Cobra USB News
Cobra USB FAQs:
http://psx-scene.com/forums/f267/cobra-usb-faqs-99952/ (Cobra USB FAQs)
Cobra USB Installation Guide v4.1+ (By TeamCobra)
http://psx-scene.com/forums/f267/cob...amcobra-99951/ (Cobra USB Installation Guide v4.1+ (By TeamCobra))
24 - March- 2011
29 - MARCH - 2011
Our Device will be available in 2 versions, 1 regular version which will come ready to use with firmware pre-installed and a blank version where the firmware will have to be D/L from our site and installed just like for future updates.
12 - MAY - 2011
Samples are on the way to review sites and initial pre-orders have been shipped out already. Stay tuned for reviews worldwide.....
14 - MAY - 2011
Support to load ps2 backups in iso format without the need of any other product will be added in revision 2.0 of the firmware and Cobra USB Manager. We're in the process of implementing this feature and expect to release 2.0 in 10-14 days. This feature applies only to models with backwards compatibility: CECHB01, CECHA01 and CECHE01.
18 - MAY - 2011
We are pleased to announce that we are currently working on a solution to enable Cobra USB on PS3 firmware 3.55, with the release expected to take place a few weeks from now. This will bring all of Cobra USB's ground breaking features to the more up-to-date firmware, with the added bonus of removing the need to perform the power/eject cycle to enable the dongle - this will become totally automated. Support for 3.55 will be provided simply as a Cobra USB firmware update, meaning ALL Cobra USB dongles will be supported without the need for a new hardware revision. We will make further details available as the release draws near, keep an eye on this website for updates!
20 - MAY - 2011
We have released Cobra USB firmware v1.2, which is available from the downloads page. Changes in this release include:
- Fixed compatibility issues with some games in discless mode
- Fixed a bug that prevented Cobra from detecting a PSX CD-R if it was inserted too early in the boot process
18 - JUNE - 2011
We have released Cobra Firmware v2.0 and Cobra USB Manager v2.0, which are both available from the downloads page. Changes in this release include:
- Added the ability to play PS2 ISO backups from CECHC and CECHE backwards compatible consoles. Support for the remaining backwards compatible models, CECHA and CECHB, will come in a future update
- PS3, PSX, DVD and BluRay ISO's can now be played without a real disc inserted in the PS3. Support for discless PS2 backups will come in a future update
- Added an option for those users without a PS2 backwards compatible PS3 (including Slims) to test PS2 original games and ISO backups using the PS2 software only emulator which is by default included with all PS3's. Please note however that as the software only emulator is slow and very buggy, this feature is disabled by default and is only intended as a gimmick
- Cobra USB manager can now make PS3 ISO's from backups in the standard "Jailbreak" directory format, using the copy function
- Cobra USB manager is now less strict with cue/bin filenames
- Bugfix: Cobra USB Manager was unable to get the PSX CD-ROM/CD-R title, and displayed "PSX-CDROM" instead
- Bugfix: Under rare circumstances, Cobra USB Manager could dump invalid PS3 discs
The user manuals have been updated to reflect the changes in the v2.0 release. In addition, we have released a PC-side genPS3-I-S-O tool which can convert backups dumped in the standard "Jailbreak" directory format to the ISO format supported by Cobra. As mentioned above, this is also supported directly within Cobra USB Manager however the process is faster and in our opinion easier to perform on the PC.
14 - JULY - 2011
We’re pleased to announce that development work is drawing to a close for our Cobra USB 3.55 solution. As previously announced, the new firmware pack will allow users running 3.55 cfw’s to install a new firmware console and dongle side which will enable use of the Cobra USB functionality, as well as allowing users to retain standard 3.55 cfw functionality. Owing to testing and security implementation, the development cycle lasted a little longer than expected, but we are on track to release the new firmware pack sometime next week. Enjoy the new release and look forward to the next, there’s plenty more features and surprises on the way from the Cobra team.......
24 - JULY - 2011
The Cobra Team is proud to present the Cobra 3.0 firmware pack, available from downloads section. In this release we enabled the Cobra USB device on 3.55 via use of our own cfw. Enjoy the release and look forward to many new features to come in future releases. Please be sure to read the updated user manual for detailed instructions on upgrading and usage!
01 - SEPTEMBER - 2011
Cobra Firmware 3.1 is out, minor release to fix bugs.
- - Fixed stability problems. Cobra users are advised to update to this firmware as soon as possible.
- - Fixed compatibility issue with Mortal Kombat.
- - Fixed PAL/NTSC issues in psx games.
- - Bugfix: some few specific psx titles such as Langrisser Final Edition wouldn't play in other regions.
- - Fixed a possible discless bug under very rare circumstances.
- - Cobra USB Manager can now understand the ".001, .002, ..." name convention used by hjsplit and other similar programs and rename them automatically to
- ".0, .1", name convention. Users can use hjsplit or any other similar tool to split iso files in the PC.
- - Added functionality to the core to implement a cobra firmware updater in the PS3.
05 - SEPTEMBER - 2011
Cobra Firmware v3.2 More Features and bugs fixed.
- - Added support for PS2 backups in optical discs (CD-R/DVD+-R)
- - PS2 original games are now region free too.
- - Fixed a bug that caused incompatibility with several PS2 backups in iso format.
- - Fixed some remaining PAL/NTSC problems in PSX games.
- - Cobra USB Manager will output now a mds file too when dumping a dual layer DVD or PS2-DVD. This file is not used by Cobra at all, but it can be used for burning to a dual layer DVD+-R while keeping original layer structure. This is mandatory when burning dual layer PS2 dvd's.
07 - SEPTEMBER- 2011
- Fixed a bug introduced in 3.2 that made some systems unstable when starting a PSX game.
04 - OCTOBER - 2011
- Added initial support to play PSP games in iso format. Please read the user manual for instructions.
The emulator is not perfect and it currently fails in saving/loading data, but there are several games playable at full speed. We've fixed some bugs in the emulator, and it loads now more games that it originally did. In the future, we will continue to improve the compatibility of the emulator and fix the savedata issue.
- A new version of cobraflash has been released, and is required to install firmware 4.0, that uses a new format. You can find it in the download section. Drivers remain the same, there is no need to update them.
New update format is more secure against bad writes, and it will be compatible with cobra updater for PS3 which will be released along with firmware 4.1.
11 - OCTOBER - 2011
Cobra Manager v4.0.1
- Small update to Cobra USB Manager and GenPS3-I-S-O to fix an important bug. No firmware update.
- Under certain circumnstances, Cobra USB manager and GenPS3-I-S-O would output an incorrect PS3 iso. This bug only affected a few games. In Cobra USB Manager, this bug only happened when creating an ISO from a PS3 game in jailbreak directory format, it didn't happen when dumping an ISO from an optical disc.
13 - OCTOBER - 2011
Cobra Manager v4.0.1 (fixed)
- New firmware update, mainly focused on improving PSP support.
- Improved compatibility with psp games. Some of the games that crashed early now run.
- Added support for PSP savedata. Please note that in the previous release, savedata worked for isos that were generated from psp minis games. However, those savedata are incompatible with this new firmware. You can see psp savedatas under the ps3 savedata section in the XMB, not under the minis one. If savedata still doesn't work in some game, please send us a message to our support email address.
- Cobra USB Manager will now give an error when trying to load a prometheus patched iso, as those aren't compatible with the PSP emulator.
- Added Cobra USB Updater to the download section. With this tool you can update the dongle using the PS3. Require Cobra Firmware 4.0+ to work. Refer to the manual for instructions.
25 - OCTOBER - 2011
- New firmware update, mainly focused on improving PSP support.
- Improved compatibility with psp games. Some of the games that crashed early now run.
- Added support for PSP savedata. Please note that in the previous release, savedata worked for isos that were generated from psp minis games. However, those savedata are incompatible with this new firmware. You can see psp savedatas under the ps3 savedata section in the XMB, not under the minis one.
If savedata still doesn't work in some game, please send us a message to our support email address.
- Cobra USB Manager will now give an error when trying to load a prometheus patched PSP iso, as those aren't compatible with the PSP emulator.
- Added Cobra USB PS3 Updater to the download section. With this tool you can update the dongle using the PS3, require Cobra Firmware 4.0+ to work. Refer to the manual for instructions..
26 - NOVEMBER - 2011
- Added MultiMan for Cobra in the download section.
- Support for games with split files.
- Bugfix: special keys of bdremote weren't working in showtime.
Multiman for Cobra changelog:
- * Full ISO and CUE+BIN support (incl. create ISO from folder)
- * Full Cobra support (PSX, PS2, PSP, PS3, ISO, BIN, CUE, BDM, DVD)
- * PSP UMD game support when PSP connected in USB+UMD mode
- * Support for *.0/.31, *.001/.032, *.66600/.66631 split file formats
- * Join split files in file manager (select and copy the first file to get the rest joined)
- * Mount ISO files in File Manager (to browse/copy contents)
- * New display mode "XBDM" - XBOX Dash Clone
- * Support for games with split big files (from external hdd)
- * BD/DVD Region options in SETTINGS column
- * Support for PS2 game covers (OPL format, i.e. SLES_123.45_COV.JPG) in /covers_retro/psx (over 2000 covers included)
- * Integrated Dongle Updater (in mmCM XMMB column)
- * Option to turn on blue/green dongle leds or turn them off completely
- * Integrated PSX, PS2 and PSP database for names and IDs (over 13000 entries) (for PSX/PS2 discs and PSP ISO/UMD files)
07 - DECEMBER - 2011
- Increased the compatibility of games in JB directory format (fix for the so called black screen games, that were only working in iso format). In Cobra USB, you don't need to set any special option or key combination in multiman for these games to work, just start them normally. Unlike in regular CFW, in Cobra USB these games work also in internal hdd.
- At the request of customers, vsh.self of Cobra USB CFW can now be replaced by the ReactPSN one (only by the one of 3.55k folder) without loosing any Cobra functionality.
Multiman for Cobra 03.01.00 changelog:
- * Improved loading of PSP ISO files when no disc is inserted
- * Added option "Detect Game Title in ISO Images" to allow using ISO filenames and *not* scan for game names in local database
- * Improved scanning for retro roms/iso and covers (populating the Retro column)
- * Support for ICON0.PNG for PSP ISO in Retro column
- * Support for cover art for PS2 ISO/CUE+BIN in Retro column
- * Support for cover art for PSX CUE+BIN in Retro column and for PSX discs
- * New THEME format (.thm). One theme - one file. Easy installation within mmCM without going to XMB to install theme pkg files.
- * mmTM - Easy to use PC application to create thm files from folders (separate download).
- * mmCM will try to read disc volume labels and display in VIDEO column (BD/DVD entry) and in other display modes.
- >>> ISO images created from such discs (BD/DVD/AVCHD) will get the disc volume label as file name for the ISO.
- * Fixed extracting ICON0.PNG from PSP ISO images saved on external USB drives
- * Added indication (rotating refresh icon next to the column icon) when mmCM is loading/extracting title thumbnails (XMMB mode)
- * Added support for PSX/PS2/PSP covers when browsing drives/folders in Retro column
- * Added pop-up notifications when new versions of mmCM, CobraUSB firmware and Showtime are available for download
- * Added pop-up notification when running low on disc space (less than 1GB on internal HDD)
- * Added pop-up notification when mmCM successfully connects to nethost folders during startup (/net_host# in File Manager)
- * Added support for downloading themes in a background thread (pop-up messages will notify user when download starts and completes)
- * Added support for copying big (4+GB) files in File Manager to USB drives. mmCM will split source file when copying to USB.
- * Added "Copy" function to SIDE menu for BD/DVD/PS2/PSP/PS3 ISO images (supports joining and splitting depending on source and destination drives)
- * Changed option "Link Video Library to Showtime" - it will only create links for XMB Video files, but will not start Showtime
- * Added shortcuts to BDISO and DVDISO folders when browsing internal HDD in VIDEO column (shown as "Blu-ray Video (ISO)" and "DVD Video (ISO)"
- * Added support for Blu-ray and DVD covers when browsing drives/folders in VIDEO column (for BD/DVD ISO files)
- * Added shortcut (virtual folder) "XMB Video Files" when browsing HDD/USB drives in VIDEO column
- * Easier overall access to BD/DVD/PSX/PS2/PSP/PS3 ISO/BIN images/folders in XMMB and XBDM display modes (when browsing drives/folders)
- * Added "Showtime Font Preference" option to select 10 different fonts for SHOWTIME media player (GUI and Subtitles)
- * Added "Extract ISO" option in SIDE menu for PS3 ISO images (to convert ISO games to folder format).
27 - DECEMBER - 2011
- •Added support to extract PSP CSO (compressed ISO) files in File Manager (extracted image is saved in /dev_hdd0/PSPISO)
- •Added support to show and extract PSP CSO files in XMMB/XBDM display modes (Retro column)
- •Added support for loading PSP ISO and extracting PSP CSO from USB connected PSP (MemoryStick MS:/ISO folder)
- •Added shortcut to ISO folder when browsing external USB devices (PSP connected with memory stick /ISO folder, containing CSO and ISO files)
- •Added support for loading PSP CSO (CSO will be extracted to ISO and saved in /dev_hdd0/PSPISO before loading)
- •Added music playback fade-out when leaving mmCM
- •Added couple of themes in the Web/Download themes menu
- •Changed displaying of PSP game titles in Retro column when game name match is found in local database
- •Added new PSP game names to local database (now over 700)
- •Updated online PS1/PS2/PS3 covers to 6558 total: 3147 PS3 covers and 3411 PS1/PS2 covers
03 - JANUARY - 2012
Update of Cobra USB firmware, Cobra PSP Launcher and mmCM focused on improving the compatibility of the psp emulator.
Changelog of Cobra USB 4.4 and Cobra PSP Launcher 2.0:
- Added specific support for the following 15 psp games that either crashed or had critical gameplay issues:
BLAZBLUE CONTINUUM SHIFT II
DJMAX PORTABLE 3
LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean The Video Game
LUNAR: SILVER STAR HARMONY
SMT: Persona 2: Innocent Sin
SOULCALIBUR: Broken Destiny
STAR OCEAN: First Departure
TEKKEN 6 (fixed random crashes)
The 3rd Birthday ((if you see a black screen at beginning, press buttons, it will work after that)
White Knight Chronicles: Origins
Z.H.P.: Unlosing Ranger VS Darkdeath Evilman
- Added support to load prometheus patched psp isos.
- Added an option for psp emulation. You can set it per game in multiman using "Game settings". You can choose between auto, mode 1 and mode 2.
By default, all games are set to auto, what causes mmCM to choose the apropiated setting from a database, but you can set the option manually.
Mode 1 and Mode 2 have different compatibility, some games that work in one of them won't work in the other one. Mode 2 is usually more compatible.
Changelog of mmCM 03.01.02:
- * Added support for three different modes to load PSP ISO files (Auto, Mode 1, Mode 2): "Game Settings" in XMMB/XBDM SIDE menu
- * Added support for lastGAME application - it will load the last game you played, without entering mmCM
- * lastGAME: Application which loads the last played PS1/PS2/PS3/PSP game (folder and ISO format) (separate application)
- * bdRESET : Application which resets all redirections and unmounts loaded ISO images (separate application)
- * Note: When you use "Last Played Game" application you will have to launch the PS1/PS2/PS3 game from the disc icon and the PSP game from the "PSP Launcher" icon
05 - JANUARY - 2012
About the problems some users are having in 4.4
Some users have notified us that after update to cobra 4.4, their system freezes when starting the system with cobra inserted.
In cobra 4.4, some internal changes were made, and cobra 4.4 is not longer compatible with some modified system files.
Users that have this issue likely flashed some unsupported modules in the system, either by themselves or done automatically by some program.
In addition to cobra CFW 3.55 modules, Cobra firmware 4.4 officially give supports to the following commonly used modifications:
- the modifications done by bitsbubba in bitsbubba NFW v3
- replacement of vsh.self by reactpsn 2.0 one (only the one in the 3.55k folder)
Any other alteration to system modules may cause a hang since cobra 4.4.
To fix this problem, access recovery menu in the ps3, without cobra inserted, and reflash Cobra USB CFW or the modificied CFW by bitsbubba NFW v3.
If you wish that we give support to some more modified modules, send us a message about it and we'll give support to them in next version.
* Added download progress indication in XMMB/XBDM modes - Web column. An entry will show current download filename and percentage of completion.
* Added TextViewer in File Manager (supported files colored in light blue). Supports viewing of ANSI/UTF plain text files.
* TextViewer controls: L1/R1 - PageUp/PageDown, L2/R2 - zoom out/in (50%-250%), R3 - change font, UP/DOWN/LEFT/RIGHT - scroll/pan, L1/R1+SELECT - skip to start/end of file
* Added support for browsing Video, Games, Favorites and Retro (ROMS/PS1/PS2/PSP) in "Coverflow" display mode. Change content mode with UP/DOWN.
- * Added support for jpg/png covers for BD/DVD ISO files in "Coverflow" mode
- * Added PIC1.PNG/SND0.AT3 (background image and music) support to lastGAME and "PSP Launcher" for PSP ISO files
- * Improved performance when extracting CSO to ISO and when creating ISO files from folders
- * SIXAXIS gyroscope affects screensaver mode (wave/tilt the controller to navigate the starfield)
- * Improved "Coverflow" display mode
- * Added preparations for experimental support for multi-disc PSX games in CUE+BIN or ISO format for up to 4 discs. ("Required Cobra USB/FW update will be announced when PSX multidisc support is available")
- * mmCM 04.00.00 will work without CobraUSB dongle connected (click HERE for more information). New mmCM users will have to install mmCM 04.00.00 FULL version..
- Added new display mode (Board 5x4x5), replacing the oldest "Game list (plain)" mode
- "Board" display mode shows ICON0.PNG game images by default. You can use covers by changing the option "XMMB Icon Swap" in Settings
- Improved File Manager visuals when used in SD resolution (480p/576p)
- Fixed an issue, which prevented operation on CFW/MFW 3.41
- Added support for showing PSN titles in all display modes from internal/external HDD (PSN titles cannot be loaded and you have to put empty RELOAD.SELF in game's USRDIR folder to make it show!) (requested)
- Added lastGAME2 and bdRESET applications
- Added 11 new themes to the theme download section (total of 14 now)
- Updated 15 language files
- Added separate background images for Board and XBDM display modes (PSVBG.JPG and XBDBG.JPG)
- Updated mmCM Original Theme (includes new images PSVBG.JPG, XBDBG.JPG, PBOX0.PNG, PBOX1.PNG)
- Preparations to support loading of network PS3, DVD and Blu-ray ISO files
- Preparations to support firmware version spoofer (auto-spoofing to latest official FW or to user-defined fixed version)
- Required Cobra USB update will be announced when network ISO and firmware spoof support is available
Changelog of Cobra USB Fw 5.0:
- Added support to play isos from a PC using network connection. No more waste of time copying between PC and ps3, play directly from the files on your computer!
Requires to run the supplied ps3netsrv server application (it is inside mmCM 04.01.00 download) on the PC, a version for windows and linux is provided (mac users can use the windows version with wine
Note: when using wine, we recommend to run directly the command line ps3netsrv.exe and not the gui).
Currently the following items can be played from network:
* PS3 isos
* PSX cue+bin or isos
* Blu-Ray isos
* DVD isos
Currently the following items cannot be played from network:
* PS3 games in JB directory format (planned for 5.1 release)
* PSP isos (planned for 5.1 release)
* PS2 isos (planned, but we cannot estimate the version)
Although Cobra doesn't restrict the isos from being loaded through wifi, wifi is too slow for most uses, we recommend to use a wired connection.
- Optimized a bit the read of PS3 isos (15-20% gain in external disk, not noticeable in internal disk)
- Added dynamic firmware version spoofer capabilities. You can set the spoof in mmCM settings. As Sony release new firmwares, the spoofer can be updated by updating mmCm, without
need of updating Cobra USB fw. No system files are modified by the version spoofer, all take place in ram.
Changelog of mmCM 04.01.00:
* Changed: Nethost PC server application "ps3serv" is replaced by new windows/linux application "ps3netsrv"
* Added support for playing PS3 and PSX games in ISO/CUE+BIN format from remote net_hosts (PCs connected to the LAN)
* Added support for playing Blu-ray and DVD-Video movie titles in ISO format from remote net_hosts
! NOTE: For best performance and compatibility of the new net_host interface, a WIRED network may be required (Wi-Fi is also supported)
! NOTE: Root folders served by remote hosts must contain /******, /BDISO, /DVDISO and /PSXISO folders to enable remote content
* Added new option in SETTINGS column: "Network Servers" for setting up to 10 remote nethost IP:PORT values
* Removed: *nethost* settings from options[_default].ini are ignored and no longer supported
* Added new option in SETTINGS column: "System Firmware Version" for "spoofing" current FW version to 4.00 or higher
* Added support for thumbnail images for remote BD/DVD/PS3/PSX ISO/BIN+CUE files (*.jpg / *.png)
* Added support to copy files from one net_host to another
* Added support to delete folders from remote net_host
* Added support to view files in TextViewer from remote net_host folders
* Added support to copy games and ISO images to remote host from SIDE menu ([TRIANGLE] in XMMB/XBDM/BOARD display modes)
09 - February - 2012
mmCM ver 04.01.01 UPD
* Increased max number of entries for directory listing in file manager to 3584 (from 2560), fixing issues with PSX/PS2/PS3 covers
* Optimized scanning for network content (ISO/CUE+BIN) (Video, Music, Photo and Roms are also supported)
* Added "4.10" option in "System Firmware Version" to spoof reported version to the latest OFW 4.10
* Added support for creating ISO images from PS2 DVD, PS3 BD, Blu-ray and DVD discs *directly* to remote host (remote file system must support 4GB+ file sizes)
--> You can now create backups of your games and movies directly to your PC and play them remotely! (Blu-ray movies/DVD-Video titles may require additional decryption)
* Added support for extracting ICON0.PNG for network PS3 ISO games, which don't have .png/.jpg thumbnail in the remote folder (when game ISO is loaded)
* Added support for extracting coverart (/BDMV/META/DL) for Blu-ray ISO movies, which don't have .png/.jpg thumbnail in their folder (when movie ISO is loaded)
* Added support for installing PKG package files from remote host (clicking over a .pkg file from /net_host folder in File Manager)
* Added "Network" device-browse entries in PHOTO, MUSIC, VIDEO and RETRO columns to enable browse/view/playback functions for remote content
* Added support for loading RETRO games (ROMS) from remote host
* Added support for thumbnails for ROMS, PSX, PS2, PSP, BD and DVD titles
* Added new game titles to internal database (PSX/PS2)
* Fixed an issue which caused mmCM to lock during boot (on boot screen)
* Fixed a potential issue which may have caused creating invalid *split* ISO files from PS3/BD discs (when output exceeds 4GB and is stored on USB)
* NOTE 1: Playing video content from remote hosts requires caching to local storage
* NOTE 2: For best compatibility with remote content, the following content folders are automatically created in the root folder served by ps3netsrv:
! - BDISO - for Blu-ray movie titles in ISO format
! - DVDISO - for DVD-Video titles in ISO format
! - ****** - for PS3 games in ISO format
! - PSXISO - for PS1/PSX games in ISO or CUE+BIN format
! - PSPISO - for PSP games in ISO/CSO format
(NOTE: Currently used ONLY for storing backups and not to play games)
! - PS2ISO - for PS2 games in ISO format
(NOTE: Currently used ONLY for storing backups and not to play games)
! - MUSIC - for audio files in MP3 format
! - PICTURE - for image files in JPG/PNG format
! - VIDEO - for supported video files
! - ROMS - for supported RETRO games (gen/fba/vba/snes/fceu emulator subfolders)
! - PKG - for installable package files (.pkg)
(NOTE: You can install packages from remote host in File Manager mode)
! - GAMES - for PS3 games in folder/jb format
(NOTE: Currently used ONLY for creating/storing backups and not to play games)
If you have troubles setting network features, please refer to this tutorial. Click HERE
* Added support for creating ISO/BIN+CUE images from PS2 CD and PS1/PSX CD *directly* to remote host
* Added automatic extraction of thumbnails after ISO/BIN+CUE is created (PS3/PS2/PSX/BD/DVD)
* Added support for displaying coverart/jacket for Blu-ray and AVCHD discs (if /HDAVCTN or /BDMV/META/DL folders contain jpg jacket-image)
* Added support for creating ISO files from folders to remote host (ISO is cached to internal HDD and then moved to remote host)
* Improved FTP transfer speed (up to 10MB/s over 100Mbit connection)
* Improved transfer speed from and to remote hosts (/net_host) (up to 10MB/s over 100Mbit connection)
* Improved scanning of remote host content folders
* Added support to set "External Game Data" for games/applications installed under /dev_hdd0/game or /dev_usb***/GAMEI (RELOAD.SELF required)
* Fixed few issues introduced in 04.01.01, related to displaying/refreshing Retro/Music/Photo columns