with Play Audiotrack. Sometimes it will depend on ROM.
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7th February 2013, 06:16 AM |#5340  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikereidis

Gee, I hate to take the "anti FM" side even a little bit, but...

It does take at least a few cheap components, coils, caps and whatever to connect the FM antenna pin to the headset ground. Literally, I think, maybe a penny or two in volume.

And at a minimum the QA folks have some additional testing to do, and a little bit of developer time may be needed, at minimum. In other cases, the costs could add up.

But my guess is that, depending on volume, this might add 10 cents to a dollar to the cost of a phone. More if sales of the device are low.

There may also be a few patents to pay to license. And I don't know if additional FCC required testing is needed for FM receive.

On the other side, having a single "SKU" and not having to deal with variants can save money. In some cases perhaps, that means it DOES cost more to disable/not enable FM. And on the other side again, if 100 or 1,000 more people buy the phone because it DOES support FM, that improves the profit.

We can only guess what the costs or gains might be in most cases. And yes, issues like carriers only supporting certain bands can complicate this, but again this is mostly a US phenomena.

And carrier-wise, I'm happy to live in the now mostly GSM (w/ LTE now too) country to the north of the US. I have a grand-fathered unlimited data plan for 25 cents a day, through a discount MVNO re-selling one of the main 3 carriers, Bell. GSM is fast enough here for me; LTE has little interest to me, especially with the cheap old plan I have.

I didn't really think about it like that. I'm still on the anti-carrier bandwagon, though. (at least in the US) As seen in the rest of the civilized world, carriers becoming "dumb pipes" is great for the consumer. I don't know of anywhere else in the world where FM is disabled unless the stations kick in a few dollars.



EDIT: OK, weird issue. Before this was random, but after the new update on the unlimited version, the radio kicks back on by itself. If I have Spirit running, and I pause it to take a call or something, it will unpause itself whenever any system sound, like new email or SMS, plays. It was fine previously when it only happened occasionally, but now it's every single time. This is on the Defy XT. I've cleared cache, and uninstalled/reinstalled from the market. I haven't tried it on a different phone yet, but I can try on the Sensation/G2/HD2 tomorrow evening. (HTC was pretty good about leaving the FM radio alone.)
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7th February 2013, 06:36 AM |#5341  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikereidis

I haven't seen that. Are the RSSI numbers at top left about the same on the same stations ?




You can't. I didn't realize you were talking about Spirit2.

If anyone posts or emails about Spirit2, please specify Spirit2.



RSSI numbers at top left about the same on the same stations: YESS but no lock on station and bad quality
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