The ‘digital lifestyle’ is great, if you can get the bloody thing to work.

I’ve held off getting one of these wireless ‘Digital Media Receivers’…waiting for the early, early adopters to work through a couple hardware and software generations and therefore not needing a PhD in Networking to get one of these up and running.

Well, I succumbed last week and I picked up a second hand Netgear MP101 (second hand is good…if you get into troubleshooting mode it is good to know the device works).

Wireless Digital Music Player

After 2.5 days (minus sleep, working, eating, giving family attention) of network jigging/reconfiguring, software/firmware install/uninstalls/reinstalls/tweaks/products, combing through 100’s of newsgroups, forums, blogs & comments, eliminating causes and then not being so sure, downloading & speed-reading support pages, troubleshooting guides, help & readme files, working though every convievable issue that you can possibly have trying to get one of these things running, and yes, dreaming about IP addresses, firewalls, & TCP/UDP ports, I finally got the damn thing to work as advertised.

Was the effort worth it?  Well, it was infuriating, tragic and sad even, but now I’ve got the thing streaming music into our kitchen and lounge from the PC downstairs, I’m happy I went through the trauma.  If there is one thing I’ve learnt in all this, is that the ‘digital lifestyle’ is great if you can get it to work.  Getting it is the easy part.  Getting it work easily, I mean plug-it-in-easy, is a long way off yet.

Comments (10)

  1. andrew says:

    I just had to say that it pains me you would buy this device… I have a story about this very device… on the blog

  2. Hi Alex

    I have had almost the identical situation

    happen to me at the end of March with trying to get VOIP , with

    Between 3 different Tech support reps I couldnt the Dlink gateway to upgrade its firmware

    I fired off more emails to customer service

    that take 2 weeks to get replys

    Some of this stuff should be made Grade 2 simple

    Almost a month later the old gateway still hasnt been picked up

    I even ripped a strip off the DHL driver

    his response , when they couldnt make the effort to come up to my 8 th floor apt

    Not my problem man

    Dont ever deal with DHL , Ever


    Poor Poor Poor service

  3. daniel says:

    I have tested this device half a year ago. No problems. OK, they mixed german and dutch translation for the service software but there were no other problems. It worked fine.

    And by the way this one is great because you don’t have to start your TV, it has a own display.

  4. Steve says:

    The digital convergence roadmap is more like a bloody muddy wilderness trail with a couple of nasty fords over fast running rivers.

    Network configuration is a nightmare of gateways, security keys, and addresses.

    Firmware for most appliances is a quality that most devs. would call alpha dogfood. Hanging, lockups, reboots, bizarre behaviour are all possible.

    Server software is skewed in some direction for each brand, and invariably designed for use on a PC with someone perpetually logged in. (WinMedia Connect helps this though)

    Finally the taxonomy presented by the software/appliance rarely scales from a usablity perspect for hundreds of albums, and thousands of tracks. (e.g. one folder per artist or album)

    It is very fulfilling once manage to get a couple of these devices working. However the pioneers on this trail take more than a few arrows in their backs – I hope the paving crew and civilization aren’t that far behind.

  5. I have no idea why I have bothered to diagram and document my home network, but since I have, here…

  6. I have no idea why I have bothered to diagram and document my home network, but since I have, here…

  7. I have no idea why I have bothered to diagram and document my home network, but since I have, here…

  8. I have no idea why I have bothered to diagram and document my home network, but since I have, here…

  9. Talking of wifi on the move , I decided to replace my aging Negear WGR614 with something providing more