When I popped in my Resistance: Retribution UMD and fired up its multiplayer, DNAS asked me to update my PSP by going to Settings->System Update or it would not sign in. I was amazed at the fact that v6.10 that I blogged about was over the servers, but not on the US site as yet. I hurriedly plugged in the PSP to an AC power source and downloaded the update. Long story short, I downloaded the update and also downloaded SensMe channels and gave it a thorough test run. End result: Decent. The following short review will tell you exactly what you need to know about the new application (yes it is an application) for the PSP. (Do forgive the PSP screenshots since my camera does not do well with macros).
First off, you need these things:
- PSP (duh)
- PSP Firmware v6.10 (another big duh)
Yes. The last one is an absolute necessity. It’s yet another multimedia library software, however it analyzes the content of each track using some proprietary algorithms and categorizes according to their Mood and Tempo. A SensMe playlist is then created by the user as shown in the screenshot. (Pull the ends of the circle to increase or decrease the area it encompasses, and you have your playlist)
Sync all the files that you have with SensMe data to your PSP via MediaGo and voila, you have them all on your lovely portable darling.
I have to say that the UI looks slick. It flows well and the transitions look well on the eye.
All the songs are categorized under channels such as Energeticor Mellowor Extremeor Loungewhich can be called by pressing the Selectbutton on your PSP. Eight categories like these these are the permanentcategories. Selecting a category is as simple as pressing X while hovering over it, and all the songs are displayed quite familiarly like the iPod CoverFlow. However, I forgive Sony on grounds that it looks pretty awesome!
The other options are Evening which changes according to the time of the day, and consequently so do the songs.
There is a Shuffle Alloption that shuffles all your songs into a new playlist and you can listen to your entire library in a random order. The Newly Addedchannel lists all the songs that were added in the last sync, while the Favoriteschannel lists all the songs that you have favorited.
Adding a song to your Favorite list is very easy just press Up in the D-pad and it goes into your favorites; press down while you are looking at the same song and it gets removed from the favorite list. Simple, easy and effective. However, the speed of the UI is quite slow and it feels like it is lagging now and then. So, while the entire application is gorgeous, the not-very-smooth transitions feels like you have a Pentium II trying to run Crysis (OK, not that bad, but it does not suit the PSP whose XMB is the smoothest thing I have ever used). As you scroll through the songs (Using the D-pad’s left and right buttons) the album art of the later songs are added slowly, which again looks quite bad on the PSP. I only hope they would remedy it in the later version of SensMe channels.
Another flaw in this flawed beauty is the load time. This thing loads like a game! And we all know how long a game takes to load on a PSP in the time I wait for it to load, I might as well have started listening to a playlist synced with MediaGo.
In all, SensMe channels is a great toy for people to toy around with, but where it makes up for prettiness and mood-centric playlists (for the most part, the songs selected for the mood were spot on; the exceptions could have been my fault as I had a lot of Tristania loaded up!) it goes down on load times and slow UI. Again, I hope Sony remedies this in the later versions especially the loading time. SensMe channels does well for those of us who are lethargic and do not want to create their own playlist for the Sony PSP; I fit into this category quite comfortably!