Zune Thoughts - Daily News, Views, Rants and Raves

Be sure to register in our forums! Share your opinions, help others, and enter our contests.

Laptop Thoughts

Loading feed...

Windows Phone Thoughts

Loading feed...

Digital Home Thoughts

Loading feed...

All posts tagged "transcoding"

Saturday, September 15, 2007

myMovo: Video Downloading & Transcoding for Mobile Devices

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Smartphone Software" @ 11:00 AM

"myMovo is an innovative new way to search, download and convert videos from the internet to your PC, portable media player (iPod, PSP, Zen, and Zune) , cell phone (Blackberry, iPhone, Nokia, Motorola and Samsung) or Pocket PC. myMovo performs a targeted search of top videos sites including YouTube, ABC, CBS, Comedy Central, CNN, Discovery, ESPN, Fox, mySpaceTV, MTV, Yahoo! and more."

Taking a brief walk-through of the features on the help page, myMovo looks like an extremely feature-rich application. It's essentially a software tool that allows you to capture remote or local video (streaming or files) and convert it to portable device-friendly formats. Some of the supported devices include the Apple iPod and iPhone, Creative Zen Vision, Pocket PC (and by extension, I'd assume Smartphones), the Microsoft Zune, and others. As with all rich applications, there's so much there it's hard to wrap your brain around it all at once - any myMovo users out there care to share with us what they think of the program?

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Makayama Releases Movie Studio for Zune 1.0

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Software" @ 09:09 AM


"Makayama introduces 2 new software packages Makayama Interactive today introduces Movie Studio for Zune® and Mobile TV Center for Zune®. Two innovative software packages that allow Zune-users to watch any movie, video or TV show on the Microsoft Zune device. With Movie Studio for Zune®, only two clicks are needed to put a DVD, (home)video or YouTube content on the Zune. Mobile TV Center for Zune® is a Windows Media Center extension that allows automatic recording, conversion and transfer of TV-shows to the Zune. Movie Studio for Zune® can be installed on a Windows computer, users select a DVD, or any video file from their PC and the the software turns it into a compressed movie file, which will play on the provided video player on the Zune, with stereo sound. Subtitled and foreign language DVDs are also supported. Movie Studio for Zune® not only provides direct DVD-to-Zune transfers, it also support FLV files, the video format used on YouTube. A menu item connects to a website that allows downloading of YouTube content. The software also supports video in numerous other formats (AVI, MPEG, DivX, XVID, VOB, ASF, WMV) on all drives (harddrive, CD, DVD, removable) and encodes it to Zune compatible WMV-files. The software runs on Windows XP/NT/2000/Vista. The online download price is USD 29.95 (EUR 24.95) ex. local tax."

I've been waiting for some of the reputable companies in the video conversion marketplace to release Zune video conversion software, it it looks like my wait is over: Makayama has been making video conversion software for quite a while now, and I've heard good things about their product (I haven't tried it lately myself). The $29.95 USD price point is reasonable, assuming it does all it says it can - the addition of transcoding YouTube content is very cool as well. There's a free trial available - I've asked for a copy, so I'll let you know what I think when I check it out.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Zuneguy: Easy DVR-MS Transcoding

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Software" @ 03:30 AM


"I love my Media Center. I literally was one of the first to buy on in 2002 and have been using it ever since. As such, I've got tons of content in the DVR-MS file format and it is somewhat difficult to move around from device to device. In addition, I wanted the ability to remove unwanted content from my shows (like commercials). I had been looking for a tool that would let me do both for a long time. I finally found DCut awhile ago and it is incredibly useful, so I thought I'd share."

If you love your Media Center as much as Bill Wittress (Zuneguy), then there's a good chance that you have a sizable collection of DVR-MS recordings on your hard disk. Whether you have an Xbox 360 or Zune, Bill shows you just how easy it is to use DCut to move content around from Point A to Point B.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Video Woes on Portable Devices

Posted by Aaron Roma in "Thoughts Media Off Topic" @ 09:00 AM


"The PC makes video look relatively easy - it can be made to play nearly any file, thanks to its open video codec architecture. The OS sniffs the file, looks for the right audio and video codec, and then plays the file... Devices are different, for two key reasons"

Zune team member and Zunester blogger, David Caulton, talks a bit about the challenges faced with easily getting video on portal devices such as the Zune. David touches on some of the issues in taking a video from an unknown source, and getting the appropriate codecs, resolutions, and bit-rates to make the file useable on a portable device. That’s one reason why a closed ecosystem such as the iTunes can be successful with video. All the trouble spots can be controlled from the source downward. Obviously any devices are going to face challenges when dealing with video from multiple sources. When it comes to Zune, my biggest complaint concerning video support is the lack of built in support for DVR-MS files. Vista should help make MCE-functionality more prevalent, so support for DVR-MS should be one of the key focus points for Zune development. Does the Zune hardware itself need native support for additional video formats, or should the focus be on wider transcoding support in the Zune software itself? Or are you just fine with 3rd party transcoding prior to importing into Zune?

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

zuneMAX Interviews David Caulton

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Talk" @ 02:00 PM


"When the guys from Zune started granting interviews we wanted to do one Zune MAX style. We decided to interview each of the Microsoft Zune employees with a blog in one huge interview but that may be too much. We figure there must be more then these three great people working on the Zune but these are the ones with Zune blogs and they were the only people that would answer our questions anyway. We could probably make this the longest blog post ever but you really want to get to these interviews. Theres some juicy tidbits of Zune information in here for those of us starved for some Zune news. Without further delays ZuneMAX.com brings you the first installment of the Zune Crew Interview series."

zuneMAX has an interview up with David Caulton that has a bit of history about David's time at Microsoft and his role on the Zune team. One interesting technical note from the interview: the Zune desktop software will apparently have the ability to manually set the cache size for transcoding videos. That's an important feature to have, because Windows Media Player 10 lacks it and I recently discovered 5 GB worth of temporary video files from completed transcodes.

Friday, October 6, 2006

Zune Video Transcoding: Why it Matters

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Talk" @ 11:32 AM

In the discussion regarding Zune video transcoding (or lack thereof in this case) there was a comment from first-time poster covert (I hope I don't scare him away with this!) that I thought was worth discussing in more detail on our front page:

"I know it's disappointing to not have DivX support on the Zune itself or the desktop software, but couldn't a third-party program on your desktop encode your DivX files to compatible .WMVs anyway?"

Sure, it's entirely possible - I have a lot of programs that transcode - but the question is, why should I have to do that? The Zune desktop software should deliver the most seamless, hassle-free experience to the end user as possible. That's the whole reason for the Zune, right? Video transcoding is part of that solution - no one wants to think about video transcoding, they just want to be able to play their videos on their device. Period. I watch a lot of video on my Zen Vision:M when I'm travelling, and it can be a real hassle to get it all into the right format. I have to use one program for ripping a DVD to DivX, another program for getting DVR-MS files into WMV format, and sometimes I have to crack open a file in Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0, export it to MPEG, then encode it with Windows Media Encoder to get what I want. It's a hassle from end to end.

DVR-MS files from a Windows Media Center Edition 2005 PC are a particular pain: almost nothing will transcode them properly (or easily). Windows Movie Maker won't open them (the registry hack is unstable for me), and Windows Media Encoder won't either. Windows Media Player 10 will transcode them only if you've sacrificed a chicken and done the proper voodoo dances - I tried getting an short AVI file off my Casio camera onto my Gigabeat S the other day, and WMP10 puked on it with no error (it just sat at 0% for a very long time). Video transcoding causes everyone frustration, and it's really unfortunate that the Zune is actually going to be less helpful in this regard than previous PMC and PlaysForSure devices. Video, especially social/viral video, is becoming increasingly popular with the advent of sites such as YouTube, so I believe Microsoft is missing a great opportunity here. Here's hoping Zune v2 will have an integrated Flash player, direct-to-Internet WiFi access, and a YouTube will create a Zune-optimized portal complete with downloading. I can dream right?

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Some Zune Transcoding Questions Answered

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Software" @ 11:46 AM


I've been posting questions over at the Zunester blog, where Microsoft Zune team member David Caulton has been kind enough to answer a whole bunch of them from interested posters. Here's one segment:

JASON: "Will the Zune desktop software transcode anything that the OS had codecs for? As in, if I feed it a DivX file, will it transcode to WMV just like WMP10 does today with the PMC? So I can feed the Zune desktop software DVR-MS files from my MCE 2005 machine, and watch the videos on my Zune?"

DAVID: "No, it won't transcode anything the OS has a codec (dshow filter) for. Thus, it won't read and transcode divx and dvr-ms files out of the gate."

JASON: "Can you talk about the transcoding engine in the Zune desktop software? Is it the same as WMP10, or is it the new (and much faster) transcoding engine I've been told about?"

DAVID: "The transcoding engine is improved in a number of ways over wmp10, but you'll have to judge speed yourself."

JASON: "The transcoding - are there any scheduling or folder monitoring features? As in, I could point it at my recorded TV shows folder and when a new show is recorded, it would transcode that show for me?"

DAVID: "It does have schedule and folder monitoring. If an item in the library is due for syncing and will need to be transcoded it will be transcoded during idle computer time."

My analysis: I'm really, really disappointed that the Zune desktop software will not be able to transcode video files that the host PC has codec support for, but the Zune does not. It's one thing for the Zune to not have support for DivX, Xvid, and other popular codecs, but it's quite another to have a software product that won't even transcode the videos. I can't think of anything on the market that limited - even the semi-lame software that came with my Zen Vision:M makes an attempt to transcode video to put it on the device. I'm a big fan of taking recorded TV shows with me on my portable devices, and with the Zune that's seemingly impossible. If the Zune isn't going to even do this much - let alone support more codecs on the device itself - I have to wonder how viable the Zune is when it comes to video playback. I know music sharing was their core scenario, but the way it's looking the Gigabeat S is a much better bet for mobile video.

Tags: transcoding

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Sponsored links