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Chapter 4. Multimedia > Watch Videos

Hack 28. Watch Videos

Palm devices can display scaled-down videos—entertainment on the go!

There are many sources of legal videos on the Web. Most recent movies have trailers on their web sites. You can download these and view them on your Palm device. You can also find amateur videos on a variety of subjects. For example, you can find amateur Star Wars videos at http://www.theforce.net. I particularly like the short film Troops (http://www.theforce.net/fanfilms/shortfilms/troops/). You can also find videos from a number of other sources:

Video software player sites

The sites for the various video players usually have short clips that you can download. Most of the software plays the same types of videos, so you can download clips from all of the sites.


Many games have videos that you can download from their web sites. These videos include trailers, cut-scenes from the game, and player-created content.


This term refers to videos created using a video game as the source. If you search around the web, you can find sites for this such as http://www.machinima.com.

Convert your own

With the right conversion software, you can convert movies that you've purchased into a format that you can play back on your Palm.

4.7.1. Setting up Your Palm and PC

In addition to actually having some videos to download to your Palm, you need a few more things.

First, you need to have a memory card for your Palm device. For a Sony Clié, that means you need a Memory Stick or Memory Stick Pro. For a Palm-branded device, you need an SD or MMC card. Pick a card that will hold as many videos as you want to carry with you, plus has enough space for anything else (like music) that you might want. Even more than with songs, a number of variables affect playback of videos and the size of the files. There are encoding factors such as the number of frames per second, the size of the frames, and the length of the original video.

As with music, if you have a card reader for your PC, you can save lots of time by using it. Install videos in the folder /Video.

4.7.2. Sony Clié

The next thing you need to do is install software on your PC to support transferring videos to the card on your Clié. This program is called Data Export. If you didn't install it when you initially installed the Palm Desktop software, then you will need to install it now off of the original CD.

Your PDA should already have the Data Import application installed. If not, then you will need to install it from the original CD as well.

The next step is to use the Data Export (PC side) and Data Import (PDA side) programs to transfer the videos you want to watch to the memory card in your PDA.

4.7.3. Palm-Branded Device

To transfer videos to an SD card on a Palm-branded device, you will use the Quick Install program from the Palm Desktop software. Then you just do a normal HotSync to transfer the files.

4.7.4. Conversion Software

You may also need some software for your PC to convert movie files to an appropriate image size and frame rate. VirtualDub.

VirtualDub (http://www.virtualdub.org) is an open-source program that allows you to convert videos from and to different formats, frame rates, and image sizes. It uses plug-ins for converting between mpeg and avi files. DivX.

DivX (http://www.divx.com) is a converter for the DivX format which works with VirtualDub. It is a free download. This site also sells a program called Dr. DivX, which is similar to VirtualDub. LAME.

LAME (http://www.free-codecs.com/download/Lame_Encoder.htm) is an MP3 codec for converting audio formats. LAME can be used with VirtualDub. XviD.

XviD (http://www.xvid.org) is an open-source MPEG encoder. It can be used with VirtualDub as well.

4.7.5. Palm Playback Software

You will also need some software for your Palm device to actually display the videos that you download and convert. MMPlayer.

MMPlayer [Hack #25] (http://www.mmplayer.com) allows you to play videos and music. With compression and conversion software, it is possible to compress a two hour movie onto a 128 MB memory card. Kinoma Player.

This player (http://www.kinoma.com) lets you watch videos, listen to music, and view JPEG images. Pocket-DVD Studio.

This player (http://www.pqdvd.com) lets you watch MPEG movies on your Palm device.

All of the programs should automatically detect and list files from the memory card.

You can watch movies using the built-in speaker, but the sound quality will be better (and you won't disturb the people around you) if you use headphones. I would recommend headphones that have their own volume control so you won't have to interrupt the movie to change the volume. The web site http://www.headphone.com has more information on headphones.

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