HowTo: Play Films on PSP

Watching movies on the roadSony’s PlayStation Portable is a media hub, but unfortunately, apart from games there isn’t really any content available for it (not forgetting unlucky UK citizens who can’t even officially buy one until September).

It’s possible to put MP3’s on to your memory stick (Duo Pro) and listen to them through your PSP, but an iPod is probably a better system for just audio.

What makes the PSP special is its screen, very bright, lots of colours and wide. When Sony release movies on UMD they’ll sell thousands and you’ll get the public transport commuter zombies staring at their PSPs, earphones stuffed in their ears watching the latest blockbuster trying their hardest to escape from the real world.

Become a Zombie now

Though it’s not possible to get UMD movies yet, the PSP will play MPEG4 movies off the memory stick. A 1GB memory stick costs about £100 (~US$177, ~€148) which will hold about 2 full length movies (more, if quality is compromised).

Making movies used to be complicated, but luckily there are programs out there that considerably simplify the process and make it easy.

Watching movies on the roadUsing an Apple Mac has many advantages and ripping DVDs is one of them. Look for an application MacTheRipper, it does exactly what is says on the tin, and takes the MPEG2 information from a DVD while removing region coding, macrovision and other DVD annoyances and stores the resulting files on the hard disk.

In order to make it PSP friendly, just extract the main title.

Now find a nice utility PSPWARE, which links the Mac with the PSP. It backs-up saved programs from the PSP, but from the Mac to PSP it does a whole lot more, like syncing photo albums, playlists from iTunes but more importantly movies.

PSPWARE just takes the movie directory (produced from MacTheRipper) and magically out pops some MPEG4 files. They take a while to convert, but when the PSP is plugged in, they zap across and just work.

They really do look good and are very watchable.

Watching movies on the roadWindows users don’t despair

PSPWARE has just been released for Windows with the same functionality as the Mac version. Unfortunately though there are DVD rippers out there they can be difficult to use.

DVDdecrypter was one of the best (very similar to MacTheRipper) and it’s still available from various sites, but the author has stopped supporting it as he was “put under pressure” from a major corporation.

PSPWARE is available from NullRiver it costs about £8 (~US$14~€11) for a perpetual license (free upgrades).

MacTheRipper is availble from RipDifferent and is freeware.

Windows users will have to do a bit of digging for DVDdecrypter – but it’s out there and free.

NOTE: Incredible as it may seem, making digital copies of films may be illegal in your country, even if for personal use.