In this second part, we are going to explore applications which convert videos for playback on Nokia S60 5th edition mobiles, specifically the Nokia 5800.
In Part 1, we reviewed SmartMovie, a commercially available from video player for playback on the Symbian device.
We will look at three applications for video conversion. All these applications were installed in a laptop running Windows XP SP2 with 1 Gigabyte of RAM and a 1.66 GHz processor.
- Videora Nokia 5800 Converter
- Nokia Internet Tablet Video Converter
Videora Nokia 5800 Converter 5.00
Videora Nokia 5800 Converter can be downloaded here. It supports H.264 VGA 1024kbps Stereo/128kbps and MPEG4 VGA 1024kbps Stereo/128kbps formats.
Conversion of an avi file of approximately 800 Megabytes in the H.246 format takes approximately 45 minutes but when encoded with the MPEG4 format takes nearly 2.5 hours. Videora has different versions for N97, Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, and various other mobile phones and iPods.
There are two modes you can choose for conversion, Simple Mode and Power Mode. In the Simple Mode, you just have to specify the file to be converted, the location on the hard drive where the converted file has to be stored and you are on your way.
Successful playback using the RealPlayer on the Nokia 5800 was a hit or miss. RealPlayer played back some files successfully back but it failed to play a few files. To find that playback failed after waiting for more than an hour converting the video is quite frustrating!!
Handbrake is an open source multi-threaded video transcoder that accept practically any type of video as a source. It supports many video formats that can be picked using various built-in presets that are categorized under Apple, Basic, High Profile and Gaming Consoles. I picked the Basic category and the Normal preset under this category for my conversion.
An avi file with running time of nearly 2 hours takes over 2 hours. The video codec was H.264. In the output settings, you can select the format of the output file as M4V, MP4, AVI, MKV and OGM. I’d prefer MP4. An avi file converted to M4V format failed to play on the S60 device. I didn’t try any presets under the Apple category.
Successful playback was once again a hit or miss. Playback of videos converted using some presets, like the Classic failed. Pick the Basic category under the Normal preset and it works!
Nokia Internet Tablet Video Converter v0.32
The Nokia Internet Tablet Video Converter is home grown application from Nokia available in Nokia Beta Labs that converts videos to the .mp4 format and works perfectly well with all Nokia phones.
It doesn’t confuse you by giving a myriad options of video and audio formats to choose from. The Video quality can be chosen from one of the 4 options that a layman can understand, Low, Good, Better and Best. Of course, each option corresponds to a particular bit rate of audio and video and a encoding at specific frame-per-second (fps). The bit rate for the Low video quality is 200 kbps video, 64 kbps audio at 24 fps. The bit rate for the Best video quality is 860 kbps video and 128 kbps audio at 30 fps.
It takes over an hour to convert videos but the time it takes to convert a video and the size of the video also varies based on the video quality. Choosing the Low video quality means the smallest video converted in the shortest time. Playback on the Nokia 5800 was always successful when converted using the Nokia Internet Video Converter.
Overall, my experience of converting videos to play on the Nokia 5800 was not very pleasant. What irked me most was how long I had to wait for videos to be converted to the required format. And I’d come to know only at the end of the whole process that playback wasn’t successful.
The applications throw you a whole bunch of options that are overwhelming. I would like to try out each one to determine which is the best, but video conversion with each option would take at least an hour. You simply can’t think of loading your S60 device with a couple of movies at the last minute, when you embark on a trip.
I’d recommend Nokia Internet Tablet Video Converter for its simple interface and 100% success rate.
More thoughts on video playback on the device
Videos playback using RealPlayer was a pleasant experience on my Nokia 5800. Frame loss was low and did not interfere with my visual experience. If you try to fast-forward, it takes a few seconds for full resolution to set in in the new playback position.
RealPlayer does not remember playback positions which is painful because navigating to the right point of the movie is cumbersome.
Video playback is a huge battery draining task for the mobile phone. Prepare to recharge your S60 device within a day if you are going to watch a whole movie.