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Watching DVDs with Nokia E70

  • Tuesday, July 31 2007 @ 01:56 PM UTC
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Although Nokia E70 is capable of showing full length movies, I haven't found any place where you could buy or download anything else except trailers. Only possibility seems to be to rip your own DVDs and convert them to E70. There are some commercial products for Windows for that.

How about already existing tools in standard Linux distribution?

Since I wasn't willing to pay for converting software, I checked what you can do with ffmpeg which usually comes with all Linux distributions. Fast test with standard ffmepg on Ubunty Edgy Eft didn't succeed. I checked what Google has to say about this and found following blog.

enable mp3 and amr support in ffmpeg ( Ubuntu Edgy Eft )

After recompiling ffmpeg I was able convert Kill Bill vol. 1 to 5 mp4 files which I was able to watch with my E70. With vobcopy (using -l flag) I could have produced one huge vob file to be converted, but since S60 RealPlayer is not able to forward or rewind films, I decided it's better have film in 20 minute long files instead of one huge file.

I used following ffmpeg options to do conversion:

ffmpeg -i vts_01_1.vob -f mp4 -vcodec mpeg4 -b 250000 -r 15 -s 352x288 -acodec aac -ar 24000 -ab 64 -ac 2 bill_1_1.mp4

This has to be done for all vob files found on DVD you're going to watch. I didn't include vts_01_0.vob since that is DVD menu which is not usable on S60 RealPlayer. I also tried to set resolution to 320x240 instead of 352x288, which should be native for E70, but picture was a bit pixeled. Both of the resolutions seemed to stretch the screen a bit. I added first "-aspect 16:9" and after "-aspect 4:3" to ffmpeg options but picture still seemed occationally a bit "strectched".

It should be quite easy to include subtitles to film but I didnít bother this time. The overall result of the conversion was satisfactory, and I believe I'll convert some other films to my E70 as well. Mobile phone with small display like Nokia E70 isn't very optimal for watching movies, but it's very likely I'll find it better than nothing on long flights.

I have 2GB memory card, which could store 3 to 4 films at the time depending on how much storage is used for other applications and data. Watching a movie on E70 doesn't consume much battery power, which isn't the case when you are watching movies with laptop. Plus that I don't carry a laptop everywhere.

Update: To get subtitles I first used dvdrip to produce AVI file with subtitles included. I converted this AVI to mp4 file using ffmpeg with same options as above. This took a lot of time, and subtitles are quite small to read from E70's display. I wouldn't include subtitles if I really wouldn't need them.