11 Comments

Summary:

Want to watch Amazon’s Video On Demand content on a handheld? With a Windows PC, a Windows Mobile phone and Amazon’s Unbox Player software, the process is actually quite painless if you know what check-box to look for.

Somehow, I missed the fact that Amazon’s Video On Demand service supports mobile devices. Shame on me because I’m using the service on my computers and my HDTV. I simply never thought about taking the content with me for viewing on a handheld but Windows Mobile Thoughts got me thinking about it. In my defense, Amazon’s supported devices page only shows three devices: two from Nokia and one of the ARCHOS Internet Media Tablets. But after another click, I do see this from Amazon — “Most Plays for Sure compliant portable video players will work with the Unbox Video Player.”

So it turns out that you can cram that content into more devices than I thought. And instead of using another third-party application to encode the media files for your handset, Simple Mobile review says you basically just need to check a box when downloading media from Amazon. In the the Amazon Unbox Player for Windows PCs, there’s an option to grab a portable video file in addition to the full-sized one. Once you have the file, it’s only a matter of hitting the Devices tab in Amazon’s software and clicking the transfer button. The media file is sent to your Windows Mobile phone with no muss or fuss.

I don’t have a Windows Mobile device to test out the simple process, but I’m betting that some of our readers have already been toting around Amazon videos, so let us know what the content quality is like. I’d be curious to know which video file format Amazon uses, the video resolution, bit rate and such!

Related Research: “Making Movies Mobile

  1. Thomas Griffith Wednesday, February 3, 2010

    Kevin, I’ve been using Unbox for several years, downloading to an Archos 605 (I watch movies on the plane and when I run on the treadmill).
    I can’t get it to transfer to a WinMo phone (I have an HTC TouchPro).
    If someone can make this happen I would like to know also.
    Amazon help is pathetic. They give no help.
    Occasionally the Unbox stops accepting the DRM license and it won’t allow a transfer to the Archos. Amazon can’t fix it.

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    1. Ugh. Is DRM rearing it’s ugly head here? The odd thing is, I hit the Plays For Sure site and searched for the HTC phones that are supported. The Touch Pro on both Sprint and Verizon show as compatible, although I believe at there’s also a GSM version — not sure which you have.

      I’ll do some digging and post a comment if I find anything helpful. That situation sounds awful. :(

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  2. Hey Kevin…
    fwiw…I occasionally watch Amazon vids on WinMo. But rather than downloads, I use their Video on Demand, streaming in Skyfire. A bit inelegant…jumpy sometimes, but does the trick for a time-killer while the wife is in TJMaxx.
    T

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    1. A nice approach when you have connectivity — great idea! How’s the quality as compared to watching a local video?

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    2. When you coming to Houston, T? Coffee time. :)

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    3. Thomas Griffith Wednesday, February 3, 2010

      I’ll have to try that method when I don’t have my Archos around.

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  3. Kevin: the quality…well…it kinda sux. Depends on service strength, of course. The stream will get stymied by action and fast edits – then catches up. But we’re talking TV – which, even in these nascent HD times, is mostly shots of yakking with a burst of action just prior to the commercial break (at least that’s the comfy “House” pattern). So it’s tolerable.

    Rambling a bit, one of my fav sources of mobile vid fare is the Wayback Archive. They’ve got a huge Chaplin, Lloyd and Keaton library. Turns out, for me, silent flix are new again – perfect for mobile devices. No earbuds to hassle with, and, hey, the original image quality is pretty dicy anyway, so not much is being compromised, visually. They actually look great on my TouchPro2. The Archive has mobile sized files of most of their vids. And the material is world-class. Download Chaplin’s “The Pawnbroker” or “The Circus” and marvel at his still-fresh genius – for free.

    James! I’m yearning to get down there to visit my Hedge partner in Austin, my Mom in Conroe, and a client in Houston – basically as a cunning ruse to grab some frappucino time with JK. Holding me back: my boy’s senior year in Omak High. It seems like every week has some huge School event… sports… band… social. The Bayou calls, though – I’ll give you fair warning.

    Thanks, guys….T

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  4. nice to know but you couldn’t borrow a windows device to test it out 1st?

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  5. I have a Sprint TOuch Pro, and I got the files to transfer to my device, and play…
    I found what you have to do is connect the device using either ActiveSync or Windws Mobile Device Center. Connecting as a disk drive will not work.

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  6. I tried this with my Samsung Omnia. It transferred, but did not work. Windows could not acquire a license. When I asked Amazon, the only answer I got was “not supported”. I explained that the website also says “plays for sure” devices should be supported, but apparently they only care about the “pictured” devices. Anyhow – seems to be limitations in the way Internet Explorer works on the phone.

    The new challenge – when is Android support coming?

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    1. I have unbox videos on my omnia i910 with verizon. They will only play through the windows media player that comes with windows mobile, they will not play with the touch player that samsung provides. I did find that I couldnt play my unbox videos until my drm was updated. (it has eluded me what exactly the pop-up said and then took me to a windows website but it is definitely possible. i plan on getting a droid x next week and was thinking the same thing, when is android support going to be there, might just have to go with their blockbuster app.

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