The BlackBerry has become a multimedia machine over the past few years, especially now that new models boast a high-res screen. Yet one of the most frequent complaints we get is how difficult (or convoluted) it is to transfer regular video files to the BlackBerry. The video on your computer sometimes isn’t optimized for viewing on your handheld. In order to view files, you’ll have to reduce the resolution to fit your BlackBerry screen. Thankfully, we’ve seen a number of applications over the years which can do just that. In this post we’ll run down a few of our favorites. If we don’t cover what you use, let us know in the comments or send an email (jpawlikowski at bbgeeks) and we’ll add it to the post.
We covered the release of RealPlayer SP, and were quite excited at the prospects. The problem with most conversion software is that it doesn’t come from well-known vendors — and if it does, it costs a few dollars. RealPlayer promised an easy conversion process from a well-known brand. Not only can it convert video to your specific BlackBerry device, but it can also download flash videos from the Web, converting them and transferring them with ease. In theory it works brilliantly. After you download or locate the correct video, you click Copy To, select your device, and you’re off. The conversion isn’t exactly fast — at least it wasn’t on my Mac. I also had some issues with the video controls on some downloaded .flv videos from YouTube. Still, those are small peanuts when you consider the price, free. RealPlayer offers the best combination of functionality and price. Best of all, unlike most of the other applications on this list, it works with Mac. You can get RealPlayer SP at Real.com.
Short for Simplified Universal Player Encoder & Renderer, SUPER provides an excellent video conversion experience. Like RealPlayer it’s free, and I’m not really sure how. Sure, it has a few bugs, but what free software doesn’t? Despite these bugs, it converts just about every file type, to almost any file type. It works with tons of mobile devices, and works with .3gp files, which are perfect for BlackBerry viewing. Ronen from BerryReview prefers this software. Part of the ease, he notes, is that you need not install any codecs. It all comes with it, making me wonder even more how it’s free. Just make sure the output codec is MPEG-4, and that you set the video scale size to your BlackBerry: 320×240 for older models, 240×260 for the Pearl, and 480×360 for the newer, high-res models. You can get SUPER at erightsoft.com. It is a PC only application.
BlackBerry Video Converter
There’s something about paid applications that seems safe. I know that a price tag doesn’t mean a product will be reliable, but some people prefer that route. To that end, here are some premium applications that I’ve seen some positive reviews of:
- Any Video Converter. They have a number of video converting and DVD ripping software. Check out their catalog. The basic app costs $29.99, though they do have a free version — and a Mac version.
- BlackBerry Converter Suite. It converts most video types for your BlackBerry, including DVDs. It’s a bit more expensive at $35.
- Nidesoft BlackBerry Video Converter. A bit cheaper at $25 even.
I’d probably give the free options, especially the RealPlayer, a shot before going with a premium application. If that doesn’t do what you want it to, then you can pay for an application.