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Comments on: More Details On Foleo Video Support

After a recent posting on his blog in which he stated he'd "been busy with a lot of detailed work on speeding up the video playback on the Foleo", Palm software developer Ben Combee has posted some more information on the Foleo's video capabilities, as well as putting a damper on the possibility of Flash video support any time soon. Seems that while Foleo will indeed use its built-in Marathon accelerator for video functions, Flash video is a little different:

"The Foleo hardware is capable of playback of several video formats as the Marathon 2700G chip accelerates the operations involved in H.263, MPEG-2, and MPEG-4 video. It is possible to use the hardware to support a standalone video player like TCPMP.

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What About the iPhone's YouTube Site?

DarthRepublican @ 8/27/2007 1:43:56 PM # Q
It's my understanding that the iPhone doesn't do flash video either but it has a dedicated YouTube application which downloads videos from YouTube in H.263 format. Since this video format it on the Foleo's list of supported formats, why not create an application which would download and show YouTube videos in a similar manner?

RE: What About the iPhone's YouTube Site?
palmato @ 8/27/2007 2:47:51 PM # Q
It's h264, not h263. H264 provides better quality than "standard" mpeg4 (divx) but is also computationally more intensive. I'm not sure the Marathon 2700G can handle it.
H263 is based on the older mpeg-2 (according to wikipedia).


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RE: What About the iPhone's YouTube Site?
freakout @ 8/27/2007 5:20:47 PM # Q
"To achieve higher video quality and longer battery life on mobile devices, YouTube has begun encoding their videos in the advanced H.264 format, and iPhone will be the first mobile device to use the H.264-encoded videos. Over 10,000 videos will be available on June 29, and YouTube will be adding more each week until their full catalog of videos is available in the H.264 format this fall."

RE: What About the iPhone's YouTube Site?
rsc1000 @ 8/27/2007 7:39:43 PM # Q
Well, TCPMP plays h264 and does it via software only. My T|T3 seemed to do a pretty OK job at 400mhz as i recall. The Foleo CPU is apparently 415mhz which should do the trick - though there is a larger screen resolution to support.

RE: What About the iPhone's YouTube Site?
palmato @ 8/28/2007 9:17:45 AM # Q
Actually tcpmp cannot play h264 videos. Maybe the core player can.

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Hey Admin: Why do we have to keep two profiles?
RE: What About the iPhone's YouTube Site?
rsc1000 @ 8/28/2007 11:29:04 AM # Q
Actually - yes it can. You have to install the TCPMP plugin for that (the ffmpeg plugin) but it definitely can and I have watched h.264 vids on my Palm with no problem. Google it.

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Confused, so clarify

mikecane @ 8/27/2007 2:15:51 PM # Q
OK, when they say Flash is "not supported" -- are they saying *there is NO app AT ALL* that can play Flash? Or that whatever Flash-playing app *is* included is pretty crappy due to the contortions Flash requires?

And what's this about Garnet playing Flash?! That's fekkin news to me. Point me to a Flash player for it!

What's the fps of non-Flash video? And what's the player screen size?

RE: Confused, so clarify
twagner @ 8/27/2007 2:23:17 PM # Q
Kinoma Version 4 plays flash videos on YouTube.

"Get ready for the first media player for Treo smartphones and Palm OS handhelds built to stream from ground-up. Kinoma Player 4 EX packs more audio and video streaming technologies than you imagined your handheld could hold - MP3, Windows Media 9, Flash Video, MPEG-4 and RTSP. With the free built-in Kinoma Media Guide, in no time you'll be watching entertaining internet video and live web cams, and listening to informative radio stations and podcasts. Of course Kinoma Player 4 EX also plays all kinds of mobile media from your memory card - from Windows Media Video 9 and MPEG-4 video to AAC songs ripped with iTunes to JPEG photos from your digital camera."

T-E, Zire72, T-5, Lifedrive, Treo 680

RE: Confused, so clarify
mikecane @ 8/27/2007 2:26:34 PM # Q
*smacking my head*

That's right. Someone mentioned that to me a while back. The reason why I forgot it is that WiFi on my LifeDrive turned out to be such a rotten experience for *basic* websites, that I dropped all interest in even attempting YouTube. (I don't do WiFi on the LD at all now.)

Thanks.

RE: Confused, so clarify
abosco @ 8/27/2007 3:40:21 PM # Q
>>And what's this about Garnet playing Flash?! That's fekkin news to me. Point me to a Flash player for it!

I've got an old NX80v (which still fires up and holds a decent charge) with Flash Player pre-loaded on it. All you need to do is add in SWF files and it can take it. And with PXA Clocker, you can push the X-Scale to over 350 MHz. Flash games were actually pretty and playable.

-Bosco
NX80v + Wifi + BT + S710a

RE: Confused, so clarify
mikecane @ 8/27/2007 3:50:39 PM # Q
abosco, I know *CLIEs* had Flash for quite some time. I even tried putting that Flash player on my LD. No joy. I wasn't able to find the folder to put FLVs in so the player could find them. Right now, I have no interest in FLV on the LD. I just plop AVIs in and use TCPMP just fine. And I can quickly convert FLVs to AVIs on the PC; another incentive for me to skip FLV on the LD.

RE: Confused, so clarify
twagner @ 8/28/2007 9:47:59 AM # Q
How do you convert FLV to AVI on a PC? Thanks.

T-E, Zire72, T-5, Lifedrive, Treo 680
RE: Confused, so clarify
mikecane @ 8/28/2007 11:30:11 AM # Q
I use a commercial software program that does it.

I also have used this:

http://mediacoder.sourceforge.net/

-- which is free, but only (oddly!) to convert WMV to AVI (which the commercial software can't). The website says it can do FLV, but I think the one time I tried it, it was just too slow for me.

Reply to this comment

Hum ...

khertan @ 8/27/2007 4:28:20 PM # Q
N800 run flash video and flash 9 smoothly ...

And it's just an 312Mhz TI OMAP....

Benoit HERVIER
http://www.khertan.net/

RE: Hum ...
Ryan @ 8/27/2007 4:47:22 PM # Q
As a fellow N800 user, I'd really take issue with your use of thw word smoothly. It does work, but can be pretty choppy. The N800 also has major issues with local divx and mp4 videos, that aren't specifically encoded for it.

I do have hope for the Foleo video.... If TCPMP could run smoothly and handle mostly anything on a Treo 600 (144 MHz omap), I don't see why the foleo would have much trouble with basic non-hd video.

RE: Hum ...
khertan @ 8/28/2007 1:27:37 AM # Q
Just check your config ... i don't reencode any divx. Do you have something running in a process in background ?

Benoit HERVIER
http://www.khertan.net/
Reply to this comment

Please explain what the issue is?

drbuzz0 @ 8/27/2007 5:32:43 PM # Q
Even some rather cheap phones without the whole PDA interface will do Flash Light and Flashcast..

Flash is supported on WindowsMobile

It's supported on symbian

On Qutopia

On Brew

On Some of the Sony/Ericson propriotary phones

It's on the PSP (which is supposedly not even a primarly communications-oriented or internet device. That's just a secondary function to it's game playing)

It's on some PMP's.


But palm? No, except for an ancient version 5 which is ripped from Clie devices...

Youtube is insanely popular. Homestarrunner and other sites like that have a huge following. Even some non-entertainment sites have flash-heavy interfaces.

And yet...no?

Is it because of Palm or Macromedia/Adobe that we are the only ones left on the planet without?

RE: Please explain what the issue is?
mikecane @ 8/27/2007 5:37:29 PM # Q
Yeah, where is Combee to explain this?

With Nokia, it was the same damned thing with the 770 -- no Flash at all.

Then miraculously they had it for the N800. But *still* no Flash for the 770.

Flash is going to be around a lot longer than Palm. Even if video goes to all H.264, many artists love Flash for things like cartoons and demos that are graphics.

RE: Please explain what the issue is?
cervezas @ 8/27/2007 8:13:11 PM # Q
Flash is supported on WindowsMobile, Symbian... etc etc.

...many artists love Flash for things like cartoons and demos that are graphics.


First of all, it's not a problem with Flash in general. The cartoons and stuff (games, I suppose, although I haven't tried) run fine in the browser just like they do in your desktop browser. It's only video that's a problem, and apparently it's only video that's *embedded* in the browser (see Ben's explanation for why that's the case). Note that Windows Mobile can't do embedded YouTube video either: it has to launch a media player to play the content outside of the browser. Since (per Ben) Foleo has the horsepower to deliver video, supporting the YouTube experience sounds like it's probably a matter of getting the browser to work with a native player the way Windows Media Player does with IE. At least maybe that's the simplest way.

I bet it won't be too awfully long before this is fixed, but I agree that it'll be a disappointment for a good number of users until it is.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Please explain what the issue is?
khertan @ 8/28/2007 1:29:18 AM # Q
I'm sorry to announce that ... but Micro-B Engine is available for Nokia n770 and with it Flash 9.

Benoit HERVIER
http://www.khertan.net/
RE: Please explain what the issue is?
freakout @ 8/28/2007 4:12:29 AM # Q
Yeah, where is Combee to explain this?

He seems to hide in the background over at Treocentral nowadays, surfacing every few dozen posts to give up little technical tidbits like the one used for the article. you can see his posting history here:

http://discussion.treocentral.com/search.php?searchid=7122858

there's quite a few interesting nuggets. Like this one, about how OpenOffice on the Foleo is probably unlikely:

OpenOffice would require a lot of work to port to the device. You would have to rework the whole graphical interface to use the Foleo's system libraries, and you'd have to install a CF card just to hold the program, since a OO installation requires a considerable amount of room. The program would also need logic changes to work well in the "instant-on" application model. The application is also quite heavyweight, so I would expect that it would perform very poorly.

Sorry. I'd love to be proven wrong, but I just don't think you'll see a port of this to the Foleo anytime in the near future.



Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650 ---> Crimson Treo 680
RE: Please explain what the issue is?
SeldomVisitor @ 8/28/2007 6:27:24 AM # Q
> ...The program would also need logic changes to work well in the
> "instant-on" application model...

That, as with the other already-commented-upon words about how "syncing" works, is key.

RE: Please explain what the issue is?
mikecane @ 8/28/2007 11:26:15 AM # Q
>>>I bet it won't be too awfully long before this is fixed, but I agree that it'll be a disappointment for a good number of users until it is.

What do you mean by "fixed?" By Palm or one of the 3rd parties that will be blamed when the Foleo crashes -- just like 3rd-party software is seemingly now criminal in the eyes of Palm PDA/Treo Support?

I don't understand how *any* hardware can be in development over the past year during the rise and conquest of YouTube and other such sites -- yet all that was, what?, ignored?, never thought of?, dismissed as a fad? I mean, hell, even someone in a cave would've heard what Google paid to buy YouTube. (Wasn't that, in fact, more than the value of Palm, Inc?)

RE: Please explain what the issue is?
cervezas @ 8/28/2007 12:45:23 PM # Q
What do you mean by "fixed?" By Palm or one of the 3rd parties

By Palm. Don't get cute.
... just like 3rd-party software is seemingly now criminal in the eyes of Palm PDA/Treo Support?

Well, that's one of the key points about Linux: unlike Palm OS Garnet, every application runs in it's own process with it's own protected memory, so if some buggy application crashes it doesn't take down the system or the other running applications. Poorly written apps can still tie up resources that other apps need (eating up available memory, e.g.) but there should be a lot less room for interference between them, and a lot less recourse to blaming third party apps for problems, I would think.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com/blog
RE: Please explain what the issue is?
SeldomVisitor @ 8/28/2007 12:59:47 PM # Q
> ...Well, that's one of the key points about Linux: unlike Palm OS
> Garnet, every application runs in it's own process with it's own
> protected memory, so if some buggy application crashes it doesn't
> take down the system or the other running applications...

We can hope that WindRiver's implementation of Linux is more robust than, say, other implementations that are "out there". I've noted the less-than-robust Ubuntu I have running on a 600MHz P-III that regularly goes catatonic - including inability to telnet into it (in an attempt to avoid the GUI). The cause of these crashes may vary, BTW, but for sure can be purposefully caused by simply visiting Flash-heavy websites such as Engadget.

RE: Please explain what the issue is?
mikecane @ 8/28/2007 1:19:25 PM # Q
>>>so if some buggy application crashes it doesn't take down the system or the other running applications. Poorly written apps can still tie up resources that other apps need (eating up available memory, e.g.) but there should be a lot less room for interference between them, and a lot less recourse to blaming third party apps for problems, I would think.

You would think.

Yeah, right. Thanks for reminding me of how many fekkin times I had to HARD RESET that fekkin Nokia 770 because OPERA -- oooh, the browser of choice for the Foleo! -- got its bowels clogged and froze the whole damned unit. And I DO mean FROZE: there were times I had to remove the damned battery to snap it out of its coma.

But of course, since Opera on the Foleo will allow ONLY ONE DAMNED WINDOW PANE and therefore ONLY ONE WEBSITE to be viewed at a time, there's far less chance of that.

Right? Right?

Uh, no. I've had the 770 clog on a single site with just one tab open.

Thanks. I love reliving such trauma.

And as for me being "cute," I wasn't. But given Palm's history -- how's that never-ending Treo update going? -- it just asks for all the sarcasm it gets.

RE: Please explain what the issue is?
cervezas @ 8/28/2007 6:15:00 PM # Q
That 770 has clearly been a big source of pain for you, Mike, so why don't you donate it to the Salvation Army and get on with your life? If you'd done that back in January and got yourself a nice N800 you'd probably have saved us *all* a lot of grief. Seriously, I've never seen anything like you are describing happen on my N800. I think I had to soft reset it once back in March of this year, and that's just about the only time I even had to boot the OS after I first turned it on back in January. As for the Opera browser, it crashes two or three times a month in daily use with 3-5 windows open, but you just launch it again and in a few seconds you're back in business.


David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Please explain what the issue is?
mikecane @ 8/29/2007 8:51:15 AM # Q
I haven't been using the 770. But the trauma is forever.

Or until Nokia dies dies dies.

So tell me, how many times has the Foleo froze up?

RE: Please explain what the issue is?
SeldomVisitor @ 8/29/2007 9:04:40 AM # Q
> ...Or until Nokia dies dies dies...

You may not want to read today's Engadget (http://www.engadget.com)- chock full of new Nokia smartphones.

Nokia traditionally has released a new phone on average every 9 days; it appears they are going for that rate with smartphones, too.

RE: Please explain what the issue is?
mikecane @ 8/29/2007 12:09:24 PM # Q
Oh thanks for that. I got to bash Nokia twice on my blog today.

RE: Please explain what the issue is?
cervezas @ 8/29/2007 8:55:58 PM # Q
So tell me, how many times has the Foleo froze up?

No freezes or crashes to report. But I'm not really supposed to be reporting publicly one way or the other, so excuse me if I put the brakes on answering lots of questions for now. I'm at less liberty to talk than the folks who got to use the product at one of the Palm events. :-(

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com/blog
Beers, one more Foleo question
mikecane @ 9/4/2007 2:00:01 PM # Q
What about MySpace?

Can it play music from the embedded MySpace music app?

Test here:

http://www.myspace.com/thenational

(That's the least-cluttered MySpace page I could find at a mo's notice...)

Reply to this comment

Foleo YouTube vids

mikecane @ 8/27/2007 5:46:28 PM # Q
These are two I didn't see until today, but have been there for 2 weeks:

First 5 minutes with the Palm Foleo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSdXOoTY4KY
-- what's interesting here is that the Foleo seems to have *many* apps on it -- including CALENDAR and CONTACTS! And look at the same of that Start Menu -- er, Apps menu!

Get Connected - Tech Talk - Palm Foleo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxCiJqCr9Dw
-- nah, I had to bail as soon as the Palm guy opened his mouth. It was clear to me he is just spouting corporate factoids he actually doesn't *believe*.

Look, all day today I've read and read and read about the Foleo. I've even asked Beers some Qs about it in another thread (his missus loves it, btw).

I *still* cannot see this thing having a value ABOVE $350-$400. I just can't. Particularly since right off the bat PIM-dependent people like me will have to shell out for CALENDAR and CONTACT programs that Palm didn't fekkin build-in! And then there is the NO YOUTUBE penalty. Many of you probably think the lack of YouTube is a trvial thing. It's not. Do you know how many detailed reviews and news items are now in FLASH VIDEO?! I can't tell you how many times I was using that damned Nokia 770 only to hit a site with "EXCLUSIVE NEW DETAILS ABOUT [whatever]" -- and found it was only in a damned FLASH VIDEO, without ANY supporting text. (JK on the Run is infamous for starting that trend!) (Hi, jk!) Flash Video is NOt just about fun. It has real-life and BUSINESS value.

Since the Foleo is explicitly targeted at mobile professionals, the lack of FLv support is particularly scandalous and egregious. How many BUSINESSES now use FLVs on their sites? How many mobile pros out there are going to be embarrassed at sales calls or meetings: "Yeah, our site has a demo video showing that -- but, uh, this Foleo can't show it to you!"

Drop the damned price, Palm. $400 tops.

RE: Foleo YouTube vids
mikecane @ 8/27/2007 5:47:34 PM # Q
Damn lack of Edit function!! Ryan, WHEN will you add that?!

>>>look at the same of that Start Menu

same = size

Bloody hell. Probably more typos in there too...

RE: Foleo YouTube vids
twrock @ 8/27/2007 8:29:01 PM # Q
Inspiron 1501

Weight & Dimensions

* Width: 14.00"
* Height: 1.44"
* Depth: 10.45"
* Weight (lbs): 6.19

Please stop these ridiculous comparisons. If there is anyone out there who still does not know they can get a brick of a laptop from Dell for $500, then they need more help than you have to offer.


Thinking about Vista? Think again: http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.txt
Want an alternative? Try this: http://www.ubuntu.com/ or http://www.mepis.org/

RE: Foleo YouTube vids
SeldomVisitor @ 8/27/2007 8:36:17 PM # Q
> ...How many BUSINESSES now use FLVs on their sites?...

I can quickly think of a couple off the top of my head that might use Flash. Here's one:

-- http://www.palmthing.com

RE: Foleo YouTube vids
twrock @ 8/27/2007 8:37:13 PM # Q
Damn lack of Edit function!! Ryan, WHEN will you add that?!

If we're voting, I kinda like that people gotta live with what they've typed. "Let the record stand," as they say. Yeah it can be annoying for the little typo here and there not to be able to edit it, but with all of the "personal" stuff that gets thrown out around here, I kinda like that if you hit that "post comment" button, there's no going back. There's no weaseling out of it later by changing what you wrote.


Thinking about Vista? Think again: http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.txt
Want an alternative? Try this: http://www.ubuntu.com/ or http://www.mepis.org/
RE: Foleo YouTube vids
freakout @ 8/27/2007 11:20:06 PM # Q
> ...How many BUSINESSES now use FLVs on their sites?...

I can quickly think of a couple off the top of my head that might use Flash. Here's one:

-- http://www.palmthing.com

That site ain't FLV, just a standard (and crap, to boot) Flash app/animation. FLV (Flash Video) is stuff like Youtube.

RE: Foleo YouTube vids
DrewT3 @ 8/28/2007 3:40:10 AM # Q
I hope that all this talk of the Foleo being simple, fast and easy to use ends up being true.

I know that nothing involving bluetooth, wifi, web browsing, office documents or multitasking was simple, fast or easy to use on any other Palm devices.

RE: Foleo YouTube vids
hoodoo @ 8/28/2007 9:07:04 AM # Q
I detect a certain amount of irony in watching Foleo videos on YouTube.

RE: Foleo YouTube vids
mikecane @ 8/28/2007 11:21:37 AM # Q
twrock: I mean edit as in at least a fekkin PREVIEW function. I can often catch stupid typos if I can see the post FORMATTED before committing to it.

I agree: Stop the Inspiron crap. Citing something 5-7lbs against the 2.5-lb(?) Foleo is just dumb, despite competing price-wise.

If there's something even scarier than a $600 limited-function Foleo, it's a ONE-GRAND WinMob device!

http://tinyurl.com/37udfa
-- Engadget HTC Advantage article

Reply to this comment

Price is ok, but not for Beta-testing

gatezone @ 8/27/2007 8:41:11 PM # Q
I *want* the Foleo to make it, I'd love to have a super lightweight device that would handle remote desktop, web, email, etc. right now it's like watching a baby being born prematurely and without life-support. I don't want a $500 first generation piece of junk that won't do what other cheaper devices do.

My point is the Foleo is a great concept but I'm not going to provide a consumer subsidized development period. That's what this smells like at the moment. I want to be wrong... I would go out and buy one as soon as it is available if it can display flash web sites and handle RDC/RDP connections and display the remote system's screen. Otherwise it isn't woth it. I can do exchange email on my 680, and limp along on pathetic Blazer rather than shell out $500.

I don't like all the negativity about the Foleo, but Palm is doing a reverse Apple marketing process and lowering our expectations to such a degree that even those of us who want such a thing won't want *this* thing. GZ

RE: Price is ok, but not for Beta-testing
freakout @ 8/27/2007 11:24:56 PM # Q
It can display Flash websites; it simply won't do Flash video. Flash games and cartoons will work just fine.
RE: Price is ok, but not for Beta-testing
PacManFoo @ 8/28/2007 10:45:17 AM # Q
Ah! What every serious business person needs.

PDA's Past and Present:
Palm - IIIxe, Vx, M500, M505, Tungsten T, TX
Handspring - Edge, Platinum, Deluxe
Sony - SJ22
Apple - MP110, MP2000, MP2100
RE: Price is ok, but not for Beta-testing
freakout @ 8/28/2007 5:18:22 PM # Q
Of course: who actually uses their work computers for work? ;)

(My section got a dressing-down the other day. Managers were given a list of the most flagrant internet abusers and we topped the list. Amusingly, with hits to SEEK.com.au - the job site. I wonder if that says something about job satisfaction...)

RE: Price is ok, but not for Beta-testing
gatezone @ 8/28/2007 10:42:49 PM # Q
It all depends on your work. I work with Web sites and have to embed video which is flash video. Intranets (which are accessed from on the road users) use video for a variety of things.

It's tough... keep it light, but give me the power to deal with multimedia ;-), it's hard to see Ipods and other small devices with the ability to play video as well as they do and then not be able to put it in a system the size of the Foleo. Seems like some odd-ball corners being cut that are not only important to "business" users, but which also go straight to Palm's. perception/image 'bottom line.' Do we really think Palm can just deliver a pure 'business' cell "phone companion...?" GZ


Reply to this comment

eeePC

batmon @ 8/29/2007 4:53:29 PM # Q
When is the Asus eeePC coming out? It is at the end of August and we haven't hear anything at all. Wanna get one!!

RE: eeePC
mikecane @ 8/29/2007 6:23:16 PM # Q
If you do, post here about your experiences so we can compare it what Foleo owners say.

RE: eeePC
mikecane @ 9/4/2007 2:02:20 PM # Q
For all those having wet dreams about that Linux notebook:

http://profoleo.com/2007/09/foleo-vs-eee-pc/

Doesn't sound good to me! Rattling keyboard!? Say what?

Reply to this comment

Does the Foleo mimic LifeDrive?!

mikecane @ 9/4/2007 2:13:38 PM # Q
I was thinking about the Foleo's photo app and the inclusion of an SD card slot.

Does the Foleo have the Camera Companion the LifeDrive has?!

If not, why not?!

(Why do I torment myself by asking these questions when I know the answers will only invite more disappointment and frustration? Off to visit masochist.net...)

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