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.]