First, you should go to http://getsatisfaction.com/rhapsody/topics/playstation_3_issue and vote for PS3 support for Rhapsody. That’s Rhapsody’s official support site where they admit the PS3 is not supported. You don’t even need an account, you can sign in via OpenId, Facebook, etc. If everyone who visits this page votes for it, it will be their top priority in no time.
Second, Orb doesn’t seem to work anymore. I am now running on a new machine with Win7 x64. I grabbed the latest (2.50) Orb and after installing it, my PS3 couldn’t see the Orb media server (but WMP could). I backed down to 2.0 and the PS3 saw it, but complained it was unsupported media. I then tried going to the mycast.orb.com website (on my PS3) and signing in, which is the current recommendation for PS3 users, but the player plugin doesn’t work. (On Firefox on my PC there is no plugin, rather it tries to download the .asx file which only WMP can play.) So at this point it’s simply not working and I don’t know if it’s Rhapsody’s horrid DRM or Sony’s lousy PS3 browser or Flash support. I filled out a tech support ticket, maybe I’ll hear from them on Monday. But note that recent commenters have gotten it to work, so YMMV.
OK, this is big. Well, to some people. I’ve wanted to get Rhapsody on my PS3 for a while now, but it doesn’t support the Plays for Sure DRM. I’ve shared my Rhapsody library via the Windows Media Player streaming media server, but although I can see the files, I always get an error that the media is unsupported.
Enter Orb. This is yet another streaming media server. It appears that its main purpose is to share your library across the internet, so when you’re not at home you can still access the files on your desktop by visiting your personal Orb web page.
However, it also offers a UPnP server that allows you to browse shared directories with gaming consoles like the PS3. Unlike other UPnP servers (like the ones that come with Rhapsody and WMP), this allows you to play DRM-protected tracks. (As panarican mentions below, this includes subscription tracks. In fact, I’m a Rhapsody To Go member with a Sansa e280 so I haven’t purchased any tracks from Rhapsody.)
Here are the steps:
- Download Orb
- Run the installer. When it asks you if you want to set up support for gaming consoles like the PS3, say yes (duh). You must also sign up for an account that you won’t use, but oh well.
- Find the Orb icon in the task tray. Right click and select Configuration. Under the Media tab, choose the directories you want to share. Initially, I went to the web page and got rather frustrated when I couldn’t find a way to include/exclude directories.
- Fire up your PS3 and browse for your the Orb media server. You should see your folders and files. If you don’t, don’t panic! When I first visited my collection, the folders were there, but the files didn’t show up. I assumed it just didn’t work, or that I needed to change the transcoding format (somewhere along the way I chose Windows .asx; I think that was on the web page). A couple hours later my housemate was browsing through again and the files were showing up! When he selected one, it took a few seconds (buffering?) but it actually played!
I haven’t tried playlists yet, and I’m a little curious if it will go from track to track without a long load time.
So there you have it. Yeah, it’s not as good as a true Rhapsody client like the Sonos system or a Tivo HD XL. With those, you can actually browse Rhapsody as you do with the desktop client or their website. The Orb method isn’t much different from loading up your Sansa and connecting it to your receiver, which I’ve also done. But this way you don’t have to worry about batteries going dead or even transferring tracks beforehand. It’s much nicer for impromptu playing.
If this stuff interests you, you might also want to learn about my troubles with HDCP and the PS3.