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Mobile DVD On Your Treo

I’ve just arrived in San Francisco after a 10 hour flight from London where I had the opportunity to watch two movies on my Treo after Virgin Atlantic’s otherwise superb onboard entertainment system in ‘Upper Class’ (I was kindly upgraded) with over 20 VOD movies decided to malfunction… 

I will stay in San Francisco for a few days before heading to Las Vegas to attend CTIA Wireless 2006 where I hope that Palm will perhaps announce at least one of its forthcoming Treo smartphones – either the Treo 700p, Treo ‘Hollywood’ or Treo ‘Lowrider’.

As I mentioned in my last post, before flying over here I had taken a couple of hours to fill my latest 2GB SD card with classical piano works from Yahoo! Music Unlimited’s collection.  The other thing that I did was to convert three DVD movies using a new software called CloneDVD Mobile which I have been evaluating for the past week.

CloneDVD Mobile is not the only application available to convert your DVD’s and it seems that everyone has their own favourite.  Among others I have personally tested at least a dozen such programs including Pocket-DVD Studio, Nero Digital Pro and the free Auto Gordian Knot (see Videonauts) but none has offered me the simplicity, ease of use and even quality that CloneDVD Mobile delivers.

Before you can convert a copy-protected DVD you’ll also need a software that will remove this protection and the same company that makes CloneDVD Mobile offers a tool called AnyDVD for this purpose.  Please note that there is another similar program called DVD43 (free) but it will not work with CloneDVD.


The first screen that you see when launching CloneDVD Mobile (above) asks you ‘Where do you want to copy today?’ where you’ll have the option to choose ‘Generic (DiVX)’ to make a copy of your DVD for playback on your Treo using the free TCPMP (the output file will be in .AVI format).  There is also a separate setting for ‘Windows Mobile Smartphone’ but I have not yet tested this for playback with my Treo 700w.  At the same time, I have requested that the developer add both the Treo 650 and Treo 700w to its list and I hope that this will be incorporated in a future update.

Having selected ‘Generic (DiVX)’ from the list, you then proceed to the  ‘Title Configuration’ screen where you will browse to the VIDEO_TS directory for the DVD in your drive and select the title you want to convert (typically this will be the first one).  Then in the ‘Audio and Subtitle Settings’ screen you will be given the option to select which audio stream or subtitles you want.

Finally, in the last ‘Output Method’ screen you can select your Resolution (I chose 480x360), Video Quality (I left this at 23), Filename to Write and Label then press ‘Go’ and your DVD will start to be converted to a .AVI file for playback on your Treo – depending on your PC and naturally the length of your DVD this may take from 1 to 2 hours.


In my case the final output for my three movies resulted in files from 600MB to 1.2GB in size but you should be able to get much smaller files of about 500MB or less if you want as the 480x320 resolution that I selected is higher than the maximum playback resolution of 320x240 on the Treo 650. 

Meanwhile, the video (25 frames per second) and sound quality (MPEG Audio at 48,000Hz Stereo) are both absolutely stunning and deliver ultra-smooth (no stutter) playback in TCPMP.  Were it not for the obvious limitations of screen size I would argue that watching a movie on my Treo is as good an experience as any particularly when you’re more interested in the story/plot than in any ‘special effects’.

Overall, CloneDVD Mobile may not be free as others but I am personally willing to pay for a hassle-free and simple solution which doesn’t require a steep learning curve or an engineer’s degree to figure out and use.  For me at least it delivers on all counts.

With the free TCPMP installed on your Treo, CloneDVD Mobile and AnyDVD (free 21 day trial then bundle price of $59.00) on your PC as well as a good set of headphones you’ll be all set to convert and enjoy watching all your DVD’s while on the go.

Treonauts have all their entertainment in one device

Posted by Andrew on March 30, 2006 at 03:38 PM

Treo Software | Movies , Treo Software | Video

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by Mike Hardy | Mar 30, 2006 6:10:10 PM

I always try to mention the free alternatives here, since they are, well, free, but more importantly (to an idealistic nerd like myself) they offer you liberty in the form of open source as well.

In that vein, you unix folks should check out the fantastic GUI DVD ripping program DVDRip ( google it ) to get your DVDs media-shifted to your hard drive, as is your right under copyright law.

Then you just need a little script to transform the file to something that fits the treo, and wouldn't you know it, a friend and I have already coded one up for you. It takes AVI and OGG files and spits out little .avi's for your Treo. They are around 256MB per movie, compressed to the very breaking point where they are small, but still beautiful on the device. The script is on mikehardy.net/treo-encode, but I can't link it or this blog thinks it's comment spam (sigh).

Share and enjoy!

by proee | Mar 30, 2006 8:55:13 PM

great read! Thanks. Glad to here the treo saved the day again...

by Malatesta | Mar 31, 2006 1:41:02 AM

For the conversion process I use the same software as I use for my PSP, namely either the *free* "PSP Video 9" or the slighly better (for $34)"PSP Movie Creator". TCMP will play Mp4s just like PSP will.

The best part is I just use the same files for PSP as I use for my Treo so I don't actually convert anything extra.

For ripping DVDs (w/CSS)I still like using DVD Shrink which is still free and available.

by Fred | Mar 31, 2006 9:29:05 AM

For me the best program is Pocket DVD Studio for Palm. No, I'm not connected with it; this is an unsolicited recommendation. It works great, doesn't require any protection-removal software, and has just enough settings as I need.
I travel a lot and love being able to spend a long wait in an airport watching a movie, especially after having just spent several days in meetings. It's great when I can travel without my laptop and still watch movies.

by Noemi Rav | Mar 31, 2006 6:08:38 PM

Always great info. Does anyone have an easy workflow for a Mac?

by Pedro | Mar 31, 2006 6:48:31 PM

Andrew, this is totally off the Mobile DVD topic. I would like to recommend that you guys add the Torx 6 (T6) screwdriver to the Treonauts store. I'm sure that other treonauts have experienced the screws beneath the battery cover becoming loose on the Treo 650/700w. They are hard to replace if lost,and having this little essential tool available at your amazing store will make it even more complete. Thanks for considering this. You guys do an AWESOME job!

by Binky | Mar 31, 2006 7:38:41 PM

I went to the DVD43 website and my firewall blocked it as a "Hacking/proxy Avoidance" threat. Anyone have any idea why this would be a concern?

Another quick question--Mike, your little script sounds great, but what do I have to do to get it to work? I'm sorry, but stupid me fails to understand how I can get a bunch of random programming lines to work on my computer so it will actually do the conversion.

Anyone have an idea if Pocket DVD Studio will get around copy protection issues?

by Taggy | Apr 1, 2006 6:37:05 PM

For Mac OSX try Handbrake. It's free, and although I've only used it for ipod conversion so far, it should be tweakable enough for Treo.

by Kamau | Apr 7, 2006 2:29:55 PM

Tried this program out last night and I was incredibly impressed. I was looking for something my wife, who's not very tech savvy, could manage and this was awesome. I'm going into surgery next week and now I can have her fill my PMP up with Matrix and LOTR crap. Thanks for the heads up. Now if there was only something this simple for those pesky AAC files, I'd be quite a happy camper.

And to think I was about to return my Cowon A2...

by Chris | Apr 11, 2006 8:00:28 PM

I'm trying to install the TCPMP but the treo is not allowing me to. "device does not support this file type." Not sure what i'm doing wrong.

by Alex | Apr 19, 2006 12:35:29 PM

HELP! I've followed the instructions using CloneDVD Mobile to convert a DVD to an avi file. I have the TCPMP software installed on my Treo650. Whenever I attempt to add the avi to the palmOne Quick Install frame I recieve the message "Unable to add "XXXX.avi" to External Volume". It shows up in the window but with a yellow triangle in front of it. What am I missing??

by Andrew | Apr 19, 2006 12:44:24 PM

Alex - you cannot use Palm's Quick Install... Instead you simply have to copy the file to your SD card and then open the movie from within TCPMP.

Cheers, A.

by Anastasia | Apr 21, 2006 5:38:52 AM

Does anyone know if you can use the 21 day trial for CloneDVD mobile to actually convert a DVD, I have gone through the steps but when I get to the option after label my only option is back...I can't select Go. Any suggestions?? Do I have to purchase the registration key to make it work? I did download a trial of AnyDVD as well so it shouldn't be my DVD but I am not sure!

by John Stephens | Apr 27, 2006 1:52:48 PM

Like proee... I too use PSP Movie Creator for my conversions for not only my PSP, but my Treo650 as well. I simply insert the DVD to rip and choose a ripping size and let the product do it's stuff. Once it's done I simply hotsync the created mpeg4 file to my SD card via Palm's quick install. Once copied, I can then use TCPMP for video/voice playback. Looks great...just like TV...

by Andrew | Apr 27, 2006 1:57:14 PM

John - I haven't tried PSP Movie Creator but I would very strongly advice you and other Treonauts _not_ to use Palm's Quick Install to transfer the video. Instead simply copy it to your SD card using a card reader.

Cheers, A.

by black windown | Apr 27, 2006 10:45:43 PM

Super DVD ripper software 2.39 is an easy to use DVD copying and ripping software which can copy DVD to DIVX AVI files, VCD or SVCD. No DVD burner required, direct burning to CD which can be played in your DVD player!


by Bill Stephens | Aug 31, 2006 2:43:41 PM

I have used TCPMP to play movies & TIVO converted by AnyDVD and CloneDVDMobile.

All these programs really work well, and the playback results are great. With stereo headphones, the full, smooth sound is terrific.

Even though the SlySoft programs (CloneDVD etc) are not free, they are very easy to use and predictable.

by Sandra C | Jan 6, 2007 9:58:21 PM

Can someone please help me with more "Step-by-Step" instructions on how to put a movie on my Treo 700P using Clone DVD (using Any DVD). I have purchased both and have uploaded TCPMP already on my Treo.

I have put in a DVD in my laptop, loaded into Clone DVD, it has gone through the whole process and says at the end "created video file", BUT..............now what??????? No one says what to do next. How do I now get that movie onto my treo 700P. Please provide beginning to end instructions if possible. I keep getting GREAT instructions up to the point of "how do I finish and put on my treo???????????" Thanks. I'm a newbie and some of the great instructions seem to be for more experienced people. PS I love my Treo 700P!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

by freda | Jan 10, 2007 2:01:43 AM

I have tried the program,i am interested in it at the first sight.Because befor i often convert dvd movie to mp4 format which can play on ipod.lately, i find a website http://www.qweas.com/download/video_dvd/video_converters/ which provides many software for dvd converting.

by jerry | Apr 8, 2011 4:11:29 AM

Below are three free dvd ripping software i ever used:
Handbrake, DVD43, DVD Ripping software http://dvdrippingsoftwares.com/

by drm converter | Jun 7, 2011 4:04:37 AM

I think it's useful for me, thank you for your post!

by Lulakaka | Jun 29, 2011 2:58:22 AM

DVD FAB is also good. Actually, there are many good dvd rippers if you search on the net.

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