It’s barely been three months since the mylo 2 personal communicator got its first software update (1.100), and already version 1.201 is up for download at the official Sony eSupport site. In addition to supporting 16GB Memory Stick Duo cards and improving Flash video playback, the 59MB update adds a video recording function that makes uploading to YouTube and other video sharing sites quick and easy.
Other improvements include:
- New menu option for easier photo/video uploading
- "Optimize" option in Task Manager for system memory
- Ability to format Memory Stick Duo cards
- Thumbnail images in Games menu
- Fix: Potential SSL security vulnerability
Since the main highlight of the new firmware is the addition of video recording capabilities, let’s take a closer look at how it works and integrates with YouTube.
As shown in the first image above, the video camera is accessible through the main menu (Camera -> Video Camera). The first time the camera is launched, the following message is displayed:
I’m not sure how or why having the wireless radio turned on could affect the recording, but the message is easy enough to get rid of. For what it’s worth, I remained connected to my wireless router while recording the video you’ll see later.
Once the information window is dismissed, the video recording screen will display. The interface is about as straightforward as you can get, with the record button and remaining time at the bottom and a 320 x 240 (fixed) viewfinder above it. Functionality is incredibly basic, with no zoom capabilities or quality-level settings.
It was too dark to film anything bright and sunny in Hawaii and I didn’t have anything interesting to record inside, so I just put my Nokia N810 in front of the mylo 2’s lens and lamely slid the display up and down.
Videos are recorded in MPEG-4 SP format (320 x 240, 384kbps) with 64kbps AAC audio and can be played back in their original size or in very pixelated "fit-to-screen" mode.
Additional upload sites can be added through the Option context menu, but since YouTube is already there and the most popular video site anyway (despite its low quality), clicking the "Jump to upload site" listed in the menu launches the NetFront browser and brings up YouTube.
Just like on a real computer, uploading a video to YouTube is achieved in a few simple steps: log in, fill in video details, select the desired video (stored on either a Memory Stick Duo card or the mylo 2’s internal memory), and click the "upload video" button.
Video quality is far from impressive in standard embedded YouTube dimensions, but it’s not too bad when viewed in its native 320 x 240 resolution:
The background noise is rather loud, but considering that I was holding the mylo 2 in one hand while sliding the N810’s display with the other, the image stability and picture quality are tolerable and certainly YouTube-worthy.
It may not be the most popular or the most capable portable internet device out there, but with mylo widgets, direct downloads from Amazon MP3, and now a video camera with support for direct uploads, the Sony mylo 2 is definitely proving that it gets better with age.