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Old 03-08-2004, 06:00 PM
Anthony Caruana
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 706
Default Movies on the Run: Movie2MemCard Reviewed

Product Category: Video Encoding Software
Where to Buy: Download from Handango (affiliate link)
Price: $15.00 USD
System Requirements: This program will work on Windows 9x or better (I tested with Windows XP Professional) and requires 10 MB of disk space. You'll also need to install the Windows Media Encoder (free download from Microsoft). You'll need a Pocket PC running Pocket PC 2002 or Windows Mobile 2003 to play Windows media encoded files or a Pocket PC running a DiVX player like PocketMVP if you use DiVX encoding. The encoding process requires that you have twice the original movie size in free disk space for the conversion/encoding.

  • Easy to use;
  • Broad support for different codecs;
  • DiVX support.
  • No DVD ripping support;
  • Lack of progress bars during some encoding.
Movie2MemCard does a good job of encoding files for use on a Pocket PC. Its beauty is that it takes a reasonably complex process and consolidates it down to a few, easy to follow steps, but balances this by providing you with enough easy to understand configuration options.

Read on for the full review!

One of the fastest selling applications for Pocket PCs at the moment is DVD to Pocket PC. You can read our review here. Now, there's a new kid in town, trying to win the hearts of those of us who use our Pocket PCs for watching movies: Movie2MemCard. Movie2MemCard takes up the task of converting any video you can play on your PC into a format you can store on a memory card for viewing on a Pocket PC. Now, I know you can do this with some of the freeware tools out there but Movie2MemCard takes the guesswork out of things. All you have to do is choose the video file, tell the software what size card you want the movie to fit into and it does the conversion. Is it perfect? No, but it's pretty good.

What's it do?
Let's get it straight from the start. Movie2MemCard is not a DVD ripper. What it does is provide a simple, easy to follow front-end to Windows Media Encoder and DiVX encoder. As for what formats it supports, well, that's simple. If you can play it, Movie2MemCard can convert it. The output file generated by Movie2MemCard can be read by a variety of devices. All this choice means that you are not limited to using Windows Media Player for watching your movies and that you can watch your movies on just about any Pocket PC.

Follow the Bouncing Ball
The first thing you'll notice about Movie2MemCard is that the interface is laid out so that you just have to push each button in sequence.

Figure 1: The Movie2MemCard Application Interface. Notice how everything is lined up, making it easy to press the buttons in the right order to get the desired result.

The first thing you'll need to do is decide your output file format using a simple combo box with the three options
  • Windows Media 9 Series (for Windows Mobile 2003);
  • Windows Media Version 8 (for Pocket PC 2002);
  • DiVX Video with MP3 Audio.
Then just choose which file you wish to convert.

Figure 2: Movie2MemCard uses a standard Windows dialog for choosing the file you wish to convert.

Once you've selected your file, you'll need to decide what size memory card you want your movie fitted to. You can choose most card sizes from 32 MB through to 1 GB. Now, the thing to remember here is that the file size you decide on will determine the quality of the output. Squeezing a two hour movie onto a 32 MB card will deliver a pretty poor result. Also, taking a small video file and encoding it to a larger size won't improve its quality. In fact, if you do this, Movie2MemCard will pop up a warning telling you that the bitrates that your selection is configured for are too high for the file.

Figure 3: Movie2MemCard makes sure that you don't get the bitrates for encoding wrong.

There's a calculate button on the left that configures the encoder. It looks at the size of the file you've chosen, the bitrate it's encoded at and then it sets the parameters for the encoding process. Once that's done (it only takes a second or two) you need to Save the settings you've selected. This creates a DOS batch file that is used to execute and run the Windows Media Encoder.

For my project, here's the code in the batch file that was created.

"C:\Program Files\Movie2MemCard\cscript.exe" "C:\Program Files\Movie2MemCard\wmcmd.vbs" -input "C:\Documents and Settings\Anthony\My Documents\My Shared Folder\Original.avi" -a_setting 20_22_1 -output "C:\Documents and Settings\Anthony\My Documents\My Shared Folder\Original.avi_ppc.wmv" -v_bitrate 163000 -v_framerate 15 -v_width 320 -v_height 176 -v_mode 0<br />del -y "C:\Documents and Settings\Anthony\My Documents\My Shared Folder\Original.avi2003.bat
<br /><br />Now all that's left to do is <b>Encode</b>.<br /><br /><span><b>The Encoding Process</b></span><br />The sample file I worked with (an episode of Angel) was about 87 MB in size and has a run time of about 43 minutes. As the encoding process executes a DOS batch file, you see a DOS box while the encoding process is running.<br /><br /> <img src="" /> <br /><i>Figure 4: The encoding process in action.</i><br /><br />The conversion process for my file took about an hour. The resultant file was just under 59 MB in size. <br /><br /><b><span>DiVX Encoding</span></b><br />Encoding a file with DiVX follows exactly the same process as encoding for Windows Media Player, with a couple of small differences.<br /><br />Firstly, the DiVX encoding process employed in Movie2MemCard only supports mono audio. Also, you'll need to run one extra step, <b>Fix</b>, before playing the file on your Pocket PC. The DiVX file was about 10% smaller than the WMV encoded file and the encoding process took about twice as long.<br /><span style="color:red"><PAGEBREAK></span> <br /><b><span>Is it Any Good?</span></b><br />Video encoding is a pretty exact science. If you don't get the video encoding right or set the sound options correctly you can end up with an unwatchable video. With Movie2MemCard, there are no options to set, other than those on the application screen. There's no Options dialog. This means that the application just has to get it right.<br /><br />Now, I know what some of you are thinking. Is is as good as or better than or worse than DVD2PPC (see my review <a href=",23403">here</a>). Well, it's different. For a start, DVD2PPC is a DVD ripper. Secondly, it is much easier to use, but gives very few configurable options. Movie2MemCard addresses some of the issues of DVD2PPC. It does not have any restrictions as to where it is used as it does not tamper, in any way, with the encryption employed on DVDs. Secondly, as it provides more options it offers more flexibility in its use.<br /><br />One of the things I always look at is the documentation that ships with an application. The Movie2MemCard help is pretty good. There's a very clear description of the user interface and what each button does. There's also a comprehensive step-by-step guide on using the application.<br /><br /><b><span>A Couple of Extras...</span></b><br />The Movie2MemCard application is skinnable and ships with some different skins, as well as supporting the default Windows interface. <br /><br />You can tell that the developer of Movie2MemCard has really thought about all the things that will make viewing a movie on the Pocket PC a better experience. Given the size of the Pocket PC screen, you want to make sure that the movie gets as much screen as possible. So, if your movie is in letterbox format, the software provides a cropping tool to get rid of the unused, black space at the top and bottom of the screen. This will make your letterbox-sized movies full screen on the Pocket PC.<br /><br />Finally, if you minimize Movie2MemCard, you'll notice that it does not appear on the Task Bar with other Windows applications. While running, its icon will be in the tray area, next to the clock.<br /><br /> <img src="" /> <br /><i> Figure 5: When minimized, Movie2MemCard runs in the system tray, not the task bar.</i><br /><br /><span><b>Conclusions</b></span><br />Movie2MemCard takes a fairly complex process and simplifies it greatly. While you can do what Movie2MemCard does yourself for free, it's value is that it automates the process and takes the complexity out of encoding movies for viewing on your Pocket PC.
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Old 03-08-2004, 09:27 PM
Anthony Caruana
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 706

Since I reviewed this application, Mitch, the developer has been wroking feverishly on updating this software and version 1.2 is now avaialble (I reviewed version 1.10).

Amongst the enhancements are
  • Totally rewritten interface, better performance and quality. The new interface relies on Windows Media Player 9 for gathering required information.
  • New Theme selections allowing for easy personal customization to fit your desktop.
  • .MOV and .RM support added for conversion using a special template in the output selection.
  • Templates of well-known mobile video websites added for batch processing on fixed bit rate settings.
  • DIVX output has been fixed, and supports different audio settings now without causing sync issues.
  • Support Forum online.
  • Output support for older devices, including Pocket PC 2000.
  • 3 Special Cropping selections for changing Wide Screen files into Full Screen files.
  • File size allows for decimal numbers as well to have more control over smaller clips.
  • Additional Theme packs released on regular basis.
  • Easier to use documentation, explaining the step by step process for the conversion.
  • Better picture quality on DIVX due to adjusted frame rate (Decimate by 2 method).
Get your Pocket Mojo. Anthony Caruana is the Mojo master.
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Old 03-08-2004, 09:35 PM
Kevin Jackson
Contributing Editor
Kevin Jackson's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 182

Originally Posted by Anthony Caruana
[*] DIVX output has been fixed, and supports different audio settings now without causing sync issues.
Does this mean that stereo is now supported for DIVX? If so then I will probably give it a try as that was the real deal-breaker for me in the original review.
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Old 03-08-2004, 10:08 PM
Dave Potter
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 476

Since this app doesn't support DVD ripping - is there a particular DVD ripper that is recommended that will work well with this? (preferrably free)
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Old 03-09-2004, 12:20 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 162

DiVX supports Stereo audio now, It supports multiple bitrates, but does not support frequency changes. (Tried it, but gives a lot of sync issues)

For DVD ripping I suggest looking at for a good explenation on the process, or look on for more information.

Movie2MemCard automaticaly resizes the picture to make it fit on a smaller screen, and if you are trying to convert a movie already on a 320 screensize, the resulting quality is not acceptable.
It works best on files encoded for desktop playback (1+cd DIVX files)

In a later version an option for automaticaly joining files will be added as well.

look at for additional information.
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Old 03-11-2004, 11:16 PM
Anthony Caruana
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 706

Hi all

I forgot to mention one of the really great features in my update post. You select and save the encoder settings for multiple files and then have it run untill all are done.

That's right; Batch Encoding!
Get your Pocket Mojo. Anthony Caruana is the Mojo master.
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