Russ Beattie has a nice run down on the latest PSP firmware update from Sony, version 2.6 (as he points out, let’s hope it doesn’t include any naughty Sony rootkits!).
The main new feature is an RSS aggregator which supports podcasts – nice. With the PSP’s wifi support, it means you can refresh your content straight to your device – no syncing with a computer, etc. That’s certainly an iPod-killer for hard-core podcast listeners (until Apple match that functionality with a WiFi-eanabled iPod, I guess).
Sony have also added Microsoft WMA codec support, so that you can play standard Windows Media Audio files. Surely this is a first step towards enabling Microsoft WMA DRM?
Whilst I’d like to hope that portable audio devices stay as DRM-free as possible, it goes without saying that if you want serious content producers to offer premium content for your platform then you need to offer them a DRM solution. Clearly this would be another swipe at Apple, as Microsoft’s DRM is the main rival to FairPlay (the Apple DRM used in the iPod).
As much as I support the homebrew concept (which Sony’s firmware updates attempt to stop each time), Sony continue to win me over with the feature set. What thy master give’th in one hand, he take’th away with the other…
Anyway, I just got my pre-release GP2X Linux-based handheld console for homebrew, anyway (more on that soon).