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HOW TO ENCODE A MOVIE FOR PLAYBACK ON A SONY PSP WITH FFMPEGX FOR MAC OSX
  • This guide provides a step-by-step process to convert a movie into the special format used by the Sony PSP and to transfer it with on the PSP with a USB cable connected to your Mac.
  • Encoding speed is about 47fps on a G5 1.8 Dual.

Opening the source movie
Choosing the preset
Encoding
Copying the movie to your PSP


Opening the source movie

  • You have an .AVI DivX, a VOB file, or a movie in some other format, and you want to encode it for playback on the Sony PSP. The Sony PSP uses MP4 video with a non-standard header and very specific encoding parameters. ffmpegX has a special preset to encode video in such format.

  • Open ffmpegX and drop your movie file to ffmpegX icon or "Open" field or "From" area to open it, or click the Open.. button to locate the file from your hard disk.
  • The "Save as..." name will be set by ffmpegX. At encoding time, the special file naming format needed by the PSP will be defined by ffmpegX.

Choosing the preset:

  • Click the Target Format pulldown menu in the Summary tab and choose "PSP". The preset use XviD video and AAC audio in a MP4 container. You may also use the "PSP H.264" preset, which leads to smaller file sizes, but needs PSP firmware 2.00 or greater to work. You may find an howto for encoding to PSP H264 here.

  • Don't change the preset framerate value.
  • You may increase video bitrate up to 450kbps and audio bitrate up to 128kbps if you want to improve quality a little, though preset values are already extremely good.
  • You may go in the Filters tab to add cropping and/or padding if needed.
  • Subtitles are not supported (unless you create a file beforehand with subtitles burned in the image, and then encode such file). In the Options tab, set the "PSP name" field with the name you want to use in the PSP to catalog your movie. You should note that ffmpegX can not open back PSP movie file to convert them again
  • If your source is 16:9 sources, you may also use non-standard size of 368x208 (or 416x176, 320x176, 384x160, 480x160 and 400x192). Note that the PSP screen has a resolution of 480x272, but for movie playback, width x height must not exceed 76800 pixels, so the smaller sizes listed above have to be used. Note that no matter the non-standard resolution used, the picture will be always scaled to the full 16:9 PSP screen size.
  • If your source is 2.35;1 you must prior reverse it to 16:9 by using black bars.
  • For 4:3 sources, always use the standard 320x240 resolution. To gain a little quality if you don't mind for the bigger filesize, you may use a video bitrate of 400 kbps.

Encoding:

  • Click the "Encode" button.
  • Encoding takes places in ffmpegX Progress window.
  • You can continue working with other applications while encoding. OSX Unix core reallocates processor ressources in realtime as needed.

Copying the movie to your PSP:

  • Locate the encoded file by clicking the icon.
  • Connect the PSP to your Mac using the USB connection, and choose the “USB connection” option on the PSP menu.
  • When the drive appears on your OSX desktop, create the following directories in the ROOT of the drive (i.e. NOT in the PSP directory):
    MP_ROOT/100MNV01

  • Now copy the MP4 file created by ffmpegX to the MP_ROOT/100MNV01 directory. Dismount the PSP memory stick drive.

  • Go to the Movies menu on the PSP. You should now see the movie and be able to play it. Pressing the triangle button gives access to menu options. Among these you will find one for screen size. This allows letterboxed movies to use the whole screen. Scroll through the options using the circle button. When you’re happy with the format, press the triangle button again.

  • Many thanks for this guide to murph7355 who also kindly tested ffmpegX PSP preset on his own PSP (lucky guy!).


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