Getting a Nike[PSA Play mp3 player to work with Mac OS X

Posted on January 7, 2004

I did it recently and it sure was no picnic finding out the necessary information so here is how I did it.

First off I checked iTunes’ [compatibility chart]( 34246826& and, sure enough, the psa[play is supposed to be supported. This means that I expected to plug the player in and get a new icon in iTunes. But it doesn’t work that way and you have to dig into iTunes’ forums to find that out.

Anyway, before getting to that part I tried plugging the player in and nothing happened. As it turned out my player’s firmware had to be upgraded (I’ve had it for a year now) so I had to look around on Nike-Philips’ site for the software to do it.
The actual page is not very easy to find but the link is in there somewhere, so I eventually ended up with the file I needed (psa128max_fum_aen.sit - Mac’s software for the psa[playmax128).

Upgrading the player’s firmware was easy enough but you do need to download and read the Readme file carefully because there are some steps you need to take which are not too obvious.
After downloading and uncompressing the file you install the software and then follow the readme instructions to perform the firmware upgrade.
When you install this software you get two utilities, one that’s used to manage the device’s firmware and another one for formatting the player. You also get a plugin for iTunes which is automatically installed in the right location (as expected).

Well, after that I expected to get a new icon in iTunes when I connected the player, after all I did get the plug-in in the iTunes plugins directory after the software install and it does say in the compatibility chart that iTunes supports the psa[play but it doesn’t work that way.
What happens then is that when you plug the player in you get a new disk mounted in your Mac and you can then drag and drop your mp3 files into it. Even from iTunes you can do that and it will work.
But even though it does work and it is easy enough to use it this way I don’t think Apple is being fair in claiming support for this player in iTunes, it should claim support for it in OS X but not in iTunes.

Anyway this is how it’s done and it does get the player working with your Mac.
If you wish to follow the current threads on this look for it in Apple’s Discussions, under the Support section of the site. There is one going on right now in here.

And now for a small and only loosely related rant: :)
After yesterday’s announcement of the iPod mini how does it look for the psa[play or any other small flash player out there?
In my opinion it still looks good, Apple is way off the mark with the pricing on this baby. I mean come on, with this price and capacity difference between the mini and the standard 15GB iPod who in their right mind would buy a mini? You’re really much better off buying a standard iPod for the price and even the size factor is not really in Apple’s favour. Also the mini is not a flash player, it uses a disk so there is some skipping potential there.
If you want a good mp3 player go for the iPod but if you care about size and skip-free listening (for running or for the gym for example) just go out and buy a smaller flash player.
But then again, while I don’t like buying clearly over-priced stuff, there are a lot of people out there who don’t mind doing it, especially if they are loyal to the brand so I guess we’ll just have to see how it goes…
Me, I’m just happy with my players, both my Tungsten T and my wife’s nike[psa play (yes it’s hers but I’ll be the one using it for gym duty :)).