Monday, July 04, 2005

Media Players on the PalmOS

In the realm of media players on the Palm OS, there are not many titles. For audio, you may find PocketTunes, Busker Player, Aeroplayer, and many more. As for video players, you are limited to about 3 players. These are Kinoma, MMPlayer, and TCPMP.

The first two of these are commercial programs. Kinoma is a full media player, and can handle MPEG-4, AAC, JPEG, and 3GP. It generally requires conversion for playback except with low bitrate files. One notable aspect of this player is that it has the ability to stream files from sites that conform to the Kinoma standard. There are a few sites now that have compatable media, so it can be a useful feature.

MMPlayer is a different type of player. It is a product of one developer. He has either written his own codecs, or liscensed them for use. It has a larger number of codecs than Kinoma, including "MPEG-1,2,4, H263, DivX, XviD and MJPeg video". Its noticable feature is that it supports WMA and WMV codecs because the developer liscensed these.

The third player is dramatically different. TCPMP (The Core Pocket Media Player) is completely open sourced (that means its free too). TCPMP is the work of a programmer named Gabor Kovacs (Picard is his forum name). It supports almost every codec, with the exception of WMA. Picard has also made an effort to optimize the player, and even add support for hardware acceleration on the Zodiac and HHE Clies.

Of these three major players, MMPlayer has the most features, but TCPMP is the fastest, and is being constantly updated. I believe it will gain the features that it currently lacks, and will turn out to be the premier player for PalmOS and PPC devices, if it isn't already.

This is a roundup article. An actual comparative review of the programs may follow, we will have to see.

22 Comments:

Anonymous Jason Robitaille said...

Don't forget Smartmovie, but otherwise that was a great read :-)

8:45 AM  
Blogger Ben Combee said...

There is also TealMovie, although it only plays it's own converted format, not any standard format. It was once the best thing out there, but it's fallen behind the curve, in my opinion.

3:56 PM  
Blogger Brad Green said...

TealMovie is very similar to what Kinoma once was. It is a simple player that can handle converted files, though they actually attempt to get others to use their media standard like Kinoma. To compete (mainly with MMPlayer and TCPMP), Kinoma has had to step up by adding MP4 and AAC support to their player.

The reasons the others are not included are two. They arent really what I would call "mainstream" players. Also, SmartMovie has not been updated in about 5 months, and I dont think Kinoma has been updated since version 3s release, though I could be wrong. The three players I list are clearly the most popular, as well as the most powerful, in the PalmOS realm. All three can play multiple formats, and two of them can play almost any format.

Smartmovie plays AVIs, though I doubt the decoder has been optimized to the likes of MMPlayer, much less TCPMP. It is rumored that Picards optimizations to the decoder in TCPMP are so good, the people who write the codec use them for reference.

4:30 PM  
Blogger Tam Hanna said...

Hi,
please dont remember me of TealMovie;-).
This reminds me of hours of laying around with my IIIc(after having deleted all ebooks,... to get 4MB of RAM free) attempting to overclock it so that media will play fluently but that sound/screen dont get distorted.
These were the days-but luckily, now they are over! Actually, I wouldnt want to use it anymore!
Best regards
Tam Hanna

4:37 PM  
Blogger Alexander Gratz said...

Hello,

is TealMovie Palm OS 4.1- compatible? There aren't muche players for 68k, but there is another player, called "Eva" who does 20 fps on a Dragonball device:

http://www.freewarepalm.com/utilities/evaforpalmos(r).shtml

I don't know if it is a "real" player or something for a strange video format. If there would be a converter, you could use it on old palms. Unfortuanely the homepage and download are not availible, so I made an upload on the German PalmWiki:

http://palm.projekt-base.de/wiki/upload/eva_player.zip

There is also a sound driver called "Audio Driver" for Palm OS 4.1-. Has anyone tested it? There is also a converter for WAV files. But the internal speaker of those old devices isn't really good... But here the download:

http://www.freewarepalm.com/music/audiodriverforpalmos(r).shtml

Alexander

5:31 PM  
Anonymous Wilson Chua said...

For those who don't want to spend a cent...there's the audio players - Dioplayer and Real Player. And course, TCPMP plays audio as well..

10:20 PM  
Blogger Brad Green said...

Dioplayer does count, but RealPlayer does not. I believe palm commissioned it for their handhelds. It is purposely locked to PalmOne handhelds only.

If you want a player that just does MP3, you can download TCPMP with the MP3 plugin, and it will not take up much room on the handheld. Thats the beauty of plugins. I can guarantee that TCPMPs MP3 decoder is better optimized than any other free players, and probably better than all of the commercial players too.

2:05 AM  
Blogger Tam Hanna said...

Hi,
some nexave members report problems with the Tungsten T in connection to DioPlayer...
Best regards
Tam Hanna

12:56 PM  
Blogger Alexander Gratz said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:33 PM  
Blogger Alexander Gratz said...

yes, DioPlayer needs at least Palm OS 5.2 because it's probably another sound API.

Alexander

1:34 PM  
Blogger Tam Hanna said...

Hi,
too bad that PalmOne nmever did the upgrade for the TT...
Best regards
Tam Hanna

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