DVD to Mobile Redux


In case you continue to be an idiot about people wanting to view video on their phone, here's a real-life story from just the other day. I brought my wife to the doctor's office and Alex and I were hanging out in the lobby waiting for her. Everything was fine, but after a while Alex started getting really antsy and started making trouble out of boredom. Finally I sat him on my lap, pulled out my mobile phone with one of his favorite videos (Finding Nemo) and he calmed right down and enjoyed the movie while we were waiting.

This is exactly what I had in mind when I ripped the DVD to the MPEG then converted it for viewing on my phone, but it was amazing to actually see it work as intended in real time with a two year old. In fact, I was sort of bored waiting as well, and enjoyed watching the movie (for the 1000th time) with my son as well.

The problem, as I wrote about last week, was in the process of ripping the DVD. It was a painful and long process involving several pieces of software including the very well done SmartMovie from Lonely Cat Games for replaying the videos on my handset.

Enter Mayakam's DVD to Mobile software and suddenly life is a lot easier. I downloaded the demo, and it works perfectly - I popped a DVD into my computer, clicked the only button that appears and it starts recording the video. Perfect! The demo only records five minutes of video, but it was enough to see it work and work well - the sound and images came out great, with no fuss or muss on my part.

The only problem is that the player sort of sucks. SmartMovie has a lot nicer interface which has many more options. Mayakama's software only allows basic playback, and only in widescreen mode (like the image above). This is dissapointing as their solution is the easiest to use from soup-to-nuts. Also, wide screen isn't as good as it seems because of the backlighting and the polarity of the mobile's scren. Turn your phone on the side to see what I'm talking about - one eye sees colors that are darker than the other sees them. So even though widescreen seems like a great idea, in reality it doesn't work very well. The worst part is that SmartMovie won't play the .AVIs created by the DVD to Mobile... so that's not a solution either. Not that I'm eager to give both companies $25 apiece for the privilege of having one solution...

But still, I do have movies on my phone, so we're getting there, slowly but surely. Sadly I have to screw around with all these third party utilities and players instead of having a decent video player already integrated into Series 60 (like Windows Media 10 is integrated into the Audiovox SMT 5600). Viewing longer videos (or audio for that matter) on the Real Player is a lesson in pain and it doesn't look like the OSS Helix project is doing anything to improve that which is too bad.


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