Cast for two

Sunday, December 30, 2007

SIP VoIP iPodTouch instructions

In this video, an application on an Ipod Touch makes a phone call with a SIP phone.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Utility application to check disk utilisation on osx


As my harddisk of my macbook was getting full, I needed something to select what files I wanted to remove. Following the classical 80/20 rule, a small number of files take a lot of place. The trouble is to find them. On pc, I used SequoiaView. Luckily, programs that generate tree maps also exist for the mac. First, I tried Disk Inventory X, a GPL program. It generates the treemaps, but does it very slowly. I looked a bit further and found GrandPerspective (also free software). That tool performed like I was used from SequoiaView.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Updated Analytics script ga.js works with Google blogger

Google provided an updated script to call the new javascript ga.js to enable to track usage of html pages with Google Analytics.

<script type="text/javascript">
var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://
ssl." : "http://www.");
document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='" + gaJsHost + "google-
analytics.com/ga.js' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E"));
</script>
<script type="text/javascript">
var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-xxxx-xx");
pageTracker._initData();
pageTracker._trackPageview();
</script>

I injected above code in to the template of this blog and everyting is now working fine. If you want to try it, Andy wrote an how to.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

New Google homepage in Ipod Touch in Belgium

just surf to http://www.google.com/m

In a previous post "No new Google homepage for Ipod Touch in Belgium yet" I remarked that when entering the URL http://www.google.com in mobile Safari, the browser is redirected to the classic Google homepage with the URL http://www.google.be/m. So Ipod Touch users in Belgium can not try the new integrated that Google announced. However, if you type in http://www.google.com/m in Belgium on the Iphone or Ipod Touch you reach the new Google interface on the Ipod/Itouch.

Friday, December 14, 2007

New Analytics script not accepted by Blogger

Google asks to update the Google Analytics script to:

<script type=”text/javascript”>
var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? " https://ssl." : "http://www.");
document.write("\<script src='" + gaJsHost + " google-analytics.com/ga.js' type='text/javascript'>\<\/script>" );

var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker(“UA-xxxxxx-x”);
pageTracker._initData();
pageTracker._trackVisit();
</script>

When entering this in to the Blogger HTML template, I get an error:


Open quote is expected for attribute "{1}" associated with an element type "type".

If you don't need the secure http access, you can simplify the script to:

<script src='http://www.google-analytics.com/ga.js' type='text/javascript'>
</script>
<script type='text/javascript'>
var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-xxxxxxx-x"); pageTracker._initData(); pageTracker._trackPageview(); </script>

Please only use the above code if you urgently want to test the new script. It might be wise to wait until the Google engineers have ironed out this issue if you do not want to put your huge analytics income at risk ;-)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

No new Google homepage for Ipod Touch in Belgium yet

Google announced a new Google home page for the Iphone. Here are screenshots how the new homepage looks on the Iphone. However, if you surf to http://www.google.com in Belgium on a Ipod Touch, you still get the classical homepage:

It looks that because the Apple Iphone is still not available in Belgium, Ipod touch owners have to wait. I know that Wifi is far from ubiquitous in Belgium, so large pratical value is not to be expected. Still I'm eager how the new Google homepage is experienced. I already value a lot the Gmail, Google Reader and Google Calendar are refitted for the Ipod Touch.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

First Itunes movie not in Itunes Belgium Store

Today Itunes exclusively launches its first feature film called Purple Violet. This could be significant because new business models that cut out elements in the chain often shake up the industry. Unfortunatly, the movie Purple Violet is only available in the US store:

The Itunes store does speak Dutch but a Belgium store is not there yet. To make matters worse, I still have to select Itunes Belgique :

I hope Itunes België will become available soon. If they wait to long it might be that we need an Itunes Vlaanderen ;-) .

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Web pages especially for Iphone/Ipod Touch

I was wondering how the embed a media file into HTML for the mobile Safari browser on Apple's Iphone or Ipod Touch. Therefore, I looked up how others are doing it and what's in the documentation Apple:

  1. BBC has made a portal to its podcasts : http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/podcasts/directory/ip/ or you can just go to bbc.co.uk/podcasts.

    The code used to embed the mp3 podcasts is:

    <embed width="100%" height="22" enablejavascript="true" controller="false" autostart="false" pluginspage="www.apple.com/quicktime/download" src="http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/northernireland/nimusic/nimusic__20071112-2215.mp3"/>

    More info on BBC podcast portal.

  2. Also Apple makes their trailers available in an Ipod Touch / Iphone friendly way. The URL is http://www.apple.com/trailers/iphone/
    Here's the HTML code that Apple uses to embed the Beowulf movie:

    <embed src="http://movies.apple.com/trailers/iphone/images/greenband_320x133.png" href="http://movies.apple.com/movies/paramount/beowulf/beowulf-fte_i320.m4v"
    target="myself" width="320" height="133"
    controller="false"
    autoplay="false"
    scale="1" cache="true" type="video/quicktime" pluginspage="http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/">

    Ars Technica has some screenshots of Apple trailers on the Iphone.
  3. The code proposed by Apple looks like this:

    <script src="AC_QuickTime.js" language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript"></script>
    QT_WriteOBJECT_XHTML('http://d2.mikseri.net/m/30a/30007249206/Frozen%20Silence%20-%20Cherish.mp3', '32', '16', '',
    'autoplay', 'false',
    'emb#bgcolor', 'black',
    'cache','false',
    'align', 'top');

    The URL is to a piece of music of the album "Frozen Silence" by Matti Paalanen.

  4. Also the indie site http://ourstage.com has Iphone specific pages according to Techcrunch. But when surfing to that page on my Ipod Touch i get no specific content.


To get those HTML codes, go to about:config in Firefox and set the value of general.useragent.extra.firefox from something like 'Firefox/2.0.0.9' to 'Useragent "Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML,like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/3A100a Safari/419.3' and then surf to the URL for ipod touch or iphone and inspect the page source.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Impression of Google's Android UI on Ipod Touch

I downloaded Engadget visual tour of Android's UI in Iphoto, cutted out the screens and synced them on my Ipod Touch. Voila, a visual impression of Google Android UI on Apple Ipod Touch:









Ipod Touch Firmware 1.1.2 also in ITunes Belgium

Already a few days announced, the new firmware for Apple's Iphone and Ipod Touch is available trough Itunes. Also in Itunes België :

The main new feature is that you can edit the calendar and the contacts with the Ipod Touch. The new update is a whopping 157 megabyte big, so it took 10 minutes to download via my DSL line. Installation went smooth. I'm reconsidering installing Spanning Sync
to synchronize my Google Calendar and Gmail contacts with Apple's Ical and contactbook. Spanning sync is free for the first 15 days.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Double rainbow

Just saw a nice full rainbow that was partly doubled trough the window at the office. Picture taken with a Sony Ericsson K810i mobile phone.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Barcamp Brussels #4 decided

Peter Forret has decided on the organisation of Barcamp Brussels. Barcamp #4 will be on the 1st of december 2007 near Brussels North railway station (at mVillage).
I have subscribed already.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Streaming video with EyeTV 2.5 to an Ipod Touch

EyeTV Version 2.5 from Elgato Systems allows to stream a recording to an Ipod Touch or Iphone.
I found no good documentation or howto after a few searches on Google. Therefore, I documented the process for your further reference. I tested this on an Ipod Touch but assume it's similar for the Apple Iphone. I also assume the mac with the Eyetv software and the ipod touch/iphone are on the same wireless network.

First, open the EyeTV Preferences panel and select Wi-Fi Access :
and click on start. The following question comes up:
Don't click "Prepare All" because it will transcode all your recordings to H2.64 and that will take a while. (Depending on the number and the lengths of the recodings you have. You can start it later when you've verified your set-up works and pleases you). After pressing "Don't prepare", you get the following window:
The addres where your Ipod Touch/Iphone has to connect to is, in this particular case, http://192.168.2.4:2170/eyetv/
In your case, the URL can be different. Take the URL to left of the "Send Email" button in the EyeTV Preferences window under the "Wi-Fi Access" tab. You can immediately enter that address into the browser to verify the EyeTV streaming server is up and running.

Next, go to "Show EyeTV Programs" in the Window menu of the EyeTV program. Select a short recording (or make one for a test) and select the recording. The recoding turns into blue. In the action menu (the one with the gear icon) select "Prepare for Wi-Fi Access Again" :
After a while, the recording is transcoded to H.264 and stored for streaming to the Ipod Touch. This can take as long the time of the recording or longer depending on the speed of your system.

Next, take your Ipod Touch, start Safari and surf to http://192.168.2.4:2170/eyetv/ :
Tap on the recording you want to stream and, after a short period, a thumbnail with a start button in lower right corner appears (a small triangle inside a cirkel). Tap the start button.
And the recording is streaming to your Ipod Touch/Iphone:
After a while, the movie controller automatically disappears.
The recording can be streamed from your mac to the Ipod Touch while your mac is showing live TV.

Spore comes to Nintendo Wii


I've just read an interview with Will Wright. He announces some marvelous news: his new game "Spore" will also be released on the Nintendo Wii in the second quater of 2008. Just to wet your saliva go and look to Spore on EA's 360° panofantastic display.

Also "Lego Star Wars" is coming to the Wii end of 2007. The online mode is reserved for Xbox 360 and PS3 only. And Guitar Hero 3 for Wii and ... I'm gone write that nice letter to Santa Claus soon!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Unboxing Ipod Touch







Saturday, October 06, 2007

Convert muxed MPEG-1 to MOV or MPEG-4

A lot of Sony digital picture camera's also capture video. Some store the captured video files into muxed MPEG-1 files and have extension .MPG. To check if your Sony camera does this, proceed as follows. Open up the "Window" menu in Quicktime and select "Show Filminfo". It reports the structure of the file as "MPEG1 Muxed, 640x480 pixels" (other sizes are possible). Those files can be played back by Quicktime but when exporting to another videoformat or saving as mov, the audio does not come along. Importing such files into Imovie '08 or Final Cut Pro 2 also do not work propely. (Read iMovie does not work with muxed MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 clips about that and written by Apple).

To get rid of those pesky muxed mpeg-1 files, I now describe a procedure that does not need recoding of the captured original file. Instead, it allows to losslessly transforms the muxed mpeg-1 file into a Quicktime mov file without any convertion loss nor lengthy encodings. You only need one freeware tool that you can download from Apple's side.

To get rid of the muxed MPEG-1 files you need MPEG Streamclip. (MPEG Streamclip for windows). I tested this with a movie file captured by a Sony Cybershot DSC-W1. First, I started MPEG Streamclip:

Next, I dragged the MPEG movie movXXXXX.mpg to the application (XXXXX is the number of your movie, in the test case it is mov01249.mpg):

Then, select from the File menu, "Demux to M2V and AIFF":

Specify where the two new files must be saved and click Save.
Now, double click on the new movXXXXX.m2v file to open up Quicktime Pro. If you now export the movie or save as mov, the audio will be in it. This is because if movXXXXX.aiff is in the same directory as where movXXXXX.m2v is stored, Quicktime Pro will automatically load the video with extension .m2v and the audio file with extension .aiff together. (as explained by Heny Kautz). You can now save as a movXXXXX.mov file for editing or export to another format (for exmple MPEG-4). This is the resulting file in MPEG-4 format mov01249.mp4. You can download that file, play it with Quicktime and try to import it into Imovie '08 or Final Cut Pro 2. It should work. Succes.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Make mp4 files faststart with MP4box

The beta Flash player 9 , allows for playback of mp4 files containing AVC video and AAC audio. The example worked but the entire file was first downloaded before playback started. This is because the so called moov atom, is not in front of the file. To fix this on Mac OSX, I first downloaded MP4box (for OSX/PPC). Then, I issued the command: mp4box -inter 500 test.mp4 and uploaded the test.mp4 file. Now, the demo is faststart!

To make sure, I made no errors, I made a second example that is indeed not fast start. The I issued the mp4box command:

The resulting file benefiet_inter.mp4 is included in a third demo that is fast start: Third Test of mp4 in Flash version 9

This is the info you get from mp4box -info:


l02958:~/Desktop ln$ ../../../Applications/MP4Box -info benefiet_inter.mp4
* Movie Info *
Timescale 600 - Duration 00:03:35.006
Fragmented File no - 2 track(s)
File Brand mp42 - version 1
Created: GMT Wed Oct 3 17:55:44 2007

File has no MPEG4 IOD/OD

Track # 1 Info - TrackID 1 - TimeScale 600 - Duration 00:03:34.920
Media Info: Language "English" - Type "vide" - Sub Type "avc1" - 5373 samples
MPEG-4 Config: Visual Stream - ObjectTypeIndication 0x21
AVC/H264 Video - Visual Size 384 x 224 - Profile Main @ Level 1.3
NAL Unit length bits: 32
Self-synchronized

Track # 2 Info - TrackID 2 - TimeScale 32000 - Duration 00:03:35.008
Media Info: Language "English" - Type "soun" - Sub Type "mp4a" - 6719 samples
MPEG-4 Config: Audio Stream - ObjectTypeIndication 0x40
MPEG-4 Audio AAC LC - 1 Channel(s) - SampleRate 32000
Synchronized on stream 1

It would be nice that somehow I could figure out where the moov atom is with mp4box. But that's for another post.

From 2399 to 2400: more then 65 love games needed

My collegue aiming for the ultimate 2400 Nintendo Wii Tennis level has continued his quest and completed already 65 love games. He says he'll persist in the chase of 2400 fame until 140 love games. Stay tuned.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Google.be availability in 2007 is 99,996%


The uptime monitoring company Pingdom issued a report comparing uptimes of google sites. In Belgium, Google.be was unreachable for 22 minutes in the period from September 1, 2006 to September 1, 2007. This cumulated downtime is close to the average of 23 minutes for all 32 international google search sites measured in the report. All sites have an availability above 99,99%. This is considered very good.

Via Tweakers

Saturday, September 29, 2007

HD videocamera's that record on Flash cards

It looks that in the near future MPEG-4 AVC video will be possible along the three main steps of a web video production flow : 1) capturing, 2) editing and 3) presenting on the web.

  1. In the coming months, a lot of new consumer and prosumer camera's will be released on the market, aiming at the Christmas shopping window, that capture H264 video in HD resolutions (720 lines or more). Interesting is that some record straight to non-volatile flash memory. This allows for smaller camera's that can be made cheaper, more low power, smaller and more robust because of less moving parts. Flash cards become affordable. For example a 4 GB class 6 SDHC card can be bought for around 50 euro. An 8GB card with the same speed cost less then 100 euro. Another big advantage is that they can be mounted as an extra drive to the computer for editing. This completely nullifies the time ingest take with tapes.
  2. Also editing software get ready for MPEG-4 AVC: Imovie 08, Final Cut Pro 2 and Adobe Premiere CS3 support it.
  3. Adobe's upcoming release "moviestar" allows for playback of MPEG-4 AVC/AAC in the browser with hardware acceleration using Flash 9. (Earlier post about this news)
With the advent of MPEG-4 AVC/AAC camera's, editors and ubiquitous web playback, it's time to explore a new innovative workflow optimized for video on the web. Let's start with a look to the camera's:
  • Hercules Webcam Dualpix HD
  • Price: 49,95 euro, available in Fnac
  • Format: 1280x960p30
  • Website from manufacturer
  • Remark: altough this camera allows for 1280x960p30, in practice limited bandwith, disk or processor speed may be require to lower the video size. The HD stands for Hercules DualPix and NOT for High Definition. Don't fall in marketing trick (like I did).
  • De Aiptek GO-HD 720p
  • Sample1
  • Price: $299
  • Format: 1280x720p30
  • Sensortype: 1x 5MP CMOS, size unknown ?
  • Video Codec: MPEG-4 Part 10 AVC/H.264
  • Audio Codec: AAC, Stereo, 48,000 kHz
  • Capture bitrate: +/- 4Mbits/second
  • Container format: Quicktime Mov
  • Kodak Easyshare Z1275
  • Price: 230 euro
  • Specifications from manufacturer
  • Sensortype: 1/1.72 in. CCD
  • Format: 1280x720p30 , 30 frames per second
  • Video codec: MPEG-4 Part 2
  • Audio codec: μ-Law 2:1, Mono, 16,000 kHz
  • Container format: Quicktime Mov
  • Capture bitrate: +/- 8Mbits/second
  • Available: september 2007
  • Sanyo's Xacti DMX-HD700
  • Price: $609
  • Sensortype: 1/2.5 inch, 7.38-megapixel, CCD
  • Format: 1280x720p30 MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video, 30 frames per second
  • Bitrate: [HD-SHQ] 1280 x 720 (30fps, 9Mbps), [HD-HR] 1280 x 720 (30fps, 6Mbps), [TV-SHQ] 640 x 480 (30fps, 3Mbps ), [TV-HQ] 640 x 480 (30fps, 2Mbps ), [Web-SHQ] 320 x 240 (30fps)
  • Available: end of October 2007
  • Mac OS compatible
  • Sanyo Xacti HD1000
  • Price: $800
  • Format: 60 fields/s for 1080i or 60 frames/s for 720p 12Mbps or lower modes.
  • Sensortype: 4MP 1/2.5" CMOS (!) sensor
  • Video codec: MPEG-4 Part 10 AVC/H.264
  • Audio codec: AAC, Stereo (L R), 48,000 kHz
  • Bitrate: +/- 12Mbps for 1080x720p60
  • Containter format: MPEG-4 system file with .mp4 extension
  • Available: november 2007
  • Sanyo Belgium
  • Panasonic HDC-SD5
  • Price: $900
  • Format: 50 fields for 1920x1080i50, HG: 1.920 x 1.080, HN/HE: 1.440 x 1.080
  • Sensortype: 1/6 inch 3xCCD-beeldsensor
  • Format: 1920x1080
  • Video codec: MPEG-4 Part 10 AVC/H.264 (compatibel with AVCHD-standard)
  • Audio codec: Dolby Digital (Dolby AC3)/ 2-channel
  • Bitrate: HG: ca. 13 Mbps (CBR), HN: ca. 9 Mbps (VBR), HE: ca. 6 Mbps (VBR)
  • Available now
  • Sony HDR-CX7
  • Price: $1200
  • Format: 1920x1080i60, AVCHD, 1280x720p60???
  • Sensortype: 1/2.9 inch ClearVid CMOS
  • Video codec: MPEG-4 Part 10 AVC/H.264 (compatibel with AVCHD-standard)
  • Audio codec: Dolby® Digital 5.1
  • Bitrate: HD XP (15Mbps), HD HQ (9Mbps), HD SP (7Mbps), HD LP (5 Mbps), SD HQ (9Mbps), SD SP (6Mbps), SD LP (3Mbps)
  • can record 3 seconds at 240 frames per second
  • Remark: USB on dock only
  • Available: september 2007
What camera would you buy ?

Technical remark: some camera's deliver a .mp4 file and others deliver AVCHD
. In AVCHD, the compressed audio and video data are encapsulated in a MPEG-2 Transport stream, called BDAV. In that case, the essense (the video and the audio stream) are MPEG-4 but they are encapsulated as payload into a MPEG-2 stream. Some editors/tool handle mp4 files but barf on AVCHD MPEG-2 streams. Conversion from a AVCHD file to a mpeg-4 file is possible but adds another step to the video productionflow.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Now in Google Maps: length of line segments

In previous post Calculating the length of Google Maps line segments I presented a program that calculated the length of line segments drawn in Google Maps. Today Google Maps incorporated a new feature exactly for this purpose. If you go to your maps and click on the line segment, a popup appears on the map that contains the length of the segment. Look where the red arrow is pointing in the following screenshot:

So if you'r planning your next biketrip, you now know the distance instantly. Nice.

My script calculated the biking trip from my work to home is 36.35 kilometer and Google Maps reports 25.74 kilometer. I wonder who's most correct ?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Testing video upload in Blogger

Recently, Google's Blogger added the ability to upload video. While the video is uploaded you can continue working on your blogpost. Neat.
Here is the result:
video

This is a screenshot of how the post appears in Google Reader:

Also in Netvibes, the video appears (but twice ;-)).

This is the code generated (with long encoded URL's edited out):


<object width="320" height="266" class="BLOG_video_class"

id="BLOG_video-c97b748c29cea499"

classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000"

codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0">

<param name="movie" value="http://www.blogger.com/img/videoplayer.swf?videoUrl=LONGVIDEOURL&nogvlm=1&thumbnailUrl=LONGTHUMBURL">

<param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF">

<embed width="320" height="266"

src="http://www.blogger.com/img/videoplayer.swf?videoUrl=LONGVIDEOURL

&nogvlm=1&thumbnailUrl=LONGTHUMBURL&

messagesUrl=video.google.com%2FFlashUiStrings.xlb%3Fframe%3Dflashstrings%26hl%3Den"

type="application/x-shockwave-flash">

</embed>

</object>
<a href="rtsp://rtsp-youtube.l.google.com/video.3gp?fmt=13&cid=c97b748c29cea499" type="video/3gpp">

<img width="320" height="266" alt="video"

src="http://video.google.com/ThumbnailServer2?app=blogger&contentid=c97b748c29cea499

&offsetms=5000&itag=w320&sigh=f52nsu-i5tuyLzJ7tEY1Q8a5Y2M"

class="BLOG_mobile_video_class" id="BLOG_mobile_video-c97b748c29cea499">

</a>

So if the Flash object can not be rendered, at least a link to a RTSP server with a 3GPP video is presented. The latter is probably the case on mobile browsers (Iphone?). The movie size is 320x266. Probably this corresponts to a default 4:3 aspect ratio and 320x240 pixels video surface. So there are 26 lines at the bottom for the controls. So if the the original footage has 16:9 format, black borders are added automatically so that aspect ratio is maintained.

Conclusion: Google Blogger upload works well, uploading goes fast and allows continuing editing while uploading goes on. Nicely done!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Nintendo DS evolves into smartphone for kids


As already mentioned in a previous post about the "Wiivolution" the Nintendo DS Lite gets Voice over IP. I means that if you are in a free hotspot with wireless internet, you can call somebody else for free. It's not yet official by Nintendo as Endgadget reports: Nintendo DS Lite gets VOIP.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

From 2399 to 2400: more then 43 love games needed

The chap stryving for the ultimate 2400 Wii Tennis level has completed 43 love games. I somehow hoped for the jump to 2400 after 42 love games ;-). He says he'll persist in the chase of 2400 fame until 140 love games. Stay tuned.

Friday, September 07, 2007

If your Wii Tennis level is 2399, can you reach 2400 ?

A collegue reached a 2399 Wii Tennis level:


I wonder how much love games he has to play to reach 2400. If he will ever. To get from 2398 to 2399, 13 love games were needed. Already 24 love games with 2399 have been played. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Interesting times ahead


Apple invited the press tomorrow 5 september. A lot of rumors are going on. New Ipod, the Beatles on Itunes, .... stay tuned.
Other rumours are heating forecast Google Wiki will be launched next week. Somthing I was waiting for more then a year (after they acquired Jotspot). Remember that it's more important how you can write the web than reading it. I guess Google Wiki will prove that.

And in case you didn't notice, Google buys news directly from press agencies and publishes on Google News. Just like Lost Remote I also think it's a landmark for Google because they leave the position being a neutral platform and become competitors of news agency's. Cutting out players in the value chain has always been a interesting strategy. The question will be if the automated news aggregation that taps the wisdom of the crowd will outperform human intelligence of experts. Indeed, interesting times ahead.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Embedding MP4 in HTML with Flash 9 beta Moviestar

From Jeroen Wijering I found a way to play MP4 movies in a webpage using the new Flash Version 9 beta, nicknamed Moviestar. It uses SWFObject to embed a Flash file using Javascript and the mediaplayer by Jeroen.
This is the code:


<script type="text/javascript" src="swfobject.js"></script>


<p id="player1">

<a href="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer">

Get the Flash Player</a> to see this player.

</p>


<script type="text/javascript">

var s1 = new SWFObject("mediaplayer.swf","single","384","224","7");

s1.addParam("allowfullscreen","true");

s1.addVariable("file","test.mp4");

s1.addVariable("image","preview.jpg");

s1.addVariable("overstretch","none");

s1.addVariable("smoothing","false");

s1.write("player1");

</script>

In the same directory above code is residing, store swfobject.js,test.mp4,preview.jpg and mediaplayer.swf.
The result looks like this:

I don't understand yet when clicking on fullscreen, the video does not resize but that's probably an option of mediaplayer I have to enable. Also, I have the impression the movie is first downloaded before playback starts. I am quite sure the header atoms in test.mp4 are in front of the file. So the movie should faststart. Here is an example where it does work. Any suggestions welcome in the comment.

UPDATE:
leaving out the overstrech variable so that is get the default true value, stretches the movie to fullscreen in fullscreen mode. No problem now with the fast start. So the code becomes:

<script type="text/javascript" src="swfobject.js"></script>


<p id="player1">

<a href="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer">

Get the Flash Player</a> to see this player.

</p>


<script type="text/javascript">

var s1 = new SWFObject("mediaplayer.swf","single","384","224","7");

s1.addParam("allowfullscreen","true");

s1.addVariable("file","test.mp4");

s1.addVariable("image","preview.jpg");

s1.write("player1");

</script>

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Drupal + Flex : Adobe becoming good netizen ?

Benevolent dictator of Drupal, Dries Buytaert, announced that he has tipped his tows into Adobe Flex technology. A bit surprising given Drupal's open source approach. It looks like Adobe is tipping their tows into open source because they contributed to Drupal as well. Adobe also announced and released their beta Flash player nicknamed moviestar that supports advanced MPEG-4 audio and video (the systems part (.mp4 files), the High Efficiency AAC and Advanced Video Coding AVC Part 10 to be more precisely). Meaning that within a year more then 90 percent of the browsers will be able to play video content based on a open standard. Something only Quicktime could do. The Quicktime player is ok but the implementation on Windows was always beyond standards with regards to performance. Maybe Adobe's move will force Apple to improve their Windows implementation. Fullscreen functionality that came with version 7.2 is already a step into the good direction. May the best win!

I've made a small test to embed a MPEG-4 file but no succes. The file is loaded but does not play with the beta player installed. For your reference, this is the code I used:


<object classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000"

codebase="http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,18,0"

id="fullscreen" align="middle" height="224" width="384">

<param name="allowFullScreen" value="true">
<param name="movie" value="test.mp4">

<param name="bgcolor" value="#333333">

<embed src="test.mp4" allowfullscreen="true"

bgcolor="#333333" name="fullscreen" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"

pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer"

align="middle" height="224" width="384">

</object>

The file test.mp4 is in the same directory as the html page. Maybe the mime type is not ok ?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

New feature in Google Maps: embed into html

Google announced a new feature of Google Maps. Go to "My Maps"/"Mijn kaarten" on maps.google.be and click on "Link to this page"/"Link naar deze pagina". Two textfields appear:
Embedding the HTML in the second text box under "HTML in website plakken":


<iframe width="425" height="350"
frameborder="no" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0"

src="http://maps.google.be/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=nl&msa=0&

msid=106593127569810234189.000435c68e072f63d1f57&om=1&

ll=50.916561,4.699123&spn=0.090651,0.05137&

output=embed&s=AARTsJpF3cBYZmrDjYcLS8foVeBIWCBK5A">
</iframe><br/>
<a href="http://maps.google.be/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=nl&msa=0&

msid=106593127569810234189.000435c68e072f63d1f57&

om=1&ll=50.916561,4.699123&spn=0.090651,0.05137&

source=embed"

style="color:#0000FF; text-align:left;font-size:small">
Grotere kaart weergeven

</a>

renders in this blogpost as:

Grotere kaart weergeven
which will show up right on your blog but might leave just a blank spot in your feed reader. Let me know in the comments how it works with your feed reader.
If you click on "Ingesloten kaart aanpassen en voorbeeld ervan weergeven", you get the ability to alter the defaults of the generated HTML:

Basically, it allows to alter the size of the included map. It's a pitty that you can not influence the controls that appear on the map.