Roku Labs M2000 SoundBridge

The Roku Labs M2000 Soundbridge is a streaming audio player. Connect it to your stereo system on one end, and your home network on the other end (or use the optional Wi-Fi card) and you can play songs stored on your Windows PC(s) and/or Apple Mac(s). That’s pretty cool, but I actually don’t have that much of my music on either my Sony PC or my PowerBook. Additionally, the PC is hardly ever switched on these days. [I have to admit that I am thinking about a Mac Mini and a large firewire drive to act as a physically small file sharing system for my photos and music, but I don’t have that yet.]

What is very cool about the Soundbridge products though is that they can also stream internet radio stations, without having any other computers on the network. This is a feature I love. Most of my use of iTunes has been to listen to internet radio stations, so being able to have a very cool aluminium tube with a bright green vacuum fluorescent display connected to my stereo and listen to streaming internet feeds is amazing.

Not so cool is setting up a hex WEP key using the remote control. The sooner there is a standard for getting this stuff set up automagically the better. Once set though it was able to join my WEP wireless network in static WEP mode. Shame it does not have support for WPA-PSK, but maybe that will come in a future firmware update [Roku Labs: if you are reading this and would like help getting WPA and/or WPA2 working on your systems email me – I know some people who can help! We can probably also get you support for an 802.11g USB card on the HD1000 box.]

1 thought on “Roku Labs M2000 SoundBridge

  1. I just setup a Pluto Home system (smarthome + media server, plutohome.com, free open source). It’s really cool. It has a streaming movie server, music server, pvr. Plus it does home automation and controls a/v equipment too. There’s only 1 problem…

    You designate 1 PC to be the server; they call it the core. It exposes a network boot image for any other PC in the house, so your PC becomes dual purpose—normal pc, or net boot and it’s a set top box. You control it with Bluetooth mobile phones or web pads. And all the set top boxes in the house work together. Your media even follows you as you move from room to room if you keep the phone on. The problem is I don’t have enough media pc’s for all the rooms in my house, and buying a full PC for each room is too expensive. Plus there’s no video cards for the PC that have component video output—which is the only way I can get HDTV into my tv.

    The Roku seems perfect as a media director. Right now, you can’t do a lot with it. But if it worked as a media director, it would be part of a whole house solution that did everything. I could even use the Roku’s menu to turn on my sprinklers if I wanted. Plus, since Pluto gives it a network boot image, space is no longer an issue—all the software could be stored on the main server. And the HD1000 has component video, it’s silent, and it already runs Linux.

    Does anybody have an idea if it would be possible to use the HD1000 as a media director like that, doing a network boot? Then I could just buy a few of the Roku’s rather than having to buy regular PC’s.

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