November 8, 2007

Stream Music From iPhone or iTouch to any Computer Running iTunes


A new app called the FireFly Media Server will allow you to stream music off of your iPhone or iTouch to any computer that is running iTunes. This does require that you 'jailbreak' your iPhone/iTouch, but that isn't that difficult.

Once you have followed the necessary steps to get the app installed your device will now show up as an option in the Shared Libraries section of iTunes. Now you have complete access to your music via the iTunes client allowing you to stream your music as if it was on the local network. This isn't that great for your personal network, but awesome for when you drop by a friends house or something and you can just add your iPod to their wireless network with the push of a button. This is something that Apple should have bundled in the first place, but we assume it has to have something to do with DRM or some other ridiculous nonsense that is the digital music conundrum of today.

These are the types of apps we love to see come out for mobile Apple products. Apps that allow you to share your music and not keep it locked up in the portable format. The main problem is that Apple keeps updating their software and breaking a lot of these cool apps. Of course they will work again, it just is a pain in the ass that Apple has yet to fully embrace the 3rd party apps that people are making. We are hoping that a cool app like FireFly Media Server will help open Apples eyes and change their tune for 3rd party apps.

via lifehacker
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October 25, 2007

Philips WAC3500D Streamium Wireless Audio Center Reviewed


We have been seeing more and more boom boxes come out as of late that have added the ability to stream music from your home network from anywhere in your house. The WAC2500D acts as a normal boom box with FM tuner, CD player and the like. It even adds the common new addition of having an iPod hookup. Where the WAC2500D sets itself apart from most other players is that it has a USB hookup, an internal 80GB hard drive as well as the ability to stream music from your PC either via a wired connection or wirelessly. With the addition of the USB ports you can keep all your music on external USB drives and never run out of space for your music collection. You can just take the WAC2500D and the drive wherever you go and you have a very nice sounding entertainment center on the go.

The addition of letting people stream music from their home netowrk to WAC2500D really opens things up. Now you don't need to modify that huge collection of digital files you have on your home server. Just stream them to the boom box like you would any other media streamer. We are very excited to see companies allowing us to stream our audio on more and more devices. When we first got into streaming media we had to search out products that could accomplish this for us. These days you can't go a day without finding another product has been released that will allow you to stream some sort of media.

Well enough of our rambling, read on for more specs.

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October 24, 2007

Highly Overpriced Audio Streamer Shows Up And Well....It Is Overpriced!!


OK, so we have seen a lot of products over the years that we thought went over the top, but the media streamer from Linn might take the cake. They have released an audio streamer for the low low price of $20,000. That is right, $20,000 for a device to play your digital music. We aren't sure what sector of the audiophilie crowd this is appealing to, but we can only assume that someone out there is going to buy it. We have reviewed other high end streamers like the transporter in the past, but those we could actually see people buying. It offers very good quality for the price. We aren't sure what kind of components could possibly be inside the Klimax that pushes the cost up so high, but the only thing we can think of is that everything is made out of solid gold.

Linn makes great products in general, but on this one we think they went a little nuts. There is no way that any media streamer is worth this much money. Anyone that is buying this has no concept of money.

via gizmodo
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October 19, 2007

Olive Musica Releases Their Newest Digital Music Streamer the OPUS Nº5


We had brought you news of an earlier product from Olive awhile back called the Opus Nº3 and we were very impressed by what we saw. A high end digital media player that catered to the audiophiles. It had a lot of very high end internals like a 24-bit/192 kHz Dac by Burr-Brown to deliver a rich sound from your digital media among others. Well they have a new product out now, the OPUS Nº5

As with all of their products these devices have a CD tray so that you can rip your music directly onto the internal hard drive. The new Nº5 comes in two models with either a 500GB or 700GB internal drive. Using either a wired or wireless connection you can stream music from your PC as well. Add to that the USB ports allowing you to hook up external drives and you now have a self contained music jukebox that has no limit on storage.

When you insert a CD into the Nº5 and choose to rip it the system will automatically gather all the necessary information and tag it appropriately. This really takes the hassle out of doing that yourself. One thing we wonder though is how they prevent mistakes. The online databases always seem to have multiple entries for a lot of the CDs we rip so we aren't sure how this unit picks the 'correct' one, but i guess the internal database they use must have gone through a heavy amount of testing and tweaking. We haven't heard any major complaints about this aspect so we can only assume that it is working well.

The major drawback of these devices is the price. The Nº5 lists for $3500. That is a lot of money to expect someone to plunk down for what they could probably get for a lot cheaper. Just look at the Transporter from Slimdevices, that retails for $2000 and from what can tell matches up very nicely with this unit minus the CD tray. We haven't seen anything in the Nº5 to separate it from the rest of the high end streamers on the market so we can't say this is a must buy, but if you are in the market for a device with all of these features, with the high end components, with the internal storage and auto CD ripper, than it could be worth a shot. Olive constantly gets great reviews on their products and this one is no different, we just wish the price wasn't so high.
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October 18, 2007

Fiire Media Streaming Computer Could Be All You Will Ever Need


We are constantly on the look out for the coolest devices to stream media around the house. They are typically proprietary devices from the likes of MvixUSA or Apple or Netgear and they are closed systems. Well as much as we like these systems( and own a few ) our hearts are with the open systems. Devices that use software that can be modified by the user, have additions developed for it and basically be totally customizable. We have reviewed MythTV in the past and as much as we love it it usually tends to be a complete pain in the ass to setup. Other companies have released pre-configured MythTV boxes, but nothing like this.

Well the good people over at Fiire have released what could be our dream media streaming device. They have taken Linux MCE( basically a souped up version MythTV ) and put it into a very quiet and attractive case to make a great media streaming system for even the most discerning of media geeks. One of the biggest issues to consider when putting a media streaming computer in your entertainment center is noise. We won't go into all the features of Linux MCE, just check out their site here and a good video of the system in operation here, but needless to say it is cooler then you could imagine. The fact that someone has bundled this all together in a pretty sweet package brings a large smile to our face. They have a bunch of offerings from the main beefy server you could keep in the basement while you use one of their smaller offerings to be the client that you keep in the media cabinet. They even have a product that attaches right to the back of your LCD TV so there are no cable lying around and no ugly devices sitting around.

These products don't come cheap, but they do offer you something that very few products do, the ability to configure the software completely. If you were so inclined you could modify the code yourself since this is all open source stuff. Another great thing about this is since it is based on MythTV you can separate the functions of your setup so you could use that beefy server you put in the basement to do all the heavy lifting like encoding and decoding while that nice and quiet system you put next to your TV just takes care of the streaming the media up.

We see these boxes for geeks that have some extra cash, really enjoy the complete package that Linux MCE offers and don't mind doing some tinkering from time to time. We will come back with another review about performance and usability after we have done more research and/or get a system in house so stay tuned.
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October 16, 2007

D-Link DSM-320 High Speed Wireless Media Player In House


Well we just got the D-Link DSM-320 media player in house and we are looking forward to putting it throught its paces. This is one of the first major players that D-Link came out with to compete in the digital media streaming department. D-Link has really made a push in the recent years to establish themselves as one of the major players in the this space. They have continually released newer and better products of the years and they are slowly cementing their name along side Apple, Sony and Netgear as the major providers of quality streaming products.

We have just begun our testing, but so far it looks like something that is right up our alley. Setup was a snap and the fact that it works with so many media servers like TwonkyMedia and TVersity really makes us happy. We love that device manufactures allow their products to be open to other media servers and don't force you to use theirs. There is no worse feeling for a techie then to purchase what seems to be a perfect product only to realize that the people that developed the software were morons. The fact that D-Link gives you the option to use their streaming software or any of the other popular ones gets two thumbs up from us.

We are in the process of testing it out and we expect to have more info for you guys soon. Stay tuned for our in depth review.

at Amazon
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October 12, 2007

Popcorn Networked Media Tank Lauch Day Only Days Away


We here at Networking Audio Video love a good rumor and/or a promise of the next great new device. Well as were were doing our daily scouring of the net looking for great information to bring you we came across something that peaked our interest. In a couple of days( October 15, 2007 ) Popcorn Hour will launch what could be our newest favorite product. They are rumored to be releasing a product that hits all of the features we here at Networking Audio Video dream of.

There isn't much info now since the site doesn't go live for another 2 days, but what we do know is very interesting. Supposedly, we are looking at a media center streamer that acts not only as a NAS server, not only as a BitTorrent server, but also a device that can stream in HD. As anyone that has read our blog for any length of time knows is that we love a solution that allows us to download and share media without having to keep our main power hungry PC on all the time. One of the main advantages of having a device like this take the BitTorrent downloading and NAS storage away from your main computer is that this is a low power device. You can leave this on over night and not see a huge spike on your electric bill.

So it looks like with the limited amount of information that is available that you can expect to stream content at 1080p resolution which isn't that common among media streamers.
We aren't sure what to actually expect, but all will hopefully be revealed in a few days and then we can update you on what could possibly be our dream NAS/Streaming device.

via engadget
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October 11, 2007

Review of the Orb Media Streaming Server Software


We have played with the Orb media streaming server for awhile now and it looks like we might just finally get it. When we were first playing with this free software we were intrigued for sure, but we didn't really see the major benefit to it. We have tons of devices that stream all kinds of media around our house, what does this software do that makes me want to play with it?

Well one thing it does really well is it opens up your entire media library to you anywhere you are with a net connection. After you install the software on your PC and you allow it access through your firewall you tell it where are all your media lives. It then starts indexing everything and adding it to your private Orb web page. You then just need to log into your Orb page to be able to have access to all of your favorite media.

Now you can make a playlist out of your entire collection of music at home or create a slideshow of pictures you recently took, or better yet, watch that TV show that you recorded and didn't have a chance to watch before you left the house.
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October 9, 2007

New Sonos Product, The ZoneBridge, To Be Released This Month


One of our favorite audio streamers, the Sonos Music System is about to get a nice update in the form of a network extender. One of the complaints people have had with the system is that if you are spreading it out over a decent distance you need to buy the expensive wireless receiver to accomplish it, even if you don't need a music player at that location .

Well the good people at Sonos have listened and are releasing the ZoneBridge to allow for extended network range without having to fork over big bucks for a device that you only need part of. So one good use is to hook it up to your router which may be in the basement and far from where you want audio. Then in the room with your stereo you can hook up a proper ZP80 or ZP100 to connect up to the ZoneBridge and actually stream the music.


We think this is an excellent move on the part of Sonos and we would expect going into the holiday buying season this will turn more and more people onto the wonderful world that is Sonos.

via engadget
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October 8, 2007

Digitize Your Old LPs with the FALTIMA 010


OK so we know there are a lot of people out there that still have huge collections of LPs and savor the times they listen to them. Having an old school sound system is almost a religion to some people. Sure the sound quality from some of these LPs is richer and fuller then what you will find in a digital media like the CD, but there are so many difficulties in keeping and using a large collection of them. First off storage, where the hell are you going to store 100s of LPs so that they don't take over your house. Sure this isn't the biggest concern since anyone that is that passionate about their music has probably already covered this, but it is still something you have to deal with. The main problem will this is portability. Say you have a great Miles Davis record that you want your friend to hear. Well you now need to get the LP to their house and if they don't have a record player then you need to bring yours. Sounds fun right?!

Well that is where the FALTIMA 010 comes into play. This handy device will allow you to transfer all of your LPs to a digital format whether it be an actual CD or hard drive or USB stick. The beauty of this is that you can keep your impressive collection of records, but now be able to enjoy them( albeit at a lower quality ) anywhere you want. So this gives you the best of both worlds.

Unfortunately this is only available in Japan currently, but one never knows, this may make it West one day if it turns out as very popular purchase.

via gizmodo
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