Please explain Audio Multitasking

Comments

64 comments

  • Roger Justus
    Roger Justus

    Sorry about the clumsy typing.  I mean 5.4.1 throughout my posting. Thanks.

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  • Recom
    Recom

    Just bought a Sena 20S, the first Sena product I have bought, and a 10000x upgrade on the chinese BT headsets I have used in the past ..

    But, audio-multitasking. I understand this matter completely .. 

    The one feature that we all pretty much want, you don't offer ..

    You are listening to music, when the GPS kicks in - we need audio multitask to drop the volume a notch and for the satnav then increase .. instead of sudden stop in the music.

    Surely this has been an option in car based satnav since the dawn of time, did the R&D boffins not think of this ?

    Poor.

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  • Recom
    Recom

    @roger justus .. To allow your pillion to hear the satnav commands you would need to pair her to the GPS unit, would you not ?

    Unless the music sharing feature extended to GPS-share ..

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  • Roger Justus
    Roger Justus

    @Recom.  Your answer seems more of a question.  The GPS supports one headset profile at a time.  Pairing the pillion's GPS via Add a Device would lead to two Sena 20S profiles  aboard the Zumo but only one device can be selected at a time.  Seems that's how Sena 20s version of Bluetooth works.  Too bad.  Unless someone has direct experience with two 20s units and a Zumo 550 to the contrary I still see no way for both pilot and pillion maintain their conversation without being cut off by GPS commands AND when the GPS commands come that both 20s units hear those GPS commands. 

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  • Recom
    Recom

    @Roger Justus .. No its not a question and it's not an answer .. I don't wish to argue, but how is it related to audio multitasking ? Why not start a new topic or post on the Garmin forum "why can the Zumo cannot connect to two Sena 20S headsets simultaneously" Bluetooth is a point-point protocol, if your Zumo had 2 BT channels, then it would be possible, but its a limitation of the Zumo ( what GPS has two BT channels ? ), not of Sena.

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  • Roger Justus
    Roger Justus

    @Recom.  You suggested that I should  pair my pillion's 20s in addition to my own to the Zumo 550.  Be responsible for your advice. 

    Fair to say that there is a limitation of the Zumo 550 having only one BT channel.  However, it was the Sena limitation that lead to having to chose the 5.4.1 pairing GPS pairing method to prevent Sena's absolute priority to GPS commands from cutting off the  pilot and passenger intercom is what lead to this in the first place.  This is the end of my request for advice from Sena.

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  • Recom
    Recom

    "be responsible for your advice" .. What a rude little man you are.

    No, your pillion passanger isn't going to hear the commands from the GPS, its not a feature of Audio-multitasking.

    Enjoy your trip.

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  • RBEmerson
    RBEmerson

    Kathy Brojakowski wrote:

    "Jog to pair +phone tap+phone tap to GPS Pairing" did nothing different than "Jog to pair +phone tap". The GPS navigation on the Zumo 660 cuts off the music from my phone- no matter how I pair these things up. 

    The music from my Zumo sounds awful if I try to use it so I went to using the phone. Unfortunately the Zumo cuts the music off on directions. I haven't seen how it works when paired  to another rider with a 20s.

    May 25, 2015, 7:46 PM"

    I'm in the same situation: 20S, smart phone (Samsung Galaxy S5), and Zumo 660. There is no obvious way to keep the 660 from shutting down the music coming from the phone. The problem, I think, hinges on the following table:

    Sena:"(highest) Voice command mode
    Ambient mode
    Mobile phone
    Intercom
    Stereo music by audio cable
    Music sharing by Bluetooth stereo music
    FM Radio
    (lowest) Bluetooth stereo music
    A lower priority function is always interrupted by a higher priority
    function."

    Looking at the diagram next to 5.4.1, it seems that the 660's navigation audio is treated as mobile phone (HFP) audio. If so, there's no hope of having it overlay audio from the smartphone.

    Sena:"Audio Multitasking allows you to have an intercom conversation while simultaneously listening to music, FM radio, or GPS instructions." The problem hinges on where the GPS instructions come from. Since 5.4.1 sets up a HFP (Hands Free Phone) connection, the 660 should be handled as a phone (HFP also explains the poor, single channel [not true mono, just one of the two stereo channels] audio). Now, if 5.4.1's process somehow changes the connection to the same priority as the smartphone's music audio, then Audio Multitasking should work, with the 660's audio mixed into the general audio stream. Since that doesn't seem to be happening, let the 660 talk or push a 660 button and goodbye music audio.

    At present, my work-around is, shut down the 660's BT function, punch up whatever destination I want on the 660, feed the same destination to Google Maps, and resolve the disagreements between the two routes as I ride. FWIW, Maps generally gives more reliable routing. The downside is a) sometimes the phone can't find data (poor signal coverage), and b) even simple map mode consumes some of your monthly data budget (stating the obvious, I know) - you don't want to think about what using satellite view does to your data consumption!.

    It would be nice if Sena would spell out more clearly making an external GPS (e.g., Zumo 660) equal with music from a smartphone, but once again we're banging our heads against Sena's less than effective communications with its customers. Sigh...

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  • RBEmerson
    RBEmerson

    OK, I take it back. Sena did spell the situation out earlier. My assessment that the 660's nav audio is handled as a "phone call" is correct. The only hope for mixing it with the existing audio stream is to somehow convince the 20S firmware to treat a GPS pairing at the same priority as the smartphone's music audio. I don't think that's going to happen soon.

    Sena wrote:"

    After further discussion with our developers on Audio Multitasking, this feature was designed for reducing the audio of a lower priority function such as music, GPS navigation from a smartphone app (with the Navigation App Support setting disabled), or the FM radio during an intercom conversation. With that said, a GPS device that is paired using GPS Pairing is not considered to be using the Audio Multitasking feature as the GPS directions are being combined with the intercom at a fixed volume level.

    With a GPS paired to a 20S using Mobile Phone Pairing (5.4.2 GPS Pairing as Mobile Phone), you will only get Audio Multitasking from listening to the stereo music from the GPS and it being reduced in the background while having an intercom conversation at the same time. The navigation directions you hear from the GPS is using HFP, which has the highest priority, and will interrupt the music and the intercom."

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  • Goldenwand
    Goldenwand

    oh, before purchasing i thought i can listen to MP3 from my phone and use gps navigation at the same time. Now i learn that i can only do audio multitasking using intercom. I have SMH-10 and upgraded for just this, i am very very disappointed.

    Do you think Sena would add this option in a firmware?

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  • Dan
    Dan

    I've read a whole lot on bluetooth recently to try to understand what's so hard. There sure is a lot to be confused about. Let me dump what I understand:

     

    Bluetooth is divided in stacks of protocols, from the electronic radio and primitive data at the physical layer 1, then the packet data stuff called L2CAP at layer2, and then higher specific data-based layers.

    Let's list our 3 main audio sources:

    a) GPS instructions are send in the HFP profile, which sits mostly implemented at layer 1, as far as I have read. That means the sena headset would implement a synchronous physical layer 1 access and convert the raw audio data (8kbps, 16kbps PCM?) direct to your helmet speakers. Controlling the volume and such trivial knobs are functions not requiring to see the audio data anywhere above layer 1..

    b) A2DP and AVRCP are using packet data, so they access L2CAP. The data is high quality and wrapped in packets, somewhat like a wifi connection. It is more involved and occurs in what I will call the sena software brain part.

    c) the intercom audio has some features revealing what's happening: it is high definition, it has noise filters and such processing steps that imply a smart audio data processing. This audio data is pulled in the sena brain part too, I believe.

     

    Sena has embeded software and electronics. I wondered how much of the HFP profile is all implemented by electronics; I expect a lot is. My understanding is that the HFP audio traveling between the sena headset and any HFP server must be either all electronics or very very deep data that is probably not raised in the L2CAP layer 2 at all.

    ___So, what that effectively means:___

    I don't expect sena will attempt to (perhaps cannot) pull the HFP audio data in order to mix it with the A2DP audio data. Additionally, we are talking about different sampling rates and resampling would be required before mixing. There is also the different BT delivery guaranties, one is more or less lossy than the other to ensure no lag. That's processing is not impossible, unless the HFP data is simply not accessible!

     

    Somehow, having 2 Bluetooth antenna on the 20s must be greatly helping parallel information processing, of course. This is the last possibility: if the 2 BT stacks are parallel until the mixing stage, there is a chance you could have a2dp from phone and HFP from gps mixed. Or in general, having any 2 sources mixed (like in the intercom groups where you have your A and B fellow riders). But I suspect that 1 of the 2 BT antennas+stack is dedicated to the intercom, which would explain why they can't mix a2dp and HFP in a single BT stack.

    Note: smartphones sending GPS instructions are doing so over A2DP, which is why you see the nav app audio multitasking option (it's layer 2 data that can be mixed in the brain).

     

    I truly hope I was not too much in error; as I said, this is an educated guess, no more. I will gladly correct my information or accept correction. Hope this helped.

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  • Goldenwand
    Goldenwand

    Dan, i think you are talking about layers of OSI model. I am familiar with OSI model and it's layers, and what they are doing. Still, this wall of text is confusing to me. Probably i dont know much about how bluetooth or sena's communication works at all. :)

    I think most processing is being done by hardware. Which would mean -almost- wire speed data transfer. But still, isnt dedicating BT antenna to intercom a bad design? i mean, riders i know are solo most of the time. I had SMH10 for a year, and times i used intercom was just 2 or 3. There is a priority topic in the forums, that would fix this problem.

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  • Dan
    Dan

    Although OSI can map to BT stack, it's not necessary to understand that.

    Yeah. I've will be confusing a lot of readers with my speculations. Sorry about that.

     

    I think you are right, core engineers would not have locked in the BT radio for one purpose. And the 2nd mobile pairing possible (manual section 5.2) seems to show that possibility.

    However, the justification may be simply that the sena doesn't know it's a gps 'talking'; it thinks it is a phone and therefore needs your full attention.

     

    I think this is why the GPS pairing (section 5.4.1) is there to explicitely tell the sena to not interrupt intercom anymore. But I don't expect it to be mixed in the audio, for the reasons stated in my ugly post above... :-)

     

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  • Goldenwand
    Goldenwand

    If i understand this correctly, all we had to do is to be able to select one of the two bt antennas for GPS and the other for mobile phone. This would allow audio multitasking for MP3 from mobile phone and directions from GPS device as far as i understand. And once we give both of them the same priority, audio mutlitasking should work? But we cant, because <here is your speculations>. And you might be right of course, but I wish someone from Sena just answer why we dont or cant have MP3 + GPS audio multitasking in detail. And if we could, will we have an update on firmware.

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  • Trublupsu94
    Trublupsu94

    Here is what I got from Support based on my questions...

    Me: I have the SMH10R and want to upgrade to the 20S. The only reason I want to upgrade is to get audio multitasking with a GPS voice commands and still hear music coming from my iPhone. My iPhone connects to my SMH10R and my GPS Zumo 590. My Zumo also connects to the SMH10R. I can listen to music and get voice directions, but when the GPs gives a direction, the music pauses for a long time. It's very annoying. I bought the 20S at Thanksgiving time last year and though the audio multitasking would allow me to listen to music and still hear GPS commands. It paused just like my SMH10R. I think the audio multitasking only works when using intercom with other audio sources. I see you updated the A2DP to be dual in the latest firmware. Will this now allow me to hear music from my iPhone at the same time I get directions from my GPS? I need my phone and Zumo 590 also connected together because the Zumo allows me to change the songs on my iPhone that I am listening to without touching the phone. If I can do all this now with the upgraded firmware, I am ready to buy.

     

    Sena: 

    • Good day!

      Thanks for contacting SENA Technologies.

      20S had an Audio Multitasking capability inn which you still can hear the music in the
      background while there is a GPS commands on your Zumo 590. On 20S, your music will
      not stop even there is a GPS command. Yes, 20S new firmware version1.6 already have
      the dual A2DP in which you can connect 2 music bluetooth enabled devices at the same time.

      Best,

      SENA Support Team

      February 12, 2016, 9:23 AM
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    • Goldenwand
      Goldenwand

      I have latest firmware, but i cant listen to music from my phone and have gps directions from my Zumo. GPS directions just cut music. Maybe i connected them wrong to my sena 20s, but i dont think so.

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    • Trublupsu94
      Trublupsu94

      Agreed Goldenwand.  I too had the same issue with 1.5v firmware.  I'm not sure they fully understand how people are using their phones, GPS, and headsets together.  Hopefully we get a fully integrated helmet with heads up display that does it all sometime soon.  Wouldn't that be nice!

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    • RBEmerson
      RBEmerson

      GPS audio has priority over phone audio, meaning GPS audio will always block phone audio. Until Sena lets users change this... live with it or try another brand. I let the GPS run but use Google Maps on my Samsung S5. There are some wrinkles in this, but generally it works quite well. The Zumo 660 shows the map, the phone reports the turns Works for me.

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    • Goldenwand
      Goldenwand

      @Trublupsu84, that would be great. In fact that's why i am writing in this forum. :)

       

      @RBEmerson, you're right. We cant get GPS + Mp3 from mobile right now. I could've lived with this if information about audio multitasking was clear on their site. (I may be remembering wrong but, they didnt highlight it being only for intercom) I had SMH10, and was perfectly happy with it. MP3 + GPS audio multitasking was the only reason i upgraded. After spending 200ish dollars on a product, i dont think i could affort to spend money for an intercom again.

      Can you listen music from your mobile while getting directions from Google Maps? I tried connecting my phone to GPS, and playing music from there. GPS cant audio multitask as well.

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    • RBEmerson
      RBEmerson

      Music and Google Maps from the same device works. How Google's Maps and Google apps interact can be a little annoying on occasion (more bellow) but otherwise the situation is what you want. Although my Zumo 660 is running at the same time, I usually disable Bluetooth but let it show a route to a destination. Without BT, it doesn't get in the way, and at least there's a hint, on the screen, of where I'm going. I'd like to see the route on my phone (works v. well in a car). I keep the phone in the map case on my tank bag, but the screen's usually washed out and a waterproof mounts block touching the screen.

      When the Google suite is behaving itself, I can tap the phone button, say "OK Google [do something useful]", and it happens. On occasion, though, Maps responds first, and says "I can't help you with 'OK Google'". Gngh... there doesn't seem to be any clear rule about how to chose, with certainty, to talk to one app or the other.

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    • Trublupsu94
      Trublupsu94

      @RB You are correct.  I could do it that way.  The way I have it now actually works quite well.  My Zumo 590 allows me to adjust the audio for directions.  If I turn it all the way down, everything is paired just way I want/need.  But if I turn up the audio on my Zumo so that I can hear directions, the music stops for at least 3 sec after the directions are given. Annoying when you are on a longer trip with lots of turns.  All Sena would need to do is to allow the GPS to NOT over ride the audio from my phone music. If they could just mix the two that would solve it and everyone else issue on this thread. We are all looking for the same thing. It seems to me that it is just software.  Otherwise, the Zumo, SMH10R, and iPhone work great.  

      My Zumo 590 has a ton of features I like and that is why I spent $900 on the darn thing.  It charges my phone, uses a link for traffic, and I can control my phone's music and phone calls from the display of the GPS.  This GPS also has a twisty road feature.  I never ride my motorcycle from point a to point b as I would a car.  (Looking for the shortest route) I am looking to do just the opposite.  My GPS does that for me. I used to only use my iPhone for everything.  But the Zumo had a ton of features that make it a necessity for me. (Bigger display i can easily use with my gloves on, twisty roads, media controller, traffic, maintenance tracking, MPG, service when my phone doesn't have it, etc, etc)

      Come on Sena!!! Just make us have the same ability to mix audio of any source like you have the intercom.  It can't be that hard!! I would buy the 20S or whatever model you did it in for this feature alone.  

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    • RBEmerson
      RBEmerson

      IMNSHO, Sena rarely pays attention to posts here, at least after early posts. At best, you can try calling and complaining directly. Otherwise, post here in hopes of finding work-arounds.

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    • Marc Woo
      Marc Woo

      For more information regarding Audio Multitasking, refer to this F.A.Q. http://support.sena.com/entries/62131914-What-is-Audio-Multitasking-on-the-20S-

       

      For more information about hearing the GPS and talking over the intercom at the same, refer to this F.A.Q. http://support.sena.com/entries/107973123-Can-I-Listen-to-GPS-directions-and-Talk-Over-the-Intercom-at-the-Same-Time-

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    • Jcorbett Nc
      Jcorbett Nc

      20s...Zumo 590...Nexus 6p...once I click on the gps I can not get the music to come back on, they do not Multitask as described.

      Sena Phone app says I have the Audio Multitasking and Navigation App Support *ON*

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    • Marc Woo
      Marc Woo

      @Jcorbett Nc: Perform a Factory Reset on your 20S and make sure that it is using the latest version of firmware. Delete the 20S from your Zumo 590 and pair it to the 20S again by placing the 20S into Mobile Phone pairing mode.

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    • Dan
      Dan

      The june 6th 2016 firmware 1.6.1  seems to fix the formerly  non-working "previous" track action when using the GPS pairing.

      There are other fixes, so there is hope for you 590 users...

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    • Flashywings
      Flashywings

      I recently had a problem where Audio Multitasking was not working at all.  Didn't matter whether I was paired with my GPS or not.  When my partner spoke, my music was not reduced in volume at all and continued to play at the same level.  This was very annoying, to say the least.

      Sena Support was not very helpful and we ended up returning our units under RMA.  We received two brand new units and to our dismay, discovered we still had the same problem.

      I finally figured out that the setting, "Navigation App Support"  under Basic Settings must be turned off or Audio Multitasking with the intercom does not work properly.  Navigation App Support allows you to use your phone's navigation app to interrupt your music to give directions.

      It seems that Audio Multitasking + Intercom + Navigation App Support work poorly together.

      Since we rarely use our phone nav app for directions, we will leave it off.

      Sena Support kind of hinted at this but didn't explain clearly.  We thought they meant "don't use phone navigation apps".

      If you have problems with Audio Multitasking not working with your intercom, try this to see if it fixes the problem.

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    • RBEmerson
      RBEmerson

      I think I've said it before - what would help this problem is to be able to change the device priorities. If, for you, nav apps matter more than the intercom, swap the priorities accordingly. Now if Sena would only listen to suggestions like this...

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    • Michael Le'Febour
      Michael Le'Febour

      I realise it's a couple of years later but has this ever been resolved?

      I'm about to purchase an intercom and the 20S Evo is the main contender.
      I want to connect it to a Zumo 595 through which I would receive directions and music.
      My understanding is that there are two types of connection - A2DP or HFP - but the former had issues with the intercom and the latter didn't support stereo.

      Are there any answers now?

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