Why is my phone possessed by the devil?
May 12, 2010 1:57 PM   Subscribe

Why is my new Android phone acting as if possessed? (Audio issues if you read on.)

So, a couple of weeks ago I went out and got myself an HTC Incredible and so far it's been pretty great and I'm largely very happy with it.

I like to listen to a particular podcast / streaming radio show during my commute, and I used to do this pretty easily with my iPhone. It took a little doing with my Android, but I'm finally there.

There are two devices that help me accomplish this. The first one is a Griffin iTrip thing that basically goes from headphone jack to cigarette lighter outlet with a little dial I can use to set the broadcast FM frequency to send audio from my handset to my car stereo. (No Bluetooth or line-in here, oh no. Pure 1990, baby).

The other thing is a microUSB cable that runs from the Griffin to my Incredible and charges the phone.

Then, I stream/download my podcasts or whatever, fire them up in my player of choice, and off I go. Sort of.

The problem here is that I do not truly yet understand the cause/effect relationship of what's happening, so I will be somewhat cryptic in my explanation and for that I apologize.

Basically, something like this will happen - I will get in the car, plug my phone in to its various plugs, and will start listening to the radio in an app, like RadioTime. Then, I will hit the "lock" button on the top of the phone and set it aside, satisfied that my wish is being carried out.

Except then, suddenly, I'll hear Bjork warbling on top of the radio show I was listening to, and I'll be all like, "What the fuck?" And I'll unlock my phone and, yes, lo and behold, Music or TuneWiki or some audio application will have started automatically playing through my music library. I will stop this track, lock my phone again, and set it down. Hey, now it'll start playing the next track! This game of mysterious autoplaying music will continue until .. well, it finally kind of stops, and I have NO IDEA WHY IT IS HAPPENING.

It was at its worst when I was using DoggCatcher to download podcasts. I would play the podcast in an external player (usually TuneWiki), and within moments DoggCatcher would start playing another podcast on top of my podcast, and the two would fight and I would want to smash my phone. The thing that really gets me is that this seems to be deliberately what I DO NOT want to happen. I would go in, pause playback, lock the phone, and it would autoMAGICALLY start playing again.

I've been reading online and it looks like there are issues relating to maybe the headphone jack or bluetooth audio playback that can under certain circumstances trigger auto playback of audio, but I still do not clearly understand what is going on here.

I will say this, my phone seems to only react like a psycho when I've got something plugged into the headphone jack. This is seriously ruining what is an otherwise great experience so far. Has anyone else experienced this? Am I just losing my marbles? Is there a solution?
posted by kbanas to Technology (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Could there be any magnets around that are near your phone? My Droid docks into various types of magnetic docks which turn on certain default programs. For example, the dock near my bed puts it into alarm clock mode, the one in the car turns on navigation and so on. This is usually a good thing, except the other day I bought a new handbag and put my Droid into the handy dandy little pouch in the front with a magnetic latch. I kept opening the pouch to find that the Droid had mysteriously unlocked itself and doing random things. Took me a few times to realize it was the magnet. So if you have any magnets nearby, your phone could easily unlock itself and then accidental touches on various buttons could result in other songs being played. A little weak I know, but it's my best guess for what's going on.
posted by peacheater at 2:46 PM on May 12, 2010

This person had the same problem and was advised to take it to Verizon.

I think peacheater might be on to something and you could test it by moving a small but powerful magnet around on the back of the phone. Try flipping the magnet, too, as I believe that different polarities can trigger different things. I'm not aware of any magnetic sensors in the Incredible, although I think this is worth a shot and from my experience with the Moto Droid, a plausible theory.
posted by bristolcat at 2:57 PM on May 12, 2010

Additional datapoint: I have this same problem. Nexus One, T-mobile, Android 2.1-update1. I don't use the devices you use, nor RadioTime, DoggCatcher, or TuneWiki. Yet sometimes when I listen to music using the Last.fm app, Music will randomly start playing, just as you describe. It also seems to only happen with something plugged into the headphone jack, though I rarely play music without something plugged in. No magnets around.

Killing Music with TasKiller does nothing. My only workaround is to reboot the phone, which is time-consuming and obviously only temporary.

Here's a post about it on Google Code (see comment 10 for further issue entries), but it seems like no progress has been made.

It's infuriating and I hope you find the answer.
posted by cloudburst at 3:15 PM on May 12, 2010

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