Palm Tuner

Welcome to the Palm Tuner home page. This is where you can read about and download the free Palm Tuner application.

The Palm Tuner is a simple guitar/mandolin/violin tuner utility that features a relatively accurate metronome. The metronome can be configured as to pitch and length of beat. The tuner can be set to play for up to 2 seconds.

image of Palm Tuner screen

This is not a digital tuner...

Just to clarify, this application is not a digital tuner that detects whether your instrument is on pitch. At least, we haven't added that feature yet, though it would be terribly useful! However there exists an awesome program, Perfect Pitch, published by fifty cycle, inc. that does indeed turn a microphone-equipped pda (such as the Tungsten) into an electronic tuner. It's really cheap and works great; highly recommended!

UPDATE 12/24/2008: It looks like FiftyCycle is no more. Too bad.

Version 0.2 just released! Includes Bb tone for brass players!

Here's a zipfile of the binary palmtuner.prc, ready to install on your Palm handheld.

Here's the source code. It is assumed you have already downloaded the Palm GCC M68K SDK and prc-tools. Oh by the way, I developed this app on Linux; I haven't tried building it on Windows. Perhaps someone else will bother. You can find all the tools and information pertaining to Palm development on Linux and Windows here. Happy reading!

The Palm Tuner has been tested on the following devices:

  • Palm Tungsten T
  • Palm M500
  • Palm IIIxe
  • Handspring Prism
  • Kyocera Palm Phone
  • Note: This is my first Palm application and consequently it may not perform up to commercial standards. But, if you find it as useful as I have then I'm glad. It's still under development and sooner or later I'll add a few other niceties such as color, more graphics, etc. I like that it's so small and simple, though, and I don't want to spoil it with too much useless bloat.

    Another important factoid is that while the metronome is ticking, the auto-shutoff is disabled. In other words, if you turn on the metronome and walk away from your Palm for a few hours, you may return to a dead Palm. I haven't tried this to see if it shuts off when the battery's low, but it should. I have also noticed that if you turn off the Palm while the metronome's running, it may leave the auto shutoff in the disabled state next time you turn it on. Some Palm expert, please corroborate this! Anyway when I get around to it I'll try to fix this problem; it needs a power-down event handled, I think.

    Please feel free to contact me via the web site listed at the bottom of this page. Enjoy!

    A note about accuracy:

    PalmOS restricts C programmers to timer accuracy of 1/100 second. In other words, the Palm's standard "ticks per second" is 100. If you select a metronome tempo that is not cleanly divisible by 60, the application is forced to round off the calculated ticks per second and there will be some drift.

    For example, if you select 108 beats per minute, which is:
    100 ticks / (108 beats / 60 seconds) = 55.5556 ticks per beat.

    Unfortunately we have to round up to 56 ticks. After a while we are noticeably off from a quartz metronome, which is probably using 1000 ticks per second or even 10000 ticks per second. Consequently, I have added some code to track the fractional drift and compensate every few beats. It seems to work well enough for some tempos and not so well for others. It needs work. Nonetheless, this metronome is now more accurate than the four or five shareware metronomes for the Palm which I downloaded recently.

    This application and accompanying documentation were developed by Terry Traub (c) 2003 and released for free use under the GNU Public License. Please do not redistribute without this copyright notice.

    A product of Tasty Software (

    We are now on SourceForge! Click here for the Palm Tuner page: Logo

    We are now on Palm Boulevard! Click here for the page:   Palm Boulevard Logo

    This page last updated on 12-24-2008

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