Monday, December 01, 2008

Kinoma Mobile Media Tools

The mobile multimedia revolution has begun. You can tell by the way that cell phone manufacturers are regularly one-upping each other to offer increased screen size, resolution, memory, and wireless bandwidth. But here's a new wrinkle. It's a third-party toolset from Kinoma that enhances the abilities of your current smartphone.

Dramatic Chipmunk Screen Shot from Kinoma PlayerThe flagship product is Kinoma Play, a multimedia browser and guide. The browser supports MPEG-4 Video SP and AVC/H.264 codecs, 3GPP (same as MPEG-4), Flash Video (Sorenson Spark codec), QuickTime Movie (same as MPEG-4) and Windows Media 9 (WMV9 codec) video formats. For streaming, Kinoma Play supports HTTP, RTSP, and MMS streaming.

On the audio side, Kinoma Play supports MP3, AAC (iTunes), AAC+, Flash Video (MP3 in an FLV), and Windows Media Audio 9 audio formats. It also supports FLAC uncompressed audio. For streaming, the browser supports HTTP, RTSP, and MMS streaming.

This pretty much covers the gamut of what you'll encounter with multimedia today. So, what sort of things can you do with Kinoma Play?

With the mobile browser, you can play music, video, pictures, panoramas and audio books on your phone. Podcasts can be listened to in streaming mode, rather than having to download and sync them. Kinoma Play improves the quality of YouTube videos on your cellphone. It will play the same feeds delivered to your PC, if enough bandwidth is available. An integrated search function lets you search your phone, your home PC and the Internet to find what you want. User interface elements disappear when viewing photos, listening to music or watching videos so that you have a nice uncluttered screen.

One of the other big features of Kinoma Play is a content guide called, appropriately, Kinoma Guide. This makes it easy to find podcasts, music, audio books, streaming radio stations and other mobile content.

There is one limitation. Kinoma Play works only on supported devices running Windows Mobile 5 or later. That includes many HP iPAQ models, Palm Treo, Samsung and HTC smartphones that have been tested by Kinoma. Other phones running Windows Mobile 5 are likely to work. If you have a question about whether your phone qualifies, the thing to do is download Kinoma FreePlay, a free limited edition program.

Kinoma Player 4 EX is the media player for Palm OS phones. That includes products from Palm, Sony, Garmin and Tapwave.

But what about all that video content on your computer that you'd like to have on your phone? You're in luck. Kinoma Producer 4 has the tools needed to convert video into formats compatible with smartphones. You can pick and choose from among file formats, or let the Producer pick the best choice by simply specifying your model phone. Kinoma Producer 4 can also optimize video files for your Sony PlayStation Portable or Apple video iPod.

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