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PS3 Photo, music & video functionality - help!


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#1 of 3 OFFLINE   Brendon


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Posted March 20 2007 - 06:41 AM

Sony are finally getting around to launching the PS3 here in the UK on Friday. Sony's official EU PS3 site is, in short, woeful. Clicking on a link titled "storage" I expected an explanation of the flash card readers, the ability to store media on the hard drive and the like. Instead I got a peculiar video of a man wandering around a house filled with haphazard stacks of 'stuff' whilst a voice over talks about 'BluRay knows where it isn't. BluRay knows where it is'. Erm....? Heading around the gaming stores, both independant & chain, and the major electrical retailers here and not one has a PS3 out on display and hooked up to a TV. Compared to the X360 launch one could be forgiven for thinking that Sony are doing their level best to keep the launch low key and potential buyers ignorant of anything bar BR playback and games. Most of the reviews of the PS3 hardware and operating system have covered gaming and BR disc playback, but there is very little touching on being able to read, store and display/playback media to and from the hard drive, card reader & USB slots save that these functions exist. Question is; could someone describe how these functions work? The user interface? Are videos & photos that don't match the exact resolution & ratio of the HD outputs distorted to fit or does the PS3 crop/pillarbox/letterbox on the fly? How simple is the interface to use & access? I've read numerous other posts on gaming forums and the like, but the signal to noise ration (aka rational people to over-caffienated fanboys!) is remarkably low out there! I'd be most appreciative if a PS3 owning anyone would be good enough to spare 5 mins to answer my points of interest. Thanks!

#2 of 3 OFFLINE   Jason Harbaugh

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Posted March 20 2007 - 08:43 AM

It is actually quite simple and very intuitive from what I've experienced.

First there is the XMB (Cross Media Bar). This is the main menu system of the PS3. If you have seen the PSP then you know exactly how it functions. It is also comparible to the blade system on the X360.

For this, we'll just stick with media.

You have 3 icons, one for music, one for photos and one for video.
When you insert a flash card, a thumbdrive, a cd, a dvd, a USB hard drive, or any other type of media and icon will show up underneith every single one of those icons. You can access the drive from any of them. Depending on how you have data organized on the memory drive, it may already sort under the proper icons. So music will show up under music etc. Selecting the icon allows you to expand the drive and see the files and dig down to deeper folders. You can play the media straight from there, or copy it to the internal hard drive on the PS3 to always have.

Music gets seperated by genre, artist, or album. You can change the way they are sorted. You can't create your own folder to stick a group of songs in, or make play lists though. At least not yet.

Same goes for pictures, they get ordered by date usually. There are some cool slideshow features.

Videos are just listed one after the other and you have a 15 second video icon for each video. You can change the icon as well to any 15 seconds in the video.

All video gets displayed without cropping or stretching. I've mostly had 16x9 stuff, or 2.35:1 trailers on there. All is displayed correctly.

Future firmware updates are going to change quite a bit of the way you mess with media on the PS3. But this is the basics for how it is now. It is hard to explain in text, but once you plug in your first memory card it will make a lot of sense.

Just remember to play around with the triangle, square, circle and x buttons on the controller. They pop up menus based on what file you are currently selecting.

More info is here: http://www.us.playst...._hardware.html

Click on Music/Photos/Videos on the side for instructions and what the buttons do.

Most of all, have fun with your PS3. It is quite the console. Posted Image

#3 of 3 OFFLINE   Brendon


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Posted March 21 2007 - 03:16 AM

Jason, Many thanks! That's just the kind of broad description I was after! The link you provided is also most useful, in stark contrast to Sony's info light, hyperbole heavy Euro site. Being already familiar with PSPs menu bar and media handling capabilities it sounds like PS3 is a feature rich version of the same - good news. All I need to do now is to persuade my wife to let me spend the money... Thanks again, Brendon

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