Thursday, January 24, 2008

Firmware Version 2.0 and Music Playing

If you are running a PSP with Version 2.0 of the firmware, then you can download music from the Internet directly to your PSP's Memory Stick. This is particularly useful for grabbing new music and podcasts from various web sites while you're on the go and connected to a wireless network.

To do this, simply launch the web browser by navigating to Network Browser on your PSP, and hit the X button. After your browser launches, navigate to a page that contains links to audio files in a PSP-compatible format. Unfortunately, the PSP cannot handle compressed files, BitTorrent, or WMA (Microsoft with DRM format)unless you are running Version 2.6 firmware or laterso the files will need to be in uncompressed and unprotected MP3 or AAC format. When you click on the link to the corresponding audio file, an overlay screen will pop up asking whether you want to download the linked file. Hit the X button, as shown in.

If, for some reason, the PSP doesn't recognize the file type and tries to open the file as a website, cancel the loading of the page (hit the Triangle button and then select Cancel) and then go back to the original page (by hitting the L trigger). This time, place your cursor over the linked file, but instead of hitting the X button, hit the Triangle button and navigate to File, then hit the X button. A menu will pop up. Select Save Link Target from this menu and hit the X button.

Another overlay will appear asking for confirmation of the location where you'd like to save the file and the name you would like to give the file. If the location did not default to /PSP/MUSIC/, select that field, and hit the X button to select this folder (or a subfolder inside the MUSIC folder). Feel free to change the name of the file to something you will recognize. Just remember to keep the proper extension at the end of the file. If the file you are downloading is an AAC file, go ahead and change the extension on the file to .MP4 so that your PSP will recognize it.
After downloading the files, hit the Home button on your PSP to exit out of the browser. If you hit the button by mistake, you can either hit it again or hit the X button to return to the browser. Navigate to Music, select Memory Stick, and hit the X button. You should see your freshly downloaded audio files in the list of available tracks.

This method of grabbing songs can be particularly useful for serving up songs from your networked music collection on your home network. All you need to do is set up a networked folder containing any music files you would like to have ready for your PSP, then direct your PSP's web browser to this folder. For example, if your computer has an IP address of on your local network, and you have a folder called PSPMUSIC that you have set up to be available to other computers on your network, you can launch the PSP's web browser and navigate to to download that song file. Consider building a music index page that links to all these files.

If you've installed Version 2.6 of the firmware, you now have an option called RSS Channel under Network. Now any RSS 2.0 feed containing embedded MP3s can be subscribed to through the PSP's browser, and all the songs on that feed can be streamed to your PSP over a live Internet connection through the RSS browser interface.

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