IGN tested out PlayStation 3's music playback ability, discovering that it's more fully-featured, but not as flexible as Xbox 360's playback functionality. Like 360, Sony's console allows users to rip/import music onto the hard drive. Ripping a 76-minute album took IGN roughly six minutes; unlike 360, ripped tracks can be formatted into AAC, ATRAC, or MP3 files (with several bitrate options). As with PSP, albums are stored separately (not under artists), but can be sorted by artist (and other categories) if desired.
While music playback is enabled during XMB activity (e.g., tinkering with settings, viewing pictures, browsing the web, etc.), it ceases once a game is launched. It's surprising that Sony did not implement seamless (user-generated) soundtrack functionality, which Xbox 360 owners have enjoyed since the spring Dashboard update. Is there a need for a patch in a future firmware upgrade?