Friday, May 05, 2006

Something cool on a warm night.

No, I'm not referring to an ice cold Bud Light, but a Tech kind of cool: Specifically a network update of the Sony PSP firmware to version 2.70. The network update feature has been there since the PSP came out, but I've just never used it before. Of course it makes perfect sense to allow updating the operating system and other features of the console over a wireless connection, since the PSP has built-in Wi-Fi.

Up until now I've done it in the "old-fashioned" way, downloading using my PC. I had forgotten about this feature until I was browsing the Sony Playstation website with my PSP (seemed a logical thing to do), and read up about the new features of the firmware upgrade and decided to apply it. Initially, before I even got the PSP, firmware upgrades were more for taking things away, locking down the PSP and making it more difficult to hack. In fact, the firmware version my Sony PSP came with (2.0 I think), is pretty much un-hackable. Version 1.5 was a favorite of the Homebrew crowd, they could add their own web browser and other software. Then games came out with firmware upgrades on the UMD (disk) - if you want to play the game you had to upgrade your firmware. Anyway, now Sony has been adding features: 2.0 had a Web Browser, 2.6 added support for RSS Feeds, and 2.7 adds support for Macromedia Flash (not a favorite of mine - those Flash ads bug me so much I've disabled them in Firefox, and unless the otherwise excellent Opera browser allows Flash to be disabled I'm not going to bother to use it). More importantly, this upgrade supports audio Podcasts (called something else - "Audio content" - of course), and the saving of multimedia content from the web browser to a Memory Stick. Video podcasts have been promised in a future update.

As an aside, has the Sony PSP Rated as the most popular PVP (Personal Video Player). I've watched a movie on the Sony PSP, and the aspect ratio of its 4 inch screen is perfect widescreen movies. Of course a protective case like the Logitech PlayGear helps, as it can be flipped around to hold the PSP in the right position for movie watching. The stereo speakers are also adequate for the task.

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