Best Content Encoding for iPod Touch and iPhone

As you know form my earlier post we are embarking on a pilot program at Sun to deliver learning to our Fields Sales, Field Service, Field Sales Engineers, and Professional Services.

As we work out the design the design of the system, the manner of the content encoding becomes very critical to provide maximum streaming performance to users over WiFI.

So the questions are being from the content creators..What is the best encoding“

Well...we are going to be doing some testing but here is some information and the baseline encoding we plan to use for the initial effort.

iPod Touch and iPhone Support the Following Formats

  • H.264 baseline Profile Level 3.0 up to 640 X 480 at 30fps
  • Movies should fit within 480 X 360
  • ”B“ frames are not allowed in Baseline Profile (used for HD)

Also

  • MPEG-4 Part 2 (Simple Profile)
  • All iPod palyable movies and audio

Bitrate may be the most  important thing to get right

With traditional iPod, content is synced via iTunes Bitrate only affects size on disk
With iPod Touch and iPhone, content can and we are planning on it arriving over the net -  Bitrate determines whether playback will stall

Consider the size

iPod Touch / iPhone screen is 480 X 320
Pick and encoded movie size within 480 X 360

Ideal Encodings

Use Quicktime pro - mov -> iphone conversion for WiFi Delivery
900 kbit H264 in 480 X 360
128 kbit AAC-LC
.m4v file

Quicktime Pro - mov -> iphone (celluar)
64 bit H264 in 176 X 144
16 kbit AAC-LC
.3gp file

You can also use any MPEG-4 encoding tool as long as you make sure you select ” Baseline Profile“ and you pick encoded size within 480 X 360
you can use any tool mpeg-4 enciding IF


What will we use?

In subsequent phases we will encode all our content in all three formats required to deliver max performance over EDGE, WiFI and Desktop and will make use of @media query tags in the html to determine the capacity of the device and pipe and deliver up the right encoding...however for Phase 1 of the Beta we plan to optimize to the iPod Touch / iPhone using  the following;


Use Quicktime pro - mov -> iphone conversion for WiFi Delivery
900 kbit H264 in 480 X 360
128 kbit AAC-LC
.m4v file

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About

I served as Chief Architect of Sun's Developers Tools and recently took on the challenge of managing the Sun Learning Services global technology architecture and infrastructure as Chief Technologist of Sun Learning Services.

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