Friday, April 08, 2005

Sony PSP as Audio Book

Trying to broaden my uses of my PSP (have to justify the expense some how) is by using it as an audio book player. In .mp3 format, which thank goodness, it plays, you can have a your favorite audio book on your Sony PSP become a book reader.

Some tips, is to turn off the screen once playing (check the manual if this does not make sense, but there is on the front of the PSP a button that controls the screen brightness, hold it down and the screen will turn off, extending the battery life, also make sure the wifi button is turned off as well), and getting back to your place is an inexact science so be careful about quitting in the middle. Future recommendations for improvement is a book mark feature (play list would be nice also.) Have not tried anything major yet, have used if for some old radio shows I had in .mp3 format, but should be no big deal. - possible PSP content provider...take notice!!

Another suggestion for a media only version of the UMD disk. I am not an engineer but I would think that a burnable UMD format usable only for user content and media should be possible...make it user burnable in a standard DVD burner (I would assume it would have to have a firmware upgrade on the PSP to deal with a different media format, and custom software to burn it as well) make if a different capacity, whatever...this is the only stumbling for Sony penetrating the entertainment market completely.

If they don't do this, someone will follow their lead and produce something similar that can use, user created content on burnable media. This is what is keeping the PSP which is a killer device, from being the ultimate success. No hard drive makes it nearly to realistically compete with the Ipod, but with a high capacity burnable removable media it puts it much closer, add all the media feature and it will truly own the portable entertainment market.

As it is some of the portable media viewers (Archos for example) produce machines with similar capacities, but are using hard drives but have the advantage of running Linux...the right vision, removable media, price drop, and killer customization of the Linux interface with powerful media content viewers, video, music, ebook, PDF etc, etc. and intelligent USB hosting and you have the dream machine many people want, ad in games and oh my....

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Digital Lifestyle - losing baggage

I am a retail manager, and in my career I have moved often due to promotions, switching companies etc. And each time I have moved I have had to move STUFF....books, comics, reference material etc, etc, etc....sigh.

I have recently started working on replacing my extensive collections of books through purchasing ebooks, scanning many of my own current collection. Getting rid of all the hard copies and switching to digital is going to have tons of cases of books have now been reduced to one partially empty (about 8 decent size boxes on moving day). And 8 long boxes of comic books are now down to two. (I really wish comic book companies would release comics in digital subscription format (if they did it at a discount - as they have no tangible existence and no delivery cost, they could greatly reduce the production costs, yet still make the same profit. Example lets say they sell a comic book for 2.50. Of that say two dollars is production, cost of paper, transportation costs etc. Sell the same thing in digital format for .75 or a 1.00 and make the same profit after expenses, but greatly expand the user base potentially.

Just some thoughts. Get tangible information and convert to digital. I can see a future where tons of trees are saved and information of all types is freed from tangible formats, and available in a fraction of the fact my currentl library, which is huge fills a hard drive that is smaller than a regular paperback....

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Comics on Sony PSP Pt. 2

Still attempting to make the PSP my primary viewing device for comics I have scanned. Couple of glitchs in using PSPhoto, though while still a decent program has some room to grow.

First thing is that while the documentation says it can deal with .rar files, I have yet to get it to do so.

Also I need to further work on editing pictures. The problem I am running into, is in large two page spreads, the picture is reduced too much to be able to read, so I will have to go back and manually cut the picture in half again, a nice upgrade feature for PSPhoto would be to have it bring up an oversize picture, and let the user pick the point to bisect the picture.

Still running into the fuzzy pictures after about 20 pics in a row, really hope they get this fixed in a firmware update and soon. Making the reading of comics and scanned magazines a trial when it should be a pleasure. Keeping having to out of the picture view, my guess is to force the cache to dump, and then back in hopefully remembering the right page and then going forward with the enjoyment of the document.

Monday, April 04, 2005

RFID for consumers

RFID tag, a radio frequency ID tag, a small device that will be used by retailers from everything from inventory control to theft prevention. But the uses are much more open than that.

I would like to see a RFID used for personal loss prevention.

How? Simple set up a proximity locator for anything of value (car keys, wallet, luggage, PocketPC, PSP). When that RFID item gets to far from the Locator (warn clipped to belt, in a pocket) say range of 10 to 20 feet, it gives an alarm (vibrate, audible), farther than that and it kicks it up a notch or two.

The RFID system is intelligent enough that it could be programmed with distance before activation, what type of item etc.

Imagine never leaving your keys behind, not leaving your wallet at a retail counter, or in my case not leaving my portable brain extender (PocketPC) behind.

This could be used for theft prevention, medication alerts, and many more things beyond the anticapted use of retail. While I am not advocating going as far as the man who had one implanted, what about incorporating device activation into it, attach a biometric sensor, voice activation for security and you have a portable ID pass, authorized computer log on, area recognition (when you go to a location, the location adjusts parameters customized for you.

I am sure many more uses, ideas will be forth coming but really would like the see the NeverLose RFID. Would be nice if they could do a proximity search and point to the device, would be wonderful for that lost handset or remote.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

PSP Improvement Suggestions

- UMD user burnable device (single change would make it the most popular program in world) a possible simple alternative to that might be allowing the unit to read regular DVD's (of course someone would have to resize it and it would not have the capacity I think of a UMD but would provide a decent removable storage option)
- Ebook reader
- multiple memory stick reader capability at least SD
- picture viewer that does not fuzz out after 20+ pictures
- web browser standard
- wifi file managment (true wireless)
- lower glare screen (better outdoor viewability)
- screw on flip cover that does not have giant screws, and that when screwed in tight, do not prevent the UMD from opening.
- Intelligent USB hosting, child device support (would have provided an easy interface for headphones and microphone among other options, video out adapter, and ability to use USB thumb Drive)
- more robust firmware operating system (intelligent buffering)
- mic in
- open API (allow tons of programs to be made for it)
- mp3 background playing option (while viewing photos), visualizations, blank screen while playing (may already have this feature and I have not found it yet)
- ability to skin the interface
- DivX, XviD, Quicktime, and WMV support
- much better naming file system
- Lit buttons (would love backlit, but simple glow in dark inlays would help)
- support for more advanced calendar features, possibly address book
- Headphone and power jacks moved to top, as they tend to be a bit in the way, when playing games
- swappable faceplates (custom designs, and replace when scratched)
- PDF Viewer
- kill the text entry system and replace with a traditional game style, or make it optional
- Should have shipped with a robust software suite on the PC side to make moving content back and force much easier.