iSquint at PSP MP4 converters for Mac OS X

I have a nice new PSP 3000 and thought it nice to upload some video to it. But all the software I found for MacOS X crashes or produces bad files. All that is but one.

Looking through the things available in MacUpdate and VersionTracker wasn’t too useful. The stuff listed is all a little old, or unrated. And searching Google turned lots of links old bulletin board posts and sites that looked dodgy.

Finally I found a piece of software that worked, was stable and did the job, and I was able to upload working files.

What software did I try? And how does it stack up? Read below.

  • iPSP Movie Loader (1.0.2, 2005, Feeware)
    Free, but not updated since 2005. This program crashed every time I tried to open it.
  • iPSP (2.0.4, 2005, Limited demo)
    A shareware program. Opened some times. Tended to crash if you tried to do anything.
  • iPSP (4.0.1, August 2008, Limited demo)
    Without registration it keeps popping up windows telling you that it was a ‘feature limited demo‘. And when I clicked on the video icon in the left, it briefly displayed a listing of my Moives folder then crashed. (Not to mention their site has separate pages about version 2.0.4 & 4.0.1)
  • ffmpegX (0.0.9x, January 2008)
    After all the extra software you had to download separately (for licensing reasons), this looked promising. It has pre-set Target Format for PSPs. Movie conversion took around 30 minutes, though I’m not sure as there was no indication and I just left it in the background. The movie played in Quicktime. But the PSP did not see the movies uploaded using the instruction on their site. When I worked out where to upload the MP4s, the PSP thinks the files are corrupt.

So, what did I end up using?

  • iSquint (1.5.2, March 2008, Freeware)
    When you open iSquint, the first time, it asks you if you would like to get VisualHub their commercial product. After that it doesn’t bother you. It just works. (With a nice easy to use interface.) Drag the video you want to encode into the window; select ‘Optimize for iPod‘; click the Start button; and 15 minutes later your 700 MB file has been converted to a 180 MB MP4 ready to copy to your PSP. Selecting H.264 compression it took a little longer, 20 to 30 minutes. Copy the files to the PSP and they play without any problem.

Unfortunately this great product has one drawback. It is no longer being developed. In October 2008 the developer announced that the company was moving to other projects [2, 3]. Which is a pity, because it is a great program.

But not all is lost. iSquint continues to work. And the source of  Techspansion’s 3 programs have been released as Open Source projects. There has even been a guild to compiling the Open Source projects written (by one of the compeditors to cash in on the current search for iSquint).

How to upload video to the PSP?

Here are instruction I would have liked to find more easily:

  1. Attach your PSP to your Mac with a USB cable.
  2. On the PSP, from the ‘Settings’ menu select ‘USB Connection‘.
  3. The PSP will shortly mount as a drive on the desktop.
  4. Inside the drive there should be a folder called VIDEO
    If there isn’t create it.
  5. Copy your MP4s to this folder.
  6. Eject the PSP.
  7. You should now be able to play the videos by going to the Video menu, selecting Memory Stick, and choosing the video to play.

Notes:

  • You can put videos into sub-folders of the VIDEO folder, the PSP can find and play them.
  • The MP4s downloaded from YouTube also work on a PSP.

And for your reference, the machine I used to do the above is:

  • MacBook Pro 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • running Mac OS X 10.5.6
  • PSP 3000 (firmware 4.21)
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One Response to iSquint at PSP MP4 converters for Mac OS X

  1. Thanks for the comment.

    PSP is a pretty amazing device. I’ve seen tons of apps and things. Nice review.

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