I feel a little like a traitor writing this. I am an avid Mac user. Have been since 1988. I’ve been through all kinds of Macs and currently use an Imac G5 and an iBook G4 as my primary stations. I am a church planter and a graphic designer. Just a little quick background.
I knew what I wanted for Christmas ’05. My gadget-olotry was fueled by the intoxicating possibilities of the iPod video
… So I asked for one sweetly, persistently, and at the last, prostrated myself on the floor before my wife outlining all the reasons that I wouldn’t be able to live without one. Imagine my “surprise” Christmas a.m. when Santa had left me one! Black, shiny, 60 gigs of technological marvel. We left Arkansas for our annual New Mexico Christmas with her folks, and the iPod was all that I packed. Heck, I could buy undies, clothes, and deodorant anywhere. I spent the drive converting some of our movies to mp4 format and loading them on the iPod. Aaaah.
Four days later, I had Santa’s Remorse (this is a subtle form of Buyer’s Remorse experienced by those at Christmas who have received a gift but who know that it’s actually been paid for with their own money). Over $400 for a music gadget that plays videos on a small screen. And I don’t travel that much. So hello Ebay. Got my money back and thought I had left the whole movie-scene-on-a-gadget for good. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the ability to watch movies, but I couldn’t justify the cost of a gadget like the video iPod that was used only for entertainment.
Enter Ryan Kairer’s excellent article at palminfocenter.com. He lists 10 “Must-Have” Freeware Apps for the Treo. TCPMP is one of those. Some of you are chuckling to yourself, shaking your head at my wonderment. You’ve known about this for a long time. However, for me, it was an epiphany. I could watch videos on my Treo 650… in the same mp4 format that the iPod video uses? Amazing. Add in the productivity of the Treo as being a PDA and a phone (and it’s less than an iPod video on Ebay), and you’ve got an amazing combination.
I quickly installed TCPMP to my Treo, along with the plug-ins I thought I would use the most (included in the zip file). Then I copied my converted mp4 of “March of the Penguins” to my SD card, ran TCPMP and voila! Beautiful, crisp movie image running smoothly on my Treo! But no sound. Bummer. I got a message that said something like they removed the necessary AAC plug-in due to concerns from higher up muckity mucks. It didn’t take me too long to find Download tcpmp_aac_plugin.palmos.0.66.zip
on the net, which I installed immediately. Now I’m watching these penguins (and hearing them) run all over my brilliant Treo screen.
This process of video conversion and playback on the Treo has wonderful applications for ministry. We use video clips from Sermon Spice in our Sunday worship service pretty often. Imagine putting some of these on your Treo to help you illustrate thoughts to someone in a conversation, or as an opportunity to break the ice. You dream up the implications for your ministry. You could video a testimony of someone in your church, convert a funny video clip you get in your email and keep it on your SD card. It’s all a wonderful way to increase your ability to influence others in a creative fashion to consider the joy of following Christ.
BTW… this post has been posted at Mobile Ministry Magazine as well. Check it out here!