The iSlate Will Be Announced In

July 12, 2007

Kick-Ass Web Video For Your iPhone

If you want to impress your friends, your mom, or the neighbor's dog, point your iPhone to:

www.apple.com/trailers/iphone

This nifty page has a boat-load of movie trailers which have been encoded for optimal streaming (in glorious full-screen) on the iPhone. Check it out, it's a site to behold.

Here's a little something-something a few of the editors at iphonePOV realized after watching a bunch of trailers on their iPhones--if three minutes can stream without a hitch, it's probably just as easy to serve up a TV show or a feature film... Hmmm... Could streaming iPhone content be a future option at the iTunes Store? You heard it here first.

UPDATE: Reader 'badweasel' was kind enough to point out that the iPhone does not support real time streaming (RTSP) for quicktime. In light of this new evidence, it is very unlikely that Apple will offer streaming movies or TV shows for the iPhone. For a more detailed explanation, check out the comments attached to this post.

5 comments:

badweasel said...

The iPhone currently does not support real time streaming server. My guess is that these play quickly because they use quicktime reference movies to determine the bandwidth and codec compatibility. Plus they're really short.. only a few minutes..

Here's an excerpt from the developers guide:

Encode Video for Wi-Fi and EDGE

You can use the QuickTime Player Pro Export command and the following exporters to prepare video content for iPhone:
The Movie to MPEG-4 exporter with the following settings prepares movies for Wi-Fi.
In the H.264 video options, make sure you restrict the encoder to use the Baseline profile, and select "Faster encode (Single-pass)" encoding in the Video Options dialog.
Video settings: 900 kbit/sec, H.264, 480 x 360; frame rate: current; preserve aspect ratio using: Fit within size
Audio settings: 128 kbit, AAC-LC
.mp4 file
The Movie to 3G exporter with the following settings prepares movies for EDGE.
Video settings: 64 kbit, H.264, 176 x 144; frame rate: 10 or 15; preserve aspect ratio using: Letterbox or Crop
Audio settings: 16 kbit, AAC-LC
.3gp file
In each exporter, turn off streaming; iPhone does not stream media using RTP/RTSP.

Size Movies Appropriately

In landscape orientation, the iPhone screen is 480 x 320 pixels. Users can easily switch the view mode between scaled-to-fit (letterboxed) and full-screen (centered and cropped). You should use a size that preserves the aspect ratio of your content and fits within a 480 x 360 rectangle. 480 x 360 is a good choice for 4:3 aspect ratio content as it will keep the video sharp in full-screen view mode.

Don’t Let Bit Rate Stall Your Movie

When viewing media over the network, bit rate makes a crucial difference to the playback experience. If the network cannot keep up with the media bit rate, playback stalls.

Use Supported Movie Formats

The following movie formats are supported:
H.264 Baseline Profile Level 3.0 video, up to 640 x 480 at 30 fps. Note that B frames are not supported in the Baseline profile.
MPEG-4 Part 2 video (Simple Profile)
AAC-LC audio, up to 48 kHz
.mov, .mp4, .m4v, .3gp file formats
Any movies or audio files that can play on an iPod.

badweasel said...

sorry.. didn't realize how big that excerpt was.. and the end got cut off..

go here: http://developer.apple.com/iphone/designingcontent.html

Bottom line is that I think the trailers are not actually streaming.

iphonePOV said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
iphonePOV said...

Actually, the trailers are streaming, but they are using 'progressive download', not RTSP. Progressive download is a very effective and viable form of streaming, however, it has serious limitations. The most significant limitation (for the iPhone) is that if the device runs out of memory, the download stream will permanently stop. So, basically, until Apple updates the iPhone system to support RTSP, or releases a version with a much bigger hard drive, it is very unlikely long-format streams are forthcoming.

badweasel said...

And another thing.. The Apple site that you mention here consistently crashes my iPhone. Since it's clearly an iPhone page (having iphone in the url) I wish they had made it a little more iphone friendly, formatted it better for the device, and maybe had less trailers per page.