MPlayer is one of the most popular Linux/Unix media player … we all know that, don’t we. Now, thanks to XDA-Developers forum member amitv_17, the porting to Windows Mobile has started.
Itâ€™s available HERE, in the official XDA-Devs thread and is, of course, a free download. It seems to be compatible with most WM5 and WM6 Pocket PCâ€™s and Smartphones. For now at least it seems itâ€™s incompatible with pre-WM5 operating systems .
- a HUGE arsenal of codecs and communications protocols already available; in this respect, itâ€™s even better than CorePlayer (which, as of now, doesnâ€™t support RTSP, albeit it will really soon be added)!
- supports even RealAudio / RealVideo, unlike CorePlayer / TCPMP / ANY other Windows Mobile player (Note that the CoreCodec folks have announced (before the port of MPlayer) that they would never add RealOne support to CorePlayer because it’s a proprietary format).
- alternative HTTP tunneling with RTSP; working just GREAT with RealAudio streams! In this respect, itâ€™s even better than RealPlayer on Symbian S60v3 FP1 (for example, the one that comes with the Nokia N95), because not even the latter supports HTTP RealOne audio/video streaming, â€œonlyâ€ for MPEG4 video streaming (unlike HTCâ€™s own and, in this respect, really incapable Streaming Media on Windows Mobile)
- supports real (UDP-based) RTSP, which means better bandwidth utilization than with HTTP tunneling. Of course, it also means you must have direct access or a capable Wi-Fi network. This will only later be added to CorePlayer.
- supports both (most) Pocket PC and MS Smartphone models (unfortunately, WM5+ only)
Given that itâ€™s the first version, pretty much promising.
The bads (for now):
- HUGE CPU usage when playing back streamed audio! This means itâ€™ll chew through your battery very fast .
- bad MP3 playback, very sensitive to CPU usage peaks
- no WMA support (better to have one since this is Windows Mobile platform after all)
- very-very rudimentary interface
- problems with streaming MPEG4 videos
- local (as opposed to streamed) MPEG4 videos do work. They are, however, very choppily played back; CPU usage is pretty bad, too.
So for the mean time the verdict is that itâ€™s certainly nice to welcome Mplayer on Windows Mobile. Itâ€™s a far cry away from established media players, particularly video playback-wise, typically considering the raw CPU performance I can get from my TI OMAP 200Mhz (even when o/c to 260-273%) [HTC Artemis] when decoding. For now though I am sticking with TCPMP/Core Player.
All-in-all, this is GREAT news and is definitely something to keep an eye on!
BTW, out of curiousity, how many of you use Windows Mobile – PDA’s and/or phones. If not, then which mobile are you using?