PS3 – Music / Photo / Video Tips and Tricks (prepping, copying, playing)

   Posted April 1, 2007 by Jimmy Selix in Games

this is just a quickie recipe on some tips on copying/playing your media (music, video, photos) to your PS3’s harddrive via SD/MS/CF cards or usb thumbdrives/hds. i’ll explain how to get the album art for music to show, organize folders, and a few playback tips.

Sony has touted the Playstation3 as a all-in-one entertainment hub/system and has included the option to save media to the systems harddrive and in turn play it back through your home theater setup.

The PS3 is a very capable media system, it can playback the following media types ( ):

    -Memory Stick Audio Format(ATRAC)
    -MP3(MPEG-1/2 Audio Layer 3)
    -MP4(MPEG-4 AAC)
    -WAVE(Linear PCM)

    Memory Stick Video Format
    – MPEG-4 SP (AAC LC)
    – H.264/MPEG-4 AVC Main Profile (AAC LC)
    MPEG-1 (MPEG Audio Layer 2)
    MPEG-2 PS (MPEG2 Audio Layer 2, AAC LC, AC3(Dolby Digital), LPCM)
    MPEG-2 TS (MPEG2 Audio Layer 2)
    – Motion JPEG (Linear PCM)
    – Motion JPEG (μ-Law)
    AVCHD (.m2ts)

    JPEG (DCF 2.0/Exif 2.21 compliant)

    DVD Video / DVD-VR / DVD+VR / AVCHD
    BD-ROM / BD-R / BD-RE

Prepping Your Media Tips (pre-copying):

I’ve found that these little tidbits to be very helpful to get the most out of my music on the PS3.

Adding Folder Album Art to Music

First things first, lets add some Album Art to our MP3s. The PS3 reads the album cover info from the files/songs themselves vs a folder.jpg like most music players will read from. So to get your album art to show you will actually need to embed the album art into the file.

this can be done a few ways using different software. i prefer to use the free way, Windows Media Player 11 since i use WMP as my main syncing application and have been for the last 4 years (had a WM5 phone, PPC device, use office). The easiest way to manually add album art in media player 11 is to have WMP11 in the Music library, and then sorted by Album and use the large thumbnails view. Then open up IE/ Firefox and use google images to find the album art. Once you find the art via google images, right click the photo, choose Copy and then in WMP11, right click where it says add “Paste Art Here” and choose “Paste Album Art”. It will embed the art to all of the songs under this album. Once you are done, it may take a few hours for Media Player to embed the new art into the actual mp3s.

however you can also use other applications such as:
iTunes (see howto over at ( )

Also, the PS3 will read the the IDTag info and use that to organize the music. i have most of my music organized and tagged so organizing/sorting my music on the PS3 is a bit easier. It will read the following tags:

Converting Videos to PS3 format:

This is pretty easy, all you really need is a conversion program. you can use PS3Video9 by the red katana group to do this. Get it over here:

I’ve had a few probs w/WMV files converting but those were ones i authored myself and prob used a weird bitrate for. however most mpg and avi’s convert nicely. see the ps3video9 forum boards for tips on converting.

Using Picasa2 to create a photo folder of starred photos
I use picasa ( as my sole photo organizing application. it does a great job of it and now lets you upload directly to your free we album. however, i use picas more for starring my fav pics and in turn this lets me easily shift/export the images to a single folder.

just star your photos and then go to your starred photos area and select them all. then go to File > Exported to Folder and choose a folder to export to. voila, your fave photos in a single folder.

Copying Tips/Notes:

The PS3 reads memory stick or usb drive and looks for this type of structure:

[Memory Stick/USB Drive]
-VIDEO (does not support subfolders)
-PHOTO (does not support subfolders)
-MUSIC (does not support subfolders)
-DCIM (most digital cameras use this for photos)

So if you just want to be able to use a SD card to say show your photos when you want, you would want to put all of the photos in the PHOTO folder, do the same for music and videos. However, you can use subfolders if you want but you will need to view it by using the Display All option on the PS3.

On the PS3, go into your photo or music area and highlight the ms/usb drive and hit your Triangle button and choose Display All, you can now browse all of the folders on the drive/memory card.

Playback Tips

Playing all your music/photos in shuffle mode

This one took me a few tries to figure out since its not too straight forward (this applies to photos too). To get ALL of your music to play back in shuffle or normal (not just a group), you need to first change the view to Group by All. Then go back to the list of songs and hit the Start button. This will playback all songs not just the selected (vs hitting X on the song/group).

While the music is playing, hit the Triangle button to bring up the music options screen. here you can set the shuffle/repeat options and also the visualization on/off. this will apply to slideshows for photos too, be sure to Group by All to be able to play them all instead of just a Group/Single photo.

Watch Slideshow of Photos w/Music in background

I love having a nice slideshow w/some relaxing music playing when i have people over. here’s how you can do that on your PS3.

Start your music, then hit the PS button on the remote/controller. This will bring you back to the XMB w/o exiting the player.

Go to Photo and hit Start to start the slideshow.

Also, when in Photo/Music/Video, Square changes Group by options. Triangle will bring up the submenu screen.

Changing the Visual Player scenes

see my recipe on this here:

Make Video Thumbnails of downloaded Trailers

see my other recipe on this here:

DTS/Dolby audio output note

Set DTS/Digital Dolby manually if you have a capable receiver but are not getting games in dolby/dts. i had a prob when using Optical Digital in not getting DTS/Dolby signals to my receiver (which supports both). i went into the audio settings on my PS3 and checked DTS/Dolby and finally got them both formats in appropriate movies/games.


hopefully those little tidbits helped you PS3 newbs get your media on your PS3!

find me on the PSnetwork, gamerid: seamonkey420


About Jimmy Selix

Jimmy Selix is an early adopter that loves to be one of the first on the block to have the latest and greatest in technology and gadgets. Another love of his is being able to share his knowledge to others seeking it. Feel free to drop any comments or questions that you may have.
View more articles by Jimmy Selix

The Conversation

Follow the reactions below and share your own thoughts.

  • Pratik

    Thanks for the random playback instructions. Worked like a charm.

  • Bernie

    Can you help me? I want to share my slideshow with my created music to my family with no ps3 so i want to copy the slideshow (the way it is showing in ps3 transitions) to a disc or stick or whatever that i can burn so i can share it. Is this even possible with ps3? thanks.

    • Tom

      The only way this would be possible is if you used a capture card to record the slides. This would however be costly and pointless, I’m pretty sure you can get software that allows you to add transision effects the same as the PS3 so you might as well do that.

  • Evan

    MUSIC (does support ONE subfolder)
    BUT seems to be alpha only by title and not track #

  • jon renert

    I need help!! I have all my music organized by album not now all of a sudden some albums don’t appear. I have to go through artist to find that album. Yes the song are titled with the correct album and it used to show up before. All of a sudden 2 or 3 albums aren’t there. Any suggestions?

  • Scotty

    PS3 now supports subfolders for MUSIC, PHOTO and VIDEO

  • Tbone

    Thanks for great tips. Cheers

  • Spyhunter

    great tips, but how do i add more than one music folder – so i can have say “80’s” folder then all the 80’s albums within?

    • Anonymous

      If you enter the year in the tag, you can then simply sort them by date.

  • Anonymous

    I am trying to view tiff extensions of photos on my PS3 but it does not recognize them. Any thoughts? Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    i’m having a hard time putting photo’s on using usb it justsays it’s an audio player….won’t find pictures on my camera, phone or this usb help please

    • ChrisWy

      Hi Julz – in case you are still looking, copy pix from camera or phone to a USB memory stick, which MUST be formatted as FAT32 for the PS3 to condescend to see the contents!

      Im trying to upload BIG files OFF the PS3 to a Webserver, but do not know the filenames and directory structure inside the PS3. Anyone have any ideas?

  • Halo13

    K so is there a way to Share the slide show or create a slideshow on the ps3 and somehow share the slideshow on a space or online somehow with the music for other people on the Playstation3?

  • koleskas christos

    i want to see Munich,where i studiied

  • Ak2725

    Hello there… I have been trying to find out if there was a way to burn a slideshow created on my ps3 onto a blank cd to share with others… is that possible?

  • Hemanth

    I was having trouble reading the usb drive. The triangle button tip was pretty useful and voila, I am now watching videos.

  • Mefimybit

    The ps3 SUX when it comes to putting music in a folder.. I have a folder with over 300 mixes in it, all sorted, I put it on the ps3, and guess what, I ended up with 300 folders, each containing a sepperate mix.. seems sony are intent on not only conning us, but making us go backwards.. in fact, the ps3 SUX because of how lame the gui is, it’s like, do they employ idiots? it’s so backwards, it needs a hammer..

    • Outsider

      then don’t use it and boycott it.

  • Tammyk

    I put all my photoso on a USB memory stick. All files are JPEG but when the PS3 is saying there are no recognizable files. Help?

    • jimmyselix

      is it formatted in FAT32 or NTFS? PS3 does not recognize NTFS (ie what XP and Windows 7 usually format as).

      If you see the usb drive, hit Triangle on it and choose “Display All” 

  • Placebo1990

    Can you make it so other online friends can see the music you are listening to like the way you can see the games other friends are playing?

    • jimmyselix

       nope, would have to be a firmware update or hack. 

  • jimmyselix

     side notes: a while back ago, Sony removed the ability to keep a moving playing w/the XMB up. i believe this was due to xmb in game options.

    also, you can no longer play a song and then hit PS button and browse library. very annoying! i loved being able to find the next song while the one played. arggg!!

  • That One Guy

    jimmyselix – Not being able to hit the PS button when you are playing a song is actually a problem with the sampling rate at which you are playing your music.  I don’t have a PS3 in front of my right now, but I think you need to set the default to 44.1 KHz.  It will then let you jump out with the PS button.  If you have it at 48 KHz, you can’t hit the PS button while playing music.  It sounds strange, but that is the fix.  (I might have it backwards, but I think 44.1 is the setting you want).

    • Jimmy Selix

      your totally right on this! wonder why this is? thanks for the tip!!

  • s

    cheers for the tip on all music playback !


    I would like to export music from my PS3 to my android cell. I have tried usb and bluetooth, but nothing seems to work! Please HELP!!!!

    • Jimmy Selix

      i believe you need to be able to have your android phone enter USB Mass storage mode (not all let you do this). Once you do that, on the ps3, select a song to try to copy to the android phone by hitting the Triangle button and then choose “Copy” hopefully your phone shows up as a device to copy to!

  • Dex

    the Ps3 won’t let me open some folders in my photo album but it will play them as a slideshow? if It can play them as a slide show why can’t it open them normally?

  • mrdelitesdagr8tes

    very helpful indeed ,.. but i’m trying to put saved movies from my ps3 gaming console , into my tmobil android phone ,.. how can i?