Codemasters has found an ingenious method of allowing players to supply their own soundtrack in TOCA Race Driver 2 on PSP, and the company has hinted that its experiments in this area could pave the way for things like custom in-game photos.
TOCA 2 will use an Exact Audio Copy utility to rip music from a legitimate music CD in the player's PC CD drive, and copy it via USB cable (not supplied, of course, but then neither's the PC or music CD ya scrounger) to the PSP's Memory Stick. Obviously it'll help if your Memory Stick is larger than the totally inadequate 32MB version supplied with the PSP's so-called Value Pack.
Codemasters presumably went for this approach because it allows it to safeguard against music piracy to some extent. Although it doesn't sound like there's much to stop you creating your own music CDs with a writer and then ripping them instead. Just saying.
The Exact Audio Copy utility will be released through the "Upgrades" section of Codemasters' website. Once you've got that and plonked some music on the Memory Stick, you can then listen to it while playing TOCA 2.
Meanwhile, a comment in a recent issue of EDGE from the development manager of TOCA 2 and Colin McRae's PSP versions suggests that research in this area could lead to more than just custom soundtracks
In an article about PSP homebrew, David Brickley said, "We're managing to implement custom soundtracks in TOCA: Race Driver 2, so we know that even with the latest libraries we can still stream some media files from a Memory Stick and use them within a game. That opens up some nice potential for future products, like uploading your pictures and using them in game, maybe."
Interesting stuff. And perhaps a good way of linking people up for WiFi battles in public areas - we like the idea of playing Gran Turismo or something with people whose faces we can then pick out of a crowd and shout at. But then we're like that.