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Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Ever since the advent of iTunes, I have stayed away from them like the plague. Why? Because I hate being locked into a proprietary medium, and I hate that I cannot use the purchased product as I choose. For example, if I want to view my iTunes video on my Treo, I have a real problem.

In the past, I just used bitTorrent to download DivX files and watch them on the PC. I could use Kinoma Producer to encode them into compatible formats for my Treo’s Kinoma Player, and I would be set for trips. The problem is that I don’t like wasting hours ripping files into MP4 format. I should be able to download an iTunes MP4 and watch it on my Treo without the hassle. Right?

Well, now I’m one step closer.

I broke down and downloaded two iTunes videos, South Park’s “manbearpig”, and CNBC’s Jim Cramer (who I find utterly entertaining) for viewing on my PC. However, I flat refuse to buy a video iPod, and I have a perfectly good Treo 650. So I decided to try a little app called TuneBite to record my iTunes into a DRMless MP4. The CNBC podcast is already DRMless, so I was one step ahead of where I wanted to be.

Then the trouble came.

It turns out that iTunes is encoded in H.264, which is not part of Kinoma Player, which means, yes, I could not view my MP4 files in what I thought was a perfectly good MP4 viewer.

And here is where I went against the grain again. I normally avoid open source apps, simply because I have had bad experiences with them. But I decided to try a little Palm OS app called TCPMP and it puts the proprietary Kinoma software to shame. More importantly, it contains an H.264 codec. Not only that, but I can watch DivX/XviD/M4V files to my heart’s content.

So if you are a Treo owner like me, and you would like access to iTunes content without requiring a second device, I highly recommend TuneBite, TCPMP, a high capacity SD card, and an external card reader.

Now, I’m off to lunch with my wife and kids. I think I’ll watch South Park while I’m waiting on them. (


.: posted by Dave 12:18 PM

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