Cell phones underwent an evolution that is commonly called Third Generation, or 3G. Over the past decade, cell phone manufacturers begin to implement high-tech features that gave users more functionality, such as listening to music and watching video right on a handheld device. However, before a cell phone can play back video and music, that file must be in a format that is compatible with the hardware and software applications on the device. The Third Generation Partnership, or 3GP video, is the file format that makes it possible to play videos on cell phones. Unfortunately, owners may have to convert MP4, WMV and other more common video formats to 3GP video first, but this process is fairly straightforward.
Create video footage, if necessary. This does not have to be 3GP video and can originate from just about any source.
- Use the video feature of a modern digital camera to record video of yourself or another person.
- Use the webcam connected to a desktop of laptop PC to record video.
- Download video from the Internet from file sharing websites.
Capture and store the video footage on your PC, if the file is not already stored on the hard drive.
- Use the Device Stage utility in Windows 7 to automatically pull videos from a digital camera.
- Use an Internet browser add on to capture Adobe Flash video as it's playing on the Web page, such as the Flash Got add-on for the Firefox browser.
Install 3GP video conversion software. As an example, you can download an 3GP video converter application from CNET's Download.com website. Many of these applications have been reviewed from an authoritative point of view by CNET's own executives, such as JetAudio Basic and MediaMonkey Standard. They are free to download, install and use for the conversion of other video formats to the 3GP video format.
Open your video file using the 3GP video conversion application. Click on the "Add Video Files" icon or a similar option. This opens a dialog box. Click on the folders to find where the original video file is stored on the hard drive. By default, the Windows operating system stores most video files in a folder called "Videos." Click the "Open" button after you have found the video file, to load it into the 3GP video conversion application.
Choose the 3GP video file format. Open the menu of options, as most video converters not only change files for the 3GP video format, but also for the MP4, WMV and Flash video formats.
Click the "Convert" button to begin the 3GP video conversion process. The encoding happens automatically, but you can monitor the progress of the conversion by looking at the green animated status bar that moves left to right, showing the percent completion. After the status bar reads "100%" that means the conversion to the 3GP video format is complete. You can use the video however you see fit, such as storing it on your cell phone so that you can watch videos right from your handheld device.
- Consider converting your videos to the MP4 format instead of the 3GP video format. MP4 is very compatible across desktops, laptops, tablets, as well as cell phones and smartphones. You can use the same video conversion software for either the 3GP video or MP4 formats.
Sources and Citations
- Microsoft: Windows 7: Master your devices with Device Stage; http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/help/hardware-home-pages-master-your-devices-with-device-stage
- Mozilla Firefox: Add-Ons -- FlashGot; https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/flashgot/
- CNET Download.com: "3GP Video Converter"; http://download.cnet.com/1770-20_4-0.html?query=3gp+video+converter&searchtype=downloads&rpp=10&filter=licenseName=Free|&filterName=licenseName=Free|&tag=pe-searchFacetsTile;navForm