Portable Pictures News

Some Stuff

June 27, 2009 by Mark N

I've been working on quite a lot of stuff lately, including some new features for PortablePictures. I spent a lot of time in May developing a system of storing persistent settings for PortablePictures, and it's almost done. I am very busy getting ready for college this summer though, so who knows when I will find the time to get it working and built...sorry! In other news, I've started a Google Code group for Portable Pictures, and I hope to eventually migrate everything over to that because it is a lot easier to maintain the code and binaries with Google. The reason I am keeping the SF page up is so I can show some of my web development. The new site is at http://code.google.com/p/portable-pictures/, and I am expecting to update it with new code a little bit more frequently than this site.


January 17, 2009 by Mark N

You know those moments when you want to smack your forehead because you did or said something kind of stupid? This is one of those moments. I'm not entirely familiar with all of the major video codecs, and so when I saw that the YouTube videos that Portable Pictures downloads have AVC1 video streams, I assumed that the videos wouldn't work on iPods. I even tested my assumption by attempting to load one onto my iPod. Turns out, I hadn't selected the video to be synced with my iPod, so the reason it wouldn't work was that it didn't get uploaded! I looked up the AVC codec today, and I realized that it's just a different name for .H264! To make a long story short, Portable Pictures downloads videos that are completely compatible with iPods 5G and up, and the 3G and 4G nanos. Selecting the "Convert video for iPod" option in iTunes simply compresses the video. It doesn't change the format. This just goes to show that you can't make assumptions, even about things you think are pretty straightforward!

Portable Pictures Updated

January 11, 2009 by Mark N

Well, it turns out there's a workaround for the troubles I'm currently having writing the video conversion functions for Portable Pictures. I have updated Portable Pictures so that it downloads videos in .mp4 format with mp4a audio and avc1 video streams. This means that iTunes has the ability to open and convert the file to a .mp4 file with a h264 video stream, which will play on the iPod! Just import the downloaded video file into iTunes, right click, and select "Convert For iPod." While this works, I would really like integrate video conversion into Portable Pictures, so I will continue to work on that, and also on improving the error checking and overall stability of the program. Email me with ideas for features at portableNOSPAMpictures@gmail.com (remove the nospam), I would really like to hear them!

Pre-Alpha Version of Portable Pictures

December 19, 2008 by Mark N

Just to give everyone a feel for how Portable Pictures will work, I will be putting up a development version of the program on this site soon. As of right now, it only has the ability to download videos in the .flv format that YouTube supplies them in. Also, there are no options as to where the video will be saved or what it is named. The video will be downloaded to whatever directory the Portable Pictures program is in. If you would like to play the .flv videos that you download, I highly recommend VLC. This version of Portable Pictures is not supported, since it is only intended to give everyone an idea of what the program will look like.

Progress Update

December 9, 2008 by Mark N

This is just an update on how my work on the video conversion part of Portable Pictures is coming. I'm definitely making progress, so expect that part of the program to be done within about 2 weeks, give or take a few days. I am still planning on releasing the first Portable Pictures binary after the basic features of the program (downloading and converting) have been finished. The downloading portion of Portable Pictures is fully functional, so once I have finished with the video conversion, I will immediately get to work on releasing a usable program for everyone!

The Portable Pictures website has been launched

November 30, 2008 by Mark N

The Portable Pictures website has been launched! After working on and off since July, 2008, its good to finally see a website up and running for this project. Portable Pictures will (hopefully) grow with time to include developers other than myself. In the meantime though, I am working on ironing out a few problems with the video converting aspect of the program. After that I will be able to release the first Windows binary of Portable Pictures! That's still a good 1-3 weeks off though, so check back soon!