Making the N9 the best video player [Nokia Challenge Idea]

Nokia IdeasProject is currently running a challenge for the users to submit their ideas on how to improve the Nokia N9 experience.

I have submitted my idea which is to improve the Video Player on the N9.

I truly want a better video player on the N9 and would love for Nokia to do it themselves.
So if you agree with my idea and would like the same, please hit the LIKE button for it.

I know this isn’t 1 idea. But it can be considered as 1 idea in terms of providing a better “default video player” to the N9 and potentially all future Nokia phones.

Edit: Oops. That N9 challenge is for ideas on the user interface. Well, I guess some of my idea is related to the user interface for the N9. =P


Here are my ideas for improving the video player on the N9

1. Non-pausing video

– Make the video player have the option in the settings to “not” pause the video when it is not in the foreground.
– If technically possible, the live thumbnail of the video in the task switchershould show the video still playing.
– If not possible, show a video plkayer icon or a title of the video in text so that you can tell what it is
– This will make the N9 even more “special” as a proper multitasking phone.

EDIT: If you want this right now, you can have it by using the KMPlayer on the N9.
It’s not perfect as seeking is done while video is not visible etc. But at least it can be done.

2. Smaller thumbnails in video player

– The video player currently lists the videos with a very large thumbnail.
– This causes unnecessary scrolling when there is a large amount of video.
– I would like to propose that we get an option to choose the way it lists the video.
– Maybe, default large thumbnail, small thumbnail or a detailed list view without thumbnailing.
– This should reduce the need to try and search for the video using the search bar on the top.

3. Screen lock mode (aka kid mode)

– Implement a lock touch screen feature where the touch screen doesn’t respond to any touches while playing a video.
– This is necessary when a young child is given the device to watch a cartoon / video for a short period.
– This feature already exists in the default video player of Samsung Galaxy S2 and is triggered by pressing the power button during playback.
– Even better would be to have an option to allow edge swipe motions as it normally does but only block everything else.

EDIT: This is also possible to a certain degree by using the KMPlayer mentioned above in point #1.
KMPlayer does not pause the video just by touching the screen. But it does close if you touch X button.

4. Sorting options

I would like at least a few sorting options such as last watched, date created, length etc if possible.
Also would be great to be able to categorize them to separate the N9 captured videos, movies, tv shows, kid cartoon videos etc.

5. Better Seeking

I’m not sure if you tried but trying to rewind/fast forward small increments is just PAINFUL. Try playing a video and then try to seek 30 seconds backwards. It takes extreme concentration and trial and error to get there. It surely needs forward/backward buttons on the screen and allow it to be set to specific time jump intervals. (such as 1sec, 5 sec, 15 sec etc) Then I’ll be able to easily jump back and forth to the time I want using accurate button preses.

6. Multiple instances of the video player.

– Allow multiple instances of the video player with paused video of different videos.
– But this means it is best to not allow continous playback of video in the background mentioned in idea #1 above.
– So this will require a OR option where you can either have continous playback or multiple instance but not both at same time.
– This will allow quick switching between various videos at different points of playing time.
– It just makes more sense as N9 is all about swipe multitasking.

7. Subtitle support

To some people (not me necessarily), this is very important and won’t get a phone that doesn’t support this. SMI, SRT files are very common for animation etc and would be good to support this also. (and allow change of subtitle display font and size from settings)

8. Continuous playback while screen is off / locked

– Many people listen to music videos or sometimes just want to listen to a video while walking / commuting / relaxing.
– In many cases, the display doesn’t need to be left on as the user has closed their eyes or it’s in the pocket etc.
– This wastes the battery as currently the video player needs to have the screen permanently ON.
– It would be very handy if you can simply lock the phone and turn off the screen with the video player still continuously playing just like what the music player does.
– But then when the phone is unlocked again, you can still continue watching the video again. I have been doing this with Nokia N900 and it is simply brilliant.
– This should also be implemented with an option in the settings to enable / disable this feature as some will prefer it to pause instead when locking the phone.

5 thoughts on “Making the N9 the best video player [Nokia Challenge Idea]”

  1. As you stated, this is not as much UI related as it is behaviour related.

    However, to add to your ideas you should define said behaviour better and not be contradicting. You first ask to not pause the videos when put into background, then you ask to have multiple open and automatic pause when set to background.

    I suggest you have a setting for the media player that is true or false stating: “Pause when out of focus” or something like it.

    Also, the idea of playing with a black screen should be put in it’s proper place. All video containers today have separate streams for audio and video and if you want a “play audio” function, you should ask them to allow the music player to play the mixed-media (video and audio) streams in a way that entirely skips the decoding of the video stream where possible. (Sometimes audio is synchronized by video, which mean video decoding may be necessary).

    Thanks! Thumb up 0

    1. Yeah. My idea wasn’t the best worded one. Hmm. I pretty much copied and pasted straight from a forum so it’s probably a bit too informal. I might actually change that a bit. Thanks.

      Yeah, that can easily be resolved by a single option in the video player as you also suggested. (which I actually expected also if such feature was implemented) I guess I wasn’t very clear as I didn’t mentioned that. I will add that in also.

      The last part is not the way I want however. I want it to be playing the “video” portion also even if I lock the screen so that when I unlock it, it is stil playing and I can continue watching the video. Last thing I want is for a music player to play my video file and just play the audio portion of it. I’m sure you understand.

      Hmm. Anyways, thanks for the feedback. I was thinking of re-wording the whole thing so that it sounds a bit more formal. I guess I should do it sooner than later. =)

      Thanks! Thumb up 0

    2. Jonas, I have changed some of the key points to ensure that it doesn’t just sound like ranting and hopefully give a little more idea as to how it can be implemented. Thanks.

      Thanks! Thumb up 0

  2. Jay, I agree with all of your commentary about the N9. Its a stylish and dumbed down N900. I was shocked to learn that subtitles are not supported. That upset me. Mkv container playback is also a lottery as well….
    the twitter application is also a lag-fest…..
    But I am very impressed with the unit overall it is a monster. I am less impressed with Nokia australia promising me a test unit and then not providing me with it. Massive PR fail…….I got mine anyway;black and 64gb.
    the media player can be improved along with the twitter app. the camera rocks but the pr has been disappointing. keep up the good work Jay!

    Thanks! Thumb up 0

    1. It plays MKVs but N900 only seem to support HW acceleration on H264 “base” profile. Not even main profile is accelerated from my testing. Base profile H264 plays perfectly however up to 720p at least.

      For Twitter, just create an App icon using the web browser to mobile.twitter.com for at least an alternative option of twitter on the N9. =P

      Anyways, PR1.1 is due out soon and may provide some improvements in the areas we feel its lacking it. (since they made over 3500 commits to PR1.1)

      Thanks! Thumb up 0

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