Friday, December 10, 2004 10:40 AM

Misuse Imperitive 1: The DS sound situation

I doubt it has escaped your notice, dear reader, but the DS has not 1 - but 3 output sources for sound and 2 inputs for microphone. In addition to the microphone and speaker on the face of the DS, there is the strange looking square port on the front right with the headphone icon, and the power port in the back - which doubled as an audio port on the GBA SP (thanks, anonymous tipster) and still enjoys that functionality in the DS.



What a strange hardware configuration. The temptation to misuse such a peculiar setup is strong. Once the DS is thouroughly hacked and it's secrets laid bare, what kind of cool and unique sound-specific mis-uses would you like to see?

Some ideas:

1) Multi-user audio player. Starting small. How often have you seen couples divvying up a pair of earbuds so they can both listen to the same iPod? Of course, the DS could realize a much more potent version of the same concept if someone paired the wi-fi capability with the audio capability. How cool would it be to use the DS as a wi-fi radio station so that groups of people could be listening to the music selection of one person? A group of friends, each wearing a DS with headphones, walk down the street bopping in unison. Theo's song selection is over, now Brett's DS starts flashing indicating that it is his turn to pick the music - he sets up a playlist with a little XTC, Minders, Apples in Stereo....

2) Party Games: 2 opponents wear headphones connected to the same DS. The game gives each player private instructions over their private headphones. The party-goers are let in on the secret via the speakers while the headphones play a little distraction music. Think of the weird strategy, conversation, secret-keeping and guessing games mechanism would make possible.


How about it? I'm sure I missed some big ones....


POSTED BY Brett | PERMALINK |  

14 Comments:

At 8:28 PM, DaK said...

This is more of a developmental use than a misuse, but I imagine using the headset as a multiplayer communication tool, while leaving the speakers itself to output game sounds (much like the xbox).

 
At 1:05 AM, Anonymous said...

I would love to see a music DJing program made for the DS. Use of your own audio tracks imported via flashcard or sent wirelessly from your PC to the DS and sub sequentially saved on a special DS media card.

The touch screen could emulate the tactile feeling of vinyl, the same way that digital CD-DJ decks do in that you can scratch the CD, same thing with the audio track on your DS. Since the screen is a little small to have both turntables, the L & R triggers could change the 'camera' angle to change which deck you are working with. The headphones could be used to monitor the left or right track at your choosing for cueing up for a mix and the speakers or output on the back could be the monitor for the actual mix (what the crowd hears, as opposed to what the DJ hears in his headphones).

It's a neat possibility. - SilentK

 
At 1:08 AM, Anonymous said...

Following up on my last comment - check out this link - it's to a program called Little Sound DJ - it's a very interesting sound program for Gameboy & Gameboy Color. It requires that you purchase a special cartridge, but I've always wanted to get into it more. Once the DS is bust-open, we should see some really cool stuff like this...

http://www.littlesounddj.com/

-SilentK

 
At 8:45 AM, Anonymous said...

Although the headset could possibly be separately controlled, I highly doubt that the speakers, headphone jack, and power port/SP headphone jack are.

 
At 11:04 AM, Brett said...

Great suggestions, Silent K. Here's a link to the Japanese DS "Jam with the Band" video if you somehow have managed not to see it yet.

http://www.boingboing.net/2004/12/10/rhapsody_in_nintendo.html

 
At 11:06 AM, Brett said...

Anonymouse has a legitimate point. Can anyone tell whether the 3 audio inputs can be seperately controlled by looking at the internals from the Lik-Sang pics?

http://www.lik-sang.com/news.php?artc=3530

 
At 1:20 AM, SN said...

The sqare input next to the headphone jack looks rougly like the one on my minidisc player. It's used for the remote imput, so you could leave the unit in your pocket and use an inwire remote to control the system. Just a heads-up.

 
At 1:28 AM, Brett said...

NO WAY! Wouldn't that be incredible if that square jack had some input capability like you describe! It could be used to make unique add on controllers. Say if you wanted an analog joystick or what-not... Just splice it up and plug it in.

Has the status of this port been discovered via the Lik-Sang DS vivisection? Is it at all standard?

 
At 4:54 AM, Anonymous said...

The 'ipod-like' control jack was what I thought of the first time that I looked at it. My sony walkman has an extremely similar port. For some reason I dismissed it, but the ability to add an analog stick stated above got the attention going again. -Tired

 
At 9:29 AM, Anonymous said...

two minor comments on this article:
" the power port in the back - which doubled as an audio port on the GBA and still enjoys that functionality in the DS" -- First of all, the GBA had a normal audio port; the GBA SP lacked one due to a small design. Secondly, the GBA SP headphone adapter did NOT plug into the power port (ext 2), but in ext 1 (the link/pheripheral-port)

The other comment on this article is about the square port on the NDS. Nintendo confirmed this port is used for a headset. (http://gba.n64europe.com/feature.php?id=2665 for proof)

 
At 9:55 AM, Brett said...

1)Thanks for the GBA / SP correction. I've noted it. As for the ports - the DS power jack has been reported to still work for audio. Can anyone confirm the claim that the SP used the programmer jack for audio instead of the power jack?

2) Headphone jack, yes. Standard headphone, no. This square port is obviously one off from a standard microphone jack - therefore custom hardware. Some custom hardware, like the iPod earbud-remote contain inputting capability which could be repurposed for connecting non-sanctioned devices.

 
At 12:20 AM, Anonymous said...

sorry to say but that port is actually on the gba and gba sp and it's call ext.

 
At 7:19 PM, theo .:. said...

You little sound DJ rocks I bought a GB classic flash card (super hard to find now) and bought the rom from the guys site. It takes a while to get used to but is wicked. It even has phonems so you can make it speak if you have the patiance. Also I just read that BAND BROTHERS allows you to write your own tunes it has its own sequencer editor. It might sound cheesy but I am down. - I have to devide if I can wait long enough for the US version

 
At 2:56 PM, Anonymous said...

Here is the information on the DS sound system:
The DS contains 2 speakers and an integrated mic.
The headset port consists of 2 parts: a standard headphone jack, and the funny shaped square connector which is for the microphone. (This port has only two pins so I am certain it cannot be used for other accessories.)

The GBA-SP headphone adapter did indeed use the power port. I remember people getting quite annoyed that they had to choose between using the headphones or the ac adapter. The DS manual ststes that the DS can use the GBA-SP headphone adapter, but i'm 99% certain that the port's headset outs are wired exactly the same as the headphone jack of the headset port.

 

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