25 January 2010

Media players

If I had my choice between dealing with ninnies along the lines of MikeW. or dealing with fun things, I prefer the fun things. Fun things usually includes beer and wine, good food, MP3 and other media players.

The last bit because I find that it is easier to stream content from the internet: usually the BBC's iPlayer, Lovefilm.com (a British Netflix alternative), or Amazon downloads.

Usually, I watch and download from a PC I have set up to handle my media files, but that it attached to a TV in a room I would prefer not to use form most of my viewing. Also, I'd rather use that PC for the MP3 files. The problem is that there must be a way to watch all this material without having to buy another computer.

Step in the media player, which is basically a glorified hard drive. The problem is that most of these glorified hard drives can't play a lot of your files. For example, I was watchng a ripped copy of "the Poseidon Adventure" on an iomega media player. The thing was playing only a few chapters and the soundtrack was in Spanish. Likewise, most media players may not read your mp3 files. That sort of thing never happens on a computer.

SO, it's coming up with a media player that can play all your files, but there are also the services such as iPlayer, Netflix, Amazon unbox, Lovefilm.com, and so on that allow you to stream material to your computer either for instant watching or later viewing. I am not too thrilled with iPlayer, but you can find the iPlayer downloads that work using get iPlayer. The get iPlayer downloads are usually for portable devices, but the quality is acceptable. BBC says the quality will get better on these downloads.

OK, there are things such as the Brite-View BV-6000P, Roku, Sumvision Cyclone MKV, SoundBridge, Squeezebox, and so on. The question is which of these is best? I bought a streaming box for my wife to stream movies. It seems that a USB media player would work best for me since I can download programmes via iplayer and move it to a USB drive based player.

So, I am shopping around for a player. Not in any great hurry to get one.