Those with home networks - SliMP3 and the price is right - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 03-21-2002, 03:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Forgive me if this has been mentioned here already, I just found it a couple days ago.

For those with home networks, this thing is the cat's behind. Its a device that connects to your home network via DHCP or static IP and streams MP3s to your stereo through RCA jacks. It interfaces with server software running on a PC on your network pointed at your MP3 collection. Buy that cheap 60G drive, kick start that ol' P2-300 sitting there and let em fly. They want $250 for it and its all hardware, no fans, no noisy hard drive in the living room.

You can read all the gory details (including pics of the actual assembly of this thing) at http://www.slimdevices.com

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post #2 of 12 Old 03-21-2002, 05:43 PM
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Personally I don't see why people are so excited about this thing. If you want a hacker toy, fine. But if you want an ACTUAL END-USER PRODUCT, then for $299, you can get an Audiotron from Turtle Beach, which does exactly the same thing as the SliMP3, except:

1) includes digital output (TOSlink) not just analog
2) reads files using standard SMB file-sharing protocol (built-in to Windows, or use Linux w/ Samba) - doesn't require a custom server app running on the PC.
3) plays both MP3 and WMA files
4) standard stereo component form factor, vs SliMP3's funky Radio Shack kit look.
5) the Audiotron meets US consumer standards like FCC class B radio emission, UL listed, etc. SliMP3 doesn't seem to bother with any of this stuff yet -- seems more like a science fair project to me.

On the other hand, most of the brains of the SliMP3 are in the Perl scripts which make up its server software, so you can hack around to your heart's content. For some folks that may be more important.
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post #3 of 12 Old 03-22-2002, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
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I had not seen the AudioTron yet when I posted my initial message. The AudioTron is certainly more refined and "end-user". I do like the tweakability of the SliMP3 however, as I am a bit of a hacker.

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post #4 of 12 Old 04-17-2002, 05:41 PM
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Newegg has this item for 273. I know, not a huge difference, but money is money, save it where you can.
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post #5 of 12 Old 04-19-2002, 10:40 AM
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Sorry for the newbie question. I currently have the Rio MP3 receiver hooked up to my mp3 server via an ethernet connection. Would I be able to use it along with the Audiotron? In other words, can the software for both products be running concurrentlyn on the same server?

Thanks!

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post #6 of 12 Old 04-19-2002, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by M.S.-Ohio
Newegg has this item for 273. I know, not a huge difference, but money is money, save it where you can.
Hey in this economy there's nothing wrong with pinching your pennies. In which case you might want to check out buy.com's price of 265.95 here. Free shipping doesn't hurt either. Buy through ebates.com and get another 2% back.

http://www.us.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=10272843

Just ordered mine and am looking forward to setting this thing up.

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post #7 of 12 Old 04-19-2002, 12:03 PM
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From what I've read, the ATron doesn't require software on the server. Just a shared drive. I would THINK the Rio and ATron would both work at once unless, possibly, trying to play the exact same song file on both at the same time. Then it would depend on if one of the applications opened the file with exclusive rights or not. I've read that multiple ATrons can co-exist and even play the exact same file so this is more of a "what does the Rio do?" question. Let us know when you get them both set up, OK? :)

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post #8 of 12 Old 04-19-2002, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Huckster
Let us know when you get them both set up, OK? :)
Will do. I'm pretty sure I'm in for a challenge. Our home builder only wired two rooms with ethernet jacks, so I'm going to have to get a combination ethernet/HPNA router to bridge the gap. I'm hoping that this is completely transparent to the MP3 receivers as well as the DSL modem.

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post #9 of 12 Old 04-21-2002, 08:43 PM
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Back to the original topic...

I have just gotten one of these devices and it is terrific.

Facts:

1) It does not look cheap at all, in fact it looks quite cool and is so tiny that it can just sit on top of your tv or one of your speakers.

2) It does not have digital out but the developer is working on it.

3) Installation of the software on your computer is simple.

4) Getting the Perl server working and configuring your computer and the player is NOT simple. My dad (a nuclear engineer) would not have been able to get this device to work on his PC.

5) The software does not appear to work well with older Macintoshes. I tried it with a four year old Powerbook (Wallstreet) and an original iMac and the software would work but then the server would lose its synch with the player. It works fine with my two year old Pismo Powerbook.

6) I have started to hack at mine with Cocoa using Mac OS X and I'd have to say that the develope docs that come with it are lacking and somewhat innacurate. I am not a Perl hacker but I was able to use the source code for their server to get some more info about the device.

7) The sound you will get from it depends on the quality of your MP3 source.

My conclusions:
Once you set it up you will love it!
Using it requires some technical savvy
This is a great hackers toy but the docs are not great.

This product is NOT ready for the general public.
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-06-2002, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Huckster
From what I've read, the ATron doesn't require software on the server. Just a shared drive. I would THINK the Rio and ATron would both work at once unless, possibly, trying to play the exact same song file on both at the same time. Then it would depend on if one of the applications opened the file with exclusive rights or not. I've read that multiple ATrons can co-exist and even play the exact same file so this is more of a "what does the Rio do?" question. Let us know when you get them both set up, OK? :)
The Rio is definitely fine with more than one unit trying to play the same music; the biggest install I know of was one which I helped do in Ibiza (Ministry of Sound hotel) where there were 64 units playing from a single 1GHz PIII server which didn't get more than 5% load. I'm sure the Atron would be fine too, multiple read access to files isn't generally an issue with any server.

In a big install like this, the Rio is more applicable than the Atron - the built in audio amp meant that we could use passive speakers and put a software-controlled volume cap that gave the hotel front desk absolute power over the amount of loud parties during the night... also there are no setup options on the client (the server does it all) so there's nothing the user could break setup-wise.

If you're interested, pics are here:
http://www.riocar.org/modules.php?se...view_album.php

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post #11 of 12 Old 05-07-2002, 06:38 AM
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My short experience with the Rio Receiver is that while it's perfectly adequate for office use, the server software needs some serious updating before it'd be ready for use in my home.

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post #12 of 12 Old 05-07-2002, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by toots
My short experience with the Rio Receiver is that while it's perfectly adequate for office use, the server software needs some serious updating before it'd be ready for use in my home.
I'd agree with you on this, yes. The current software is missing a couple of important features - background timed scan for new music (without shutting down serving) and being able to run as a service.

There are several 3rd party servers, eg jreceiver, which do a pretty good job though. The receiver bbs at http://rioreceiver.comms.net/php/ubbthreads.php is useful for info on these (see the faq section).

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