Current Cover (3068 bytes)
Current Cover

Navigation Bar (3057 bytes)
Homepage (723 bytes)

Pen Computing Magazine Masthead (5407 bytes)


Mazingo takes news a step further with video downloads

by Shawn Barnett

Posted May 23, 2003

A story about Microsoft's Sync and Go was going to appear here, taunting Palm developers to come up with an equivalent video playback service for the new ARM-based Palm OS devices. But that became unnecessary when Mazingo announced their Palm OS service in late April. They're still working on a few bugs for the Palm version, but it's already quite a bit better than Sync & Go.

The frame rate is about 15 to 20 frames per second, according to company representatives, and pixelation is minimal; that's not at all true on S&G, which is choppy and blocky. On the Tungsten T, colors aren't very vibrant, but that changes when you play it on the new Zire 71 or Tungsten C. While the Mazingo service has its own application on the Pocket PC, they use the Kinoma Player on Palm OS devices.

As I say, it's a work in progress for Palm devices, and there are a few drawbacks. First, audio doesn't sync up with the video, which is more noticeable when the video is as smooth as it is on Mazingo; Sync & Go gets a pass because it's so jerky you can hardly tell. Volume tends to vary from file to file, even two files from the same source can require 75% adjustment from one to the other. The download and sync process is also not ideal. HotSyncing really isn't an option, and the company emphasizes that one should use a card reader instead. Just to see, I tried HotSyncing 101.3MB of video files to the card and it took 2.5 hours. Copying the same amount of data directly from their site to the card on a card reader took 20 minutes. This is comparable to Sync & Go, if not faster. Content is decidedly Canadian in origin, no NBC news here, but it's good content all the same. The final difference is that Mazingo is a pay service, US$14.95 a month. You can get a 24 hour day pass to check it out for US$6.95. I look forward to seeing more as the service develops. When it comes to sheer video performance, Mazingo is the clear leader. - -SAB

-Shawn Barnett

Back to Palm Section

[Features] [Showcase] [Developer] [Members] [Subscribe] [Resources] [Contacts] [Guidelines]

All contents ©1995-2003 Pen Computing Magazine, Inc. All rights reserved.
Unauthorized reproduction in any form is strictly prohibited.
Contact the Pen Computing Publishing Office for reprint information