Thursday, March 31, 2005

Comics on the Sony PSP

One of the things I really wanted to be able to do is view comics, and various scanned images collections on the Sony PSP. While the machine does not come with any kind of comic viewer, it does come with a built in ability to view images.

I recently scanned in one of my favorite graphic novels, in anticipation with the release of the movie version. One, because I wanted to be able to compare the original to the movie version, two because I wanted to see if it would be possible to transfer this graphic novel to the Sony PSP.

Since it could not be transferred in the ZIP file I had it in for viewing with CDisplay, I first created a directory on my PC, then unzipped the original images to the directory. I then copied these over to the Sony PSP.

The pictures were oversize for the screen, which the Sony PSP handled, to review the pages you use the Analog stick to move a block around a thumbnail, of the larger image, that pops up when you move the Analog stick, an interesting way of doing it.

First problem was that you have to scroll all around the image, which was fine for image quality but bad for the readying experience. The PSP also does not appear to buffer the image at all and goes from blurry to clear as you view the move the focus to a new area.

Also since the PSP views pictures in the order of creation, the pages did not work out in the proper order. Very. Frustrating. The solution, partially, was which has a Link for the download of PSPhoto, a very straight forward batch conversion utility, that takes all the files you drop on them, converts them to the proper width (480 pixels), leaving the height alone, it also appeared to set the file creation date/time to match the order of, either how they are ordered, when you drop them on, or it is intelligent enough to order them by the name order.

Either way when I got done I had the files, in .jpg format, the proper width, and the proper order. Simply create a directory under the PSP, Photo directory on the memory stick, copy all the files to it and then use the built in viewer to, well, view them.

For example Sony PSP – Photos – City (then all the individual files under City).

Note: Use the Triangle button to bring up image, which has navigation, help view mode etc., then “O” button to hide them again. Cycle through the pics with the top of unit L and R buttons.

Only lack of perfection is that the Sony PSP viewer seems to orient on the center of the picture, meaning you have to use the analog stick to move the view to top of page each page. Also would be nice if you had a page up and page down function, on the arrow keypads would be nice.

Other than that it is not a perfect solution, but it works. The perfect solution, would be a program, ala Cdisplay, that would view the pictures better on the PSP side.

As a program, PSPhoto needs more options under user control. It took some playing around and trust in the programmer to just drop files on it and go. It was also very impressive when I figured out that I could drop a compressed collection of images on it (a zipped file) and it would auto process the file and pictures, then save them to a directory named after the file. Very impressive. All in all though, it is a program that I recommend heartily picking it up.


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