Hey Apple, is that the DMCA casting a shadow on you?

My PS3 and iPod weren't made for each other, but they found one another anyway.

A short while ago my laziness led me to a small but useful discovery. I’ve always been meaning to back up the music on my iPod, because walking around with several days’ worth of music and not a single backup was just begging Murphy’s Law to swoop down and kick my ass. There’s just not enough room on my computer to hold several gigs of music, when I could be using those same several gigs to be working on personal projects. I thought about digging my external hard drive from the depths of my room, but I still couldn’t get around to it. Besides, ripping music from your iPod is just a pain, considering iTunes won’t let you do it and you have to rely on other programs to get your own damn music off your own damn iPod.

Today I plugged my iPod into my PS3 in an attempt to charge it. I left them alone for a few seconds, and when I returned, I found they really liked each other.

A PS3 and an iPod? Impossible, I thought, but there it was. The PS3 actually recognized the existence of my iPod, and my iPod passively let my PS3 do whatever it wanted. I thought it was too good to be true, and it was: When I went under the “Music” menu on my PS3, it declared that there weren’t any tracks on that dirty son-of-a-Mac Apple product. Well, fine, I thought, so much for that.

But then! Then, in a moment of inspiration, I Googled “ps3 ipod” and look what I found – a complete guide to getting your PS3 to recognize an iPod, in six mind-numbingly easy steps! Damn! Instant backup, and you don’t even have to go through all the crap you normally would to get your music off the player. It’s fast, doesn’t tie up your computer, doesn’t eat up space on anything you’re actually going to use the space of, and the PS3 even retains all the song information. When you’re done copying them over, you’ll have all of your songs, sorted by album, safely in your PlayStation 3. Not bad.

I did the same thing with the videos (you have to copy the same folder – the “Music” folder – to copy your videos) and suddenly I realized the truly awesome potential of this. I have several episodes of House from the days before it jumped the shark, and I started watching one of them. Keep in mind, the quality of these videos are mp4’s designed for the resolution of an iPod screen. But there I was, watching House, and the quality didn’t suck.

So really, if you’ve got a PS3, why the hell would you use your computer to store iPod data?

Using your PS3:

  • Doesn’t waste space. I have a 40GB PS3 (which is relatively small) and I’ve realized, what else am I going to use the 40GB for? It’s not like there are any good games to download, nor does it look like there’s going to be any in the near future.
  • Means you don’t have to fuck around with illegal ripping programs. You can literally just copy the music, and play it. No fiddling around with licenses or any of that.
  • Allows for fullscreen viewing. Seriously. What would you rather keep your video on, a computer/iPod that requires actual effort to hook up to a TV screen, or a PlayStation 3 that’s designed for that?
  • Doesn’t tie up your computer when you’re backing stuff up.
  • Feels so wrong, it’s right. What’s a bigger risk, storing your music on a computer that could crash or get damaged, or storing it in a machine that’s just going to sit there?

Conclusion: Don’t use your computer to store your music. Unless you have a comfortable amount of space and you like regular backups. In which case: Go to Hell.