Freeware PS3 Media Server

ps3mediaserver – Project Hosting on Google Code

If you’re like me who doesn’t own a PC to stream media to the PS3 then this free alternative is a good idea. It runs on macs, PCs and Linux and developed on the Java platform.

It’s fairly simple to use if you know your way around media servers but to put it simply, it gets the job done. I’m using my mac mini  ( not the latest but the first generation intel Mac mini with 2 GB of RAM to do this. It automatically sets up the DNLA protocols necessary to communicate with the PS3 and automatically sets the movie folder in your home folder as the default source for the media. You can add additional folders as well.

But what makes this piece of software great is the transcoding. Up until now, we’ve always been dependent on the formats that the consoles supported and it hasn’t been easy. Not all avi files would play, incompatible condec and so on that it’s been quite a challenge to play anything off a home media server to the PS3 but it all changes with this software and it’s built in transcoder.

Yes folks it has a built in transcoder which will allow you to transcode in almost faster than real time any format to make it PS3 friendly.  That means all your mkv, avi, ogg, and so on will be transcoded in almost real time. Note that I stress almost real time. This is because results may vary on the processor, RAM and so on of your computer and may either be faster or slower.

Sound transmitted supports dolby digital or whatever audio encoding is in your files. Scrubbing through the movie may prove to be difficult for some formats since I’ve stated above that it may or may not be transcoding. This means that if the file is being transcoded, chances are you can’t skip any further than what has already been transcoded. So be warned. A mild inconvenience but nothing that should seriously affect the overall experience.

The PS3 automatically detects the presence of the media server and everything can be accessed from there. The one amazing thing I’m very very much impressed here is tha ability to select language. Yes I do mean the audio language of the file. The file format mkv is used mostly if there are multiple languages in the file. It’s like the DVD language menu option but can usually only be controlled or watched on a PC. PS3 Media Server ia able to dissect through the language options and send that information to the PS3 which will allow you to select your desired language.

The best part of this, it’s free. Yes, click on the link above to bring you to the developer’s page and download away. I do hope that they continue to develop and support this important piece of software and keep it free.

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