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We give PS Store's new video service a go: PC-to-PSP

It's an endearing feature to have, knowing you could have tons of movies and television shows at your finger tips. There's no need to go to the local video store (seriously, who does this anymore?) or even wait on those movies to arrive from mail-based rentals. However, we still have many questions regarding this new content for the PS Store.

We wonder if the PS Store is really ready to handle this kind of transaction and will it be easy to use? To help answer these questions, we gave the new video service a try and have presented a mini-walkthrough that'll hopefully give some insight into getting started with the new service.

So get started with the video service for PC Store to PSP right here!

SCEA releases official PSP theme tutorial

Have you thought about making a custom PSP theme? But, maybe you don't know where to start. Or perhaps you're scared by all the work that goes into it. Sony's official PSP theme guide won't make it any less work to create a theme, but it will give you all the tools necessary to make your own PSP themes. The images necessary require precise specifications, so make sure you follow all the instructions.

The theme program offered is available here (Windows only).

A step by step guide to the PlayStation Store

Welcome to the PlayStation Store. Now, you'll be able to download game demos, videos and more from your Windows PC to your PSP. It's simple to use ... all you need is a PSN account to begin. So, PS3 owners won't have to register a new account to make purchases for the PSP. Sweet!

After creating a PSN account, make sure you have the Network Downloader. It's only 2 megs large -- the installation is quick and painless. Read on to see more, and see what's available on the PS Store!

Continue reading A step by step guide to the PlayStation Store

DRM-free music stores ideal for PSP use

With Connect disconnected, there hasn't been a music download service that has supported the PSP. Thankfully, a variety of DRM-free services are popping up everywhere lately. The best for use on PSP must be amazon.com's new service. You can easily browse the site using your PSP, and although the site will insist that you download their MP3 downloader, you can bypass the warnings and download the songs directly to your PSP from any wi-fi connection. Sweet. Click here if you're browsing on your PSP.

To try it out for free, check out this week's free MP3, Ripe from Ben Lee. One of the great things about downloading music directly to your PSP is that it includes the album art for the song -- a nice touch that we can appreciate.

Another service you may want to consider is the Zune Marketplace, which recently added the largest collection of DRM-free music to its library. However, that requires downloading the Zune program, and connecting your PSP to your PC and transferring files manually.

[Thanks, Dan!]

Scared about themes? Let Joystiq be your guide

Mr Justin McElroy, resident funny man over at Joystiq.com, has written up a very handy post which guides you through setting up themes on your PSP. In five easy steps (all ending in exclamation marks!) you will learn to download, install and then, finally, remove one of the two offending themes currently available. With more themes available in the near future, however, this is a skill you need to learn. Like driving, except you can do it while drunk.

Making a PSP in Photoshop

For some reason, people love making PSP designs in photo editing programs. We once saw a brilliant example of someone recreating a PSP in Paint ... Now, you can create your own system in Photoshop. This step-by-step tutorial will show you everything you need to make your own digital PSP. After 38 lengthy steps, you too will be able to call this your own ... but why?

Getting iTunes Plus music on your PSP

iTunes Plus is finally here. With iTunes Plus, users can download and purchase DRM-free music that can play on any device ... including the PSP. The files come at an incredible 256kbps bitrate, something any audiophile will be able to appreciate. We took the newly released iTunes 7.2 for a spin to show you how to transfer the new iTunes Plus files to your PSP.

Continue reading Getting iTunes Plus music on your PSP

Your PSP can be a remote control

What do you get when you add Sony's LocationFree with BeyondTV, a PSP and a dash of inginuity? The ability to watch TV on your PSP! Since Sony unveiled the LocationFree application, PSP hacks like these have been fairly commonplace. From the annals of LocationFree FAQs, we wanted to resurface this particular video that we missed the first time around. The research this fella completed in order to get his remote working on the PSP certainly piqued our interest and warrants another look. The Tonight Show video looks pretty darn sharp, with nary a hint of lag. I do believe, this calls for watching TV poolside.

[Via digg]

User-created GPS tutorial

Creativity in the gaming community runs feverishly high, especially amongst modding communities. If you've recently looked at your PSP and wondered how come you haven't put a GPS navigation system on it yet, wonder no more. A poster by the name of PSPPOSTERTHREAD just drew up a convenient (though fairly complicated) walkthrough for some user-created GPS software.

We needn't remind you that homebrew in general, is quite a risky venture. Not only do you risk bricking your PSP, but you'll also have to be up to speed on the digital rights management wordplay. Ultimately, it may prove to be more trouble than it's worth. But you already know all that, right? So, enjoy!

Ripping apart a PSP, seeing what's inside

Catchy rock-classical music accompanies this video tutorial of a PSP being dismantled, broken down, ripped apart, torn, exposed. Why would anyone want to tear apart their system? Maybe to replace an LCD screen. Or install a faceplate. Or to make crunchy UMD-flavored sandwich. Regardless of the reason, this user video from SinSin86 should give you a good look at what's inside your PSP. And it's more than just "magic."

If for one reason or another, getting Spanish instructions would be more helpful, check out one of our older videos here.

[Via DCEmu]

Continue reading Ripping apart a PSP, seeing what's inside

Comprehensive guides for making your PSP a better MP3 player

There are many reasons why the iPod is so successful and popular. One of those reasons is simplicity: iTunes allows music listeners to sync the music on their computers and the music on their portables quite easily. The latest release, iTunes 7, allows album art and relevant track information to be downloaded automatically. Kingbee116 from the PlayStation forums has come up with a solution for PSP owners, using software called MediaMonkey. This iTunes-like program will allow your PSP to become a better MP3 player, and will ensure that your songs feature album art when they play back on your PSP. Get detailed, step by step instructions at the PlayStation forums.

Of course, the PSP has one feature that the iPod currently doesn't have: built-in wi-fi. Kingbee116 has yet another incredibly detailed guide which shows you how to make the most out of your PSP's RSS feature. With his tutorial, you'll be able to stream internet radio wherever you have a wi-fi connection. Certainly, his tutorial will go quite handily with our newly launched feature, RSS this!

[Thanks, Kingbee116!]

Downloading free hi-res videos from P-TV

The PSP has been capable of displaying full-resolution (480x272) AVC videos for a long time now ... the problem? Unless you lived in Japan, you weren't able to take advantage of it. The P-TV service in Japan allows PSP owners to purchase copyright-protected video for the PSP, and unlike user-created videos, these files are provided in glorious, full resolution.

nixice from IGN PSP has created an incredibly thorough walkthrough [IGN Insider only] of the store for non-Japanese users, and has even created a temporary account for you to browse through the store. With instructions in hand, you'll be able to browse through P-TV's selection of free videos and experience for yourself full-res video that only Motion-JPEG and UMD Videos previously provided.

Not everyone is an IGN Insider, and not everyone can read Japanese, so I decided to flesh out his experience for you.

Continue reading Downloading free hi-res videos from P-TV

2.80 downgrading made easy

There's always someone out there that updated their PSP, only to regret it moments later. Well, for those of you that have been patient enough not to upgrade past 2.80, an "easy" way of downgrading to homebrew-compatible 1.50 has been released. This guide from PSP Vault will help you every step of the way, but they warn:

-If you have a TA-082 motherboard in your PSP, no [sic] not even attempt to downgrade.
-If you are clueless and don't feel that you can follow this guide step-by-step, do not attempt to downgrade.
-If you have a fear of bricking your PSP and are nervous, I will say this guide has been used several times over, but perhaps you should wait for some sort of "safe downgrader".

If the scary red text doesn't change your mind about downgrading, then you're ready to go! First, you'll have to download eLoader and xLoader, PatchSFO and finally the downgrader program. Make sure you have a USB cable ready to connect your PSP to your PC. You'll run the downgrader, but watch out for the next few steps, indicated in the guide. You don't want to brick your system, do you? With 3.02 firmware emulation entirely possible, it appears that a whole new slew of people can now be introduced to homebrew.

[Thanks, Joel!]

Tutorial for running homebrew on 2.80 firmware

Being able to play homebrew on firmware 2.80 is an amazing accomplishment. However, most people that have firmware 2.80 probably don't know the very basics of running homebrew on their system. While there have been guides created in the past, a new one has popped up on the PlayStation boards. Shamoo teaches you the steps necessary to run fan-favorite DDR clone, PSP Revolution, on your system.
  1. Download the eLoader on your computer.
  2. Connect your PSP to your computer via USB.
  3. Install the eLoader.
  4. Make sure you choose this kind of installation: "TIFF, Installatron + Xloader - RECOMMENDED"
  5. Ensure the following options are checked: "TIFF, xLoader (for 2.80), Installatron, emenu"
  6. You're done installing the eLoader. Now, it's time to get homebrew programs.
The full tutorial shows you how to download and install PSP Revolution on your system. It's not complicated at all--it just involves moving some folders into your PSP's GAME directory, and a few more steps. Of course, with firmware 3.0 on the horizon, what choice will you make? Stick with homebrew, or keep advancing with Sony's official upgrades?

Full resolution videos possible on firmware 2.80! [m]

One of the biggest complaints about the PSP's video playback interface is how limited it is. There used to be a strict naming scheme involved, and videos were limited to 76800 pixels, only 59% of what the PSP is actually capable of (480x272 resolution). PSP-Vault has uncovered a long-unknown secret: you can play full resolution videos on the PSP, as long as they're encoded with the highly size-inefficient Motion JPEG codec, the same kind used by Chotto Shot. Sony never advertised this fact, but you can see for yourself! Download the following sample video and place it in your PSP's VIDEO folder:

As you can see by this download, the Motion JPEG codec is not a very efficient one at all. One minute of video takes 29MB, which is highly restrictive for people with smaller memory sticks. It's an interesting find, and it shows that Sony's taking tiny steps towards fully unrestricted video on the PSP. If you'd like to encode your own motion JPEG videos, download 3GP Converter, and PSP-Vault's INI file. The INI file is placed in 3GP's "default_settings" folder. When you're done converting, simply place your video in PSP's VIDEO folder.

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