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BAMP - (Badass Android Music Player) - convert any old phone into a super iPod

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By dopiate, Member on 11th February 2014, 05:13 PM
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This guide will show you how to turn an old phone into on really great iPod/iPod Touch replacement.
It will strip the phone out, enhance the audio and extend the battery life.
It will breath new life into the phone that was just upgraded.

I have done two of these so far, with lots of trial and error just to get to this point. My current one is now my main music player for the gym and my car.
They end up sounding amazing.

[Note: this guide is a moderately advanced user, I say that because to do this your phone
must be unlocked and rooted - you can find a guide on how to do that for almost any
phone, you just won't find that information here.]

This is my first thread here (so go easy on me). I did a search and never found any fully flushed out “how to” guide for something like this
(plus I didn't agree with some of their choices).
Ok, here we go….



Badass Android Music Player (BAMP)
(It’s just a working title - I am open to any suggestions)

Q: What is it?
A: Modifying a phone you no longer use and turning it into a audio and video
player with good battery life (even on a phone with crappy normal battery life will work a lot better).

Q: Why?
A: A replacement phone makes a great iPod type player. I have an iPod and iPod Touch
and currently I prefer my BAMP to both of them hands down because it sounds better!

Q: What is the benefit?
A: It sounds awesome (beats my iThings hands down for audio). Even in my Camery (not known
for it's audio) I use the line in am blown away at how good the speakers really are. I can get my rear view mirror shaking from the bass.
Also, It re purposes a device that is NOT end of life.

What you need:
1. a unlocked/rooted phone with Android 4.x or higher
2. a non-stock recovery (TWRP, CW, ...)
3. Android 4.x (that's a must)

What you don't need:
1. a custom ROM (I would suggest one but, the choice is yours). I am running CleanROM Pro 4.5 but I prefer CM but, none of this matters
for this project. Anything you need we will add and anything you don't will be removed or disabled.
2. a SIM card (your phone will complain at first but we will fix that).


Feedback? / Help? / Ideas? / Suggestions? / Criticisms? - all are welcome but, don't jump in too quick, let me finish the guide first

Yes, this is very much just an idea/work in progress. There are places where I use apps that you have to pay for and suggestions for
replacement apps that don't cost or alternatives are welcome.

Also, while this is the second phone I have done, I have in no way thought of all the things that could improve this setup. I think the battery
life could be extended even further.

I definitely need help with other manufacturers: I have only converted two phones so far, both HTC, so I am fairly good and what I can
remove, freeze, disable on a Verizon HTC phone. It would be a great help to get a list of what can be done for other manufacturers.
Even point out if I missed a process that is not needed for our purposes.

That’s what this guide is going to be a step by step guide how I did my phone and with a little luck and participation I can improve the process,
support other manufacturers and one day automate as much of this as I can.

This is just the intro - please give me a few days to post all the notes and screenshots before jumping it.


Next Post: Making sure your phone is prepared!
Remember: You need a phone already unlocked/rooted and custom recovery flashed to be able to begin.

New Info: I did find out that if you don't "check in" after a certain amount of times certain apps like Titanium and PowerAmp will complain. All I did is turn on my wifi - connect -- I let them both update (I didnt see the harm) and I've been good since then.
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11th February 2014, 07:14 PM |#2  
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Prep Work
Prep Work!

OK lets get started. I'm assuming you have your unlocked/rooted phone with custom recovery ready to go?

Lets double check everything before we strip your phone...

If for some reason you didn't install a custom ROM then you need to install/flash a superuser program. I like SuperSU
but on older phones superuser seems to work ok.

You need to install a utility that can "freeze" apps:
- I use and own Titanium Backup root Pro (this app costs $)
- There are other apps that are free that can "freeze" (I just haven't tried them)
---> Ultimate Backup
---> App Quarantine ROOT/FREEZE
---> System Tuner
*all of those listed are on the Play Store - if you have an opinion on any of them please feel free to post that*

First, make sure your phone is in developer mode. Each phone, ROM is a bit different but if you don't see this in your settings
then you should stop right here and Google how to turn on developer mode. Once you are in developer mode you need to turn on USB Debugging.

Second install the recovery manager software on your phone. I usually match up TWRP with TWRP and CWM with CWM but I think CWM handles
most other recovery programs now.

If you went with CM or Paranoid or some other ROM then most of the above is already done for you (except the "freezing" app).

OK so you have:
1. installed a "freezing" app
2. installed a recovery manager app
3. made sure your phone was in developer mode
4. made sure you have USB Debugging on
5. made sure you have superuser (whichever app you choose working)
If all that is done then we create a backup rigth now using recovery!
BACKUP CURRENT ROM in whatever recover you have installed.

We need a baseline recovery because I promise you that you will get into an endless "Phone Not Responding" loop sometime during this process.
The goal here is to disable and/or remove a LOT OF APPS and FEATURES and you will get into and error loop if you freeze the wrong thing.

It happens that's why we backup and backup often in the beginning.

Next Post: Disabling, removing, uninstalling and freezing!
-dOpiate
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14th February 2014, 02:28 AM |#3  
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Delay - Just a bit...but I'm good now.
I wasn't able to post images because I was a new member and the next 4 or 5 parts are confusing without images as examples.

The board OP was kind enough to lift this image restriction so now I can continue the posts tomorrow.

I got some great testing results testing today (trapped in my house today by the blizzard) - I ran BAMP at full volume for 40 minutes and captured the battery stats. I got better results that expected (proof to be posted soon).

-dOpiate
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17th February 2014, 05:36 PM |#4  
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Disabling, removing, uninstalling and freezing!
Disabling, removing, uninstalling and freezing!

Ok now that your phone is backed up (you created a backup of the current ROM)
it's time to start removing all the unnecessary parts of the phone.

The first thing to do is remove all the bloatware or apps not related to processing
music. There is a lot of personal preference here because we are going to leave WiFi
working so if you want to keep Skype on the phone or GoogleDrive then you should.
They will continue to work but unnecessary programs that you can easily uninstall
you should start removing.

You get the picture, anything in your apps list that you can easily uninstall.
Not everything will allow you to uninstall it. Sometimes the only option you have
is to remove updates. Don't worry we will get this stuff later.

A lot of the software directly related to your provider or phone manufacturer will
not allow you to uninstall it. This is when we start freezing applications and
processes.

You should also go through your settings and start turning off all the parts not needed for
a music player. Though after you are done freezing most of these things won't work anyway.

At this point you should put your phone into "Airplane" mode and then re-enable/disable Wifi
as needed.


I will screenshot my settings (in an update to this post) later today - I brought the wrong
phone to work so I can't get those images right now.

Here is a list of the processes that I froze on my HTC Rezound AFTER having uninstalled
everything I could. Keep in mind your list will be different and there will be a time when you
freeze something and it puts your phone into an error loop - I would freeze a screen full of
stuff then create a backup, then continue on.

My Frozen List (Using Titanium Backup Pro - root)




These processes can also safely be frozen:



Just to jump ahead a bit I want to show you where we are headed. These are
screenshots of my BAMP phone after blasting music on the highest volume for 40+ minutes.
For anyone who doesnt know, an HTC Rezound is NOT know for good battery life! Plus,
we are going to improve on the sound

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20th February 2014, 05:22 PM |#5  
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Time to build the media player
Lets build that Music Player now!

I will be listing the apps I use and I will list alternatives that I have seen.
I have tried some and some I haven't tried.

We basically (if all went well) have a blank slate here. We have an Android
device that has been modified and changed to have 1 main purpose.
Play music, loud!

1- Install a DSP
2- Install a Music/Media player
3- tweak the final install with a few other apps

First I would install Beats. There are a lot of other DSP Managers's out there now but
honestly I like Beats and since the management of it is getting better and
better and the Audio Player I use plays nice with it I got with Beats.

I must confess that I used this...
http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=1816719
to install beats and I can't uninstall it. Plus it's no longer supported.

I recommend getting your Beats from RockAudioMod (or RD Music Mod) ... it's still evolving but it's really good.
http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=1525226

You also don't need Beats you just need a DSP Manager. The one from CM is also really good.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...odappinstaller
I did try this application and could not get it to work but I am only running Android
4.0.3 - it says it runs on Android 3.0 and up but that was not my experience.

Apps you could grab from the [Root] CM App Installer that would be useful are:
- Apollo music player (you could use this as you main music device if you wanted)
- DSP Manager (you are going to need a DSP Manager and if you can't or don't want Beats
then you can grab this one).
- CM File Manager (perfectly fine for moving songs, deleting old ROM's and files)

There are also standalone installs for Apollo and CM DSP Manager, to find them all you have to do is
search for them. Plus there are DSP's in the PlayStore that I never tried so you have a ton of options.

We are dealing with all personal preference here now. As my DSP manager and music player I use
Poweramp Full Version. I purchased it with my first phone and I think it does a great job.
It fully integrates with the Beats installs and it has a built in DSP Manager.

While that's what I use I wanted to make sure this "how to guide" had a fully implemented free
version.

So take your phone, in Airplane Mode, and pick the DSP you want to use.
Install that DSP then select the media player you want to use. Apollo is good but
there are also a ton of free ones on the PlayStore.

Additionally you want to set your screen timeout to something reasonable so you don't waste
any battery on the screen.

Pre-KitKat there was a great app called VolumeControl+ that would lock your volume buttons so
while you were jogging it didn't screw up the sound. I am still using it on my 4.0.3 and I
just wrote the developer since I have had no luck using it on 4.4.2. If I can't get anywhere I will
need to find a new app to lock the buttons on the phone.

Now just load some music and enjoy!

Total Cost: 0.00

Both phones I have done like this sound great and have really long battery life. It's only purpose is
to play music. I turn on the WiFi every once in a while to do updates or grab songs from GDrvie.

There is no standard setup or quick and easy .zip to flash or .apk to install. Hopefully in the
future there will be.

I'm open to any ideas or suggestions to make this setup better.
I would definitely like to make a list of other processes that can safely be frozen (manufacturer specific or not).

Here is just a quick example of my layout.



Hopefully it's helpful for those looking to do something with an old replaced phone.
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4th March 2014, 11:32 AM |#6  
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No Interest?
I found out a few more things but I don't see anyone interested in this thread.

If not, no big deal, it was good for me - instructions or a guide if I have to make another one.

For the moment I'll just let the thread die.

Any questions you can always PM me.

No bumps - besides this one
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5th March 2014, 01:50 AM |#7  
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Thank you for posting this. It gives me a better understanding of what I intend to do with my 3 1/2 year old Captivate.

I saw it for the first time today, mostly because this is probably the first time I have searched outside of my device forums.
5th March 2014, 06:41 PM |#8  
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Wasn't sure where the post should go....
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgdoc

Thank you for posting this. It gives me a better understanding of what I intend to do with my 3 1/2 year old Captivate.

I saw it for the first time today, mostly because this is probably the first time I have searched outside of my device forums.

Yea it's a very non-specific device modification, so I wasn't sure where it fit in the forums.

I use my HTC Rezound audio player constantly, from the gym to work to/from the drive home. I love it, it sounds great and it makes crappy speakers (like in my Camry) sound so much better than an iPod using the line in or the CD player. I have iPods and I don't care what EQ you setup in them, they never sound as good as this.

Only when I forget to turn off the WiFi do I even remotely have a low battery at the end of day(s).

I think I had some minor tweaks that I wrote down at home, I'll add them if I can find my notes or remember what it was.

Just because a phone is a year or two old doesn't make it worthless. Sure you can probably eBay it for 50.00 or around there but I'm getting so much use out of it and not draining a drop of battery from my primary phone.

I don't have to have my Galaxy Nexus sitting in the car charger just to hear some music. I haven't ever used the car charger on the BAMP Rezound.

Rezound was probably the worst phone I ever purchased and now, honestly, it's more useful than it was as a phone!
6th March 2014, 03:00 AM |#9  
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First of all, thank you very much for this guide. I have one question. Did you freeze Google play? Because it is a battery eater but it is needed to check that you actually purchased poweramp. The thing with the volume buttons is that im just the opposite, I need to be able to skip songs by pressing physical buttons due to I usually use it while skating and it a pain in the ass to take out my mobile in the meantime.

Enviado desde mi Desire Z mediante Tapatalk
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6th March 2014, 03:35 PM |#10  
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Tested your question
Quote:
Originally Posted by meadillas11

First of all, thank you very much for this guide. I have one question. Did you freeze Google play? Because it is a battery eater but it is needed to check that you actually purchased poweramp. The thing with the volume buttons is that im just the opposite, I need to be able to skip songs by pressing physical buttons due to I usually use it while skating and it a pain in the ass to take out my mobile in the meantime.

Hi luckily I read your question before my commute to work today so I can tell you what I found out.

Real quick question first, can you confirm you are using your phone with WiFi off? I never saw any Google Play services activity unless I had WiFi on and WiFi searching is a huge battery killer. I only get less than a day if I keep WiFi on.

As to the question about PowerAmp: I do not not believe it works that way, When you purchase it (from the PlayStore) you have to download two things the program and the "pro" key. After those are installed it never checks the Play Store (that I am aware of). If you are getting an error I would ask them about it. I am fairly certain about this because I use it 99% of the time with WiFi disabled (and there is no data plan at all on this phone). If it worked as you mentioned then no one could use it airplane mode.

I did read that there is some problem if you purchase the key directly from their site and then get the program from the PlayStore. Maybe that's it? But, I only turn on my WiFi to check for updates when I'm recharging, no other time, and I never have an issue.

As to Google Play services... before my ride to work I froze it and everything was fine. It is still frozen and I was able to upload that image via "share to gdrive" using WiFi. Also, I was able to go to the Play Store and check for updates without an issue. Based on my very limited testing it seems safe to "freeze" - I don't plan on unfreezing it until I see a problem.

With the volume program that's really just based on how you use it. I use playlists in PowerAmp and just keep the phone in my pocket at the gym. If I didn't use the volume program then my volume would go up and down and tracks would change as it bounces around. If you use a clip and/or don't have that problem then you can skip using a program to lock your volume. I also don't change tracks with the buttons so for me it works but for you it seems best to not use it.

Thanks for the question, if after a week or so I have no issues I will amend my other post about what to freeze and add Google Play Services.

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6th March 2014, 05:36 PM |#11  
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Google Play Services
Not all processes under Google Play services are started by the Google Play Store. Some are messaging and location services started by apps such as Google Search, Maps, and Hangouts. I'm pretty sure I've also had the location services started by non-Google apps.

Therefore, you can probably freeze some, especially the location services, without having any effect on the Play Store.
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