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Help me pick a unit to stream audio to my bedroom (long)

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I am trying to set up a wireless (preferably) music system in my bedroom and I have had a hard time figuring out which way to go, despite a fair amount of research.

I need:
1) to keep under $200ish, maybe 300 if a NAS is involved that I could use for other file storage.
2) to be able to stream *free* internet radio from Roadrunner.
3) to be able to play a reasonable amount of MP3's

I want:
1) to be able to turn my -current- computer off. My current computer is a monster power hogging heat producer. I don't plan to upgrade anytime soon.
2) no ongoing maintenance/patching/pita. I don't mind fiddling to get it set up but I don't enjoy it so I don't want a lot of chronic issues.
3) a display that is easy to use fom bedside.
4) very much for it to be wireless, if possible.

I *don't* need:
1) video streaming
2) tons of storage. 100 songs, maybe.
3) high fidelity. MP3's seem convenient and sound fine to me.
4) compatibility with any service that has ongoing costs (Rhapsody, Itunes, etc.)
5) furniture. I don't really care what the hardware looks like.

I have, if it helps:
1) a stereo system in the bedroom
2) an Xbox
3) plans to get an Xbox 360
4) a wireless router that may or may not be good enough (cheap Belkin, probably not 'g')
5) an old Dell Axim
6) an oversized, loud, power hungry, heat producing rhinocerous of a PC

Some things I am considering but don't seem quite 'perfect' for me:
1) Roku Soundbridge.
+ I can listen to 10 internet radio stations without having my computer on
+ Best user satisfaction/reviews of the oens in this list
- can't stream MP3s and I can't browse through the entire shoutcast library without having my computer on. Apparently, this is solvable if I buy a NAS and then hack it.
- display is 2 lines so browsing from bedside may be irritating

2) D-Link DSM-120
+ Can put a laptop hard drive in it and not need a NAS or a computer on.
+ 6 line display, hopefully easier to navigate.
- not sure if it can play internet radio without computer on.
- internet radio seems to be limited to Live365, which I am not familiar with.
- wireless performance gets mixed reviews.

3) Creative Sound Blaster Wireless Music
+ remote control with 6 line LCD (this seems ideal, wish more companies would do this)
- unsure about it's compatibility with internet radio, haven't found info on it yet.
- seems a little more buggy, though this seems to be related to users updating firmware over the wireless network.

Last note:
I have considered the squeezebox since it has rave reviews but I am not sure it offers much over the Roku Soundbridge (for my specific requirements) and the price seems to be quite a bit more.
post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by kel View Post

I am trying to set up a wireless (preferably) music system in my bedroom and I have had a hard time figuring out which way to go, despite a fair amount of research.

I need:
1) to keep under $200ish, maybe 300 if a NAS is involved that I could use for other file storage.
2) to be able to stream *free* internet radio from Roadrunner.
3) to be able to play a reasonable amount of MP3's

I want:
1) to be able to turn my -current- computer off. My current computer is a monster power hogging heat producer. I don't plan to upgrade anytime soon.
2) no ongoing maintenance/patching/pita. I don't mind fiddling to get it set up but I don't enjoy it so I don't want a lot of chronic issues.
3) a display that is easy to use fom bedside.
4) very much for it to be wireless, if possible.

I *don't* need:
1) video streaming
2) tons of storage. 100 songs, maybe.
3) high fidelity. MP3's seem convenient and sound fine to me.
4) compatibility with any service that has ongoing costs (Rhapsody, Itunes, etc.)
5) furniture. I don't really care what the hardware looks like.

I have, if it helps:
1) a stereo system in the bedroom
2) an Xbox
3) plans to get an Xbox 360
4) a wireless router that may or may not be good enough (cheap Belkin, probably not 'g')
5) an old Dell Axim
6) an oversized, loud, power hungry, heat producing rhinocerous of a PC

Some things I am considering but don't seem quite 'perfect' for me:
1) Roku Soundbridge.
+ I can listen to 10 internet radio stations without having my computer on
+ Best user satisfaction/reviews of the oens in this list
- can't stream MP3s and I can't browse through the entire shoutcast library without having my computer on. Apparently, this is solvable if I buy a NAS and then hack it.
- display is 2 lines so browsing from bedside may be irritating

2) D-Link DSM-120
+ Can put a laptop hard drive in it and not need a NAS or a computer on.
+ 6 line display, hopefully easier to navigate.
- not sure if it can play internet radio without computer on.
- internet radio seems to be limited to Live365, which I am not familiar with.
- wireless performance gets mixed reviews.

3) Creative Sound Blaster Wireless Music
+ remote control with 6 line LCD (this seems ideal, wish more companies would do this)
- unsure about it's compatibility with internet radio, haven't found info on it yet.
- seems a little more buggy, though this seems to be related to users updating firmware over the wireless network.

Last note:
I have considered the squeezebox since it has rave reviews but I am not sure it offers much over the Roku Soundbridge (for my specific requirements) and the price seems to be quite a bit more.

May not be perfect but in my bedroom I used a hacked xbox with one of these since I don't have a TV....

http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=G8270&cat=MON

and then a Buffalo wireless ethernet bridge.

Standard Xbox HD has about 5 gig free after installing XBMC which is more than enough for several hundred songs....

Sean
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_w_smith View Post

May not be perfect but in my bedroom I used a hacked xbox with one of these since I don't have a TV....

http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=G8270&cat=MON

and then a Buffalo wireless ethernet bridge.

Standard Xbox HD has about 5 gig free after installing XBMC which is more than enough for several hundred songs....

Sean

Interesting, I hadn't thought of that...
Question: Do you stream internet radio in and, if so, do you have to leave the computer on or can it just use the network, as the SoundBridge does ?

Thanks again for the idea, I really appreciate it. I will do some investigation.

Any other ideas ?
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by kel View Post

Interesting, I hadn't thought of that...
Question: Do you stream internet radio in and, if so, do you have to leave the computer on or can it just use the network, as the SoundBridge does ?

Thanks again for the idea, I really appreciate it. I will do some investigation.

Any other ideas ?


I do listen to shoutcast and the PC does not have to be on unless you don't have a dedicated router and are using your PC as a router...

Sean
post #5 of 9
I just bought a Soundbridge. They are on sale for $150 right now direct. Can't beat it for the price! It will do everything you are looking for and then some.
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdfuller View Post

I just bought a Soundbridge. They are on sale for $150 right now direct. Can't beat it for the price! It will do everything you are looking for and then some.

I use the Roku M500, it actually supports 18 presets or I'll stream from a Linksys NSLU2 NAS that has been hacked and is running TwonkyVision Software.

I use my in the bedroom too and my only gripe is that the display is hard to see, but only because I have it across the room.
post #7 of 9
Just wanted to add that the Roku has a web interface built in, so you can actually control it from a PDA which is what I do.
post #8 of 9
I actually use the Harmony 880 remote. Works fantastic, but I am looking for a cheap wireless PDA as well.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bac522 View Post

I use the Roku M500, it actually supports 18 presets or I'll stream from a Linksys NSLU2 NAS that has been hacked and is running TwonkyVision Software.

I use my in the bedroom too and my only gripe is that the display is hard to see, but only because I have it across the room.

The display on the SoundBridge was one of my two concerns about using the Soundbridge. Not so much that it might be hard to see (I can always put it on a nightstand by the bed) but that two lines seems unacceptable if you are trying to navigate MP3's (even if only 200).

The other issue was that I would pretty much need a NAS that was hacked to run a music server (as I understand it).

It's still a possibility but I was hoping to find something that would meet all my needs
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