Monday, September 12, 2005

Media Players for the Palm, Hands on Review!

You may have read my first look on Media Players for the Palm OS. I was not able to get a review copy of MMPlayer, and so this will be a comparison of Kinoma and TCPMP. Its a little late, mainly because I have been putting it off. The information is pretty much up to date though, as neither of the programs have really changed.

What will follow is a hands on review of each program, its true purpose, and then my overall pick for the best media player. I will start with TCPMP.

The Core Pocket Media Player (TCPMP)
TCPMP is thee newcomer in the world of media on the Palm. It has been around for a little more than three months. The Palm version is based on the same core as the PPC version (originally called Betaplayer), and so it came out as a fast and heavily optimized player. Fortunately for us, it didnt stop there. It can handle most major audio and video codecs, with the exception of WMA. Because of licensing problems, the AAC plugin cannot be stored on Corecodecs servers, but it is available (on servers in countries where it is legal) through links in a couple threads on their website.

The user interface of this player is very basic. It has a play button, fast forward and rewind buttons, a fullscreen button, a prefs button, and a slider. The beauty of the UI is that everything is below the hood, so to speak. Underneath that prefs button are all of the options for functionality. In the prefs menu are options to control speed, a/v sync, video controls, and many other things.

In any benchmark possible, you would find that this program is fast. I must say that it is faster than Kinoma or MMPlayer in respects to playing media at high bitrates. Again, I have to push the fact that this player is very good for video and audio, and does nothing else.

Kinoma Media Player
Kinoma Media Player is a different type of player than TCPMP. It has been around for many years, and has gone through many major revisions. Until the release of TCPMP, it was almost unrivaled in media with its latest version. Some of its features include media organization, an inviting interface, and a large selection of methods to get media onto your handheld.

One you get your hands on this player you realize that it offers more than meets the eye. One of the things that did this for me was the album art that showed up when I started listening to an audio clip available on their website. In addition to this, it is the only media player that can play 3 unique types of media. These types of media are 3D objects, panoramas, and interactive guides. All of these were developed from the ground up by Kinoma, and they have worked to get their media formats up on the net. There are numerous videos in their format, as well as smaller numbers of the other types of media.

Overall, they are both really great players. Kinomas player, along with their separate converter, can handle high quality video with faster handhelds. As I have said, its biggest benefits are in its other media capacilities, as well as its music support with album pictures. TCPMP is the king of all dedicated video players. A dedicated developer, and a very dedicated fan base create a great program that can handle most modern video formats.

I have both of these programs on my device, and can definitely see how they are used for very different things.

Comments and questions can be directed to the comments section.


Blogger Tom Frauenhofer said...

I have used both TCPMP and MMPlayer (I have purchased 2 copies of MMPlayer in the past) and can attest to the fact that TCPMP is faster. I have used both on a Tungsten T3 and a Zodiac 2. The nice thing about MMPlayer is its support for skins and it's rich set of options, but if you're really interested in playback performance it's TCPMP all the way.

3:28 PM  
Blogger Tam Hanna said...

I use TCPMP and am very happy. Honestly, what do skins help if the media doesnt play? But, I never ever was an aesthetics person... .
Best regards
Tam Hanna

9:31 PM  
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