Friday, January 11, 2008

How to Navigate the Movie in PSP?

The title screen for the UMD contains many of the usual options that you are most likely familiar with from watching DVDs. Through this interface, you can set up the audio options and subtitles, view any included bonus materials (like trailers, cut scenes, and sometimes even little behind-the-scenes documentaries), make scene or chapter selections to start watching a movie from a specific scene, or simply play the movie.

By default, the title screen is usually where you are taken on a UMD movie the first time it is inserted into your PSP. If, while watching the film, you would like to return to the title screen, hit the Square button on the PSP.

If you hit the Square button by accident while watching a film, select Play Movie and hit X to return to the same spot you were before mistakenly hitting the Square button.

Sony did a good job of designing a portable interface that lets you quickly get out of a game or movie, but which is also very forgiving should you accidentally hit the wrong button.

One of the cool things about the PSP is that nearly all of these options are available from anywhere within the movie without returning to the title screen. If you hit the Triangle button while a movie is playing, a control panel in the form of an overlay graphic with a variety of options will pop up onscreen. In this figure, I used the keypad to highlight the ? (or Help) option and am about to hit X to bring up the Help menu.

The movie will continue playing in the background (unless you paused it before pulling up this menu). Use the keypad to navigate through the different menu options available. I'll go over some of these in a moment, but first I want to take a look at the Help menu. Highlight the ? icon and hit the X button. The movie will pause, and a quick guide to the PSP's basic movie navigation functions will be displayed.

The Video Help screen displays all the basic navigational features for viewing a UMD movie on the PSP. Take some time to familiarize yourself with these basics. To return to the movie, hit O.

The only information about these basic controls that isn't covered by this screen involves the Fastforward and Fast Reverse controls. If you pause the movie by hitting the Start button and then hit the Forward button on the keypad once, the movie will play in slow motion frame by frame. If you hit Forward/Reverse on the keypad during regular play, the movie will begin fastforwarding/rewinding with a 1 next to the arrows. If you tap the button again, the speed will increase and a 2 will be displayed. A third tap will display a 3 and the movie will fastforward/rewind at its quickest viewable speed.

To jump forward or back to another section of the movie, simply use the L and R triggers on the PSP.

Let me repeat that: the L and R triggers take you back a chapter and forward a chapter in the movie, respectively.

This is quite possibly the most annoying part of watching a UMD movie on the PSP, because you will accidentally hit these buttons and skip ahead or back in the movie from time to time.

Since you know this, consider holding the PSP differently while watching a movie than you normally would hold it while playing games. Also, be hyper-aware of these buttons whenever you are moving around. I've become pretty good at avoiding them, but every once in a while, I'll be shifting in my chair or in bed and click! I'm suddenly out of the dramatic love scene and into an intense battle sequence.

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