04-16-2010 09:59 AM
By the way, Charred... Do you know the iWisoft free encoding tool for Windows? Is it any good? Could we use it as an alternative to the paid software as a pre-processor for Quicktime?
04-16-2010 12:56 PM
That's one program I haven't checked out, but will do so today and let you know what my results are. Thanks for the feedback!
Speaking of pre-processing, it may sound totally overboard, but I actually add another step to the system I described. I find that for best video results, it really helps to use something like VirtualDub and convert the source material (Divx or Xvid / MP3 AVI's in my case) to something closer to what we want...
The theory is that most 3GP / MP4 video encoders are pretty poor in the first place, so if they not only have to re-encode, but also resize, crop/letterbox, change frame rate, and convert the audio bitrate, channels, and Hz... well, it's too much for most of them. So I get that stuff done beforehand, leaving me with nice little 288x224 20fps Mono 22050Hz AVI's to give the MP4 encoder. Now the only thing it has to do is actually convert the audio and video formats, nothing else. There's also physically less data for it to process, weed through, and discard. I admit this sounds like a lot of work for a 20 minute clip, but I stand by the fact that the results are worth it.
I (luckily) haven't had to use flash as my source thus far. I'm sure it will happen eventually.
04-16-2010 01:15 PM
Thanks for your tips all, especially Zelaza and CharredPC
A number of questions if you will endulge a non-programmer who wants her clients' web sites to show video "to the masses". There's got to be a workaround that common web designers like me can utilize.
1. Could you post the code mentioned in your 3.20 post (Zelaza) ..."Personally, I built a little vb.net program that does just that." Without this, we cannot "see" the streaming url.
2. Re building streaming MP4 in Quicktime Pro. I have this program and had used it to generate Iphone and web video. I have followed your steps on the post of 4.15 6:23AM. However, the option for "Optimize for" is set to DOWNLOAD and the down arrow is greyed out (Your step 3). I've tried various options and I cannot change this to "STREAMING".
3. Not sure if this is relevant or not, but if I try to play YouTube content on my Blackberry Curve 8300 (connecting through WiFi), a media player opens to load the video. It says "loading" for quite a while and never really does anything more. Therefore, I think YouTube format may not be the solution.
4. I found another post on the Blackberry site that said that RIM devices can play SVG media. Could this be part of the solution. See bulletin
04-16-2010 04:36 PM - edited 04-16-2010 04:38 PM
iWiSoft Video Converter review:
This software showed some promise. It's free, has a lot of preset encoding profiles, and a decent interface. It actually reminds me a bit of Xilisoft. It does convert almost any video into nearly any other kind of video, so you can argue that it does in fact do what it says on the tin.
For low-bitrate BlackBerry encoding, though, I think we're still searching for the holdy grail. Here's my chief problems after spending an hour with it:
1. While the preset profiles look handy, they are in fact very limited. Nothing labeled "BlackBerry" even allows for h.264 to be selected. That's not a show stopper, of course, as one can choose "Common Video" -> "H.264/MPEG-4 AVC Video (*.mp4)" to get at the options we want.
2. Again we don't have access to all the features that can be really helpful for h.264 encoding. There's no manual adjustment of how it handles motion, for example, or the default search pattern (hex, etc). But maybe it knows all of the very best settings, so it doesn't show them :-/
3. There's no option to do two-pass encoding anywhere. I'm pretty sure it is only doing single-pass, judging by the encoding time and resulting size. I can't stress how important it is to use two-pass. To those who have no idea what I'm talking about, a really basic explaination is this- the first time through the video, it notes areas and times when there is a lot of motion. Then the second time through, it knows to expect these and can concentrate more attention and compresion in these areas, resulting in an overal smoother, even-quality end product.
4. Here's the real clincher problem for me; lack of adjustable bitrates. While it does let you enter custom Size resolutions, it only has a preset stock set of Bitrates for video and audio. The lowest h.264 video bitrate is 96 kbps (slightly higher than I'd want) and a whopping 64kbps on the AAC audio (total overkill).
The verdict: While the video results are of better quality than other free alternatives, the non-adjustable high bitrates, single-pass encoding, and lack of settings to tweak ends you up with a balooned file size sporting an overal streaming bitrate of 200kbps+. We'd also have to feed this file through Quicktime Pro to add streaming control data, which would add even more bulk on to it. I think this pushes the limit of most BlackBerry phones' net connection.
If anyone else has software they'd like me to check out (either Mac of Windows), just let me know. I'm happy to do it, and maybe we'll finally find the perfect one!
04-16-2010 04:53 PM
What version of Quicktime Pro do you have? I believe mine is 7.6.4, running on Mac OSX 10.5.8. Different versions on different operating systems likely have different available features. It also grays out certain options depending on the source material being used- if it isn't what QT expects or prefers, I've seen it disable certain options.
I've heard that Youtube does still have issues on earlier BlackBerry models, especially via Wifi (strange as that sounds). Do any of the posted test clips work for you? You may be limited on that model as the newest OS available is 4.5, which will probably lack any h.264 capability and need to use h.263.
I'm not able to find much on SVG, other than it is used in a sort of animated-gif kind of way in certain themes and applications. I couldn't track down any video encoders or examples.
04-16-2010 07:26 PM
Charred PC ... Quick Time Pro; Version 7.6.5 (1327.80) Windows XP SP2
I tried loading :
03-20-2010 05:29 PM
Try embedding the following link in a web page and pointing your blackberry at it:
<a href="rtsp://v3.cache5.c.youtube.com/CkYLENy73wIaP QnI7ix7vigZyRMYESARFEIJbXYtZ29vZ2xlSARSBXdhdGNoWg5 DbGlja1RodW1ibmFpbGD-1Mb8w7jP0ksM/0/0/0/video.3gp" >
and it didn't work on my device. So, it would seem that even if you develop something for newer Blackberrys, individuals with "older phones" will still not see the video content.
I considered buidling a mirror site for cell phones, but I've seen end-users posts saying "PLEASE stop building mirror sites that we get automatically directed to. If we find information with a google search and then get redirected to a more basic site, it's so frustrating." Therefore, I'm even questioning that at this point.
Could you tell me if the video loads on your devices with either of these test pages/files ...
04-20-2010 07:52 PM
Thanks for the tips on the MIME types. I set them up and it seems to work great so far!
Furthermore, I found this good site that describes support for media on various BlackBerry devices.
For those of you that are interested: http://www.blackberry.com/btsc/viewContent.do?exte