Monday, March 8, 2004
Movies on the Run: Movie2MemCard Reviewed
Posted by Anthony Caruana in "SOFTWARE" @ 10:00 AM
Is it Any Good?
Video encoding is a pretty exact science. If you don't get the video encoding right or set the sound options correctly you can end up with an unwatchable video. With Movie2MemCard, there are no options to set, other than those on the application screen. There's no Options dialog. This means that the application just has to get it right.
Now, I know what some of you are thinking. Is is as good as or better than or worse than DVD2PPC (see my review here). Well, it's different. For a start, DVD2PPC is a DVD ripper. Secondly, it is much easier to use, but gives very few configurable options. Movie2MemCard addresses some of the issues of DVD2PPC. It does not have any restrictions as to where it is used as it does not tamper, in any way, with the encryption employed on DVDs. Secondly, as it provides more options it offers more flexibility in its use.
One of the things I always look at is the documentation that ships with an application. The Movie2MemCard help is pretty good. There's a very clear description of the user interface and what each button does. There's also a comprehensive step-by-step guide on using the application.
A Couple of Extras...
The Movie2MemCard application is skinnable and ships with some different skins, as well as supporting the default Windows interface.
You can tell that the developer of Movie2MemCard has really thought about all the things that will make viewing a movie on the Pocket PC a better experience. Given the size of the Pocket PC screen, you want to make sure that the movie gets as much screen as possible. So, if your movie is in letterbox format, the software provides a cropping tool to get rid of the unused, black space at the top and bottom of the screen. This will make your letterbox-sized movies full screen on the Pocket PC.
Finally, if you minimize Movie2MemCard, you'll notice that it does not appear on the Task Bar with other Windows applications. While running, its icon will be in the tray area, next to the clock.
Figure 5: When minimized, Movie2MemCard runs in the system tray, not the task bar.
Movie2MemCard takes a fairly complex process and simplifies it greatly. While you can do what Movie2MemCard does yourself for free, it's value is that it automates the process and takes the complexity out of encoding movies for viewing on your Pocket PC.