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[How-To] Playing Customs on PS3

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Most likely a broken DTA entry; double or even triple check all your DTAs. I suspect that the problematic song and any song written after the problematic song will not load when there's a problem like

So I have an interesting issue. I know this is older, but maybe someone can help me.   I have a few thousand songs I'm trying to add. I'm on (PS3) CFW 4.81.2 REBUG. Yes, I know the limit is around 300

Things have actually got better recently. Previously you needed an old enough model of PS3 to make it jailbroken. A couple of months ago they released a new hack called HEN which allows to run homeb

  • 1 month later...

Hello everyone :)


I am (obviously) interested in trying out customs on a PS3, but I am also a total n00b... so I have been trying to read the entire thread twice in the last few days, and I am still confused by the various discussions on how things have changed over the years. I will (eventually) sort it out but I would like to ask if it is possible for someone to confirm whether the instructions in the first post are still valid or have become obsolete. At least the links to the tools do not work anymore (understandably, since the thread is 5 years old).


Thanks, and kudos to everyone who has been involved in custom RB creations... the amount and quality of work is mindblowing!

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They are still valid but with some updates: Both NTSC and PAL rap files comes with C3 CON Tools, so if you're on PAL you don't have to do whatever is written in the tutorial.

The rap files are located in (root of C3 CON Tools)/bin/raps.

You have to rename the rap file you're going to install and the correct name for both rap files can be viewed in (root of C3 CON Tools)/bin/klic.txt


Once you installed the rap file corresponding to your disc's region, all you have to do is FTP the songs to the correct folder for your disc's region, both should be in the tutorial.

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May be a dumb question, but is there a way to make the custom songs work on the PS3 version of Rock Band 2? If I have to go out and buy a used version of Rock Band 3 from Gamestop to get the songs, no big deal, but I'd much rather use the copy of RB2 I already have and save some money if I can. Plus, I'm a lot more used to the setlist in RB2 since it's the only RB game I've ever had.

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Yes, the files will work, but it's a bit more complicated than that. The technique we use for custom songs on RB3 consists of replacing a DLC pack with custom songs, and the current pack we use is the RB2 Free Pack 01 which is only read by RB3. If you want to load custom songs in RB2, you will have to change that and it's a rather tedious (and to be fair, annoying) process.

I have explained how it works in this post: http://customscreators.com/index.php?/topic/17500-how-to-x360-customs-on-ps3-482-ofw-han-exploit/?p=1000046123

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I have the problem of 'merge the songs already converted', after a conversion from XBOX to PS3 the songs automatically goes to the '' All Music '' folder.
I copy the songs from the '' All songs '' folder and paste them into the '' songs to merge '' folder. After that I enter the program and the tool of C3 and the option to merge songs is inactive. I've tried it anyway and I can not merge the songs, could anyone help me?

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You need to either take the RB2 Free Pack 01 DTA file from your PS3 and put it in the "Merged Songs" folder if you own that pack, or create an empty text file and rename it to songs.dta. Make sure to change the txt extension to dta.

Just pointing out that the post after the one you quoted is me answering the question just like I do now.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The problem was that the game couldn't unlock the midi file for use because there was no way to install the rap file. The song would show up in the songlist (because the game can read dta file no matter what) but once you select it it would skip the song with a popup.


Does the rap file has anything to do with the encryption type being used when converting customs to PS3 format using C3 CON Tools?


I was wondering that, because there is at least one person who is playing customs after merely FTPing them into the correct folder, but without having installed the rap file... and if I understand correctly the Type 3 encryption of the CON Tools may be DRM-free (because HAN users report that Type 3 -encrypted customs still work while HAN is not activated).

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All I know is that different encryption types uses different softwares to encrypt the midi file. I would guess the rap file (and the k-license from the klic.txt file) is used for that process, but I'm not too sure how type 3 works compared to the others.

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  • 1 month later...

Is this still possible? Some of the links on the first post of this topic are dead.


Things have actually got better recently. Previously you needed an old enough model of PS3 to make it jailbroken. A couple of months ago they released a new hack called HEN which allows to run homebrew software on every model of PS3, even the previously considered 'unhackable' superslims.


I think the thread is a bit misleading nowadays because a newcomer obviously starts reading at the first post which is outdated, but only the original poster can change that.


I was planning to post a thread with my own experience using HEN, if you can wait another week or so.


In the meantime just make sure you do NOT UPDATE your PS3 beyond 4.84 if a newer firmware comes out.

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How to play customs on PS3 using the HEN exploit method


The HEN ("homebrew enabler") method was created by developers at www.psx-place.com primarily as a method to run homebrew applications on late Slim and SuperSlim PS3 consoles, which were previously considered "unhackable". Nevertheless the method presumably works on every PS3 model. I have personally used it on my FAT PS3 instead of the more common and powerful CFW ("custom firmware") method, mainly because I wanted to avoid the risk of "bricking" my PS3. Everything went smoothly for me and took less than one hour (most of which was spent watching stuff getting downloaded or installed), but I can't promise it will work for everyone! Before you attempt at doing anything hacky on your PS3, make sure you read the latest instructions at the following link, and understand the possible risks involved in using these exploits: you are the sole responsible of what happens to your own PS3.


The following instructions are based on the latest HEN version 2.2.2 at the time of this writing, but HEN is still being improved and new versions will be released afterwards. This means that some details in this post may become outdated. Always check the latest information at www.psx-place.com!


- You must have OFW ("original firmware") 4.84 or 4.85 installed to your PS3.
- You must have at least one PSN account and have your PS3 activated for it (it is also recommended to have a secondary, throwaway PSN account for this purpose)

INSTRUCTIONS (short summary):

- Install HFW ("hybrid firmware").
- Install HEN ("homebrew enabler").
- Install a File Manager of your choice.
- Convert customs to PS3.
- Copy customs to PS3.

INSTRUCTIONS (step-by-step details):

- Install HFW ("hybrid firmware").

The HFW is essentially identical to the OFW, except for a tiny but key difference, which makes it possible to install HEN. Because the PS3 recognizes HFW 4.84/4.85 as the same version as OFW 4.84/4.85, if you have the proper OFW already installed it won't then let you install the corresponding HFW from the XMB; therefore, you need to install it from Recovery Mode.

[Optional: if you have an OFW version older than the HFW (for example if you want to install HFW 4.84 on top of OFW 4.82) it is possible to install the HFW directly from the XMB without first installing the OFW; however, this can result in a "brick" later on when installing HEN; if you don't have the option to first install the same OFW version as the HFW, it is strongly recommended to install HFW 4.84 twice, the first time from the XMB and the second time from Recovery Mode as described in step 3. below]


(note that links and hash below are for HFW 4.84 only)

1. Download the HFW 4.84 to your PC from this link


2. Unzip the archive: it will contain the actual firmware update "PUP" file, and an empty folder the name of which is the MD5 hash of the PUP file.


3. Check that the MD5 hash of the extracted PUP file is "42 47 36 2b 54 fa dd 2e 4d 7c 09 00 7f 72 08 03" as indicated by the empty folder name. The method for checking the MD5 hash may vary depending on your Windows version (in Windows 7 you need to open the command prompt and run the following command, without quotes: "certutil -hashfile <full-path-to-your-file> MD5" ).

4. Format a USB stick choosing the FAT32 file system format, then create a root folder named "PS3" and a subfolder "UPDATE".


5. Rename the HFW file to "PS3UPDAT.PUP" so that it will be recognized by the PS3, and copy it to the USB stick newly created "UPDATE" subfolder. Plug the USB stick to your PS3 while powered off.

6. Start your PS3 to Recovery Mode in the following way, as per the official instructions: from power off, press and hold down the power button until the PS3 starts to turn on and then off again (i.e. the power led turns RED again); after a couple of seconds, again press and hold down the power button, this time keep holding down while the PS3 makes single beeps a couple of times, until it makes a quick double-beep, then you can release the button. The PS3 will then boot to Recovery Mode, where it will prompt you to connect a controller using the USB cable. Choose option 6 "System Update" and just follow the instructions on screen.

- Install HEN.

There are many ways to install HEN depending on the version. Since three days ago it all became a piece of cake with version 2.2.1! Unless for some reason you want to install an older version of HEN, the installation takes literally one click after typing a web address in the browser.

1. Power up your PS3 and enable the Network connection, use direct ethernet cable connection if possible rather than WLAN as the latter often fails to install HEN.


2. Open the browser, and from the options disable "Confirm browser close". It is also recommended to clear the browser cache, history, bookmarks and homepage, in order to have it as clean as possible. Keep the javascript enabled.


3. Goto web address www.ps3xploit.com and open the "PS3HEN" menu, then choose either "HEN Installer *Fixed*" or "HEN Installer (Alternate)" option and just let it do everything automatically (note: a few times a screen may appear with only the option to press "O" on the controller, but no "X" option: even if it sounds like going back, don't worry and just press "O"). The code at the given address will presumably always install the latest version of HEN, which at the time of this writing is 2.2.2 3.0.0. If the chosen menu option fails, try the other, and keep in mind that especially when using WLAN the installation may fail randomly, in which case just keep trying.

4. Depending on the version, the installer may or may not automatically close the browser and reboot your PS3. If it doesn't, then reboot manually.

Note that HEN is a temporary hack: after HEN installation, when you boot your PS3, HEN is disabled by default, but you'll have an icon "Enable HEN" in your XMB under Games. You'll need to click Enable HEN when you want to install or use homebrew applications, which in our case it means whenever you want to use your chosen File Manager to copy customs to the PS3. You don't need to enable HEN to play the customs in RB3. When you boot your PS3 normally and do not enable HEN, presumably your PS3 will behave pretty much the same as if running an OFW.

Finally, note that as far as HEN version 2.2.2 3.0.0, there is no option to disable HEN once it is enabled, other than rebooting the PS3. According to various sources at www.psx-place.com, HEN doesn't have the same level of protections as CFW, so it is recommended not to sign-in to your PSN while HEN is enabled.

- Install a File Manager of your choice.

1. Acquire a homebrew application that works as a File Manager (I have chosen IrisMAN, but you can find other valid choices from the ps3xploit website, check the compatibility chart) and copy its installation PKG file to your USB stick, then plug it into your PS3.


2. Enable HEN from the XMB icon.


3. Goto the Package Manager (another icon under Games, it gets installed together with HEN), and choose Install Package Files -> Standard, and choose the File Manager PKG file.


- Convert customs to PS3.

There are detailed instructions on this very forum on how to use the great C3 CON TOOLS to convert xbox customs to PS3, so I won't go into the details here, but it's super-easy!


The only things I recommend is to choose encryption Type 3 and to check that you have selected the correct NTSC/PAL format.

- Copy customs to PS3.

1. Copy the songs.dta file and all the folders of the customs you converted to PS3 to your USB stick, and plug it into your PS3.


2. Enable HEN from the XMB icon, if not already enabled.


3. Open your chosen File Manager, and goto the folder "/dev_hdd0/game/BLUS30463/USRDIR/" (if using a NTSC version of RB3) or "dev_hdd0/game/BLES00986/USRDIR" (if using a PAL version of RB3). Inside this folder you need to create two nested subfolders /HMX0756/songs. This needs to be done only once.


4. Copy the songs.dta file and all customs folders from the USB stick to /HMX0756/songs using the File Manager.

When adding, removing or modifying songs later, follow the same process but remember to overwrite the songs.dta file with the new one, so that RB3 is able to pickup the updated list of customs with proper metadata.


I checked the clock and it took me longer to write this post than to do all of the above! :D

Clever and seasoned people might have noticed I did not mention any RAP file. That's because I didn't need to do anything at all with such a file.

I want to thank everyone who helped me understand how the PS3, RB3 and customs work. Most of all I want to thank @Alternity for inviting me into important conversations about PS3-hacking methods, and @Robebubop for actually being the first one to attempt using the HEN method and giving me plenty of hints.

Edit 14.06.2019: added step for rebooting after installation if not automatic, formatted with spoiler blocks, minor text changes

Edit 07.01.2020: updated to OFW/HFW 4.85 and HEN 3.0.0.

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Thanks for the mention and making this tutorial available to all PS3 players. Hopefully the number of PS3 custom player grows and who knows, maybe the custom songs online activity too.

This is a good addition to the OP tutorial, though if you're going to edit the first post it might be usefull to just remove the PAL section of it and just add a little section that shows how to deal with PAL.

The only difference is the RAP file installed and the folder where you put the songs.

The rap file used is obviously the one named "pal.rap" in the c3 con tools bin/raps folder but it needs to be renamed to "EP0006-BLES00986_00-RBHMXBANDCCFF0D6.rap" as opposed to what is written for the NTSC version.

The game folder for the PAL version is "BLES00986".

That's really the only difference with the current NTSC CFW method described in the OP.

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rename the HFW file to "PS3UPDAT.PUP"


The previous step did not mention extracting the "HFW_4.84.2_PS3UPDAT_03_22_2019.7z" file before renaming and instead rename the "HFW.4.84.2_PS3UPDAT>POP" file? There is a folder called "4247362b54fadd2e4d7c09007f720803". Do I disregard this folder?

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Firmwares are always PUP files, so if it was in an archive you have to extract it. The important thing is having the PUP file in the right folder and rename it to PS3UPDAT.PUP on your USB drive really, the way you achieve that is not important.

Also, it seems that the folder is named after the MD5 hash, so I guess the dev just wanted you to know what the hash is with the folder name. I guess it's a good way to not loose it.

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The previous step did not mention extracting the "HFW_4.84.2_PS3UPDAT_03_22_2019.7z" file before renaming and instead rename the "HFW.4.84.2_PS3UPDAT>POP" file? There is a folder called "4247362b54fadd2e4d7c09007f720803". Do I disregard this folder?

Thanks for noticing! I added a mention about unzipping. And yes, the archive contains only one file, and the empty folder is there only to inform you of the MD5 hash value.


Make sure you check the official HEN guide at the link in my post before doing anything to your PS3, as it has the most details about HFW and HEN (but obviously doesn't cover our specific needs for RB3 customs).

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Once the webpage loaded, there was a percentage already going in the top left corner. After that finished, it installed something and my only option was "O". So I pressed it and now the screen is frozen on "Enabling HEN..."

This sounds a bit weird, the installer should not have automatically enabled HEN at the end. Or do you mean it got frozen when YOU enable HEN, after installation is completed?


It is true that a few times during installation you are shown some message and you only get the option to press "O". This was not documented and puzzled me too, since normally in PS3 "O" is the default button to go back and "X" to go forward, but pressing "O" in here is the correct (and only) choice.


Did the installer reboot your PS3 automatically? I see they added a "reboot" step in the latest guide, perhaps if you enabled HEN straight after installation without any reboot it might not work. But now it should be already installed, so you can boot and enable it from the XMB.


Edit: I checked some threads at psx-place on people getting the PS3 frozen when enabling HEN, and the most common reason seems to be browser stuff getting in the way, since both HEN installation and HEN activation use the browser... so try to clear as much as you can in the browser (cache, history, cookies and so on) both before installing and before enabling HEN.




Another thing which is not explained in the official guide is when you need to be online and when you should rather not.


Obviously being online is needed when running the installer, and I was actually signed in to a secondary PSN account in this phase. The instructions for the older HAN method suggested not to use your real PSN account but a throwaway account, just to be safe against any chance of ban, but the official instructions for HEN do not mention this.


However I recommend that for the time being, after installing HEN you stay signed out of your PSN when emabling HEN (for example, do not setup your PS3 to sign-in automatically). Nobody has reportedly been banned from PSN for using HEN so far, but better stay safe. After all, for the purpose of RB3 customs, we really need to enable HEN only when we want to use a file manager to add/change/remove customs to the game folders, and once you've done that, you can disable HEN (at the moment there is no manual disable option, so you have to reboot to disable it) and then it should be safe to go online. But if you want to be sure, always check the recommendations at psx-place!

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  • 4 weeks later...



you'll have an icon "Enable HEN" in your XMB under Games


Finally coming back around to this.


I went back through the process of going to the website and the webpage loads now fully. It then downloads the file. The browser does not close, so I click "O" to go back. There is no "Reboot" so I "Shutdown" and turn it back on. When I do, I do not have an icon that says HEN under games.


I've done this step three times now. Each time it downloads and then does nothing. I haven't seen it try to install, and I cannot find where the file downloads.


I think it's worth nothing that when I go to do these steps again, despite having my cache and all that cleared, it remembers the URL when I start to type it in. Furthermore, I cannot see a "Downloads" section in either the browser or on the XMB. When it downloads the file again, I have the option to "Overwrite & Save" or "Do not save"/

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