The Sonos ZonePlayer
is quite promising. It looks easy to set up, good quality, not ludicrously expensive and easy to expand. The drawbacks are that it doesn't support DRM'ed music, I think it's a proprietary protocol used to distribute the music, and since it's just a Linux system at heart there's always the feeling that I could so something as good myself (probably with a small aubergine
). Or at least that I'd get annoyed at not being able to get in and tweak something.
Being able to support DRM' music would be handy because it would mean I could buy albums from the main stores like Napster, or even ITMS. Which although they are essentially a ripoff would still be handy now and again. And if it all ran using UPNP AV then I could integrate the gadgets I work on in the the system. Which would be nice
In a similar vein there is the Net-Box
. All-in-one server for email, network filestore, wireless router, etc. You can even buy it in the UK, the conversion rate could be better but it probably beats trying to import one. It would save all the time I spend tinkering with the linux server, on the other hand you've got to keep your hand in somehow. Also although it looks cute and CE from the front, from the rear its obviously an off the shelf PC motherboard and a couple of PCI cards. Apparently it makes a racket as well which is bad news. There is the suggestion on one site I found that PC World will be selling them - so it would be worth looking at there.
Last time we were at PC World we found this little cutey
. The Sony Vaio VGC M1 in case the sony style link doesn't work. Joe wants one for the kitchen. Some of the reviews reckon it wasn't great value for money but given its all-in-one nature - it's kind of a ghetto blaster with a PC stuck on the frontt - it seems pretty reasonable to me. You can get it for about £800 if you shop around.
And if we just need loads of storage then there is the frighteningly named TeraStation
which should do for a couple of years.