TTS navigation over radio on Android phone

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TTS navigation over radio on Android phone

Post by pioneer on Fri Aug 22, 2014 6:01 pm

I could do with some advice please.

I have a Samsung Note 3 running Android Kitkat, and am using Route 66 Navigator navigation software on it, using a text-to-speech voice. I am trying to get the navigation instructions to stream to my car stereo (Pioneer DEH-X8500DAB) while I am listening to the radio.

The phone is paired to the stereo, and if I have the phone in bluetooth audio mode (not radio) and using the A2DP I can listen to the navigation, but not while listening to the radio (DAB radio) using either A2DP, bluetooth  - mono or bluetooth - mono (dynamic), using the latest Beta version. BTW, I have media audio turned on in the bluetooth settings on the phone too. The phone is using the soundabout TTS.

Also, when I have the TTS setting on Bluetooth - mono or Bluetooth - mono (dynamic) when I try to change the volume on the phone, it shows the bluetooth icon, and not the internal speaker icon. This makes me think that the phone and Soundabout are trying to send the navigation sounds over bluetooth, it's just that the stereo is doing anything with the received sounds, and not passing them through to the speakers.

In the user manual for my stereo, it says it is compatible with the following Bluetooth profiles:

- Bluetooth 3.0
- GAP (Generic access profile)
- HFP (Hands free profile) 1.5
- HSP (Head set profile)
- PBAP (Phone book access profile)
- A2DP
- AVRCP (Audio/video remote control profile) 1.3
- SPP (Serial port profile) 1.1

I will buy the app if I can get the navigation to work over the stereo speakers, when listening to the radio. If not, I'll buy a bluetooth speaker and mount it in the car, but that will be a nuisance. The sound from my Note 3 is too quiet even on full volume, so I can't hear the navigation when I am listening to the radio.

Many thanks for any help.
Tim

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Re: TTS navigation over radio on Android phone

Post by SoundAbout on Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:16 pm

It's tough to get a phone's Bluetooth to use the car's Bluetooth phone profile. You have to fake a phone call.

If you following the instructions below, does the car show that it is in phone call when navigation is being used?

Some Nav apps use pre-recorded audio which won't work well for the audio switching that SoundAbout needs to do.

There are some threads on setting up SoundAbout to do Navigation over Bluetooth mono in the car.

http://soundabout.userboard.net/t418-using-google-navigation-waze-or-co-pilot-and-even-ivona-for-the-voices

http://soundabout.userboard.net/t202-navigation-text-to-speech-audio-to-various-outputs-bluetooth-mono-in-car





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Re: TTS navigation over radio on Android phone

Post by pioneer on Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:26 pm

Thanks a lot for your comments, and the tips on making TTS voice work.

To keep the trouobleshooting processsimple, I have just tested again using the phone's media player as the audio source, with no TTS to complicate the problem, to just try to see if I can get normal media audio working .

N.B. When the phone is actually on a phone call, the display switches to a different screen with a phone icon - this has not happened with any of my testing to using Soundabout to send media audio to the stereo.

I have the following behaviour:

1) When the stereo is in Bluetooth - Audio mode, with media audio set to A2DP works fine - the media from my phone plays on the car stereo.
2) When the stereo is in Bluetooth - Audio mode, with media audio set to bluetooth (mono), the phone says "unable to play during phone call", and no sound is heard.
3) When the stereo is in Bluetooth - Audio mode, with media audio set to bluetooth (mono) (dynamic), the media player on the phone looks to be playing, but no sound is heard. The track timer on the stereo is counting the seconds as if the media is playing.
4) With the stereo in radio (DAB) mode, with media audio set to bluetooth (A2DP), the phone indicates it is playing the media, but the stereo carries on playing the DAB radio.
5) With the stereo in radio (DAB) mode, with media audio set to bluetooth (mono), the phone again says "unable to play during phone call", and no sound is heard (the stereo carries on playing the DAB radio)
6) With the stereo in radio (DAB) mode, with media audio set to bluetooth (mono) (dynamic), the media player on the phone looks to be playing, but no sound is heard (the stereo carries on playing the DAB radio).
The stereo display is not changing like it would on a phone call in any of the above scenarios (i.e. no phone icon).

A couple of ideas in my head about what might be happening:

- In bluetooth (mono), the phone is establishing a connection ("unable to play during phone call" suggests some connection has been made) but this is not the same type as a real phone call (hence no phone icon on the stereo), and on the phone, the media audio is NOT being passed through to that established "phone call" connection, it is blocked from it, hence the error message "unable to play during phone call".
- In bluetooth (mono) (dynamic), the phone is establishing a connection (hence the track time display working in the media player), again not the same type as a real phone call (no phone icon on stereo), and the media audio is again NOT being passed through to that connection (hence the silence even when the track time display on the stereo is changing).

These are only theories, I hope what I am saying rings true and is not way off the mark.

Any advice would be very welcome.

Thanks,
Tim

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Re: TTS navigation over radio on Android phone

Post by SoundAbout on Sun Aug 31, 2014 11:50 pm

Are you using SoundAbout from the Google Play store or the Beta version?

You can try the newer Beta version here: http://soundabout.userboard.net/f8-download-beta-versions

2) Makes sense. If the stereo is in Bluetooth mode, then it is most likely expecting Bluetooth A2DP for music(stereo). Bluetooth mono iuses the phone call profile to "fake" a phone call, which is why you see the message "unable to play during phone call". This message comes from Samsung. It seems they don't want you to play media over the Bluetooth mono channel used for phone calls.

3) This is like #2, but is passively waiting for Bluetooth mono to connect (dynamic). If the stereo is set to Bluetooth mode, then it will be expecting Bluetooth A2DP and not Bluetooth mono.

4) This makes sense as the phone / SoundAbout are looking for a Bluetooth A2DP device to connect to. If the stereo is in DAB mode, then it is not receiving the Bluetooth A2DP audio from the phone.

5) Bluetooth mono may not be allowed to play music (via Samsung). If it did, the quality would be good as Bluetooth mono is voice quality. Have you tried playing media using something like "Tune In Radio"? This is voice quality audio and I'm curious if it would bypass that annoying Samsung message "unable to play during phone call".

6) This is like #5, but is passively waiting for Bluetooth mono to connect (dynamic).

In cases where you get the "unable to play during phone call" message, see if it will work with a podcast or Tune-In radio...anything that would be voice quality instead of stereo quality.

It could be that the Phone / Car combo just won't work. The compatibility between various phones and cars when trying to fake a phone call using Bluetooth mono can vary. I have some phones, like my old Moto Droid that just don't allow it.

In other cases, I've had better luck when rooting the phone and installing different ROMs/Kernals as these will get rid of that check that causes the "unable to play during phone call" message.
http://forum.xda-developers.com/galaxy-note-3







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Re: TTS navigation over radio on Android phone

Post by pioneer on Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:41 pm

Thanks ever so much for taking the time to respond in so much depth.

Yes it may be that this phone/stereo combo just won't work. It is slightly frustrating but not the end of the world, as the only thing I want to stream over the top of the DAB radio are navigation instructions, which are too quiet from the phone's speaker. I don't drive a huge amount of miles, and I can rely on the screen icons on the navigation app, so it is not a big problem.

I really don't want to root the phone, I work in a technical job and spend a lot of time sitting at a computer, and I don't want to root, as I don't want to be spending much personal time on my phone performing any manual maintenance or tinkering with rooting, worrying about Samsung updates not working etc.

There is also an mod that boosts the volume of the internal speaker on the Note 3, which sounds like a good solution, but only on rooted phones. I won't bother with that either, as I don't want to root for the reasons above.

I will try out Tune in radio sometime soon and see if that helps.

Thanks again,
Tim

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Re: TTS navigation over radio on Android phone

Post by pioneer on Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:42 pm

P.S. I just remembered I have an old Sony Ericsson bluetooth hands free unit that clips on the sun visor, I will see if I can find that and see if I can get some media sound out of that too when I get a chance.

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Re: TTS navigation over radio on Android phone

Post by SoundAbout on Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:45 pm

Yes, I actually use an old one-ear Bluetooth headset to test. Those tend to work well, but the cars/phones can be finicky when it comes to playing media through a car's Bluetooth mono connection.
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Re: TTS navigation over radio on Android phone

Post by pioneer on Sat Sep 06, 2014 8:39 am

Well, I found the old mono car hands free unit, and I have got some sounds from it, so some success I guess.

Using this mono hands free unit, in bluetooth mono, the phone sounds work, such as the bleep when pressing the back button etc. I tried TuneIn radio, this works too. In bluetooth mono (dynamic), TuneIn radio works too.

In the car though, playing DAB radio, neither Bluetooth or Bluetooth mono produce any sound from the phone through the stereo, using TuneIn radio. In Bluetooth Audio mode on the stereo, playing from TuneIn radio, the radio station is displayed in both bluetooth mono and bluetooth mono (dynamic) modes, but no sound is heard. I tried changing the phones audio output to mono (in the accessibility section), but no joy.

The fact the radio station name is showing is promising. With the stereo in Bluetooth audio mode, I can tell a connection is being made and stopped with Soundabout in Bluetooth mono (dynamic) mode, as when I stop playing radio on TuneIn, a background hiss appears, then when I play radio on TuneIn, the hiss disappears. It's like the stereo cannot decode the mono audio in the connection mode Soundabout is using.

I was wondering, is there any way Soundabout could use a fake phone call mode that is using the same connection type as a real phone call, as this would surely work. Is this possible, or is it too much work for an app is geared towards all Android phones, and involve needing to modify the phones firmware to access and modify the dialler software?

Many thanks,
Tim

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Re: TTS navigation over radio on Android phone

Post by SoundAbout on Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:29 pm

Actually, Bluetooth mono does, (sort of) fake a phone call. It does dial a number, but it "tells" Android that the audio mode is PHONE_CALL. This is how you get media audio to come out of the built-in ear speaker as well as Bluetooth Mono.

I would think that the car being in Bluetooth Audio mode should definitely allow audio from the phone to the car (with or without SoundAbout), as that is what it was made for.

For SoundAbout to send audio via Bluetooth mono or Bluetooth mono (dynamic), the car stereo should not be in Bluetooth audio mode as this makes the car stereo use the Bluetooth A2DP profile instead of the Bluetooth mono profile.

Sending audio to Bluetooth via the phone call profile (Bluetooth mono) isn't a normal process. It's not technically supposed to be able to do that, and is done though unconventional means. I've noticed that some cars don't seem to allow this process at all. You've noticed that the mono hands free unit does work, so the phone/SoundAbout are sending the audio via Bluetooth, but the car may not be accepting the audio.
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Re: TTS navigation over radio on Android phone

Post by pioneer on Fri Sep 12, 2014 1:16 pm

Thanks a lot for replying again.

Yes I can see how the sound is being sent, but the car stereo will not accept it. I assume there is no easy fix to get the audio into a form that the stereo will accept.

I have seen a cheap bluetooth speaker on Amazon that looks ideal for sitting in the cubby hole in front of my car's gear knob, and provide fairly loud navigation instructions while I have the DAB radio on. Here it is: http://www.amazon.co.uk/August-SE30--Portable-Bluetooth-Speaker/dp/B00EOUGSZ8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=undefined&sr=8-2&keywords=august+bluetooth+se+30

Reading around on the web it looks like I could pair the phone (Note 3) to the stereo for phone calls, and also to the speaker for media audio, at the same time, so this will be a decent solution.

Thanks again for all of your help on this, good luck with the future of the app. You certainly deserve to do well with Soundabout given the amount of time you have taken to try and solve the problem I was having.

Tim

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Re: TTS navigation over radio on Android phone

Post by SoundAbout on Thu Sep 18, 2014 12:06 am

That solution sounds like it will work. Let me now how it goes.
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