I’m a regular user of AnyDVD and CloneDVD so I was pleased to receive an email announcing the launch of CloneDVD Mobile.
In the past I’ve tried DVDtoPocketPC v1.24 & v2 (from Makayama) to produced WMV files to play on my Pocket PC (iPAQ 2210). When it works the quality is pretty good, but the problem is getting it to work reliably - the software seems pretty flaky to me.
I’ve downloaded the CloneDVD Mobile trial and am using v22.214.171.124 to rip a DVD to play on my iPAQ. As with the other SlySoft products the interface is great and very easy to use but unfortunately the quality of the files it is producing is very poor. The sound is good but the video is so blocky it is virtually unwatchable.
To produce the files I am choosing the Windows Mobile Smartphone option, selecting the required chapter, using a resolution of 320x240 and a video quality of the default value of 23. I’ve also tried increasing the video quality to the max value of 33 but it doesn’t seem to have any affect on either the quality or the file size i.e. a 30 min DVD episode produces an AVI file of approx 30mb.
Has anyone managed to get the software to produce a file with a quality that is acceptable for playing on a Pocket PC? If so, what settings did you use? Did you edit devices.ini?
Finally, is it possible to output WMV files? I’m happy using Windows Media Player on the iPAQ but it won’t play AVI files. I know I can install other software to play the AVI files but I’d rather use WMVs if possible. If WMV aren’t supporte now, are they likely to be in the future?
I’ve looked into the problem with the poor video quality when choosing the Windows Mobile Smartphone option and I think I may have found a bug.
I decided to edit devices.ini and make a copy of the Windows Mobile Smartphone section. After looking at the ffmpeg site I changed the VCodec entry to wmv7. I ran CloneDVD Mobile and selected my new profile and all seemed to be going well when an error message box was displayed. My wmv7 entry had caused the problem, but interestingly the error message displayed the command line used to invoke ffmpeg.
Looking at this I realised that the "-i - " section was the problem as the -i option specifies the input file. Running the above command line from the ffmeg folder (…CloneDVDmobile\apps) and supplying the path for the input file ffmeg reported an error of missing wmv7 codec. I then run the command again with the original codec specified in devices.ini i.e. “mpeg4 -vtag xvid” and ffmpeg started processing the file. I aborted the program and looked at the partial output AVI file. It still had the same blocky video, but now I was able to run ffmpeg from the command line.
Looking into the paramaters supported by ffmeg I noticed that the -b option specifies the video bit rate in kbit/s. In the command line used by CloneDVD Mobile this is set to 0. I ran the command line again but with “-b 256” and also -t 15 to stop the encoding after 15 seconds. The result was a 15 second AVI with excellent video quality! I’ve tried “-b 192” and although slightly poorer quality (as expected) it is still perfectly watchable.
It looks to me that CloneDVD Mobile should not be sending the “-b 0” parameter, instead it should use something like “-b 256” or “-b 192”. I thought that this is what the Video Quality slider should set, but no matter what I set it to it makes no difference to the Video quality!
I thought I might be able to force the video bit rate by specifying it in the VCodec section i.e. “VCodec=mpeg4 -vtag xvid -b 256” but ConeDVD Mobile just chokes on it and displays an error.
Is this a bug? Can someone tell me exactly what the Video Quality slider does?
Yes, this is a bug. The Windows Smartphone profile was submitted by a customer. If you look closely at the resolutions in the ini file, you see that there is a strange character between the numbers. It must be (for example) 320x240 where x is a small x (the ASCII letter). In the Windows smartphone setting it isn’t a small x, but something looking similar. Very hard to spot. If you exchange this character, all will be fine.
The quality slider calculates the video bitrate (-b) depending on the resolution and the frame rate. As the resolution was “garbage”, the bitrate calculation failed.
Thanks. Correcting the x in devices.ini fixed the problem. I’m now able to use the quality slider to produce good quality AVI files.
Unfortunately Pocket Windows Media Player 9 won’t play AVI files, only WMV or ASF files. I’ve been tweaking the settings in devices.ini and have managed to produce a WMV file. The file plays OK in WMP 10 on my XP box but when I play it on my Pocket PC I get good video but no sound. This is the profile I’ve been using to create WMV files:
Please bear with me guys. This mobile stuff is fairly new to me. I also own an iPAQ 2210. I got an e-mail about the clonedvd mobile program. My question is, what do I use to run this on my pocket pc? Do I use windows media player? I don’t have the smartphone program that is mentioned here, do I need it? Any help will be appreciated, thanks.
If CloneDVD Mobile was able to produce WMV files you would be able to play them on your iPAQ using the Windows Media Player supplied with Pocket PC. That’s why I’m keen to get CloneDVD Mobile to output WMV files.
In the meantime you could use the Windows Mobile Smartphone option to produce an AVI file. To play this on your iPAQ you will need to install some additional sotware on it. There are numerous software packages that will play AVI, MPG etc files on the Pocket PC but the one I’m trying at the moment is TCPMP (The Core Pocket Media Player). You can download this for free from http://tcpmp.corecodec.org/ (site seems to be down at the moment, or from http://picard.exceed.hu/tcpmp/. PocketTV will play MPEG files and there is a free version available - not sure about AVI files though.
I think the following configuration works well in Media Player on Mobile 5 based Pocket PCs. The configuration also works well in the freeware TCPMP (The Core Pocket Media Player) on “any” Pocket PC, as long as the TCPMP aac plugin dll has been installed…
[Pocket PC Mobile 5 Media Player]
I’ve been experimenting with asf/wmw, trying out some legacy audio formats that are widely supported inside wav container files.
All combinations play with both video and audio in TCPMP.
No combinations play with audio in PPC Media Player 9.
No combinations play (blank screen, then stop) in Mobile 5 Media Player 10.
See the profile for further comments:
[Pocket PC Media Player 9 (wmv+nosound)]
VCodec=msmpeg4v2 ; Works in TCPMP and PPC Media Player 9, but not in Mobile 5 Media Player 10
; ACodec=wma ; Correct codec, but unsupported for encoding by ffmpeg
ACodec=mp3 ; Works in TCPMP, but no sound in PPC Media Player 9
; ACodec=pcm_mulaw ; Encoding commonly used in wav files. Works in TCPMP, but no sound in PPC Media Player 9
; ACodec=pcm_alaw ; Encoding commonly used in wav files. Works in TCPMP, but no sound in PPC Media Player 9
; ACodec=adpcm_ima_wav ; Encoding commonly used in wav files. Works in TCPMP, but no sound in PPC Media Player 9
; ARate=44100 ; Older Pocket PCs like 44100, but not 48000
ARate=22050 ; This is 44100 / 2
Your best bet for playback of CloneDVD Mobile encoded files on pre Mobile 5 PPCs seems to be to download and install the freeware TCPMP, end encode using the following profile. This profile also works with Mobile 5 Media Player 10:
Sorry… I forgot. Mobile 5 Media Player 10 will play the xvid+mp3 combination with video, but no sound. Mp4 files must have aac sound in order to play correctly in M5 MP10. My bad… The profile will still work with TCPMP without the need for plugins.
What i did as a test to get sound on my clips for my pocketpc (ipaq 6515) was to load the clip in Windows Movie Maker (included in your WinXP license) and resave it as the pocketpc profile there.
Sure enough, now it works with sound, so a quick check gives that the sound from Movie maker gets saved as WMA format. So if FFMPEG could save the soundpart of the videoclip in WMA format it would solve the issue for the pocket PC. But trying to read the FFMPEG docs i could only find that FFMPEG decodes that format, no encoding.
But the WMA codec is on all Windows XP machines with the media player installed so could CloneDVD use that codec or is it totaly dependant on FFMPEG?
I’ve converted several movies with perfect results with CloneDVDMobile for my Dell AXIM X5 PPC using the general DIVX setting and copying to a 512meg SD Card and using TCPMP (The Core Pocket Media Player). Would like to see the ability to have more control of the output settings like different audio settings, cropping, more control of size out, and two pass encoding. I’ve used Pocket DVD 3.5 for some time from www.pqdvd.com but it limits you to one output (different versions for PPC, IPOD, PSP, etc), but does give you much more control.