kinoma

For the uninitiated, Kinoma Play (and FreePlay) is one of the very best multimedia apps available for Windows Mobile. The slick UI, support for numerous media types, social integration, and massive content selection make Kinoma one of those apps that really sets the bar for everyone else. For those of you still using Kinoma on a regular basis, an update is available for both Play and FreePlay. This update apparently addresses issues with YouTube playback.

Anybody out there still using Kinoma on a regular basis?

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Kinoma Play, one of our favorite Windows Mobile multimedia players has been updated and now sports location-based features and has tied it into its built-in Twitter app. (Pretty cool for spying on your tweeting neighbors.)

In addition, tweets containing YouTube or Flickr images now open within Kinoma Play instead of launching a browser.

There are a few more bugfixes and updates in this build, too. Find 'em all on the Kinoma blog, and get the update directly in the Kinoma Play app.

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Kinoma Play just got another update that fixes some nagging issues some of you were seeing previously. The Youtube function was having trouble playing the occasional video and has been fixed. There also have been a number of improvements made to the embedded Twitter app in Version 5.1.56, as well as to the App Store by Mobihand and a few of the advanced settings.

There's more info about all the fixes on the Kinoma blog. You may be prompted that the update's ready for download, or you can go to the Right softkey>Player>Check for updates to get things rolling.

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5

Sync Kinoma Play to iTunes with Salling Media

On my computer, you will find nary a sign of any Apple software as iTunes stopped being a "neat" app about, I dunno, 4 years ago.

But for those of you who still load that behemoth and want to sync with your trusty Kinoma Play on WinMo (see update), looks like your dream is now a reality due to some third-party freeware by Salling Software.

According to Kinoma, which is officially supporting this method, Salling Media Sync "...automatically identifies phones running Kinoma Play and syncs all the audio formats that Kinoma Play supports." 

The app is "free" for basic use but will cost ya' $22 beans for you heavy sync'ers and those wanting faster sync times (I'd imagine that would be everyone?).  Hey, if the Pre can do it, so can WinMo.  Hmph!

Update: Looks like Kinoma has rolled out a small update from previous v5.1.46 to v5.1.48.

Mostly looks like a "cleaning up" update after the big one just recently, as this tidies up some naming conventions, UI interaction, G-sensor adjustments and just general patches.  It also seems to be a bit speedier, though I still have to wait 2-4 seconds to go back to the launcher on my Treo Pro.  Hmm.

Other changes include:

  • More Home shortcuts — The last released introduced a super-convenient shortcut that lets you go Home just by holding the Center key on your 5-way. Now, you can press-and-hold the Back button as well.
  • Live365 — The “More” now works correctly for stations listings and presets, and we fixed an issue where audio scrobbling didn’t work for everyone.
  • Facebook Media — We updated the terminology to match the current Facebook style (i.e. “What are you thinking?”).
  • Get Apps — We improved the way screen shots appear on screen to make your eyes happier.
  • Improved press-and-hold feedback — Now when you press-and-hold on lists and grids to bring up the menu pod, a nifty icon appears to show when you’ve pressed long enough. Didn’t mean to do that? Just drag the screen to continue doing what you were doing.

Get the update now via

Menu --> Player --> Check for Updates!

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We teased you a bit the other day with video of the latest version of Kinoma Play (albeit in Japanese), but now it's ready for the rest of us, in English.

This is a major upgrade for Kinoma Play that they're dubbing a "Social Media Browser," and new features include customizable Kinoma home pages, Facebook integration, direct access to the Mobihand app store, Twitter integration, Last.fm, a built-in RSS reader, a free gigabyte of space from Box.net, the already outstanding Yoututbe player and support for Flickr and Picasa.

Another new feature (to Kinoma at least) is support for the AVRCP Bluetooth protocol, aka the ability control playback from a Bluetooth device. Huzzah!

For those of you already rocking the full version of Kinoma Play (watch our original review here), the update should be available the next time you launch the app. (Or you can get it manually with the "Check for update" function.) If you're looking to buy, it'll run you $29.99. That's definitely not cheap for a Windows Mobile app, but, in our opinion, you get what you pay for here. (And for those of you wondering, Kinoma FreePlay will get an update, too.)

Learn more over at Kinoma.com, and the full presser's after the break.

Update: After applying the upgrade, you'll have to re-save all of your "favorites" within Kinoma Play. I could find most of mine in the Kinoma Guide, but you may want to track down some of your lesser-known links in advance. But this also gives you the opportunity to add the to the home screen and try that out. But be forewarned.

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If we had to pick one thing to be excited about in the coming year, the 1Ghz Snapdragon processors would be high on the list. And here we get a look at it hand-in-hand on a variant of the Toshiba TG01 with a future build of Kinoma Play, the uber-multimedia player of which we've been fans for a while.

What's really interesting with this new build is that it becomes a home screen within the Windows Mobile shell, with different pages you can pan through. (Yep, it's a lot like the iPhone's home screen. Can't say we blame 'em. And we like the idea of extra pages above and below.)

There's also a built-in app store, with downloaded apps sent straight to the Kinoma home screen. The already very functional podcatcher gets a refresh, and a full-on RSS reader will be added.

Yeah, this demo's done on a phone with some major processing power. (That's the version of the TGO1 that's destined for Japan's NTT docomo network.)  But we definitely like the direction that Kinoma play's going. No release date yet, so we'll be checking Kinoma's Web site.

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4

Kinoma Play unleashes update No. 3

Call us fans ('cause we are), but it's nice to see regular updates like this from a Windows Mobile developer, with the updates implemented from inside the application.

And without further ado, the latest update to Kinoma Play brings improvements to:

The file scanner (one of our biggest sources of consternation):

  • Kinoma Play now scans for media when you select My Media Files, instead of on startup. This is especially convenient when you launch Kinoma Play primarily to play online media.
  • You can now choose between Automatic and Manual scanning in Settings > Library.
    Even with Automatic scanning turned on, scanning can now be canceled other than the first time a new source — like a new Storage Card — is detected.
  • A new Scan command appears at the top of My Media Files if Kinoma Play detects that My Media Files may not be up-to-date (i.e. if a previous scan was canceled, or if Automatic scanning is off).

Indeed, those are all good improvements.

Playback on screens that rotate (a la the Touch Diamond, et al):

  • On the HTC Touch Diamond, Kinoma Play now uses its orientation sensor to automatically rotate the screen to the correct orientation (0, 90, and 270°)
  • Software keyboards (SIPs) are now handled properly on rotated screens.
  • Rotated video playback performance has been improved on some phones.

Good. Good. And finally:

  • Kinoma Play responds more quickly to the appearance and disappearance of Bluetooth audio devices, like Bluetooth headphones and speakers.
  • The installer now works on “Tier 2” phones, which have more stringent security requirements. For anyone who experienced a “security failure” on installation, this release should fix that.
  • This release includes preliminary support for the soon-to-be-released Sony Ericsson Xperia X1.

Excellent. Even better than just offering bug fixes is looking ahead to the future, assuming that darn Xperia X1 ever sees the light of day. Now just give us some AVRCP love, and we'll be happy campers. Fire up Kinoma Play and get your update.

To read what we got the in first two updates, click here and here. And if you still haven't tried Kinoma Play, check out Dieter's excellent review.

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2

Kinoma Play gets another update

Another Friday, another software update from the folks at Kinoma. We could get used to this kind of treatment.

This time around we get clipboard auto-paste, handy for entering URLs; an honest to goodness exit menu command; power management fixes; an improvement to the auto scan; and network issues.

Give the update a go, and let us know in the comments if you're seeing any improvement in your scan time.

And check in after the jump for the full list of fixes in Version 5.0.60.

Full list of updates:

  • Open URL now features “clipboard auto-paste” — if you’ve previously copied a URL, it’ll be entered by default.
  • You can now exit Kinoma Play with the new Exit command, available from Kinoma Play’s main screen in the Player menu. Previously, Microsoft strongly preferred that Windows Mobile handle exiting automatically. Recently, Microsoft updated their guidelines to allow for PC-style exit commands. You can still let the Windows Mobile handle this for you if you prefer.
  • All known power management issues have been fixed. Now you can turn off the screen manually on Windows Mobile Professional/Pocket PC and Kinoma Play will keep playing as you’d expect, just as it previously has on Windows Mobile Smartphone. (Note: A handful of phones shut off Wi-Fi when you shut off the screen. That’s a bug in the Wi-Fi driver that can only be fixed by the phone maker.)
  • We found some phones that misreported the type of CPU they have, which could cause slower-than-expected video performance and occasionally even crashes. We’ve come up with a workaround that should fix this for any affected phones.
  • The media scanner now automatically excludes more folders used by apps (TomTom, GoodSync) that put application image/audio resources in unexpected places.
  • We fixed a rare scenario where Kinoma Play would wake up grumpy after going to sleep while doing network access, and consequently use way too much CPU time.
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4

Kinoma Play gets its first software update

Launched less than two weeks ago, the Kinoma Play media player (check out our full review) already has rolled out its first update.

The update mostly appears to be bug fixes or "improvements."

The deets:

  • More "finger-friendly" for phones with hi-resolution (VGA+) screens, including the HTC Touch Diamond.
  • On touchscreen phones, the menu pod supports left and right swipes to move between menus.
  • Norwegian language support (hilsener!).
  • Improved support for phones with both slide-out QWERTY keyboards and phone keypads.
  • Improved support for resuming video and audio streamed with Orb (requires Orb v2.01.0017 or newer).
  • Improved compatibility with podcast feeds hosted by FeedBurner (say, for instance, the WM Experts podcast!)
  • Improved Google Video compatibility.
  • Correct presentation of multipart Audible audiobooks.

According Kinoma's blog, the application should automatically notify you of the update. Or, you can manually go to Player>Check for Updates.

We'd still like to see some adjustments to automatic (and overaggressive) media scan on startup. And any improvement to the memory footprint would be a good thing (when is it not?).

But for an application still in its Windows Mobile infancy, an upgrade this early is an obvious sign (as is the activity on Kinoma's forum as well as our own) that the company is paying attention.

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Those of you who have come up from the PalmOS to Windows Mobile have probably heard of Kinoma's Player, which combines a comprehensive mobile media guide with a player that supports a wide range of codecs -- think of it as SprintTV plus Podcacher plus YouTube plus flickr streamer plus music player ...minus stupid extra fees. Even if you haven't used Kinoma, you should know that Kinoma powers what little video power your Centro has these days.

Well take a look at the newly redesigned Kinoma homepage. They're talking about a mystery product called (for now) “Kinoma ???” Alright, we'll bite: we think it's a Windows Mobile version of Kinoma. Why would we say that? Could it be the gigantic Motorola Q9c at the top of the page?

We like Kinoma. We hope what they bring will make us love them, because Kinoma was one of those great pieces of software on the PalmOS that gives us teeny tiny second thoughts about Windows Mobile. ...from time to time.

thanks to Doc31 for the tip!

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