Upload Videos to KIN TWOm without Conversion

 

The multimedia feature of the Sharp KIN TWOm is the best I have seen on a feature phone from Verizon. I will go as far as say it is better than any iPhone when it comes to the multimedia user interface. Microsoft did something right when they put a flavor of the Windows Phone OS on the KIN TWOm. The multimedia interface is second to none and very similar to the Zune HD. There are apps for Android that mimick this user interface that's how highly regarded it is.

The only crux of the phone is how medias are uploaded to it. Microsoft provides the Zune software for the job. You can't simply drag and drop files using Windows Explorer once you plug the device to a computer. Everything must be done with the Zune software. Unfortunately, this software is not updated on a regular basis and it is lacking features that make you scratch your head.

The KIN TWOm supports videos in MP4 and WMV format. It can handle audio in MP3, WAV, WMA and AAC format. The Zune software automatically converts any video not supported by the device into WMV. This is done on-the-fly during transfer and without any user input. Unfortunately, you have no control on compression and resolution whatsoever and the transfer takes longer. This is not always ideal and I find I can create better videos more suited to the KIN TWOm's 480x320 screen resolution by doing a manual encoding.

To prevent the Zune software from reencoding your videos you have to make sure your videos are encoded in the proper format prior to uploading to the device. If not Zune will intervene or the video will upload but unplayable. I used Handbrake verion 0.9.9.5530 to convert my videos to MP4. After some trial and error I found the setting that got the job done.

The KIN TWOm can play 720p videos which is fine but since the screen resolution is only 480x320 much of that extra pixels goes unnoticed so I chose to scale my videos close to the native resolution. The video format is set to MP4.

handbrake

In the Videos tab choose the H.264 codec and set the frame rate to no more than 30. It's critical that the H.264 Profile is set to Baseline. Setting it to Main or High results in unplayable videos. Also, do not set the H.264 level to 5.2 as that also leads to the same result. I have it set to 3.0. I derived much of these settings after analyzing actual videos that the KIN TWOm creates.

handbrake

In the Audio tab set the Codec to AAC. There is no reason to go overboard here so I elected for the bare essentials.

handbrake

That is pretty much all there is to it. You should then render a Preview video so you can do a quick upload to see if everything works. Once uploaded if the file size of the video changes by several megabytes relative to the source on the harddisk you can bet Zune reencoded the video. Also, during upload you can look at you CPU usage to see if it goes up substantially. If it does then you know it's doing a conversion.

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