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Kinoma Player 4EX Review - Wow! Plays Flash Movies & YouTube On Your Treo...

Seasoned Treonauts will like me undoubtedly know that besides being a fabulous communication, productivity and information tool our Treo is also an absolutely terrific entertainment device. 

Thanks to third-party developers we have an amazing video player with CorePlayer (was TCPMP), a superb MP3 music + streaming radio experience thanks to Pocket Tunes Deluxe, live TV and streaming video with MobiTV, audiobooks thanks to Audible, photo views with SplashPhoto as well as ebooks with Mobipocket and a ton of games (see my Top 100 Treo Software list).

Adding to our already terrific mix (just in time for the launch of the Treo 680 next week) today we see the release of the new Kinoma Media Player 4EX which has been completely revamped and improved from its previous version and among others now supports streaming of Flash movies.  Also of particular relevance is that it includes an extremely useful ‘Kinoma Media Guide’ containing the most extensive list of hundreds of streaming audio, video, podcasts, videocasts and even photocasts that can all be played directly from within the application on your Treo. 

The Kinoma Media Player 4EX (screenshots below) provides seven tabs for movies, music, photos, interactive media files, the Kinoma Media Guide and web bookmarks, playlists and a global listing of all media found on your Treo.


Kinoma has significantly improved its video player to now support full screen, zoom and rotation.  Additionally, it also supports the playback of video and audio content stored in the following file formats (including Flash video!):

However, while the Kinoma Video Player will prove more than adequate for most Treonauts I would personally nonetheless recommend getting the CorePlayer which for me remains the best-in-class video player for your Treo – particularly because it plays the popular AVI format which Kinoma does not currently support.


Again, the music component of Kinoma Media Player is good but pretty basic – lacking much of the sophistication and richness of the competing Pocket Tunes Deluxe – but at the very least it has now been upgraded to support ‘background playback’ which allows you to turn off your screen to save battery life and still listen to your favourite music.  Also, both the music player and streaming music player support album cover art and other artwork (not shown).


The Treo already provides a pretty decent photo viewer but just in case this is not enough Kinoma includes one (pretty fast) for you too...

Kinoma Media Guide
Now we come to the core of my excitement…  By far the single most important, interesting and valuable component of the new Kinoma Player is called the “Kinoma Media Guide” which is an index of hundreds of free streaming media from around the internet and is the best ‘mobile streaming portal’ of sorts that I have come across to date.

The Guide is filled with hundreds of links to popular podcasts, radio stations, streaming video, photo slide shows, live webcams and much more.  All the media included in the guide has been pre-selected to be compatible with Kinoma Player 4 EX.  The Kinoma Media Guide eliminates the need to search for streaming media compatible with your Treo by providing hundreds of compatible feeds, many updated daily.

The Kinoma Media Guide home screen (above left) opens to reveal a wealth of listings in categories from Internet Video (such as YouTube) and Sports to Arts Culture & Music. 

The selections include streaming video (above left), streaming radio (my favourite SF station above right), podcasts, videocasts and even photocasts.  Additionally, you can bookmark individual channels for later viewing as well as having the unique option to download some streams (YouTube for example does not support this) directly to your Treo or external SD Card for later playback or to forward it to a friend.  Both of these functionalities are terrific additions to Kinoma Media Player.

Kinoma Media Player supports http, rtsp and mms streaming media protocols as well as several playlist file formats from .m3u, .pls, .rss, .asx and .opml. 

However, as Kinoma notes, at this time, much of the digital media content available on the internet is optimized for playback on PC’s or dedicated portable media player devices with special accelerator hardware. This is particularly true for digital video.  Kinoma Player 4 EX uses a variety of techniques to achieve the best possible results for each media item but it will not always be possible to achieve the same result that you are accustomed to on a PC. 

Having said this, since all of the streams are free (please ensure that you have an unlimited data plan) and that unlike your PC you will always have your Treo at hand the slightly reduced quality seems like a fair compromise.

For me at least, Kinoma Media Player 4EX is not the best movie, music or photo player as it lacks the graphics, proper media management tools as well as other functionalities that I want.  Nonetheless, Kinoma Player is the only software that allows you to view free streaming video and audio (also supported by Pocket Tunes Deluxe) on your Treo and its terrific Kinoma Media Guide alone should be reason enough to purchase this application.  [Note: Kinoma’s technology already powers streaming media on the Treo 700p]

At this point I have to assume that the Treo 680 will also support streaming media but I wonder if both Palm and Kinoma will have included the essential Kinoma Media Guide as well…  They definitely should.

Treonauts always have something to be wowed about

Posted by Andrew on October 31, 2006 at 11:22 PM

Treo Software | Movies , Treo Software | Music , Treo Software | Photo , Treo Software | Radio , Treo Software | Television

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by Dave | Nov 1, 2006 8:51:01 AM

It sounds great. Why don't they have a demo available for download? If there's one thing I've learned in my 10 years of "palming" it is NEVER EVER buy commercial palmware that does not let you download a full-featured trial version. I have been disappointed EVERY time I did it. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

by Andrew | Nov 1, 2006 9:34:20 AM

Dave - Like you I also find it puzzling that Kinoma have not provided a demo for download. However, I have to imagine that the company must have a pretty relaxed returns policy to compensate.

I know that other people will have the same thoughts as you and therefore find it a poor business practice not to have a demo since this will limit the number of people who can experience Kinoma and ultimately make the informed choice to purchase it.

Finally, this latest Kinoma player is not yet available in the Treonauts Software Store but I hope that it will be added by next week.

Cheers, A.

by Dave | Nov 1, 2006 1:46:15 PM

It should also be noted that an upgrade from Kinoma Player 3 EX is only $14.99, as opposed to the $24.99 list price.

by Andrew | Nov 1, 2006 2:27:09 PM

Dave - I spoke with Kinoma about the lack of a demo and they informed me that this was unfortunately due to the many and complex codec licensing deals in place - many of which forbid them from offering any demo version.

I hope this helps.

Cheers, A.

by npbeers | Nov 1, 2006 4:39:18 PM

as for YouTube.... can you just go to YouTube and select the video and have it play? Or is it more complex than that?

by Confused | Nov 1, 2006 5:05:05 PM

"as for YouTube.... can you just go to YouTube and select the video and have it play? Or is it more complex than that?"

more complex.

you need to copy paste the url into kinoma.

by Fletch | Nov 1, 2006 5:56:40 PM

Lately, I've came across an application called TubeSock that allows you to download the videos from YouTube, and after you save them to your desktop, you can save them as .mp4 to be played on your Treo or iPod. It works great. Takes a little time (like 5-10 minutes for each video) but well worth the cost, when you think of the extensive library that YouTube has. Much better than streaming and paying for roaming fees when trying to watch streamed music or video.


by Andrew | Nov 2, 2006 1:21:38 AM

npbeers - actually the beauty of the Kinoma Media Guide is that the most popular YouTube videos are already listed so viewing them is only one click away.

Confused - you don't need to copy paste the URL into Kinoma as most of the links are already in the Kinoma Media Guide. The other option is to click on the link in Blazer and have Kinoma then automatically play the stream.

Cheers, A.

by Brandyn | Nov 2, 2006 1:47:24 PM

When you say "The other option is to click on the link in Blazer and have Kinoma then automatically play the stream" What link are you referring to? Also, copy and pasting of url doesnt work..

by Julian | Nov 2, 2006 8:36:20 PM

I really really wisht that the 'background' play was like p-tunes where you can play games/access calendar etc while listening to music/news etc...

Also how do I switch Blazer from going to the 'pre-installed' Kinoma to now go to the new 4-EX?

by Drbuzz0 | Nov 3, 2006 12:48:34 AM

"as for YouTube.... can you just go to YouTube and select the video and have it play? Or is it more complex than that?"

more complex.

you need to copy paste the url into kinoma.

Well....Not for Google Video. I created this website...been working on it for a while actually:


Easy to navigate google video interface for Palm devices. Search videos. Download in Mp4 or AVI format (where avaliable). (incase you don't have an FLV player)

Or STREAM FLV with Kinoma 4EX easily with one click!

I'm working on a similar type of deal for Youtube. Give it a week or so. I just added Kinoma to my website today. Currently works by passing an M3U file (make sure kinoma is associated with the file type).

This is new so I'll try to make it even nicer ;-)

Lemme know what you think!

by Nightlife | Nov 3, 2006 3:20:12 AM

Drbuzz0, that site you created is great! I look very much forward to a YouTube version.

In the meantime, here's a cool search trick that some dude in another Treo discussion boards found: Go to Open URL and type in:

http://www.youtube.com/rss/tag/word1+word2.rss (change word1 and word2 to whatever search terms you want).

Example: http://www.youtube.com/rss/tag/homer+simpson.rss to find videos with Homer Simpson.

by Brent | Nov 3, 2006 1:48:14 PM

That YouTube search tip is very much appreciated... why isn't it built into Kinoma? This Version 4 is quite a step forward, but lacks some (to me) obvious features. An integrated search function, for instance! Let us search Google Video or YouTube without opening the browser or cut/paste.

by Brent | Nov 3, 2006 1:59:31 PM

also, Kinoma 4 still can't find mp3 files on my SD card: pTunes has no difficulty finding them. Do mp3s have to be located in a specific folder for Kinoma to find them? Should be able to find them in any folder. I'm disappointed that Kinoma 4 doesn't seem to be able to play QuickTime video streams... anyone else get them to play? Ultimately, this feels a little bit like a beta version...

by Dave | Nov 3, 2006 2:20:13 PM

Drbuzz... the Google video mobile site is very handy, despite the fact that I'd love to be able to download >2MB files using Blazer. The 4EX streaming option seems to work best for me.

As far as Kinoma 4, I'd like to be able to instruct the software NOT to search my library. Starting up the app takes about 45 seconds for me (I have a huge library of media on my SD card). Also, a Google video/YouTube video search function would be welcome. I've also encountered some MP4 videos that will not play (probably due to the underlying codec being used). I'd really like to also be able to sync to iTunes DRM-ed video. I have third party tools that will create DRM-less MP4s, but that's a roundabout solution.

I'd go further than Brent and say that mobile video itself is a beta version. It will be quite sometime before the technology matures. For now, I guess I'll use EX for WMV and TCPMP for AVI.

It sure would be nice if we could unify TCPMP, EX and pTunes. Sigh.

by m | Nov 3, 2006 7:15:09 PM

"Also how do I switch Blazer from going to the 'pre-installed' Kinoma to now go to the new 4-EX?"

Shouldn't have to do anything... Kinoma Player 4 should take over all streaming links from the built-in player.

"Do mp3s have to be located in a specific folder for Kinoma to find them?"

Try /Audio, MP3s really belong in there anyway.

by Dr Buzz0 | Nov 4, 2006 12:21:07 AM

To Nightlife (and anyone else who checked out mgvids.com).

Yes: I know that the biggest complaint is clicking on one of those links does not fire up the correct program. I'm working on trying to get it to work better for everyone.

I switched the file pointer to an ASX file, which should work fine with Kinoma. and should (hopefully) not redirect to another player.

It's an issue with the different types of devices and versions of Blazer working differently. Since I only have a 700p to work with, I can't tell if another version acts differently.

For downloading things more than 2MB, you should look for a 3rd party program. There's a downloader client that works well (sorry..don't have the URL off the top of my head.. But should be on any palm freeware site)

The Kinoma/FLV stream looks gorgeous on the EVDO highspeed network.

I think you can set Kinoma to save the download for later viewing.

Youtube is going to be more difficult.

It has a lot more features.

Search/Find Related/Channels/Tags/Subject/More from this user.

I've already started putting something togeather, but it turns out Youtube has it's own API documents for download. I applied to get them... hopefully I'll get approved soon.

by Mike | Nov 4, 2006 2:43:41 PM

Andrew...you mentioned in the blog that it supports Flash movies. Do you know if supports flash audio? My radio station is now streaming with a new technology that does not require WMP or any player at all, it streams via Flash. (The company that provides the technology is StreamTheWorld.com) Do you think the Kinoma player would work with this?

by Bill Wood | Nov 6, 2006 10:00:41 PM

I installed Kinoma 4 and it works fine, however it removed my PTunes Deluxe install! I'm just reinstalling it now. What a pain.

Also, why does it scan my device everytime it launches - ugh!! PTunes has a much better interface.

I do like the Media Guide, and the fact that it plays streaming ASX music (and will turn off the Treo while doing so).

by Bill Wood | Nov 6, 2006 10:11:23 PM

Hey Dr Buzz, that site is great! Keep up the good work :-)

by Dave | Nov 7, 2006 12:25:11 PM

More observations: the definite allure of the Kinoma 4 EX player is streaming audio. Unfortunately, I seem to have a couple of issues.

One is that apparently some streams in the mobile directory require authentication, even though they are "free" streams. WSB-AM in Atlanta is a prime example. If you click through the webpage and listen live, there is a lengthy URL containing timestamp information. Copying that URL and running it from Kinoma returns a 401 error. Clicking through the Stream.mobi menu for radio stations in the Kinoma Media Browser gives the same error. Basically, as far as I can tell, the only way to avoid such an error for these types of streams is to stream through the web on a networked PC.

Second, on a Treo 650, I have terrible streaming rates for stations that exceed 40 kbps or so. Really, the only uninterrupted experience I have is with 24 kbps mono ShoutCasts. I'm sure this is due to insufficient bandwidth. Nonetheless, it would be nice if the streaming cache was more effective than it is.

All of this being said, I'm still impressed with the Kinoma product and I hope they continue to refine it. I'm also confident that the streaming experience would be substantially improved on the Treo 680. Now if only Cingular would start selling the darn thing so I could test my theory... :-)

by Mitchell | Nov 8, 2006 4:12:00 AM

At the risk of being pulled into the fray, Andrew has asked me to weigh in on some of these questions being raised.

Several things to start off.

1. If you find a station in the Kinoma Media Guide that is not working, tell us here: http://www.kinoma.com/index/media-guide-idea
or if you own the product, email support @ kinoma dot com. If you are missing a favorite station, tell us there too. We will investigate it and get back to you. We can't cover all the boards, but we do read all of our customer support mail. And if you want the station in the guide give us the link, not the page. We can only make the technology work that is in the player, so please stick with WM9, MPEG-4, MP3, & FLV links directly to the media.

2. We play standard FLV flash video files, including the audio. There are quite a few streamtheworld .pls links that already work, many are already being used in the in the guide. If you want to know for sure, email us the complete url and we will check it for you.

3. You can use Kinoma Player 4 EX as an XM subscriber. Use http://xstreamxm.com/mobile/ It works fine - you just need to login using the same account you setup for desktop streaming, and then pick a channel.

4. When you upgrade to Kinoma Player 4 EX, it will automatically take over from the built in 700p streaming player. Kinoma Media Embedded differs in the following ways:

- There is no local playback accessible through the OEM 700p application including playback of Windows Media Video 9, Flash and QTVR panoramas.

- There is no over the air streaming of Flash Video (FLV)

- There is no Kinoma Media Guide provided by Blazer 4.5

- You cannot store playlists for future use.

- You cannot beam bookmarks to other users, or email playlists that you have collected.

- You cannot manage your device bookmarks using an OPML manager web services.

- It is only accessible from Blazer 4.5. There are no icons or menus to allow you to manipulate the program from outside the browser.

- It does not support servers that require you to first download and then play the media.

* It does not allow over the air updating of the the application.

5. We have quite a conversation going on in the Kinoma Forum. Please look over the questions and answers there :

6. You can perform some simple YouTube searches from within Kinoma Player, using the Open URL dialog and the YouTube RSS tag feature.

The general form of search URL is this:


So for example, from within Kinoma Player, if you want to open a list of all YouTube clips tagged with "sleepy cat", you would enter this URL in the Open URL dialog:


7. Your connection speed will bring you joy or pain. Kinoma Player 4 EX has been tested extensively on Sprint, Verizon, Cingular, T-Mobile, Vodaphone, Orange, TIM, Amena, Telefonica, and the 02 networks to name a few. The folks with a TX, C, LifeDrive and WI-Fi cards will have a great time because of the huge pipe that WI-FI represents. If you are on GSM cell network and GPRS, there is not a lot of video that will fit through the pipe you own that will make you happy. Cingular is blocking all RTSP traffic presently, which will limit your choices further. You can always pause a larger http progressive download and play it when it is completely downloaded, but even some high quality audio will give you a hard time with GPRS connections.

8. About Trials. I will post here what we had placed in the forum. Kinoma is not the only company in this position. Hopefully this will cover the issue for all the media products you have been discussing, including products that you compare us to. We all are falling under the same restrictions. As your requirements for transparent media playback grow, the number of technology patents that are tripped over grow as well.

"We know you are not happy about it, and frankly we are not either. In order to provide you with the technology that the features in this product provide, we need to go along with some rules imposed on us.

We asked nicely.
We pointed out other examples where limited trials are allowed.
We explained that this would impact our sales and make customers unhappy.

We were unsuccessful in our request to change or bend the imposed rules to let us do this.

So we are stuck. We are sure that you can come up with a million examples of how or why we should provide a public trial anyway. (We did as well) But the truth is we can't and it pains us not to give you what you want.

So go easy on us. We will do what is right to make you happy with what we have to offer. We will be as specific as possible to answer any concerns before your purchase in our web site and documents. We will answer questions through our support team. We will fix bugs and make the best product possible. After shipping Palm media software for four years, we think it's a good risk to bet on Kinoma, but we understand that everyone won't feel that way. So give us a try. We think that Kinoma Player 4 EX will be the best entertainment you have on your Palm for the price of dinner in San Francisco. But if you had that dinner it would be just a memory. Our software will give you enjoyment for many, many months to come."

9. Kinoma Player 4 EX makes a wonderful helper application for paid for media services. Although you have thousands of free internet streaming links built into the product, you can use it with services like SmartVideo, and the Weather Channel to get the premium pay to view channels. SmarTVideo has provided a testing page and a demo application that works with the embedded Treo 700p application and Kinoma Player 4 EX. Try it here and have some fun:
The key is, you don't need to get yet ANOTHER media application to play your free or fee based media.

10. This is a pitch for a really fun but obscure feature. You can stream photocasts from iPhoto 6 accounts, photostreams from flickr and the feedburner. If you ever wanted to subscribe to a live photo feed and didn't have a laptop handy, this is the way to do it. (Sorry I just had to mention

11. Most if not all of the files on the Kinoma Mobile Gallery will work on the Treo 700p with Kinoma Media Embedded as well, if you are looking for things to try: http://www.kinoma.com/index/GallerySD-mobile. In fact the entire www.Kinoma.com web site can now be completely browsed on device, over the air and was optimized for this purpose.

12. Last, if you find the product works in unexpected ways, please tell us (really, we do want to hear from you) because the best ideas do come from our customers. Just remember to tell us at Kinoma.com so we get to hear what you have to say.

Thanks for listening

by Lily | Nov 21, 2006 4:03:06 AM

I do like to put forward one site that you can download kinds of software. Qweas.com offers services including software search, downloads, store, directory, and so on. http://www.qweas.com/

by Dr.Mamdouh | Dec 4, 2006 12:04:28 PM


by Srujan | Jan 5, 2007 2:34:52 AM

Does it play pandora?

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