A look at RnSK Softronics' iPSP 3.0
 
One of the premiere PSP media management solutions has always been RnSK Softronics' iPSP.  The original iPSP (intelligent Picture and Sound Pusher) was actually one of the first third-party application that facilitated media file transfers from your personal computer to your PlayStation Portable (PSP). RnSK's iPSP was also, at the time, the premiere iLife-to-PSP media management solution for Macintosh users (and eventually Windows users). In essence, it was the fastest and easiest way to send iPhoto and iTunes content to your PSP by minimizing the required effort. iPSP was definitely a cut above the rest when first introduced in 2004.
 
Recently, the developer released a version upgrade for Mac OS X that takes advantage of Sony's latest PSP firmware, while also catering to users who've stayed away from the occasional firmware updates in order for them to seek the system's full potential on the homebrew side of things. The new iPSP 3.0 package basically caters to all types of PSP owners.
 
So what does version 3.0 offer that makes it so special?
 
Aesthetically, the software has been updated to look and feel like your traditional iLife application. iPSP uses a left-sided media pane which encompasses all of its functions. You choose which process you want to go through and a list of features for that particular function appears in the main window of the application. Some processes require no more than merely dragging and dropping your desired content on the PSP icon situated on the bottom portion of the media pane.
 
Like previous versions, iPSP lets you transfer full iTunes playlists to your PSP. All the user needs to do is create a specific playlist within iTunes, drop our desired songs (unprotected of course) in the playlist and iPSP will then automatically recognize that playlist and you'll be able to drag it onto your PlayStation Portable. The same functionality applies to iPhoto; you simply locate the desired library and drag it onto your handheld.
 
iPSP also features enhanced video compression technology in comparison to its previous incarnation. The application supports creating conversions of the two main PSP compatible formats, which are MPEG-4 and AVC. iPSP will enable you to convert MPEG (.MPG), Windows Video (.AVI), Quicktime (.MOV), Windows Media (.WMV), DVD Object files (.VOB), DVD Video folders (VIDEO_TS), Digital Video files (.DV) and High Definition Video (.m2t), among other formats, to a PSP-ready standard. iPSP supports auto full screen for Widescreen video input, interactive Preview image selection and Custom titles.
 
PSP homebrew enthusiasts will be happy to learn that iPSP 3.0 even makes things simpler for them. The update now features a dedicated homebrew tab. The new homebrew features not only make it easier to transfer "eBoot" files to you PSP, but it also enables you to customize the homebrew application's art and icons using simple drag and drop techniques. Having compatibility issues with your homebrew files? iPSP 3.0 makes it a breeze to convert your "eLoader" file to to a format that's compatible with your PSP homebrew-friendly firmware, which is currently only compatible with PSP firmware 1.5 to 2.6.
 
The software is also includes disc image management solution. iPSP makes it easy for users to convert disc images for use on their specific PSP firmware. Supported PSPs will now be able to play their games directly from the unit's Memory Stick. An excellent option for users who want to minimizing their handheld's power consumption.
 
One of the neat features of iPSP is its automatic backup of your PSP game saves. Plug in your PSP, and the application does everything for you. You can then go back to previous save points and re-upload them to your PSP at any time. No more worries about overwriting a specific save point.
 
There's no word yet on when Windows users will get the 3.0 upgrade (the Windows iteration currently sits at version 2.0.8). But hopefully RnSK Softronics will release a version for Microsoft zealots that will encompass some, if not all, of these updates for the platform.
 
A trial version of  iPSP 3.0 is available for download through its official website at http://ipsp.kaisakura.com/. The latest version requires that users have Mac OS X Tiger installed as their base operating system. The previous version (v. 2.5.9) for OS X is also available for download off the site.
 
RnSK Softronics' iPSP is also pretty affordable for what it does. You can purchase a the software for a little over $22CDN from the developer's official site (http://ipsp.kaisakura.com/). Owners of the previous version of iPSP can upgrade to 3.0 for $9.95USD. Users of competing PSP management products who send in a copy of their product's receipt can also take advantage of RnSK Softronics $9.95USD competitive upgrade.
 
iPSP is definitely one of the premiere PSP management solution for Mac OS X users, a definitive 5 out of 5 star application.
Monday, October 2, 2006