Act 1 Icon Act 1 Video Player

The best Android video player available!

Encoding Videos for Android: Quick Start

Here's the general steps you could take to get video files to play on Android devices:

The tricky part here is converting the videos so that Android understands them. Fortunately, there's a lot of desktop software out there that will do the trick. Since Android phones play the same video format as iPod (mp4/h264), you could just use anything that converts for iPod. But the iPod screen is much smaller than most Android devices, so the quality won't be as great. What you really want is something that will convert for your screen size. Most Android devices right now have a 320x480 screen. The new Droid has a 480x854 screen. Whatever your screen size, it's good to convert your video to be within the bounds of your screen, and optimally exactly matching one of the dimensions to prevent Android from having to scale the video.

Remember one important thing: converting videos with a lower bitrate makes for smaller files, smoother playback, and less battery consumption during playback. If you want to optimize your video playing experience, try tuning the video conversion to the lowest tolerable bitrate. I usually end up with videos using ~300kbps. Some applications like Videoa default to twice that rate, which I think is excessive. I mean, it's a small screen, and how much quality do you think you can expect from it? :-)

One thing I've noticed is A/V sync issues since the Android 1.6 (donut) release on the G1. This can happen because the CPU can't keep up with playback under high bitrates. Again, dropping the bitrate to ~300kbps seems to be the key to solving this problem.

Here's a list of desktop applications known to work:

I tried Videora for Android, but found it consistently introduced A/V sync problems in my videos. Bad Videora.

You can read this blog by Bruce Litl who has created an encoding profile for MeGUI that works for the G1. Bruce also encourages people to use EncodeHD which is a .NET application (Windows) that also has a profile for the G1. Please note that he also encourages use of Act 1 Video Player. :-)

Also check out this thread on Android Forums about optimizing video for Droid's larger screen and this article for a detailed walkthrough of using Handbrake to encode videos for Droid. Like video demos? Watch this video of encoding with Handbrake and playing with Act 1.

If you have any hints, suggestions, or conversion applications that work well for your, please email me and I'll post it here.

This site was designed to be easily read on devices with small displays and limited bandwidth.

If you have any questions or helpful hints about encoding and playing videos on Android platforms, please let me know. You can email me at: android at hyperaware dot com