Video Woes on Portable Devices
"The PC makes video look relatively easy - it can be made to play nearly any file, thanks to its open video codec architecture. The OS sniffs the file, looks for the right audio and video codec, and then plays the file... Devices are different, for two key reasons"
Zune team member and Zunester blogger, David Caulton, talks a bit about the challenges faced with easily getting video on portal devices such as the Zune. David touches on some of the issues in taking a video from an unknown source, and getting the appropriate codecs, resolutions, and bit-rates to make the file useable on a portable device. That’s one reason why a closed ecosystem such as the iTunes can be successful with video. All the trouble spots can be controlled from the source downward. Obviously any devices are going to face challenges when dealing with video from multiple sources. When it comes to Zune, my biggest complaint concerning video support is the lack of built in support for DVR-MS files. Vista should help make MCE-functionality more prevalent, so support for DVR-MS should be one of the key focus points for Zune development. Does the Zune hardware itself need native support for additional video formats, or should the focus be on wider transcoding support in the Zune software itself? Or are you just fine with 3rd party transcoding prior to importing into Zune?