The ISO Event

dvdA couple weeks ago, Jay told me about a server application that let you stream ISOs to your PS3.  I was in awe, and had to give it a shot.  I have a lot of backup ISOs of my movies, and being able to immediately play a DVD image directly on the PS3 without having to burn a DVD would be HUGE for me!  So I tried it.  For those not familiar with what an “ISO” is, it’s an exact image of a DVD disc–it contains every single bit of the DVD–the movie, menus, extras, etc., in the exact format of the DVD, except that it’s a file instead of a disc.  There are several applications available that will then let you burn that image to an actual DVD when desired, and even some that will “mount” the image as a “virtual” DVD drive on your computer so you can play the movie on your computer without having to burn a disc.  So, as you can imagine, ISOs can be very handy on a computer, and they make great backups in case your DVDs get scratched or marked up so much they’re no longer playable (thanks, kids!).

So being able to instantly stream and play these ISOs on the TV to which my PS3 is on, is a big deal for me.  It makes all of these movies and special feature discs available at my fingertips, instead of having to go find the DVD and insert it into my PS3.  I played with the latest version of the application for a couple days, but found that the voices never synced up with the video–ISO movies always played with a too-fast video speed, and the audio was always 10-15 seconds behind the video.  There are a ton of tweaking options in this application, so I tweaked everything I could, but couldn’t get it to play ISOs properly.  It would stream every other type of video file from my PC without any problems, but ISOs were the key to my happiness.  This was very disappointing.  Meanwhile, Jay was having the same issues, so it wasn’t just me.  After some googling of the issue, I found others having the same problem–with the newest versions of the application.  A few users noted that the previous version that they had before this one would play ISOs perfectly.  Ah ha!  So I uninstalled and deleted the newest version, then installed an older (actually the oldest version online–version 1.04) and guess what?  They were right–ISOs now play perfectly!!

Just as Audible screwed up their audiobook app on me in their latest version, PS3 Media Server’s latest version messed up ISO streaming.  So right now, my ISO images are streaming perfectly, and I’m very happy with it, though it is a very old version of the application.  Hopefully someone will determine what went wrong and correct it in a future version.  I will be glad to upgrade it to the latest version, once this issue is resolved, but for now I’m perfectly happy staying right where I am.  This is awesome!  I also found out, during my googling, that this may be the ONLY application that can actually perform this function!  I’d be perfectly willing to pay for a full-blown feature-rich commercial application that did this, if I could find one!

By the way, PS3 Media Server works with more than just the PS3.  It will stream to any DLNA-compliant network device, and is available for many operating systems, including Windows, Linux and Mac.  And it’s a completely free, open-source project.  Here’s the link: