The SLIMP3 player works great and navigating through my large mp3 directory wasn’t a problem because I could jump to a specific letter or compile a play list. Streaming over the power line network has worked out great and I haven’t once heard a click or a pause because of a network problem.

SLIMP3 Network Audio Player

Luke Hetherington

HomeToys Review
Slim Devices SLIMP3 Network Audio Player
by Luke Hetherington

The SLIMP3 player works great and navigating through my large mp3 directory wasn't a problem because I could jump to a specific letter or compile a play list. Streaming over the power line network has worked out great and I haven't once heard a click or a pause because of a network problem.


The SLIMP3 is a network audio device that decodes MP3s to play on your home stereo, streaming them from your PC's hard drive via your home network. The player can also stream any MP3 based Internet radio station this includes Shoutcast, Icecast, and Live365. The player itself is brilliantly simple and elegant, with measurement of 8.5"W x 2.5"H x 2"D and no moving parts the SLIMP3 can fit inside any stereo rack or on your bedside table. The large 40x2 vacuum fluorescent display is bright and legible. Player navigation works either from your pc, a remote pc or by using the included infrared remote control.

Features:

SLIMP3 Ethernet MP3 Player

  • Beautiful 40x2 vacuum fluorescent display - bright and easy to read.
  • Gold plated RCA outputs connect directly to your stereo.
  • High quality 16 bit, 44.1KHz audio output.
  • Supports easy flash firmware updating over the network.
  • No moving parts (no fan, no hard disk or CD-ROM) - reliable and quiet: all you hear is your music!
  • Supports all MP3 bit rates and VBR, plus MPEG2
  • Communicates using IP over Ethernet, open streaming/control protocol.
  • Custom infrared remote control
  • Small enough that you can put it anywhere - on a shelf, bedside table, etc.
  • Display brightness control.
  • Low power - draws less than 4 watts during normal operation with the display turned on, and just a few milliwatts in standby mode.
  • Large buffer - no clicks or skips because of network problems

SLIMP3 Ethernet MP3 Software

  • Easy to learn, easy to use remote control interface
  • Web interface - control the player and manage your playlists from a web browser!
  • Shuffle and repeat modes
  • Alarm clock features
  • Browse and search for genres, artists, album and song titles.
  • Supports .pls and .m3u playlist files
  • Unlimited capacity - it doesn't matter if your mp3 collection is a megabyte or a terabyte. Your files are not stored on the player, so there's no limit to the amount of music you can access, and you don't need to hassle with copying your files onto the player.
  • Internet radio - Shoutcast, Icecast, and Live365
  • Open-source server, written in Perl (GPL)

Included Components

  • SLIMP3 Network MP3 Player
  • Switching power supply
  • SLIMP3 custom remote, batteries included!
  • 6-foot gold plated RCA patch cord
  • 10-foot CAT3 Ethernet patch cord

Installation:

Hooking the SLIMP3 up with my stereo was a no brainer; I simply connected the supplied RCAs into my amplifier and connected the player to my home network. For this review, I used a powerline home network with two Maverick Home Power Line hubs. This allowed me to place the player inside my bedroom where my stereo is located and use the apartment's power line for communications between the player and my PC. Not having to string a 100ft CAT3 across my apartment was a huge plus.

The server software installation went without a hitch. The software is open source, which is always a good thing. It runs on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux or any other platform with Perl. I downloaded the latest version for Windows from Slim Devices web page and went through the installation process. Everything was straightforward and all that was required was to point the SLIMP3 to my mp3 directory.

Once the server was installed, I powered up the SLIMP3 and it automatically found the network and the server. The SLIMP3 sets itself up every time it is powered up so if you are moving it around a lot it shouldn't be a problem. The two Maverick power line hubs communicated with each other perfectly and no addition software installation was required to get the power line network working.

Function:

The SLIMP3 player works great and navigating through my large mp3 directory wasn't a problem because I could jump to a specific letter or compile a play list. Streaming over the power line network has worked out great and I haven't once heard a click or a pause because of a network problem. When the player starts up and plays the first song it takes two seconds for the buffer to fill but that was it.

Final Thoughts:

Slim Devices has developed a great product and you can tell that they went to great lengths in planning its design, both hardware and software. The 40x2 vacuum fluorescent display and small size pushes it above its competitors. With the entire project being open source there are a lot of great third party applications available including using the SLIMP3 as a BBC news ticker or stock ticker. I wish all modern devices where as well designed and open as the SLIMP3.

Available on Slim Devices Web Page for $239.00 US


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