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GTA: Liberty City Stories


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GTA Custom Soundtrack Loader

Now available! Convert your own tunes to blast out while cruising Liberty City.

by Nix & Juan Castro

October 28, 2005 - This week's release of Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories for the PlayStation Portable has delivered fans of the handheld the biggest game yet for the system. With the game came a couple of surprises, including an unannounced feature on the Audio menu for Custom Soundtrack playback. The feature -- a popular add-on for the Xbox versions of GTA and a heavily requested feature for PSP game releases -- was not mentioned in Liberty City Stories previews, nor was it given mention in the manual, and the feature was non-operational in the game.

After a week of false rumors and questions, Rockstar has finally come out with an official announcement on the Custom Soundtrack feature in GTA: Liberty City Stories. The feature requires a special converter for use on your home PC that will change audio files into a format compatible with the game. You can download the loader from IGN at the below link:

Download Rockstar Custom Tracks v1.0

for Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories

A couple of notes are of interest regarding this Custom Tracks application. First, although GTA is all about rhyming and stealing, Rockstar has made the decision to focus exclusively on purchased music. You can only convert music from a store-bought CD -- no tracks downloaded from a music blog, no tracks ripped from your buddy's CD collection. This also means no tracks bought and paid for from services like iTunes or Napster yet, but it could be possible that future versions of the Rockstar Custom Tracks feature might support alternative audio formats.

NOTE: IGN readers are reporting that iTunes' burning option will make CDs that are recognized as bought discs by the Rockstar Custom Tracks application, and have been able to upload tracks to their PSPs after first burning their music to a standard playable CD. We have not yet confirmed what will and will not work within Rockstar's application.

Interestingly enough, this is not called the "GTA: LCS Custom Tracks" converter -- it's the "Rockstar Custom Tracks" converter, and while Rockstar mentions the custom tracks are for play currently on GTA:LCS only, future PSP games from the company may be able to use the same music files. When you play music in the game, it does not mix in with the radio stations as in the Xbox feature for GTA -- instead, it plays like a CD player, with the left and right buttons switching the music track instead of changing the radio station (you will have to turn Custom Tracks off if you want to go back to the radio.) The Custom Soundtrack feature will interface with the FreeDB CD database for picking up the song names and other relevant info about the songs you are converting, showing up in the game so you know what you're listening to and can pick tracks easier from a big collection.

Before you convert, you must also have at least one GTA: LCS save file on your PSP's Memory Stick, or else the custom tracks cannot be imported. The Custom Tracks feature will not read music off of your PSP (MP3 or otherwise), and your PSP will not be able to read Rockstar tracks in the Music menu on the main menu -- these tracks only work inside the game. The program uses ATRAC encoding to massively and cleanly compress your music (it'll typically squeeze a CD down to half of what you get in MP3s of the same quality), but you cannot play ATRACs already on your PSP, or move ATRAC files into the Custom Track folder for play in the game. You must also have a USB cable to transfer the music from a PC to the PSP, and there is currently not an application for Macs to make Custom Soundtracks.

We'll have more on future developments of the Rockstar Custom Tracks application, as well as possible future games from Rockstar that use customized tracks, as the news develops. Until then, download the Rockstar Custom Tracks v1.0 lock and load.

That is pretty fucking awesome, I always liked that the X-Box could use custom songs on games and this gives me more reason to get a PSP, I still refuse to get it until it drops to £150 (with a game) at most, but with this I'll be sure to get it sooner rather than later when it does drop.

Edited by Benjirino~!
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