Originally Posted by Blindamood
Okay, got it working now -- very sweet! I was able to review and update the genre of every CD in my collection in about 45 minutes. With the previous interface it would have taken all night...
And the ability to sit here on my couch with my laptop and play songs is a pretty nice perk indeed! Kudos to Olive on this major improvement.
I stayed away from this thread after hearing from Olive that they were about to release a new version of their software, as it was pointles to discuss shortcomings that might be addressed by the new version.
I have an Opus and installed version 2.3 a week ago. Here are my first impressions:
1. Overall, Olive has achieved three dramatic improvements in one sweep. First, it streamlined the menu system, rearranging options in a more logical and understandable fashion and adding some very useful ones, such as "convert", which lets you convert files to and from any supported format (more about that later). Second, it replaced a very basic, clunky and slow web interface with one that makes editing metadata extremely easy (that is crucial for those who have a lot of classical music, as album/artist/track info as supplied by CDDB is very erratic). Third, and MOST IMPORTANT, whereas the old web interface was strictly for editing the music library, Olive has now added FULL CONTROL of the music server from the web interface. All menu options are available and can be selected and activated from the web interface (except of course network settings). That solves the problem of the "blind" remote control that in theory made it possible to access menu options, but was in fact only useful for controlling playback after a music selection had been made from the music server itself, due to the impossibility of reading the display from a distance. Olive provides three "flavors" of the web interface, including one that is designed for the smallish screens of PDAs and handheld tablets. This means that an Opus or Musica can be fully controlled remotely from any wifi-enbled handheld device with a touchscreen, which eliminates the convenience handicap Olive servers had relative to systems like the Sonos systems, that come with a screen-equipped control device.
2. My experience with a Nokia 770 Internet tablet: the 770 (that show up on the Olive web site as the "Rondo" is a fairly inexpensive wifi-enabled device (costs about $350) which has an Opera web browser. The touchscreen is of very high quality and larger than that of any PDA (4 diagonally); the Olive web interface fits that screen perfectly, and there you have a pocketable intelligent remote that can even be used for light editing of metadata (serious editing still requires a computer with a keyboard rather than the virtual keyboard available on the 770 for text entry). Of course the Nokia 770 ihas many features besides a web browser, but this is not the place for a review of those, except one: the 770 lets you install a Upnp streaming client, that will instantly recognize the Opus and let you stream wirelessly any music in your library (not FLAC files though) for private listening on headphones wherever you are within range of your wifi network. This highlights one of the improvements made to the Olive software: it now includes support for third-party Upnp-compliant streaming clients such as the Rokku and Squeezebox devices.
3. Other improvements/additions: the metadata editing function now lets you change info in any field of the database, whereas the old version was very limited in that respect. Classical music lovers will be happy to find that the Composer category, which in the old version showed up in the Opus library sub-menu, but not as an editable category in the web interface, has been duly added to the new editing interface. The Convert function, mentioned earlier, lets you change the format of music files on the hard disk. This is handy for converting to FLAC or whatever files imported from a computer in WAV or AIFF format. However, that function need further refinement: currently, when you choose to convert a music selection, the files are converted to the default format you have set for importing CDs that you rip on the Opus; in other words, if you have set the default to FLAC and want to convert FLAC files to WAV or MP3, you need to temporarily change the dfautlt format. Also, if you convert a selection to MP3 for exporting to an iPod or other portable player, you cannot of course reconvert the files later to a lossless format (you can, but the resulting files arejust a reformatted version of the lossy files, you do not restore what has been lost). In order to make the Cnvert function more useful, Olive should let the user choose the conversion format regardless of what the default has been st to, and also, and more important, offer the option of crating converted copies of eisting files and storing those copies in a special folder for exporting to portable payers. Another feature Olive says it added is full support for Upnp-compliant NAS external storage. I have not tested it, but that feature would be a big improvement over the current backup solution (copying the HDD to an external USB drive).
4. Observed glitches: the new web interface occasionally freezes when listening to internet radio and attempting to perform ogher functions at the same time; iTunes integration only works one-way now: you can stream files in compatible format from the Opus to a computer running iTunes, but iTunes, although it shows up as amusic server on the Opus, refuses to connect for streaming to the Opus (according to Olive, this is actually a glitch in the latest version of iTunes 7.x that will be corrected by Apple).
5. Neede improvements: anew user manual is sorely neede. The current one was already obsolete when the previous software update was released last June. It is now even more obsolete. It is also too skimpy on technical aspects and shoud be expanded. Althoug the new software is pretty much self-explanatory, new users of an Olive music server will find the manual only marginally useful.
BUT BASICALLY< PEOPLE AT OLIVE HAVE MADE A GIGANTIC STEP FORWARD. They definitely listen to thei customers, so keep posting...