My favorite, hands down, geeky device is my turtle beach audiotron. I have instant access to every single one of my CD’s, I can make custom play lists, and the sound quality is fantastic with the optical connection (there’s one other huge deal-breaker feaure I love which I’ll get to below). Unfortunately, the darn thing is dying on me. I found the exact problem documented in one of the TB forums, but it requires that the product is returned – and they’ll only fix it for “original purchasers”, despite the fact the guy I bought it from never used the thing.
It is several years old, and I’m happy to spend my hard earned money on another network media player. Heck, when I bought the audiotron, I didn’t even know of any other network media players on the market (and afaik, there were none), but today there are dozens. Unfortunately (and by “unfortunately”, I mean I’m freakin’ pissed about it), there are no other network media players that will work without a “service” running on a remote computer. The deal-breaker feature I mentioned above is that my audiotron will play media directly from a NAS. I am absolutely amazed that every single player requires either media connect, or some other proprietary software running on the machine with the media files in order to work. Am I the only person in the world who sees the home computing world moving from a centralized PC that does everything to dozens of experience specific devices in the home. I’m all for everything connecting, but why does it all have to connect through a PC? (yes – I know I work for a company that wants a PC on every home…). My only “home” machine these days is a laptop – but I have nearly 80 gig of audio files available via NAS. How stupid would it be that if I bring my laptop to work, my wife can’t listen to music? How stupid would it be to boot a computer to play media when the media is already available on the network?
I guess I’m buying a new audiotron (I’ll be the original purchaser this time if it fails). The device is unchanged (except for firmware) in over 5 years, but it’s the only technology that I see fit for use. I wonder if I should check out Yodobashi first?