Network MP3 Players
I'm currently in the process of buying a new hi-fi system. Well at least I ordered a lot of catalogues However after that I want to get a MP3 player, too.Some of you may know that I already build me a multimedia player on PC basis but for listening my music I don't want to boot it everytime. So I thought a standalone player may be the right choice. It should connect to my home network and get all the music from my fileserver. Here is a list of devices I found so far…
ExStreamer wireless 289.00€
These two are basically the same but the second one comes with a PCMCIA slot for a wireless card. owever the wirelees card seems not to be included so its a lot more expensive than the first one. The exstreamer plays MP3 streams served from any HTTP Server (think icecast) and it comes with an integrated webserver for configuration. The device is connected via chinch connectors. Looks nice and linux compatible. However no display and the IR remote control kit is sold seperatly
cd3o C100,C200,C300 $129.00 $179.00 $199.00
Again three models with nearly the same functionality. The C100 has only a ethernet connector th other two come with built in WLAN. The C300 even has an external antenna and a optical audio output. All three of them include a IR remote control. Unfortunately the server software needed is only available for Windows. However the control protokoll is open and some guys at their forum seem to made it run rudimentary. A cool feature of this device is (again only with windows) to use a text to speach engine for browsing available files - as you can guess from this feature: no display.
Another wireless model. Like the former devices it uses streaming technology to access the files so you need a streaming software which is provided by them for Windows, Mac and Linux which is written in Perl with sourcecode available It comes at high price but it has a display, IR remote control and optical audio output. A wired version seems to be available too for a slightly smaller price.
Sound Blaster Wireless Music $249.00
This one comes with a RF remote control with builtin display! Wow. But there isnt much told about how the music is accessed only a Windows software is mentioned. Oh of course this device has builtin WLAN (you guessed it from its name already). Connection to the hi-fi system is done via optical output.
Linksys WMA11B $160.00
Another wireless one with no display. But this time it connectects to your TV, too (no optical outs). So besides MP3 it displays pictures but no video. Again nothing is said about the needed software - only downloads for Windows
Netgear MP101 $150.00
This one looks beautiful. Another wireless device which plays streamed MP3s. Beside the WLAN interface it also has an ethernet jack but no optical output. It does have a remote control and a 4 line display. Again no info about the software only Windows mentioned.
And this is the last one. Like the Linksysmodel it is connected to your TV, too. It can handle even video (no info on the formats though). And of course - no information about non Windows software. No display.
So it looks like it's either the cheap but wired Exstreamer or the expensive but full featured Squeezebox then. Well we'll see. I'd like to get your comments on this topic. Do you know some other models? Know something about the Linux Support for those cheaper devices?