All About Symbian - Nokia (S60) and Sony Ericsson (UIQ) smartphones unwrapped

  #16  
Old 11-05-2008, 11:20 PM
Menneisyys Menneisyys is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ares View Post
Most of the time when you refer to symbian, you are in fact talking about s60...if this is really a "bible", you should be more acurate, because symbian is not just s60...
Yup, it's S60 by default - this is why it's posted to an N95 forum Of course, I'll try to put more emphasis on emphasizing right at the beginning of the article that it's S60 only. (Until someone throws a new UIQ3 model on me ).
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  #17  
Old 12-05-2008, 04:12 PM
Menneisyys Menneisyys is offline
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UPDATE (05/12/2008):

1. (Symbian):

a. I've tested the last about 20 latest featured videos on YouTube with MobiTubia. All played well. Therefore, it's possible it's only with some older videos that MobiTubia delivers sub-par results; with newer ones, it doesn't seem to.

The Symbian version of CorePlayer, on the other hand, doesn't seem to like firewalled cellular connections. These cause it not to download any clip lists. This works just great under Windows Mobile (and, of course, with MobiTubia under Symbian) and, therefore, must be an internal bug.

b. I've very thoroughly compared the power consumption of MobiTubia to CorePlayer 1.2.4. While MobiTubia consumes a tad more power when it's still loading (caching) the clip in the background, after the clip is cached, it delivers considerably better results (much lower power consumption) than CorePlayer. Therefore, it's always worth going for MobiTubia when your Internet connection speed is much faster than the ~320 kbps stream of FLV videos because, after the caching is finished, the power consumption will be really decreased. CorePlayer, on the other hand, doesn't cache the file and, consequently, it'll use the (with both Wi-Fi and 3G connections, power-hungry) wireless unit all the time.

The following screenshot shows this in effect: the first ~5:30 show CorePlayer playing back a 6-minute clip; the second show the latter with MobiTubia. As can clearly be seen, the latter manages to cache the file in the first about 60% of the total playback time of the clip; after this, it doesn't use the wirleess unit any more, resulting in a heavy power consumption decrease. CorePlayer, on the other hand, streams the YouTube contents all the time, resulting in much higher net power consumption:



I've made another screenshot showing CorePlayer only, repeatedly playing the same 6-minute clip. As can clearly be seen, the power consumption is constantly the same (high) because there's no caching at all.



Let's see some other screenshots comparing the power consumption using HSDPA. As you'll see, the difference won't be as articulated as with Wi-Fi and the average power consumption will be pretty similar because buffering, with much bigger excess power consumption, takes much more time than over Wi-Fi. The following shot shows playing the same clip thru Wi-Fi and, then, HSDPA using MobiTubia:



As can clearly be seen, the average power consumption is bigger because the system were in the low-power (~1.1W) area for a much shorter time than with Wi-Fi. (And, of course, streaming anything (!) via HSDPA will always take much more power than via Wi-Fi, as has also been explained in my Multiplatform Radio Stream Transcoding Bible.)

Let's see the CorePlayer results. Two HSDPA examples follow:





As can clearly be seen, while there indeed isn't any kind of buffering, the overall lower CPU usage of the H.263 / MP3 decoder has resulted in about the same average power consumption as that of MobiTubia.

All in all, as a rule of thumb: on Symbian:

- when you watch YouTube videos over Wi-Fi and would like to have as long battery life as possible, prefer MobiTubia
- when over 3G, both will behave almost the same way.

2. (Windows Mobile): I've continued comparing milesmowbray's youtubeplay to CorePlayer 1.2.4.

a. in youtubeplay, you can fetch the first 50 hits of any search / "Related" operation; but, it seems, no more (it, then, complains about the network's not working.) To set this, go to Config (button in the bottom left) and just increase the number of hits shown with the second slider (Results returned).

b. on the test iPAQ 210, youtubeplay uses about 62-64% CPU time to decode and play back (FLV) videos (in both Portrait and Landscape). CorePlayer, at the same time, uses about 21...23% (again, in FLV). With H.264, of course, CorePlayer requires far more CPU time (more than 80%) and if you run other even slightly CPU-intensive tasks (like acbTaskMan to track CPU usage), there will be some (about 10...30%) dropped frames, particularly with really dynamic videos like those of Call of Duty 2.

This means if you plan to stick to the FLV format (because you're on a QVGA device and, therefore, you couldn't take advantage of the higher resolution of the H.264 video or you're on VGA but the source video is already of bad quality making it unnecessary to stream in H.264), you can save a lot of battery if you go for CorePlayer on CPU architectures that have much higher power consumption with high CPU loads than with low ones. Typically, Intel / Marvel Xscale CPU's belong to this group, where the difference in battery life can even be 1.5...2-fold between two players using 22% and 63% CPU cycles. Of course, with activated Wi-Fi and higher levels of backlight, the difference won't be this pronounced. The only architecture that (somewhat strangely) doesn't exhibit excess power consumption with higher CPU loads is that of Samsung (at least the older architectures; I haven't tested the latest, 6400-series in this respect.)

What about buffering, you may ask. Do alternative solutions like milesmowbray's youtubeplay have an advantage over CorePlayer in the same way as was certainly visible on Symbian? The answer is, unfortunately, no. Just look at the following screenshot, taken via Wi-Fi without power saving enabled on the Dell Axim x51v running WM6.1. (Note that, while CorePlayer had absolutely no problems playing back clips without dropped frames on this particular model, youtubeplay fared much worse. That is, using youtubeplay is in no way recommended on the x51v.)



The CPU usage is shown in the upper and the power consumption on the lower pane. The first ~8 minutes show CorePlayer playing the clip; after that (there's a small discontinuation in the chart) youtubeplay follows. As can clearly be seen, the average power consumption of youtubeplay is much higher than that of CorePlayer. Raising the buffer size from 2048 kbytes to, say, 16Mbytes (to allow for the complete buffering of most clips) won't help at all.

With Wi-Fi power saving enabled, the power consumption is far lower - but, with youtubeplay, it's still definitely larger than with CorePlayer:



All in all, unlike on Symbian, on Windows Mobile you'll always want to stick to CorePlayer in order to absolutely minimize power usage when playing back FLV YouTube videos. (Again, the above power usage tests only only show FLV playback power usage as it's FLV playback that the other players support, not H.264.)

  #18  
Old 23-09-2008, 02:01 PM
Menneisyys Menneisyys is offline
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UPDATE (09/23/2008): (Windows Mobile only. However, you still may find it useful, should you use Palm OS or Windows Mobile for accessing Youtube)

The Kinoma folks have released the Windows Mobile port of their well-known, famous Palm OS player, Kinoma Play. It has excellent (in my opinion, the best on Windows Mobile) online media access features, including YouTube access. No wonder it has become the #1 in the connected media player category of WMExperts' (unfotunately, pretty terse and, CorePlayer-wise, pretty questionable - it has never crashed on me on any of my [numerous] WinMo devices) roundup. It offers a lot that, currently, CorePlayer can't provide.


(list view)

(playback in Landscape mode with controls shown (normally, they're hidden))

The biggest advantages of Kinoma Play (as of the current version) compared to the current version (1.2.5) of CorePlayer are as follows:
  • it supports Youtube accounts:

  • the length of lists isn't constrained: at the end of all lists (including searches), there's a "More" menu item, which allows for loading the data for and displaying the next 20 list items:


This, along with YouTube account support, is really missing from the current, pre-1.3 version of CorePlayer.

Now, the problems (as of the current (09/23/2008) version). Unfortunately, there are some.
  • on (W)VGA devices, the increased resolution isn't utilized. With YouTube, where only H.264 offers 480*320 (as opposed to the 320*240 resolution of Flash-based videos), there isn't much difference; with other video sources like standalone files (or ones coming from podcasts), this might be a huge problem. This also means that, unfortunately, album art and standalone image files are also rendered in low (QVGA) resolution only. This will, of course, not be a problem with low-res (QVGA) phones. Now, with the huge popularity of the VGA Diamond (Pro) and the forthcoming WVGA X1 and HD, more and more users run into this problem. Hope this will be fixed soon.
  • There's no built-in support for switching between portrait and landscape orientation. In CorePlayer, you only need to tap the screen to do this. Fortunately, the program automatically rotates the screen if you also rotate the system screen orientation from Settings / System / Screen. This is, however, pretty awkward: CorePlayer's approach is certainly much easier.
  • The GUI (and particularly the video playback) is really slow in Landscape, particularly on VGA devices. (QVGA devices fare far better in this respect.) That is, you'll want to prefer using Kinoma Play in Portrait, even with the videos not filling in the entire screen estate.
  • Playing back lower-res (QVGA at most) videos take definitely more CPU (and, consequently, battery) than doing exactly the same in CorePlayer.

Unfortunately, video playback speed problems are pretty common with Kinoma Play, particularly with video formats requiring a lot of computation power to decode. This means you won't be able to watch VGA-resolution H.264 movies on your (W)VGA handset. While CorePlayer can play them at almost full frame rate (with 5-10% framedrops at most), Kinoma Play will only deliver about 0.5-2 fps – and only at QVGA resolution.

Note that, stereo audio playback-wise, it works exactly like with the desktop version and unlike with CorePlayer on Windows Mobile. This means clips that are playbed back by CorePlayer in stereo in H.264 mode (for example, THIS and THIS) but only in mono in desktop browsers using the Flash player and, of course, in Kinema. On the other hand, clips like THIS are played back in stereo on both the desktop and in Kinoma but mono only in CorePlayer.

Hope the above-listed bugs will be fixed before long; currently, for YouTube searches / playback / browsing / login, it's far better a choice than the current (again, 1.2.5) version of CorePlayer. If you, on the other hand, don't find CorePlayer lacking in these respects (because, for example, you don't have a YouTube account or don't need more search results than 13), CorePlayer might be a better choice.

  #19  
Old 22-06-2009, 03:48 PM
Menneisyys Menneisyys is offline
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YouTube enhancements in iPhone OS 3

YouTube support has been considerably enhanced in iPhone OS 3.

1, now, when you exit a clip (tap Done), instead of returning to the list of clips you were at, you're presented two brand new tabs:

A, an "Info" tab with the list of the comments and other info (tags, category, date, description).

It also has a button "Rate, comment or flag". As you may have guessed, this allows for rating and commenting (too bad the latter doesn't work in landscape).

B, a "More Videos" tab with the videos of the same uploader; this also allows for subscribing to the given uploader, assuming you're signed it. The subscription will appear immediately on your account.

2, I've already mentioned this in bullet B: you now can log into your YouTube account (under the "More" icon). After logging in, you gain access to not only the standard menu items (Most recent / Top rated), but also History, My Videos (a list of videos you've uploaded), Subscriptions and Playlists.

With these enhancements, the only (not very annoying) difference between it and Windows Mobile-based Kinoma Play (which I consider to be currently the best and most featureful, albeit, video playback-wise, not the most efficient player on mobile platforms) is iPhone's YouTube not supporting changing the metadata (category, description etc.) of your own videos. This is, again, a minor disadvantage: Taking into account the worse video quality of Kinoma Play (QVGA resolution, as opposed to the higher HVGA on iPhone), I think I'll stick with the iPhone for the time being when it comes to YouTube playback now that, at last, I can browse both the comments of a video and the videos of the same uploader.

The biggest problem with iPhone's implementation is that via 3G (UMTS / HSDPA) it seems to force the user to see the dumbed-down, low-quality (low resolution, mono - as opposed to the high-quality H.264 HVGA with stereo sound default delivered via Wi-Fi) video instead. There's no way of disabling this. This is a definite restriction compared to the Symbian S60 / Windows Mobile implementations, where 3G users aren't forced to put up with the low-quality stream. At least this is the case with T-Mobile, using a 3GB data plan, on a locked, non-jailbroken OS3 iPhone 3G. I assume this is the same with all the other carriers and even factory unlocked / jailbroken / yellowsn0w'ed phones.

  #20  
Old 21-07-2009, 04:14 PM
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Charles@Kinoma Charles@Kinoma is offline
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Hello Symbian users,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Menneisyys View Post
currently, for YouTube searches / playback / browsing / login, [Kinoma Play is] far better a choice than the current (again, 1.2.5) version of CorePlayer.
I'm happy to announce that the Symbian/S60 version of Kinoma Play is coming in a very small number of months.

-- Charles Wiltgen
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