How to Make a PS2 Read a USB With Music Files

By Steve Brunolli

Updated September 22, 2017

Items you will need

  • PlayStation 2

  • PlayStation 2 compatible memory card

  • Blank USB drive

  • SwapMagic disk

A PlayStation 2 can be used as a cheap alternative to a costly home entertainment system.
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While many gamers have moved on from the PlayStation 2 (PS2) to its more powerful successor, a group of enthusiasts have been using the PlayStation 2's powerful hardware to run homebrew applications. One such application, Simple Media System (SMS), allows you to play Mp3's and videos from a USB drive or burned CDs, effectively turning your PS2 into a powerful media center. The key to installing these programs is a retail product called SwapMagic, which allows you to boot PS2 applications from a USB drive.


Download both the Free McBoot Noobie Package and uLaunchELF from the resources section.

Connect your USB drive to your computer. Right-click the drive and select properties. Make sure the file system line says FAT32. If it does not, click format and select FAT32.

Note: Formatting the USB drive will erase any data on it.

Copy the FREE_MCBOOT.ELF file and the INSTALL directory from the Free McBoot Noobie Package archive into the root directory of your USB drive.

Create another folder in the root directory called SWAPMAGIC. The folder name must be in all caps.

Extract the BOOT.ELF from the uLaunchELF archive into the new SWAPMAGIC directory.

Rename the BOOT.ELF file that you just extracted to SWAPMAGIC.ELF. The file name must be in all caps.

Remove the USB drive from your computer and plug it into your PlayStation 2.

Plug your memory card into slot one.

Boot up your SwapMagic disk. The SwapMagic splash screen will appear. Then, uLaunchELF will start.

Enter uLaunchELF's browser by pressing O.

Navigate to "mass:/" and run FREE_MCBOOT.ELF This will bring up the Free McBoot installer.

Select the "Normal Install" option and select "slot 1" from the following prompt. This will install Free McBoot onto the memory card. You may now unplug the USB drive.

Select "Launch FMCB" once the installer has finished. You will see new options in the Sony main menu. Select the "SMS" option. This will start the Simple Media System (SMS).

Plug the USB drive with music files into the front USB port.

Select the USB icon in SMS and browse to the music file you wish to play. Press x to play the file. Enjoy.