Mazingo’s free basic text service acts as a guidepost to the mobile versions of a number of sites: you ‘subscribe’ to such-and-such website, and every time you sync the most recent edition is downloaded for your offline perusal. While the available sites are not comprehensive by any means, there is a wide spread of topics ranging from technology to medicine to news and back. For those in certain cities, weather and local cinema listings are also available.
The Digital Video package is somewhat misnamed, since while it does mainly offer digital video it also features audio books, radio shows, comics, and a library of mostly public-domain ebooks. While again quantity is not enormous– except in the case of the ebooks–there is an interesting amount of diversity in the offerings, which even include full length movies. In fact, thanks to Mazingo’s alliance with TuneIn, owners of PocketPC Films, movies is where the DV package seems to excel. While mostly very old horror films right now, the available films seem to be expanding at a dramatic rate. A large memory card is needed though, since these films rate 100-250 MB each.
Examples of the video content include clips from The Weather Channel, NBC and a recently announced deal with Fox Sports. I checked out the Fox Sports content, which is exactly what it seems–news clips from Fox Sports TV, reformatted for the PocketPC. The quality is good, and playback is smooth. The Fox Sports clips require the optional installation of the PocketTV MPEG player.
Mazingo’s service offers a lot of value to someone on the go, who needs a quick way to grab information and entertainment without having to do it by hand. Even the Digital Video package, though it may be pricey by some standards, offers more options, and could provide genuine ‘bang for the buck’ if it continues to expand at it’s current rate.
Basic text service
Requirements: Any PocketPC 2002, Palm OS, or Zaurus device
Digital Video package
Price: $15/month OR $95/year OR $7 for 24 hours /w no rebill. Requirements: Any PocketPC 2002 device
For more information visit the Mazingo site.