Monday, April 10, 2006

PSP as a wireless device

I bought a Sony PSP for Christmas. Apart from its game abilities, it makes a great video and photo player, better than even the latest iPod. One thing it can do that no iPod can (yet) is connect to the Internet via Wifi.

Surfing the web on the PSP is cool, albeit challenging given the lack of a real keyboard. It has a quirky and ultra-slow gaming interface for entering text. Can't imagine anyone typing that fast with it, compared to say, a T-Mobile SideKick or even a cel phone. But it works on small, non-Flash websites.

Yesterday I tried the RSS podcasting feature Sony added into the latest firmware. This part rocks! Sadly, this only works with audio (no blogs or video yet). But I was able to listen to KCRW and NPR podcasts in my living room and in the patio area outside of my apartment (using my own DSL network). There are not many music podcasts due to stupid Digital Millenium Copyright law requirements (penned by the RIAA) that enforce a $.30 per song fee on the webcaster. (That's way way way higher than radio. Talk about extortion). Granted, most podcasting software saves the music on your hard drive, but on the PSP the music is not stored, it's streamed. Maybe Sony will be smart and set up a live365.com-like site for letting people make their own streaming music webstations.

Today I tried listening to podcasts in Culver City, which offers free wifi on two main streets. Unfortunately, this is where Sony PSPs lack of a keyboard cripples the experience -- the login page for this access point has a 60 second time limit. Ack! Try as I might, I could not enter my name and password, then click on the "I agree to not look at porn, hate sites, blah blah" button in time. Might be able to write a script on my webserver that logs in for me, triggered by a bookmark on the PSP browser, but that's getting tricky. I don't want the Culver City Police coming after me. ;)
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posted by Brian at 1:27 PM

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