Did you know that the Nintendo Wii can play user videos? I didn’t, but the Wii can apparently play videos through a user’s SD card. I also didn’t know what format they have to be converted into in order to be played back — Motion JPEG.
There is a Windows program based on — what else? — FFmpeg called Wii Video 9 that handily converts anything into the accepted multimedia format. From the Sony PlayStation 3 and PSP to the Apple iPod and now the Nintendo Wii, the trend is for consumer electronics devices to be able to play user videos. But they usually support more advanced formats like MPEG-4 and H.264. I’m guessing that part of the Wii’s comparably low price is directly attributable to lower multimedia technology licensing costs.
I don’t know why I find it so humorous to read the Wii Video 9 forum posts, such as “Why are the converted files so HUGE?” I think we all need to respect that the deeper aspects of multimedia technology are not second nature to the general populace. One day, this stuff may truly be transparent and ubiquitous. Until then, Monsieur Scandragon has a point when he rants, “It doesn’t matter how bad it is at playing compressed video.. 10 seconds at BAD quality should NEVER be 25MB!!”
I have been too lazy to try the program myself. I wonder if it’s normal MJPEG data, or if it is unescaped data like that seen in the THP format common on the Nintendo GameCube. I also wonder about the audio format. Presumably, if they were too cheap to license MPEG-4 or H.264 video codecs, they’re not going to license MP3 or AAC either. I am guessing either straight PCM or their own custom ADPCM format.