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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wanting to purchase a mp3 receiver. I just wanted to make sure I had all the facts before making a purchase. Please feel free to chime with any personal experiences with them. From what I gathered so far is that there are 2 main products: the Audiotron and the SLIMP3.


The audiotron has digital out which the SLIMP3 does not. I am not interested in hpna that the audiotron offers. The SLIMP3 has what appears to be a better display. The SLIMP3 has open-source server-side software. The SLIMP3 has a smaller form factor.


Are there any other differences that I am missing or any other products that I should consider?


TIA


Shay
 

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Well, SonicBlue is selling refurb Rio Receivers for $100 on their web site.


No digital outputs. Really crappy software, but there are open source replacements for both the server and client side.
 

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You can also buy an HP Digital Media Receiver (I have one) - plus its the only one that is from a company who we know will still be in business for the forseeable future...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
toots:


How is the rio unit with the open source replacement software?


focusguy:

How is the HP unit?
 

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I haven't tried any of the open source clients (software that loads into the Rio), but I am using the open source server software at work (JReceiver).


It addresses some of the issues I have with the default vendor supplied server software: it has a lot more flexible playlists, can do transcoding of web broadcasts, and has a web accessible status panel (with some allowance for web control of the unit itself, but I haven't used that feature).


JReceiver is sort of beta-class software, but definitely preferable to the vendor supplied software.


And, some of the clients look pretty cool, too, but I simply haven't amassed a sufficient pile of round tuits.
 

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Shay:


I really like the HP unit - I review it a bit more in a different thread, but let me explain my situation briefly:


* I have a "PC server" w/2 * 120GB HDD, where I ripped my entire 600+ CD collection

* I have acquired about 10GB more of MP3s and WMAs

* All of my metadata is correct

* I have been using digital cameras since 1997


I wanted a device that:

* Played music

* Had a TV interface (with an LCD too in a 'would-be-nice' category)

* Had a remote control

* Showed photos on screen

* Videos was a 'would-be-nice'

* Came from a reliable manufacturer (got tired of watching companies like ZapMedia go out of business) and had a warranty, service, support, etc

* Had a better way to find content than my PC folder tree

* low impact on my PC


HP device is all of the above, without the LCD and video. While I do have a wireless network, I am using it hard-wired since I have cat-5 most everywhere now (I know I am an anomoly).


I also have used, and very much do not like:

* Prismiq (worst UI ever)

* Audiotron (horrible remote)

* Simplefi (no ethernet OR 802.11 support, bad PC software)

* HP DEC (no streaming from PC)


DIfferent people have different needs, but I predict HP and others will win the short-term fight, and all these little companies will completely disappear over the next 12-24 months.
 

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I have the Slimp3 and I feel it is the best option for large collections. It's really a slick interface considering you have only a 2-line display to work with. And for doing more complex things like putting together a diverse playlist, the web interface is excellent. Finally, the open-source nature of the server means you have a LOT of control. You can hack the server yourself, or simply request that a feature be added, and it is usually added to the next release. The developers are ultrafast in responding to problems and fixing bugs, and the whole project is evolving at a rapid pace. In the few months I've had my Slimp3, all kinds of functionality has been added, like the ability to send internet stock quotes and weather reports to the display, an alarm clock function that lets you choose the playlist and volume you prefer, and even the display of album covers on the web interface.
 

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Fathom,


I get what you are saying, but personally, I don't really need a music device where "all kinds of functionality has been added, like the ability to send internet stock quotes and weather reports to the display," to me, I have a device to do this - it's called a computer.


The more general purpose a device gets, the worse it gets at performing any specific task. I want a music device that does it really well, and no other features that cloud the picture...
 

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I'll backup fathom on this one. I also have a SLIMP3 device, and yes, they've added some features recently, quite a few actually, but the main core of the functionality remains rock solid, and quite frankly, I am in love with the thing. The open source nature of it allows me to do all kinds of wacky stuff with it that would otherwise not be possible, which makes it even better. Someone who just wants to use it out-of-the-box will find the thing to be wonderful, and those who want to tinker and such will also love it.


The clincher for me though was the cost. They're cheap, at around $200-$250 depending on what kinds of sales they might be doing at any given time. The SliMP3 is in my top 5 gadgets I've ever purchased list, without question.
 

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yeah, focus - totally spot on. This is been a problem for lots of music devices out there. They didn't focus. That's why I'm still an audiotron fan.
 

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Has anyone tried to use an Xbox to perform the same tasks. I noticed that there are TONS of mods and additions for the xbox, and on top of that you can get the functionality of the xbox itself (which i would rarely use).


The thing I was thinking is that the possibilities of the xbox, since it is basically just a computer, are almost endless, whereas these other products are designed to only do one thing, and from my experience not do it that well.
 

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Actually, there's a piece of software for the PS2 that's a pretty decent attempt. It's called QCast Tuner, by a company called BroadQ ( www.broadq.com ). Check out their web site--they have a few little clips of the software in action.


I just bought an AudioTron (was working on getting it up when I had to leave for work today). If something like QCast had been available for the Xbox, I'd certainly have gone that way. I found this interview with the developers of QCast, and they say that they'd love for Microsoft to help them develop their product for Xbox. I doubt that this will happen, though. Microsoft has their own insipid " Music Mixer " scheduled to come out this fall. Instead of streaming music down from the large-as-I-need-it-to-be storage on my PC (or better yet, my network-attached storage server), it requires that I copy files from the PC onto the Xbox's tiny 8GB drive--I have 40GB of music on my PC now and counting. It's also insultingly stupid looking, with all sorts of colorful animations and crap. Personally, I think that it'll flop--the marketers who conceived it should not only be fired, but flayed, slowly.


But to answer your original question, the Xbox modding community has a cooperative project going to produce the Xbox Media Player . Not for the faint of heart ;).


-- Mike Scott
 

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Check out my app XTron for controlling the Audiotron at http://xtron.lizeric.com


I like the Audiotron a lot, but the supplied software and web interface leave a lot to be desired. There's a decent supply of 3rd party software to be found for it that makes it pretty useful.
 

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Which of these devices has the most flexibility in terms of audio codecs? Do they ONLY play mp3? I have a collection of 60% APE files, 30% mp3 and 10% OGG. I'm guessing nothing plays APE yet?


I've always liked the Slimp3 design more. To owners of that unit: Can the open source nature adopt APE? Are there coders out there willing to add it?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by michaeltscott
If something like QCast had been available for the Xbox, I'd certainly have gone that way.


check this out. I think this is the best solution I've seen.
xbox media player
 

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a quick FYI - the HP Digital Media Receiver uses firmware from a company called Mediabolic ( http://www.mediabolic.com )
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by ntode
check this out. I think this is the best solution I've seen.
xbox media player
I'd seen that (you'll notice that I cited the same linkat the end of my post). Unfortunately, you have to install a mod chip on your Xbox to run it, which is not something I'm particularly interested in doing.


-- Mike Scott
 
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