|mBrowser - User's Guide|
The following user's guide is designed for mBrowser 1.5.1 or higher. If you have mBrowser 1.4.3 or lower, click here.
Installing and uninstalling mBrowser
Please read the README file that comes with the application.
A. Importing movies
mBrowser lets you catalogue any number of movie files. The supported media formats include 3GPP, AVI, FLC, MP4, MPEG, WMV, MKV, SWF, FLV, MOV, M4V and more.
When you launch mBrowser for the first time, you will see a large empty window at the top. That's where movie thumbnails are displayed. At the bottom, there is a listbox where all imported movies will be shown with media information. And there is a small drop-box at the top left corner. Don't drop a movie file yet. If you try to drop a movie file onto it, you will be reminded that you need to create a movie album at first.
In order to create a movie album, simply click on the Create button at the top. Or press Command + N. And you will be prompted to name an album. Enter a name and press the Return key. If you do so, a folder icon will appear on the sidebar. Every movie profile must belong to an album. You can create any number of movie albums, whether you use the freeware version of mBrowser or licensed version. And you can delete any of them by clicking on the Delete button on the Toolbar menu.
Once you create at least one album, you will be allowed to drag and drop movie files, one at a time. And there are two ways in which you can import movie files. How you import movie files will depend on the media format of the file and whether you enable Auto shot.
Auto shot automatically takes a screenshot of the movie and subsquesntly imports the file to the application. All you have to do is just drag and drop a movie file onto the Movie Drop Box. Couldn't be any easier, right? The catch is that Auto shot doesn't support all media types out there. One unsupported media type is Matroska container. That doesn't mean you cannot import MKV movies to mBrowser. The freeware version supports 3GP, 3GP2, DV, M4V, MOV, MP4. So this selection tells you that mBrowser should be able to open those formats regardless of movie's media type, OS and availability of QuickTime components. It could support more media types except that importing a wrong media type would crash the application. That's why extra choices are only given to license users, who can decide which media type to import at their own risks.
For example, a licensed user is likely to be able to import MPEG movie clips with Auto shot on under Mac OS 10.5 provided that MPEG2 Playback component were installed. But the same user might not be able to import the exactly same clip under Mac OS 10.6 with or without MPEG2 Playback component.
Let's take a look at Preferences window. Click on the Preferences button on the Toolbar menu. Under the Settings tab, you can automatically enable Auto shot whenever you launch mBrowser. Enter a number of seconds (integer) where you want mBrowser to take a movie snapshot. If you enter 20, for example, mBrowser will take a snapshot at 20 seconds from the beginning. If you want mBrowser to pick a frame at random, then set the number to 0.
A big advantage of importing a clip with Auto shot on is that you can play back the import movie with mBrowser's own movie player. It doesn't sound like a big deal. But it is because you can take screenshots and export the movie to a different media format (for licensed users) only through this movie player.
What if you have movie clips whose media types are not supported by Auto shot? You can simply turn it off. And then manually import them as long as mBrowser supports those media types. For example, if you have a Matroska container movie, just drag and drop a file onto the same drop box. This time, the movie clip will not be automatically imported. Instead, a window will pop up, requesting you to select a file. You can click on the Select button if you want to import a different clip other than what's shown in the grayed-out edit box. Use a drop box to import a snapshot of the movie. If you don't have one, don't worry about it. mBrowser will import a movie with the default screenshot so that you can replace it later on. (Click on the Edit button.)
mBrowser cannot play back your manually imported movies with its movie player. What you can do is play back those clips with default applications that are determined by the System. Select movie's thumnail in the Thumbnail Browser or select its profile in the Movie Profile List. Then click on the Launch button.
By the way, when you click on a movie snapshot, its movie profile will be automatically selected in the Movie Profile List. If you select a movie in this list, the album which the movie profile belongs to will be automatically selected. However, caution must be taken in this respect. If you select an empty album in the Album List, mBrowser will lose track of movie profiles. If mBrowser loses track of movie profiles, clicking on a thumbnail will not cause the application to select the movie profile in the bottom list. You can tell easily when mBrowser has lost track. If the file name of the selected movie is not shown at the top of the window, that means mBrowser has lost track. In such case, simply select a different album and then click on any of movie thumbnails. And mBrowser will be back on its feet.
B. URL movies
mBrowser doesn't just let the user import movies. The user can also access movies that are streamed at the remote server. Let's go back to Preferences. Set the tab to URLs. You can customize mBrowser so that it will access certain websites. After you enter names and URLs, you need to quit the application. Once re-launched, click down on the URLs button. And you will see the list of URLs you have created. And if you select one, the default web browser will launch itself to access the website you have selected. For more information on finding movie URLs, check out FAQ on the sidebar.
If you already have a movie URL, then just click on the uMovie button on the Toolbar menu. And simply enter a URL and click on the Open button or press the Return key.
By the way, if you like mBrowser, check out bkBrowser. bkBrowser is a freeware title and sort of a bookmark version of mBrowser.