Motorola ROKR E6: Video Conversion

Using SUPER to convert to .3gp video files is a generic method to get video onto most cellphones. If you have a Motorola ROKR E6, you could also use the Motorola EzX Video Producer. This converter is present on the CD that ships with the cellphone. It uses RealProducer (producer.exe) to convert almost any video to a Real Media (.rm) file that is playable on the E6. The video resolution of 320×240, the video bitrate (12 fps, 256 kbps) and audio bitrate (44 kbps) are all better than a conversion to .3gp using SUPER.

The Video Producer converts almost any kind of video except FLV, which is what you get when you download YouTube videos.

Videos: From web to cellphone

I do not have an iPhone or an Android cellphone, but still there is a lot one can do with cellphones available today. I use my 2-year old Motorola ROKR E6 not just for listening to podcasts, but also to catch up on technical videos (like Google Tech Talks) which are interesting, but too long (~1 hour) to watch them at my desk.

The technical specifications of most cellphones are minimal, but enough:

  • The display resolution is not high. The E6 display is 240 x 320 pixels. It is pretty crappy for watching movies, but is enough to watch technical videos.
  • Supports playback of 3GP video format. The E6 supports 3GP video and uses RealPlayer to play .3gp video files. There is no restriction on the length of the videos, which is great! By tapping on the E6 RealPlayer while it is playing a video, the display switches from horizontal to vertical, which is good for videos since it is wider.
  • Videos cannot be watched off the Internet. The E6 web browser is pretty rudimentary and I doubt it will play any video content on the Internet. I do not care in any case since I do not even have a data plan! :-)
  • There is support for some kind of storage device. The E6 has a SD card slot, and I currently use a 2GB SD card in it. I can copy over 3GP video files to the E6 over USB. The SD card appears as a simple USB Mass Storage device (thus, no drivers required, works like a charm everywhere).

Working with these minimal specifications, one can still enjoy any video off the Internet on the cellphone.

Download online videos

Get the Video Download Helper Firefox addon. This addon puts a button in the Firefox toolbar. When you are on a webpage which has embedded video content (like YouTube), just click on the button to download the video to a file (typically a FLV file). If you are looking at websites that offer videos in MP4, WMV, MKV or AVI formats, you can just download them directly. None of these formats or their high resolutions can be played on the cellphone, they need to be converted.

Convert videos to 3GP

Videos downloaded from the Internet are unlikely to be in the 3GP format. There are very few programs that can convert any video format you can throw at it into a 3GP file. SUPER is the best I have found for this jpb. The only output container choice which worked consistently on the E6 for me was the 3GP (Nokia/NEC/Siemens) option (see above screenshot).

Once converted to 3GP by SUPER, transfer the file to your cellphone and enjoy it on your commute! :-)