How can I play PC video on my Nokia cellphone?
I once saw someone show a short movie clip they'd downloaded onto their Nokia mobile and ever since have been trying to figure out how to do that on my own phone. Nokia's not much help, though, but since I saw you have some other stuff about cellphones, I thought you might have a clue?
[I do have a clue, luckily, and that clue is called Nokia Smartphone Hacks, a cool book full of slick tricks like this from Michael Yuan. With the permission of the publisher, I'm reproducing Hack #71: Play PC Video Clips on the Phone. --DT]
Watching video on your mobile phone is cool! Once considered the killer application for broadband wireless networks (e.g., 3G networks), mobile video holds great promise for a whole new mobile lifestyle, with the mobile phone as your entertainment center. If you have a Nokia phone, you can probably watch a lot of video on your device today. Most recent Nokia Series 40 and Series 60 phones, regardless of whether they have cameras, support playback of 3gpp-format video files. The default video player on Nokia Series 60 phones is the Symbian version of RealPlayer.
TIP: An undocumented feature in RealPlayer on Series 60 phones is that you can use the navigation keys (a.k.a. joystick) to fast forward or rewind the movie. Up is fast forward and Down is rewind. You cannot do this with the Nokia video player on Series 40 phones.
Most existing video files are not in the 3gpp format. They need to be resized and re-encoded for mobile phone video players.
Use QuickTime Pro
If you are using a Windows or Mac OS X computer, QuickTime Pro is the best editing tool for video content. You can open any video file and save it as a 3gpp file. Figure 11-12 shows the conversion process.
Figure 11-12. Converting a PC/Mac movie file to 3gpp format for phone playback in QuickTime Pro
Clicking the Options button, you can bring up the dialog box for 3gpp movie export. Figure 11-13 shows the video options. You can choose the video size for Series 40 (128 x 96 pixels) or Series 60 (172 x 144 pixels) phones. The data rate setting is used to limit the size of the final video file. The low data rate gives you smaller files but also lower video quality (e.g., skipped frames and mosaic effects).
Figure 11-13. The 3gpp video export options in QuickTime Pro
Figure 11-14 shows the audio options of the exported 3gpp movie. Most Nokia phones can only play mono audio via the phone speaker or headset. If that is the case for your phone, make sure you export the movie audio as "mono" to save space.
Figure 11-14. The 3gpp audio export options in QuickTime Pro
For each video file, you have to search for the best compromise of data rates. Table 11-1 lists the data rate settings I typically use. I found them able to produce movies that are of reasonable quality and yet are still small enough to fit into a typical MMC card.
Table 11-1. Example settings for exported 3gpp movies
TIP: Feature-length movie files are much larger than the 4MB size limit imposed by the phone memory. To transfer movie files to the device via Bluetooth, you need to configure the device message Inbox to save received messages in the MMC card [Hack#21].
The 3gpp standard provides mechanisms for content providers to limit how the user uses the 3gpp movie on the phone (a.k.a. DRM protection controls). For instance, you can forbid the user to forward the movie from the phone, or limit the number of times the movie can be played on the phone. Figure 11-15 shows such options supported by QuickTime Pro.
Figure 11-15. The 3gpp advanced options in QuickTime Pro
If you use Linux or prefer a free cross-platform command-line tool, the open source FFmpeg program is best. You can specify the video size, frame rate, data rate, and other configuration options on the command line.
The preceding command converts the movie.avi file to a 3gpp file. The video is resized to 172 x 144 to match the Series 60 screen. The frame rate is 10 fps. The audio track is set to be mono (-ac 1). The data rates are 48 kbps for video and 12 kbps for audio.
Copyright © 2005 O'Reilly Media, Inc. All rights reserved.
More Useful iPhone and Cell Phone Help Articles:
✔ How do you share an iPhone photo on Facebook?
All my friends have figured out the magic to take photos on their iPhone and upload them to Facebook. Everyone but me. How...✔ Closed captioning for TV shows and movies on my iPhone?
Hey Dave, I saw your article from a few days about How to Turn on Closed Captioning in iTunes and am wondering if...✔ How do I create location-based iPhone reminders?
Thanks to Siri, I've become a big fan of the Reminders app on my iPhone. Being able to say "remind me at 3pm...✔ Enable Apple 2-Step Verification in iTunes?
I keep reading all these articles about iTunes account security and people having their accounts hacked. I have 2-step security verification set up...✔ Turn an iTunes song into an iPhone ringtone?
I want to have song from my song list in iTunes into a ringtone I can use on my iPhone? Is it even...
Let's stay in touch!
Sign up for my weekly AskDaveTaylor Newsletter and you'll receive even more tech and gadget help right to your inbox, along with exclusive news and industry updates. It's good stuff. I promise!
I do have a comment, now that you mention it!
Check This Out Too...
Look for Answers
All Our Categories
Apple iPad Help
Articles and Reviews
Auctions and Online Shopping
Blogs and Blogging
Building Web Site Traffic
Business and Management
Computer and Internet Basics
d) None of the Above
Google Gmail Help
Google Plus Help
Industry News and Trade Shows
iPhone and Cell Phone Help
iPod, Sony PSP and MP3 Player Help
Kindle Fire Help
Mac OS X Help
Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Shell Script Programming
Tech Support Video Help
The Writing Business
Twitter, LinkedIn and Social Network Help
Unix and Linux Help
Video Game Tips and Help
Windows PC Help
Find Me on Google+
ADT on G+