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How to View Photos, Play Music, and Watch Videos with PS4 Media Player – Guide

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Sony put a big emphasis on games when it launched the PlayStation 4, and its laser focused marketing won the hearts and minds of gamers. But as its new PlayStation Vue commercial so astutely illustrates, just because games are the focus of the format, doesn’t mean that owners aren’t interested in photos, music, videos, and other kinds of media. It’s a good thing that the platform holder released the PS4 Media Player during E3 2015, then – but how does this new application actually work? We’ve put together a quick guide to help you to get up to speed with the overdue addition.

Downloading the Media Player app

As Sony’s wont to do these days, you’ll find the Media Player app on the PS4’s home ribbon. Clicking on it will take you to the PlayStation Store where you’ll be able to download it for free. If you can’t see it on your dashboard, then just search ‘Media Player’ using the PlayStation Store’s search function. It’ll pop up in the search results as an App, and clicking on it will, again, take you to the download page for the tool.

How to Use PS4 Media Player App on PlayStation 4

Organising your photos, music, and videos for USB

The PS4 Media Player accepts media from both USB and a home network. We’ll get to the latter in a moment, but let’s first focus on USB. This works similarly to the USB Music Player, but obviously includes support for media beyond audio. You’re going to need a FAT or exFAT formatted USB drive, but don’t worry if you don’t understand these terms, as chances are your device will be.

In order to organise your content, you’re going to want to create a trio of directories (or folders) at the root level of your USB drive: ‘Photo’, ‘Music’, and ‘Video’. You should then create additional directories inside each of these depending on the content you’re going to bring across: ‘Holiday Photos 2015’, for example, or ‘Taylor Swift’. Once you’ve done this, copy across the media you want.

It’s worth noting that the PS4 Media Player app only supports certain file extensions, which you can find listed in full below. If your media uses alternative file extensions, then you may need to convert them before they’re compatible with the PS4. This applies to networked content, too. If you find yourself in this position, there’s tons of software on the web that can help you to get this done for free.

Accessing your photos, music, and videos using a Media Server

Connecting with a Media Server is a little more complicated, as there are dozens of different pieces of software and operating systems to consider here. We’re going to focus on Windows 8.1 because that’s what we tested, but you should be able to find information for other setups on Google. Remember to provide as much information as possible when searching for the best results.

If you happen to be a Windows 8.1 user, though, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Go to ‘PC Settings’.
  2. Click ‘Network’.
  3. Select the Wi-Fi Router that you’re using:
    This must be on the same network as your PS4.
  4. Set the toggle beneath ‘Find Devices and Content’ to ‘On’.
  5. Return to ‘Network’ and click ‘HomeGroup’.
  6. Set the toggle for ‘Music’, ‘Pictures’, and ‘Video’ to ‘On’.
  7. Set the toggle beneath ‘Let devices on my network (like TVs and game consoles) stream my music and videos’ to ‘On’.

With this completed, you should see your PC or laptop listed in the PS4 Media Player app. The same will be true if you’ve correctly setup an alternate operating system or piece of software. As above, however, it’s worth noting that the PS4 Media Player app only supports certain file extensions, which you can find listed in full below.

Setting up Media Server DLNA with PS4 PlayStation 4

Using the PS4 Media Player app

With all of the above complete, you’ll be able to access your media via USB, your home network, or both. Selecting the source that you wish to use will bring up a list of folders on USB and media types on your home network. Select them to access your content. Each item can be added to your favourites for quick access by pushing the R3 button. You can actually mix and match between USB and home network files, building playlists and such across the differing sources. It’s worth noting, however, that you cannot copy files to your PS4 hard drive, so you need to have either your USB stick inserted or your Media Server switched on in order to access your favourites.

Here are a few additional tips for specific media types:

Photos

  • Use the right analogue stick to zoom in and the left analogue stick to move around.
  • Press X (cross) to start playing a slideshow and again to pause it.
  • Press triangle to view file information and the options button to access the Control Panel.
  • In the Control Panel you can set slideshow speed, transition type, and more.

Music

  • Press the square button to bring up the Music Control Panel.
  • Using the Music Control Panel, you can shuffle songs, change the volume, and more.
  • Once you’ve started playing a song or playlist, you can return to the PS4’s home screen by pushing the PlayStation button. Your music will keep playing, and will play during games. You can skip songs while you’re in-game by holding down the PlayStation button and using the mini Media Player in the Quick Menu.

Video

  • Use the L2 and R2 triggers to rewind and fast-forward respectively.
  • Press triangle to view file information and the options button to access the Control Panel.
  • In addition to skipping and more, you can also enable Continuous Playback using the Control Panel which enables a series of videos to be played in sequence. This is handy if you’re wanting to watch a sequence of videos in order.

What file types and codecs are supported by the PS4 Media Player app?

Below you’ll find the list of file types and codecs supported by the PS4 Media Player app at the time of publication. Be aware that, while every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this piece, compatibility could change depending on future patches or software updates.

Video

  • MKV
    • Visual: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High Profile Level4.2
    • Audio: MP3, AAC LC, AC-3 (Dolby Digital)
  • AVI
    • Visual: MPEG4 ASP, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High Profile Level4.2
    • Audio: MP3, AAC LC, AC-3 (Dolby Digital)
  • MP4
    • Visual: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High Profile Level4.2
    • Audio: AAC LC, AC-3 (Dolby Digital)
  • MPEG-2 TS
    • Visual: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High Profile Level4.2, MPEG2 Visual
    • Audio: MP2 (MPEG2 Audio Layer 2), AAC LC, AC-3(Dolby Digital)
    • AVCHD: (.m2ts, .mts)

Photo

  • JPEG (based on DCF 2.0/Exif 2.21)
  • BMP
  • PNG

Music


Have you been using the PS4 Media Player app on your console? Are you happy with it or do you think that it still needs improvement? Have you got any Media Server setup hints for operating systems other than Windows 8.1? Spread the joy in the comments section below.