Friday, April 01, 2005

Real costs. Or have it on PSP or not.

Searching around, the 1GB Pro Duo cards are due to be in stock anywhere from next week to the end of the month depending on where you go. Now here’s the kicker, how many will the dedicated owner buy? The cheapest is the gaming colored Sandisk 1GB cards, MSRP $150. Careful shopping online can net you one for maybe $125. It’s been stated many times before, but price vs value ratio sucks big time for most any Sony propriety format. So, what else can the PSP owner do, but accept it? It comes down to how much do you want your PSP to handle the extras that you’d put on a Duo card, photos, music, and movies.

Having tried a lot of portable media players, I will say that the PSP’s photo viewer is far superior. The options you have to manipulate the pics and access/focus speed is as good or better than every PMP out there. Music playback wise, the PSP is about as bulky as most PMPs so that’s a wash. Now, in terms of movie playback, it’s no contest some PMPs trounce the PSP. Note the “some” qualifier. All have large hard drives (at least 20GB, up to 100GB), but not all are created equally when it comes to screen size and resolution.

The rough math works out to $2600 in Pro Duo cards if you wanted the 20GB of space you would get on a $300-500 PMP. Ideally, you’ll want a device with 640x480 resolution and the largest screen possible. Getting one that uses Windows Media Center is both a drag and a blessing. A drag because most folks don’t have Media Center PCs and official content is just now starting to gain any momentum. It’s a blessing from a format stand point since it’s fairly easy to convert movies (well not DVDs actually) to the Windows Media format and the file sizes in relation to playback quality is pretty good. Perhaps not as efficient as some of the newer codecs out there, but better than most.

What am I going to do you ask? Pick up one 1GB card (which is more than enough for photos) for the PSP that I can empty when I want a large card for my digital camera. For movie viewing, the wife wants one of those portable DVD players. I’m not too fond of them, but I can’t argue against the practicality of it. We can take however many DVDs with us on trips, buy DVDs on said trips, enjoy it on a fairly sizeable widescreen display, and watch them without having to convert and fit them on a hard drive. I’ve been trying to get her to just buy a cheap laptop for a few hundred more, but that has different drawbacks as well.

My current PDA just went bust so I’m heavily eyeing this number. The $750 price is kind of steep, but 30GB of space, Wifi internet, and full PDA functionality is HOT!

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