Thursday, January 24, 2008

Using PSP as MP3 Player

Once you have your music on your PSP, it's time to listen. Here's a quick overview of the PSP's controls and functionality as an MP3 player.

To keep your music organized into albums, all you need to do is keep a group of audio files in a single folder by the name of the album placed within /PSP/MUSIC/ on your Memory Stick. The preview image associated with the Album folder will be taken from the image associated with the first file in the list of tracks contained within the folder.

Unfortunately, the PSP can only see folders one level deep here, so you cannot do things like create a folder called The Beatles, which you then fill with separate folders for each of The Beatles' albums. So, if you want to categorize by artist, make sure you keep all the song files within that main artist folder, rather than embedding folders within folders.

Navigate to Music Memory Stick and hit the X button to see a list of all the songs and albums located inside your /PSP/MUSIC/ folder. The folders will be listed alphabetically, followed by an alphabetical listing of any lone files in this root Music folder. Select the album you want to listen to and hit the X button.

A list of songs will appear, as you scroll through the different songs, you will notice that certain bits of metadata associated with the song files will be displayed, including the name of the song, the artist, and any album artwork associated with the song file. As with all the other files on your PSP, if you select one of the tracks and hit the Triangle button, a menu will appear on the right side of the screen with options for Play, Delete, or Information. If you select Information and hit the X button, the full list of all metadata associated with the track will be displayed, including the title, artist, album, genre, size, date and time it was updated, Length, Sampling Frequency, and Codec at which the track was compressed.

Otherwise, simply hit the X button to play the song.

Once the song is playing, you have a variety of options. If you hit the Triangle button while the song is playing, the control panel will open, displaying all the available controls.

If you are running a previous version of the firmware, some of the controls discussed in this section will not be available to you, although many of them will be identical.

The controls available in the control panel of Version 2.0 of the firmware are Previous Group, Next Group, Previous Track, Next Track, Fast Reverse, Fast Forward, Play, Pause, Stop, Group Mode, A-B Repeat, Play Mode, Clear, Display, and Help. Selecting the Display option adds an overlay along the top of the screen with the name of the track in the upper-left corner and the number of the track next to how many tracks are in this group in the upper-right corner of the screen. Selecting the Help option (the question mark) will display the basic Music Help screen . This screen shows you all the basic controls on the PSP for navigating through your songs. The L trigger goes to the previous track or the beginning of the current track, the R trigger goes to the next track, the O button stops play, the X button plays, the Start button either plays or pauses the track, and the left and right buttons on the directional keypad rewind or fast forward the track.

The Group controls all have to do with different albums or folders you have placed inside /PSP/MUSIC/. A-B Mode lets you select first an A point in a track and then a B point in the track, which will continue looping until you choose Clear. The Play Mode control lets you choose either Repeat One, Repeat All, Shuffle, or Repeat Shuffle, and if you toggle the Group mode selection, all of these settings (with the exception of Repeat One) will use all the files in your MUSIC folder rather than just the songs in the current album folder. The other options available in the control panel are mostly self-explanatory.

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