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PSP update adds audio goodies

Sony releases new firmware for PlayStation Portable. Version 2.6 adds RSS channel for streaming audio, WMA support.

Sony on Tuesday released the latest update for its PlayStation Portable handheld in the U.S., including two major features that boost the system's audio functions.

The update can be installed directly through the PSP, model number PSP-1001, using the System Update feature while connected to the Internet. It also can be downloaded from Sony's Web site to a memory stick and then installed, or can be run from an updated UMD disc.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication, version 2.0) functionality has been added for audio streams. PSP owners connected to the Internet can now easily check through Web sites for updated streaming audio content such as podcasts. The RSS function works only for streaming audio files, and for playback only.

Windows Media Audio files are now supported with Firmware 2.6. Copyright-protected files will not be playable, but all other WMA files saved on Memory Stick Duos can be heard through the PSP's Music menu.

Smaller additions include volume adjustment in the control panel of the LocationFree player, Chinese character font support for the Internet browser, and copy-protected video content downloadable directly to the unit's Memory Stick Duo.