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Kinoma Player 4 EX - Part One

Mon Dec 4, 2006 - 3:03 AM EST - By Harv Laser

A meat and potatoes interface

4 EX eschews a glitzy bling bling neon festooned interface. There are no "skins", no lipstick and high heels, and at first blush, its black and white screen looks deceptively simplistic. This program isn't about neon and 3D buttons and glitz. It's about content delivery.

Kinoma Player 4 EX is the first media player designed to play all three popular streaming standards: Windows Media 9, MPEG-4 and MP3, FLV, over the air or locally on connected PalmOS 5 handhelds and Smartphones. 4 EX lets you watch streaming video, listen to streaming radio stations, over the air podcasts, bookmark and manage your playlist favorites from RSS media feeds, putting the organization and power of high quality video, audio, VR and image playback in a single, easy to use, no-frills package.

Kinoma Player 4 EX supports playback of content stored in many different file formats. This table summarizes the digital media file formats supported by 4 EX.

Kinoma Player 4 EX contains extensive support for playing internet media streams. There are a several different network protocols for delivering digital media from the net. this table summarizes the network protocols supported by 4 EX.

And.. 4 EX supports several playlist file formats. You can store playlists on a memory card or a web server. This table summarizes the playlist file formats supported:

4 EX makes it fast and easy to find and select your favorite video and audio and play them with just a few taps on your 5 way control pad.

  • It is the easiest, all-in-one solution to play media on Palm-Powered Handhelds, including video, audio, images and playlist selections.
  • It is the first network-centric media player for Treo smartphones and Palm Powered handhelds.
  • It is a complete package to watch video, audio and still images on Palm-Powered handhelds. It includes the ability to view YouTube and Google Flash-wrapped video, a first for PalmOS! It'll play Windows Media 9, MPEG-4 video, MP3 audio, and let you listen to AAC (unprotected iTunes) audio both off your device and over the air.
  • It comes with an unbelievably rich, built-in Media Guide already populated with literally THOUSANDS of links to free content across the nation and around the world. This guide lives on Kinoma's servers, not on your Treo, so it's continuously refreshed with new content – it'll always be a work in progress, never stale.
  • 4 EX is the only way for you to be able to surf the web with your connected PalmOS 5 device and play streaming video media from RTSP and HTTP streaming servers.
  • 4 EX makes it easy and fun for owners of digital cameras and Photoshop to carry a slide show of their own pictures to share with others on the run, or pull them down from a Photocast on the web.
  • It maximizes available memory card space with state-of-the-art MPEG-4 video and AAC audio compression.
  • 4EX provides access to popular Flash Video aggregation sites like YouTube and Google Video. Again, nothing else I know of can do this on a PalmOS device.
  • It lets you create and manage on-device playlists, essentially your own private media channel, using web-based OPML tools.
  • It has video playing features such as Zoom, Pan and Rotate playback of full-screen MPEG-4 material by scaling up from a smaller window dimension.

  • Usability

    After purchase, installation and registration, tap the Kinoma icon. 4 EX will scan your Treo for any media it knows how to play and then take you to its main interface.

    You'll see a curved "go back up a level" arrow in the upper right hand corner, and a bar of seven media filtering buttons across the bottom, which represent from left to right: video files, music, photos, interactive VR (Virtual Reality) panoramas, the world as a globe (which brings up the Kinoma Media Guide and any bookmarks you create later), playlists, and an icon that looks like three sheets of paper which when selected brings up a scrolling segmented list of *everything*.

    On the far right bottom of the screen is an icon of horizontal lines. Selecting this one toggles the main window's list of media types from one to two lines, and a selecting the little "i" in a gray circle next to any listed media presents more detailed information about that media – album and artist information for MP3 tracks, the full URL and genre for radio stations, details about a podcast, and so on.

    The triangle on the far left of the bar lets you sort the list of media in the main window in different ways depending on the type of media in the list, by title, file name, or date. Notice the blue focus highlight "halo". Select the bookmark icon with the 5-way control (fifth from the left) by moving the halo over the globe icon. Since much of your time will be spent exploring the Kinoma Media Guide, when you find a favorite radio station or podcast, for example, you'll want to bookmark it so you don't have to go searching for it again.

    This is easily done with the Treo's menu hard button which opens a context-sensitive menu whose selections change depending on where in the program you invoke it.

    Next Page: The Mind-blowing Kinoma Media Guide >>

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