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  #1  
Old 02-01-2011, 02:52 PM
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diechipmunk diechipmunk is offline
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Default Need WiFi streaming media player

The CD player in my home theater broke. Rather than buy a new one, I figured I'd buy a PMP\MP3 player to which I can stream my media library over my WiFi. I want something I can connect to my receiver.

I want good quality sound, video is a plus, but not a requirement. I don't need apps, this is intended as a cheap (and portable) substitute for Sonos or Logitech Review. I just want to stream my library to my home theater.

I've looked at iPods but I detest iTunes. I've installed it twice and screwed up my media library, both times. Had to re-rip the first time, but was smart enough to back up and restore the second.

I just installed the Zune 4 software and it's awesome. It installed smoothly, read the files where they are - no copying, moving or replicating them, like iTunes does. The interface is quick too. My hesitation to go with the Zune is due to the fact that I have never seen one. Several friends have iPod Touch's, so I have first hand experience with those, but I have no experience with the Zune.

What experiences have ATBI users had with Zune? Are there other quality options?

Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 02-01-2011, 03:19 PM
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does the zne stream from your PC based library? I was unaware it did that. Archos makes a few devices I am looking at for similair purposes.
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  #3  
Old 02-01-2011, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IDvsEGO View Post
does the zne stream from your PC based library? I was unaware it did that.
I don't know for certain that it does. IMHO, I think it would be pretty lame for a WiFi enables PMP that requires proprietary client software not to stream your library.
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  #4  
Old 02-01-2011, 05:58 PM
Olley Olley is offline
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Archos 43. Does exactly what and everything you want it to.
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:47 PM
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I've been looking at that as well I wonder how's the sq.
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Old 02-03-2011, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olley View Post
Archos 43. Does exactly what and everything you want it to.
How about the Archos 70? My main need it so connect my PC media library to my home theater in the basement and my stereo in the upstairs family room. I'm not limited to a pocket media player.

The Archos site says:
"The ARCHOS 70 internet tablet has Samba and UPnP protocols: this means that you play your movies, videos, and photos on your ARCHOS, but these files are really located on your computer in another room."

It doesn't say music, but is assume if it can stream movies, videos, and photos it can stream music?

Thanks for your help.
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  #7  
Old 02-03-2011, 02:28 PM
Olley Olley is offline
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Yes, the 32, 43, and 70 can all stream music over WiFi off your home networked shared folders. Photos and Video as well.
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Old 02-03-2011, 05:29 PM
SilverWolf SilverWolf is offline
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If you want Wifi streaming to your pmp then go with something else, the Zunes don't do that you actually have to put the music on the player. The Zune is awesome.
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olley View Post
Yes, the 32, 43, and 70 can all stream music over WiFi off your home networked shared folders. Photos and Video as well.
Didn't know this ^
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  #10  
Old 02-04-2011, 10:29 AM
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I'm disappointed that the Zune can't stream. That seems like a huge fail to me.

The Archos 43 and 70 products look most promising, I need to look into docking stations for those, now. I just wish I had some first hand experience with Archos.

I also looked at Orb. I might have bought a pair of those immediately, if it didn't require a an Android\I device to use as a controller. I can't leave my phone home for the rest of the family to use. If I have to buy an Android\Ipod device to control the Orb, I might as well just use the device to stream the media and save the cost of the Orb. If they had PC client software, it would be a done deal.
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Old 03-08-2011, 03:57 PM
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In case anyone is interested in the solution I chose, I went with Orb. It's not strictly an MP3\PMP player, but it meets the streaming requirement and a great price point.

$69 (+$9 shipping) for the hardware, which is essentially a hockey puck that receives wifi and has audio outputs. I plugged the audio into my receiver and installed the server and controller software. The server software and controller software are free. The server, Orb Caster, is installed on my PC and pointed to my media library folders.
I have controllers on 3 PC's and my Android phone.

Setup took all of 5 minutes. The only issue I is that Orb seems unable to read my M:\ drive, which is a networked storage unit. Not a big deal, since it's very old and has only 1/2 the storage of my current desktop.
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Old 03-08-2011, 05:00 PM
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^ Wow, that's cool! Nice job, and only $78! If I had known you had an Android device I would've suggested AudioGalaxy but looks like you're covered. Although I don't think it can do separate stereo sources at once.

Last edited by Machiventa; 03-08-2011 at 05:42 PM.
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  #13  
Old 03-10-2011, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machiventa View Post
^ Wow, that's cool! Nice job, and only $78! If I had known you had an Android device I would've suggested AudioGalaxy but looks like you're covered. Although I don't think it can do separate stereo sources at once.
The only Android I have is my phone, so it's with me. I needed something to dock and stream to my NAD receiver. HTC doesn't even have a dock for the Incredible. I'm planning on adding a second Orb for my home theater in the basement, and I can control both from the same PC and Android clients.

AudioGalaxy looks pretty interesting. I may check it out for personal use.
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  #14  
Old 05-25-2011, 08:58 AM
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Orb is becoming frustrating.

I've been using the Orb for over 2 months now. When it works it's good, but I don't think it's ready for prime time.

My issues may be due to the fact that my library is on an external drive, but that's not supposed to be an issue. Orb also has a real issue with importing playlists. After 6 weeks with support, several reinstalls and finally an updated Orb Caster server, Orb imported my playlists. Yeah!

A week later all my media was gone an no amount of rescans found it again. I had to drop the M: drive (where my library is) and add C:, rescan, Drop C: and re-add M: and rescan to get my music back.

The Controller app (Android and PC) is painfully slow and hangs often; although it's really nice to be able to control my tunes from the deck without having to go back into the house.

Support has been very helpful, but none of their suggestions permanently resolve the issues. It's a great idea, and has huge potential, but it's just not reliable enough.

I've got 3 alternative options:
The Logitec Squeezebox Touch. It's $200 more that the Orb, and I don't believe I can control it remotley, but my brother-in-law has 4 Squeezeboxes, playing media from two servers and has no issues.

Archos 4.3 or 7 can stream from a PC library. I don't know anyone with either, so I have no confirmation that it works any better than the Orb. AT least the Archos would have plenty of music loaded that I could play regardless.

*Gulp* Apple TV. I know a few people with that and they get all glassy-eyed and wax poetic when they speak of Apple TV. If it didn't require iTunes, I'd probably jump on it. It's cheap, and I get a additional discount through work.

The search continues.

Last edited by diechipmunk; 05-25-2011 at 09:05 AM.
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  #15  
Old 05-29-2011, 09:51 PM
Carson Dyle Carson Dyle is offline
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Get a Squeezebox Touch. There are _many_ ways to control it remotely. IR remote, a web interface (from a PC or laptop on your network), a dedicated Logitech Controller, several iPhone apps, and several Android apps. Probably other ways that I've forgotten.

You could also get an older, used Squeezbox 3 (aka Classic) for cheap and have everything except the touch screen (plus a larger, more readable screen for Now Playing information). Sound quality isn't quite on the same level as the Touch, but it will be better than most portables.

Other than cost reasons, I just can't see using a portable player in the main stereo system. Not just the audio quality compromise, but the inconvenience of hooking up and disconnecting it when you want to take it with you, then having to put it back again when you want to listen to music from your server. And if you don't ever want to disconnect it, why use a portable player to begin with?
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  #16  
Old 05-31-2011, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carson Dyle View Post
Other than cost reasons, I just can't see using a portable player in the main stereo system. Not just the audio quality compromise, but the inconvenience of hooking up and disconnecting it when you want to take it with you, then having to put it back again when you want to listen to music from your server. And if you don't ever want to disconnect it, why use a portable player to begin with?
I completely agree with you. When I first started this search, I was not aware of all the available options. I thought using a portable device would be the reasonable option. Sonos is too expensive and proprietary; all I want it the streaming solution, I have a great receiver and speakers wired already.

The If I go Squeezebox, I'll go with the touch. It's still cheaper than replacing the CD player and I want the best sound quality I can get.
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