One of the most famous gaming consoles Sony’s Playstation 4 now can be used to play video or music files from a different computer or a USB flash drive on your network. It is even possible to use the console to play music files in the background while you enjoy playing some game.
All of this is possible due to the new “media player” app which Sony introduced a year and a half later since the release of the PS4. And if you want to stream videos from your computer you can do it with ease thanks to the free Plex app.
Numerous File type and Codec are supported
The media player on your Playstation 4 supports numerous video and audio file formats. In case the file you are trying to play is not compatible you will be required to transcode it into supported format.
As I have said, there are many supported formats for each category.
For instance the music files must be in MP3 or in AAC (M4A) formats.
Your photos can be viewed if they are in BMB, JPEG or in PNG format, while the supported video formats are:
- Visual: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High Profile Level4.2
- Audio: MP3, AAC LC, AC-3(Dolby Digital)
- Visual: MPEG4 ASP, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High Profile Level4.2
- Audio: MP3, AAC LC, AC-3(Dolby Digital)
- Visual: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High Profile Level 4.2
- Audio: AAC LC, AC-3 (Dolby Digital)
- Visual: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High Profile Level4.2, MPEG2
- Audio: MP2 (MPEG2 Audio Layer 2), AAC LC, AC-3(Dolby Digital)
- AVCHD: (.m2ts, .mts)
As you can see from the list, the supported formats are commonly used so you should not worry too much about the type your files because it is most likely for them to fall into one of these formats.
You must use correct File system on the USB flash drive
How to play the files on your Playstation 4 you may wonder? This is really simple. First of all you need to connect your USB flash drive to your computer. Note that the USB must be formatted with FAT32 or exFAT because the NTFS is not compatible with the PS4 and in case you try to connect NTFS USB into your PS4 an error will be shown on display informing you that you cannot use the USB drive.
Make sure that your USB is formatted with the supported format by right clicking on the drive in Windows and choosing format exFAT or format FAT32. Note that all the files on the USB will be deleted after the format so make sure that you backup any important data.
It is required that you save your media files in separate folders
Even though Sony has not informed about this officially, this problem does exists. In case you have a music file and you just place it in the “root” folder of your flash drive, the PS4 won’t be able to read it. This means that you must place your files inside a folder on the drive so the PS4 can read them.
You need to place your audio files in a folder called “Music” so the PS4 can read them properly from the USB drive. The video files can be put in any folder on the USB drive but you must be careful not to put them on the root of the drive. It is recommended that you create a custom folder and name it “Videos” or to create a separate folders for different types of videos.
And all of this applies for Photos as well, you must store them in a separate folder to view them and it is recommended that you name the folder Photos.
The Media Player of Playstation for and how to use it
After you have finished adding files from your computer onto the USB drive, unplug the USB and connect it to your PS4 ports-there are several that are located on the front side which you normally use them for charging your controllers.
Start the Media Player app on your PS4 and you will see the USB drive appears as an option.
The icon of the Media player app will be shown in the content area of your free PSN Codes—the one that shows icons on the main screen. Select the icon and start the media player. In case you have not installed the app yet, the icon will be still shown but instead of launching when you click on it, the file will take you to the Playstation Store from where you will need to download the app for free first.
Once you have the media player started, select your USB drive and search for the music or video files you want to play. Just use the controller buttons to control the playback.
You can use the R2 or L2 buttons on your PS4 controllers to rewind or fast forward your video file. You can view information about the file by pressing the triangle button while if you press on the option button, a playback control panel will be opened.
When you play music while in a game, just press on the Playstation button and hold it for a few seconds to gain access to the quick media player controls. They will enable you to change songs or pause playback.
Use DLNA or Plex Server instead of USB flash drive
An alternative option exists for those who do not want to connect USB drive to PS4 and transfer files in that way. You can use a DLNA server and stream videos or music directly to your PS4. The media player of your PS4 will detect valid DLNA servers on your home network and will show them as an option right next to any connected USB devices when you open it.
And if you want to stream over the network you can use “Plex” which is much better solution. And the good news about this app is that it is now free for use even without having a “Plex Pass” subscription on your PS4.
As a bonus, the PS4 also offers you the option to stream directly from YouTube, Hulu, Amazon, Netflix ad several other services, however occasionally you may be required that you play back some local files. Fortunately, it took Sony long enough to add this option, and now that it is available feel free to enjoy using it.