March 2004 - Release Notes for the Helix Player for Symbian OS, v1.0


March 2004 - Release Notes for the Helix Player for Symbian OS, v1.0

[23 April 2004 Revision]

Thank you for downloading the 1.0 version of the Helix Player for Symbian OS! This player, which includes our initial port of the Helix DNA Client Architecture to the Symbian OS Platform, is available both in an installer form (.SIS files) to be used on your Series60 v1.2-based handset, and also in source-code form as part of our Helix Embedded Development Kit, v1.0. The Helix Embedded Development Kit is meant to be a launching point for companies interested in bringing the Helix DNA Client to their products, in particular products that represent a resource-constrained operating environment for streaming media applications, allowing them to leverage the existing robust streaming media capabilities of the Helix DNA Client while still being able to meet the resource, size, and performance constraints of embedded operating environments.

Getting The Installation Package

To get access to the installation packages, you'll first need to agree to the Helix Community Binary End User License (also known as the Binary EULA), after which you can then proceed to downloading the installation packages (SIS files) from within the Distributions Project.

Direct Links:
  1. Binary EULA
  2. Helix Player v1.0 Installation Package

Feature Configurations

Two configurations of the Helix Player for Symbian OS are provided, as follows:

(1) Standard Profile, which provides the following streaming media capabilities:
  • RealAudio G2
  • RealAudio Voice
  • RealAudio 8 (LBR)
  • RealVideo 7
  • RealVideo 8
  • RealVideo 9,
  • RealVideo 10,
  • H.263
  • MPEG-1 Audio, including MP3
  • AMR-NB
  • AMR-WB
  • 3GPP (Rel-5)
(2) Rich Media Profile, which includes all of the above, as well as:
  • 3GPP SMIL Language Profile
  • 3GPP Timed Text
  • JPEG
  • GIF
  • PNG
  • WBMP
  • HTTP (streaming and progressive download)

RealOne Player & Helix Player Interaction

The Helix Player supports all media playback functionality provided by the RealOne Player. On those handsets where the RealOne Player exists, the Helix Player, once installed, will be invoked for all media playback that would previously have used the RealOne Player. If the Helix Player is subsequently uninstalled, the RealOne Player will again be the default application for these media playback functions.


Important Note: You must remove (un-install) earlier versions - Symbian Preview Release or nightly builds - of the Helix Symbian Player before proceeding with the following v1.0 installation steps!

In order to help installation on phones with limited space available, the install has been broken up into 3 parts for both the Standard Profile and Rich Media Profile players. Here is the list of SIS files you need to install for each version of the player:

Standard Profile Player

  • rplaybasic-part1.sis
  • rplaybasic-part2.sis
  • rplaybasic-part3.sis

Rich Media Profile Player

  • rplayadvanced-part1.sis
  • rplayadvanced-part2.sis
  • rplayadvanced-part3.sis

For both the emulator and handset installations you need to make sure that you install all 3 SIS files for each package or you will not have a functioning player. It is also very important that you install each part to the same location. That is, if you install part1 to the phone memory you must install part2 and part3 to the phone memory as well. Same goes if you install part1 to an MMC card for example.

Handset Installation

To install on the handset, pick one of the packages to install, either the basic or advanced, and transfer the 3 SIS files for that package to the phone. You can either transfer via IR, and install directly from the "Messages" application, or you can transfer them onto an MMC card and install from there using your favorite file browser.

If you get "Not Enough Memory" errors, try transferring only 1 SIS file at a time to your phone and installing that one before transferring the other parts.

If you don't have access to a file browser, you can download Handy File from epocware.

Emulator Installation

To install on the Series 60 WINS emulator, copy either the "Standard" or "Rich Media" profile SIS files(all 3 parts) from the "emulator" subdirectory to: %EPOCROOT%\Epoc32\Wins\C\Nokia\Installs\

You may need to create this directory if it does not exist. After copying the .sis file start the emulator and select the "Apps Ctrl" application in the "Configurations" directory. Hi-light the RealPlayer .sis file and select "Install" from the "Options" menu.

Emulator Uninstallation Note: We have had some issues with uninstalling on the emulator. If you want to uninstall or change from one profile to another, it may be necessary to manually remove the player directory, "System\Apps\RealPlayer", and the recognizer, "System\recogs\hxsymrecog.mdl".

Limitations & Known Issues

It is important to note that one of the goals in the development of this version of the Helix Player for Symbian OS was to build a version of the product that would properly perform within devices with limited capabilities, limited available RAM, in a small static foot-print.As a result, some available features of the Helix DNA Client were deliberately disabled/left out of this version of the Helix Player for Symbian OS; in those cases, should those features be enabled/included, the reported issue would be resolved. These cases will be called out with an * below.

Known Issues: More details on the following issues, as well as all open issues, are available in Helix Community via it's Bug Tracker System; please use the bug number referred to in each of the below items:
  • Uninstalling either the basic or advanced players will fail the first time. Uninstalling a second time will succeed and cleanly remove the installation.
  • Timed Text: 3GPP Timed Text does not properly resize when it is larger than the available display area. [1862, 1864]
  • SMIL: SMIL URL events are not sent to the web browser. [1879]
  • SMIL: Invalid SMIL file with two regions of the same name prevents playback of subsequent SMIL content until the Player is re-opened.[1794]*(Advanced SMIL Parser needed; if it was, a proper error would be displayed at the start of playback)
  • SMIL: RepeatCount attribute is not supported. [1771]* (Advanced Group Manager needed)
  • SMIL: When a single source is to play to multiple visual regions, it incorrectly plays to only one of the visual regions. [1753]* (Advanced Group Manager, Multi-Instance Site User Supplier both needed)
  • GIF: Certain GIF files, when displayed in SMIL, are skewed. [1609]
  • General: Access Point dialog will intermittently re-appear, even after one has properly been selected. [1636]
  • General: Buffering %, for some images, occasionally doesn't visibly increment before playback begins [1650]
  • For handsets that came with a RealOne Player pre-installed in ROM, after installation of the Helix Player the softkey preset menus will still display "RealOne Player" verbiage. While the verbiage is confusing, the Helix Player will properly be launched whenever this option is selected.
  • On initial installation, the Helix Player icon and/or application name may not initially correctly update in the main view, showing either the RealOne icon or RealOne Player name. This temporary problem will correct itself once you've exited then returned to the main veiw.
  • Stuttering of Audio & Video have been reported on Nokia 6600 devices [22Apr04, Under investigation]
  • RealAudio 8 HBR (ATRAC-3) support is not available (we don't have an ATRAC-3 implementation available on ARM)
  • RealAudio 10 HBR (AAC) support is not yet included in the installer (it works, we are working through understanding the royalty costs of including it)
  • MPEG-4 Video Support is not included due to distribution royalty costs (we do have a source implementation, however)
  • Legacy RealAudio 1.0/2.0/3.0 Support is not included
  • The HBR (AAC) version of RealAudio 10, while included the Rich Media Profile, is not yet publicly available in source form (we plan to rectify this in v1.1 of the Helix Embedded Development Kit)
  • RealAudio Lossless Support is not yet included
  • RealAudio 5.1 Multi-Channel Support is not yet included
  • AAC+ Support is not yet included
  • SMIL 1.0 Support is not claimed (the SMIL 2.0 components can be easily modified to claim this support, requiring only a subsequent QA pass for validation)

More Information, Source Access, Problem Reporting

More information on the Helix Player for Symbian OS, the Helix Embedded Development Kit, Performance Profile (RAM, ROM, etc), a history of the effort as well as how to get the source code for much of these components can all be found at the Symbian Porting Project within the Helix Community:

The Symbian Porting Project is also the place to enter bug reports, ask questions about subsequent Helix DNA Client development on this platform, have direct dialog with the individuals who are working in this area, or volunteer to help out - we look forward to hearing from you!

- The Helix Symbian Team
[23 April 2004 Revision]

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