When you first toss the disk in, this is the autorun menu you will be presented with. Remember, you will only need the driver portion of this disk in the event you are running a pre WinME based operating system. After your driver needs are addressed, just install the utility and you'll be off and running.
So you have installed the included utility and fired it up; this is what you will see. It doesn't have a lot of controls, so is pretty much idiot-proof. This ease of use is a very welcome sight since we have already put our time and effort into the encoding of the media file to begin with, so this is nothing more than getting that media ready for play on the MP4 F610 device. There are a few features that should be addressed, though.
The drop-down menu labeled "Quality Level" allows you to decide what quality you want for your converted media. This is for video media only and is not required for playing audio files. The menu shows you the quality level and also an estimated file size in MB per hour of video length.
As a side note, I found this drop down menu to be very handy for smaller files, but if you want to convert a full length feature film, you will receive some errors if using this method. For these larger files I had to go into the "Custom" level. Here is what you will have to tweak in this area:
While not a professional editing control panel, these menus will allow you to convert most full-sized movies to the standard required for this device. All I had to do to get these files to convert was to raise the middle drop down value to a higher level. The menu I'm talking about is the one labeled "Graphic Data Size in 1 sec". Raise this value and it should take care of those errors. It did in my cases regardless of the Codec used for the file. You can tweak other areas if you like, but it should not be necessary unless you just want to play around. Just remember that the higher the quality levels, the higher the file size will be.
Moving back to the main menu screen allows us to look at the choices for the display dimensions. The MP4 F610 has a native display size of 128x128 pixels, but you can set up your conversion file for whatever you like. As with other tweaks you perform, the higher the resolution you choose, the larger the file size will be.
Now that we our settings finished up and a movie file chosen to convert, just hit the "Convert" button and wait. This isn't necessarily a quick process, but I've had other converting tools take longer so it wasn't a big deal to allow it to run in the background and do other things.
To give you an idea as to what kind of times I experienced, a 715MB AVI file took about 23.5 minutes to convert using the custom settings required to complete the conversion. The result was a 292MB file to be transferred to the player. This works out to a 59% reduction in file size for the AVI format.
For those with a store of MPG files, I converted a 183MB file in about 2.75 minutes using those same custom settings. The converted file size was 46MB in size representing a 75% reduction in file size. Since a vast majority of my video files are in AVI format, I was unable to use a file size that was about the same for both tests, but the MPG seemed to give a much quicker conversion per MB and also gave a smaller footprint. Both files played well, so the only real limitation will be storage capacity on the device.
With regards to different Codecs used for ripping video media, I tested both DivX and XviD and both gave equally good results. Since these two types of coding are by far the most popular, I limited my testing to these two.
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