MMS Podcast to your mobile phone

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Tom Keating
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MMS Podcast to your mobile phone

Recently, Tea Vui Huang told me about his new application for Multimedia Messaging (MMS) that creates "bite-size" podcasts for your mobile phone. An MMS message is a multimedia presentation that encompasses images and audio clips. This innovative new telco software converts Enhanced Podcasts into chapters of MMS messages. The MMS podcasts can then be fetched on demand by the user, or pushed to the user on a subscription basis. This novel software converts enhanced podcast into J2ME Midlets. The J2ME Java Podcasts can be downloaded to the mobile like any other Java application. Cool stuff! B)

MMS Podcast is an Enhanced Podcast to MMS (Multimedia Message) converter for Mobile Phones. It is to be used by Podcasters / Service Providers / Telcos / Cellcos to convert Enhanced Podcasts to MMS messages. The resulting MMS messages would be pushed to the user on request (e.g. via a WAP menu). It does not require iTunes, iPodder or any podcast downloader.

So the question you might be asking is why? Well, most mobile phones are not able to play MP3 audio files, but they can play (MMS) AMR audio files. Also MP3 audio files are relatively large for mobile phones, AMR files are 3-6 times smaller in size. In addition, most mobile phones audio players do not have a "rewind" button. Thus if the playback is interrupted by a call etc, the user will have to listen from the start of the podcast. With this software, the podcast is split into chapters, hence resuming playback is not as disruptive.

Here's some info from his website:

Enhanced podcasts (podcasts with m4a, m4b or m4p extensions) are essentially podcasts with images that are displayed in sync with the podcast. APPLE: You can use Chapter Tool to create Enhanced Podcasts that work with iTunes 4.9 or later. Enhanced podcasts are podcasts that contain chapters. Chapters can be modified to display pictures or web links that can be displayed within the iTunes song artwork pane.

Process1. Original MP3 Podcast and MPEG-4 Enhanced Podcast

2. Enhanced Podcast separated into MMS objects, grouped by Chapters

3. Package MMS objects into MMS message

4. Packaged MMS messages, divided by Chapters

5. Send corresponding MMS Podcast Chapter to users when requested


  • Most cell phones / mobile phones can only process MMS messages that are not more than 100 KB in size
  • Taking other mandatory MMS objects into consideration, the audio length is capped at ~50 seconds
  • Best suited for brief podcast. e.g. 5 min podcast of ~45-second news bites, which works out to ~6 chapters
  • Not suitable for large podcast as it would generate excessive chapters. e.g. a 40 min podcast would translate to 48 50-second chapters.

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