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All posts tagged "video"

Friday, October 1, 2010

Encoding Video For Your Mobile Devices

Posted by Ed Hansberry in "Windows Phone Articles & Resources" @ 02:00 PM


"With H.264 solidly planted as the codec of choice for just about every mobile device, we've come to a point where you can encode a video once and play it back on pretty much anything"

LifeHacker has an article that shows you how to encode video for the many mobile devices you have. The newer they are the more likely they are to support H.264, including Windows Phone 7 and all Zunes back to the original Zune 30. That makes it easy as you just have to encode for one format that is almost universal. If you have Windows Mobile 6.x, you may have H.264 support through the video apps provided by your carrier or handset maker. If not, check out CorePlayer.

Tags: video, encode, h.264

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Zune Video on Xbox Live Reviewed Down Undah: Found To Be Not So Bad

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Media" @ 09:53 PM


"When the US [Gizmodo edition] reviewed the beta [of Zune Video on Xbox Live] yesterday, they were a bit harsh on the Zune marketplace. They said: “Not a whole lot to write home about yet besides 1080p streams”. But they come from a country where VOD is commonplace and easy to get — Netflix, Hulu, Roku, Amazon, TiVo… all let you watch your entertainment whenever you want. Here in Australia, we have iTunes, we have TiVo and we have Foxtel, but the truth is that the Zune Video Marketplace is a much easier and superior experience to both of those."

With all of the competition here in US, it's often easy to forget that even parts of the Western world don't have access to a wide range of quality VOD services. As compared to their brothers in the US edition, who found nothing particularly interesting in the Zune video-on-demand offering for Xbox Live, Gizmodo Australia was excited to report that the Smooth Streaming technology worked as advertised, and moreover that the service was easy to use. It seems like Zune Video is definitely a viable solution for those readers who are overseas and don't have access to maybe a Hulu or Amazon service. Hopefully we'll start to see some strong advances for those of us in the US too.

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Thought-Provoking Video: Happy Friday!

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Thoughts Media Off Topic" @ 03:30 PM

I thought this video was quite thought-provoking, so on this Friday afternoon (where I am at least), I present this to you. Have a great weekend everyone!

Tags: video, friday

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

PBS Content Comes to Zune

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune News" @ 07:01 PM


"Well, I am thrilled about this piece of news! Effective today, Zune Marketplace has added video content from PBS, including NOVA, Scientific American Frontiers, Carrier, and more. You can also download specials and mini-series, such as Ken Burns’ acclaimed 2001 miniseries, Jazz. The ten episodes of this series will set you back 8,000 points, or about $100 US. A season of NOVA goes for 2,880 points, or roughly $36."

Not only did we get hit with the Zune 3.1 update today (just a day before the big XBox 360 update tomorrow too!) but Microsoft also added to their video library the PBS collection, according to Harvey Chute over at Zunerama. Every bit of new content, especially in the video section, is only a good thing. I’m not actually familiar with any of the shows but PBS is definitely a big name to bring into the Zune fold!

Actually a few of them sounds really interesting. Anyone have any thoughts on them?

Tags: video, pbs

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Comic-Con On Your Zune

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune News" @ 08:47 AM


“The Xbox Live Marketplace team has added free Comic-Con 2008 videos to the Zune Marketplace. The event, which ran from July 24-27 in San Diego, California, is a huge convention for fans of comic books, sci-fi, fantasy, anime, horror, and other related arts spanning all genres from books to TV to film. Once devoted just to comics, today’s convention has everything from toys to video games to panels featuring Hollywood actors and producers talking about their latest big movie and screening trailers of highly anticipated films.”

I’m sure that a few of you here are comic book fans. If so you’ll want to check out the Zune Marketplace since the Xbox Live Team has decided to share the videos with us! (Aww, thanks guys!) Of course, since the Zune Marketplace software is free to anyone then even if you don’t have a Zune or an Xbox and want to see the videos, here’s a perfect excuse to go download them and watch them on your PC. Good catch by Sarah Perez!

Tags: video, free, comic-con

Friday, July 18, 2008

Soapbox Video On Your Zune

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune News" @ 08:23 AM


“The MSN Video folks have updated Soapbox on MSN Video to allow users the ability to subscribe and add someone's video "stream" to Zune. You'll notice a new Zune icon next to the RSS icon on people's profiles on Soapbox for MSN Video. When you click the Zune icon, it adds the video feed to the Zune software. For example - when you go to my profile on Soapbox for MSN Video (where I host my videos I post here) and click the Zune icon - my video feed will appear in the Zune software.”

I’ve never really used MSN Video myself but I may have to start. This is a really nice tip from the Windows Vista Blog folks. I personally really enjoy the video podcast function. I have several that I watch in the morning when I get to work as I get the day started.

The only downside is that it only applies to Soapbox video, not all of MSN Video. So it has to be user content and not all content. I think that would have made this much cooler but it’s still a pretty cool feature.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Unofficial Zune "Music is Life" Video

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Media" @ 07:44 PM


"It is a lesser known feature of the Zune media player to revive small animals using the hybrid headphone defibrillator, which this following beautifully crafted spec commercial dutifully demonstrates. Check it out. In case you were wondering, “spec” is short for speculative and it means this was an unofficial ad created by a third party as part of their personal portfolio to showcase their creative skills. In case this, the director - Stewart Hendler is obviously not short of talent. Human Worldwide who produced the soundtrack also deserves a lot of credit for a mesmerizing composition."

If the low-res YouTube video clip isn't to your liking, jump over to istartedsomething.com and check out the nice wide-screen version. All in all, I think it's a very cool video - quite memorable. Although this is nothing new to anyone who's been in the Windows Mobile world for a while - who can forget the amazing Frog Defibrillator? ;-)

Tags: video, dead bird

Friday, April 18, 2008

Zune VideoX: Finally?

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune News" @ 05:44 AM


"Zune VideoX is not Zune Marketplace revisited, sources say. Instead, it is Microsoft’s attempt to apply the lessons learned with the success of the Xbox Live Marketplace to the Zune market, said one source who asked not to be named. It would be a single hub where Zune users could buy and download music, videos, TV shows and more entertainment content."

I don't know about the rest of you but this is the thing I have really been waiting for. Regardless of the veracity of the rumor, this is the killer feature that Zune hasn't delivered on. The hardware itself is more than capable of providing a full multimedia experience. Unfortunately it has never been supported by the Zune Marketplace.

Its never made sense to me either. Microsoft has had deals to put out movies and TV shows on the 360 for a while now. To me it seems like a no brainer!

Of course there's no mention here of what I consider the ultimate evolution of media consumption - video subscription. Given that there's talk about this with Netflix and Blockbuster to name a couple, I would hope that Microsoft would be integrating any future video services with the Zune Pass plan in some way.

I don't know if these VideoX rumors are true or not but I have to imagine that Microsoft is trying to get videos on the Zune somehow!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Dave Burke Likes His Zune (Of Course!)

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune Software" @ 09:35 AM


"One of the reasons my Zune won my affections over my iPod is the ease with which I can add videos and other materials to my media collection. The Zune software seems to be much more integrated with the file system than iTunes. Changes in file folder contents that are monitored in Zune are instantly updated in the collection."

Dave Burke wrote a blog entry about his Zune video connection. Burke is notable in that he's an MVP and has a cool first name. He chose the Zune because of its screen size which is a boon over the iPod for sure. That was one of the major things for me as well. What I thought was interesting was his observation about the Zune folder monitoring. As someone with absolutely no iTunes experience, I was surprised to hear that iTunes doesn't monitor the video directories. Does anyone out there with iTunes experience (which I'm sure is many people!) know if this is configurable?

I do know that the Zune folder monitoring has always worked really well though.

Tags: video, monitoring

Tip: Download YouTube Videos in Zuneable Format

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Media" @ 01:30 AM


I know what you're thinking, but hear me out. This isn't another "use three different utilities and several different websites" to get those YouTube videos you've been lusting after. Actually, it's quite easy, since YouTube carries a copy of every one of its videos in Zune-friendly H.264 format. Though this feature was originally introduced to support AppleTV, we Zune owners get to benefit from it as well.

Go to vixy.net/rawvideo and enter the URL of the YouTube video you want to download. Make sure MP4 (H.264) is selected in the dropdown menu and then click the Download button. Follow the instructions on the next page and right-click the link that appears to save it to your computer. Change the name of the file to whatever you want the video to be called, but make sure to add ".mp4" at the end of the filename or else it won't save correctly. Once the file has finished downloading, drag the video into the Zune software. It'll recognize it and allow you to sync with your Zune device. Zune 4/8/80's don't even need to convert!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Zune vs iPod Video Comparison

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune News" @ 09:15 PM

Got Zune? did a video comparison of the Zune 80 vs iPod Classic the other day and I have to say I was very surprised at the result. The iPod was clearly washed out while sitting next to the Zune. I had never seen the iPod used for video really and always assumed the screen quality was really quite similar to the Zune. To see that the Zune is quite a bit better when it comes to video in both screen size and display quality is very interesting. If it comes up in a conversation now where someone is asking for advice on media players and video is important to them then I would be much more strongly in favor of a Zune now. (Not that I wouldn't be in favor of one but not everyone's needs are the same!)

Tags: video

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Zune Games in Action!

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune News" @ 07:00 AM

There’s definitely a lot of excitement over the upcoming Zune games that will be released later this year. I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of adding games to the Zune but I have to admit, Microsoft has completely surprised me with the whole XNA integration. They really took what I felt would be a gimmick and made it something impressive. I Started Something has linked a video of the gameplay in action and after seeing what the Zune is going to be capable of, I am really looking forward to this. I think this will really give people a reason to consider the Zune. Check out this awesome video!

Tags: video, games

Friday, February 1, 2008

Zune Podcast Download Mystery Solved Shocking Revelation!

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Zune Talk" @ 05:34 PM


"I have been getting reports from listeners saying they have been able to download my show in the Zune MarketPlace, but it absolutely refused to synchronize the media it had just downloaded to their Zune media player. I fired off a message to Rob at Zune to find out what the story was. The responding answer completely blew me away. This is the first negative thing I am going to say about the Zune MarketPlace. In fact I told Rob he needed to smack the Engineers that did this, because it is obvious that the engineering team did not read the RSS specification. Here is the deal. If you have a RSS feed with only Audio or Video Enclosures you are fine. But mix Video and Audio Enclosures together in the same RSS feed and the Zune Marketplace looses its mind! The software makes a decision on which media type is going to be allowed to be synchronized to the Zune Player."

I have to fully agree, this is one of the stupidest problems that use Zune users have had to deal with. Though in Microsoft's defense, as of this moment in time, I haven't experienced this problem as a majority of the podcasts that I listen to have one standard format that they use — either audio or video. There are some podcasts that I listen to that are primarily video podcasts but they have an audio feed for individuals that do not have time to watch, but none that have both in one feed. Now while Zune Marketplace shouldn't have a problem (in theory) with differentiating with synchronizing audio as well as video from the same podcast feed... isn't it more tidy, and less lazy-like, to separate your feeds? Why include both audio and video in one feed? That is just asking for confusion when a user is expecting a video podcast and only audio plays. I myself would most likely spend hours fiddling with the item and trying to figure out why it is "broken" even though it was perfectly fine. It's like turning on your TV and expecting to watch a new episode of "Lost" but you find out that the new episode you were all excited to watch is read in audiobook format that week. Don't screw with your users like this and for the love of all things digital and entertaining, just practice some consistency!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Convert Your Video

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune News" @ 09:08 AM


“I bought my Zune 80 primarily for it’s video playing capabilities (watching Video Podcasts and movie files), so I have spent a considerable amount of time researching this subject. Specifically, how to convert existing video files (e.g., avi, mpg, and vob files) for syncing and viewing on my Zune 80. Unfortunately, the Zune Software on your Desktop PC isn’t setup to easily process video files. There was a lot to learn, such as what video format to convert to, what video conversion tools are available, how to sync video files to my Zune, how to add description text and sort TV episodes to video files, etc.”

Zune Tips Weblog has a very good Video Conversion quick guide to getting video on your Zune. Zune Tips will also guide you through the process of ripping files off of your own DVDs if you need that step of the process as well. The software involved is all free and only your time and dedication is needed! I have used many of the tools in the past and while the results are quite acceptable you will be faced with a lot of work to get video on your Zune this way. If you don’t want to shell out the cash for one of the many software suites that will do this for you, though, it’s a very good option.

Tags: video

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Zune Marketplace: Podcast of the Week

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Zune Talk" @ 01:42 PM


This week's podcast choice is Morgan Webb's (G4, TechTV) "WebbAlert". This short and sweet video podcast sums up the days technology worthy news in less than 5 minutes. While I cannot see this replacing "Geek Brief TV" for me anytime soon, I have been really impressed with the quality of the podcast for the past few weeks and feel it deserves its spot as our "Podcast of the Week".

To subscribe to the above mentioned podcast, please visit the following link:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Zune Marketplace: Podcast of the Week

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Zune Talk" @ 02:25 PM

Mahalo Daily is a short and sweet video podcast hosted by always amusing Veronica Belmont who delivers a fun-filled take on a variety of topics that rang from making the perfect grilled cheese sandwich, to how to tie a tie or even make the perfect sushi! This wide rang of random goodness is what makes Mahalo Daily the perfect 5 minute break from reality everyday. If you have not already subscribed to their feed, I highly recommend that you do.

Usually I would provide all of our readers with a link to subscribe to this podcast, but for the past couple of days the Zune site has been broken so I cannot look grab a link for you guys. Every time I try to search Zune.net or use the "Tell a Friend" feature in the Zune software, I am presented with a splendid 403 error! However, if you use the search feature built into the Zune software, you should be able to find and subscribe to Mahalo Daily in a jiffy!

EDIT: Zune Marketplace is up and running again! To subscribe to this podcast please use the following link

Monday, December 10, 2007

Zune Originals Pictures & Video!

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune Talk" @ 10:28 AM


"As a longtime iPod loyalist, I had a lot of mixed emotions ordering a Zune 80 for myself last Sunday. Part of me felt like a traitor, honestly. I thought about my poor 5G video iPod, which had been ignored for weeks at the bottom of my messenger bag while I played with Microsoft's loaner for my review. Now, I'd never abandon my iPod completely, especially considering that part of my job is reviewing the seemingly endless parade of iPod accessories. Still, I figure there's room in my life for another MP3 player, right? I mean, I would be negligent as a digital audio journalist if I didn't order one."

Donald Bell, one of CNet's music experts, has a great unboxing with pictures, descriptions and a video of his custom Zune 80. And what a difference a year makes since Mr. Bell feels as a DAP writer, he should have a Zune. Last year they were saying the exact opposite! Bell was very impressed with the packaging and contents of his Zune Original.

And tonight I should have my own pictures!

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?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Halo 3 Zune Unboxing Video..and Pre-Order

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Hardware" @ 04:01 PM

What's that? you just can't get enough of this new Halo 3-branded Zune, and you want to see more about it? Well then, belly up to the bar and check out this video from Zune Insider's Cesar Menendez. And you can pre-order one today if you want!

Video: Halo 3 Zune Unboxed

Tags: video, halo 3

Monday, May 7, 2007

Robbie Bach Talks Zune Video Offerings

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Talk" @ 10:38 AM


"In an interview with CNET News.com, Bach said Microsoft is looking at other areas where it can combine consumer devices with online services, such as its community site Windows Live Spaces. Later this month, it plans to let Xbox Live users share their "buddy" lists with people who use its Windows Live Messenger. "Ultimately, the idea of us going to create one social community throughout Live services is a very powerful idea," he said. Separately, Bach said that Microsoft is considering ways to offer video delivery services for its Zune media player. He said certain video types, including TV shows, comedy and user-generated content, work well on small screens like Zune's, but not feature-length movies. Microsoft is contemplating which business models are best suited for these content types."

None of this is shocking news, but it's the closest I've seen to Microsoft actually saying "You'll be able to purchase episodic TV content, the same stuff on Xbox Live, for your Zune." We all knew this was coming, though many were surprised it wasn't ready right out of the gate - I suppose it's an infrastructure issue in part, having to have 320 x 240 versions of the TV shows available for download. When you purchase a show in HD via Xbox Live, they also give you access to the standard definition (SD) version for free. So I'm going to hope that the price of Zune shows are going to either be less expensive than the SD versions, or the same price but you'll get the Zune + SD version of the TV show for the same price. Are you willing to pay to watch TV shows on your Zune?

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