Sony's PSP has been promoted to consumers as something of an all-in-one lifestyle gadget as much as a game system. However, while the handheld has the ability to play movies and music and to display galleries of still images, Sony hasn't exactly made these capabilities user-friendly. The PSP Value Pack doesn't come with a USB cable to connect the PSP to a PC, nor does it include software to convert some media from popular PC formats into files the PSP can read.
Sony's addressing part of this issue with today's release of the PSP Media Manager, a one-stop PC application that assists users in getting the files they want off their computers and onto their portable systems.
The software is currently available as a download from the official Sony Media Software site for $19.95. A boxed version that includes the necessary USB cable to transfer files from the PC to the PSP, sample media, and five free song downloads from Sony's Connect music store is expected to start shipping November 22 for $29.95. However, the site is running a promotion where customers who "preorder...before December 31" will get $5 off the price of the packaged version.
The PSP Media Manager supports a variety of formats including .mp4, .avi, .mpg, .mov, and .wmv for video files, and .mp3, .wav, and .wma for audio. Image formats supported include .bmp, .jpg, .gif, .png, and .tif. Other features include a utility to back up game saves on the PC, as well as a way to find and subscribe to RSS feeds, including podcasts, video blogs, and magazines formatted for the PSP.