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Music Media Software Linux

MP3beamer Released 191

Posted by Hemos
from the connect-to-everything dept.
An anonymous reader writes "MP3tunes, Michael Robertson's new music venture, has released a snazzy linux music appliance called MP3beamer. The $399 box auto-rips CDs and imports MP3s and then connects to iTunes, Java devices, media receivers, web devices even WinCE units with handy feature to "sync" songs from server to remote machine for offline playback not just streaming - see screenshots. Last time Robertson launched something with "Beam" in the name it led to avalanche of lawsuits and more then $150MM in legal payments with BeamIt from the old MP3.com." It'd be excellent to get a review of one of these machines; looks like a good one.
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MP3beamer Released

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  • WOW! (Score:5, Informative)

    by j0nkatz (315168) * <anon@noSPAm.memphisgeek.com> on Monday February 28, 2005 @12:12PM (#11803650) Homepage
    EVEN BETTER! [mp3beamer.com] It appears they are selling just the software for $70 to let you use your own machine as the "beamer" hardware. OS included!!
  • Worth a look (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Deekin_Scalesinger (755062) * on Monday February 28, 2005 @12:13PM (#11803654)
    Reminds me of Tivo for the musically inclined. Consumers do seem to like black boxes, as long as they work right the first time. I'd look at this for myself - it would be nice to have a music only drive and dedicate one machine for that task. Four hundred is a decent price point as well.
  • Beamer? (Score:5, Funny)

    by turtled (845180) on Monday February 28, 2005 @12:13PM (#11803657)
    Only MP3 Beamer I can think of is the iPod for the BMW.

    Interesting, none-the-less.
  • $150MM?!? (Score:5, Funny)

    by aendeuryu (844048) on Monday February 28, 2005 @12:13PM (#11803662)
    Picturing Dr. Evil, giggling and saying "Unless you give us 150 Million Million dollars!!! Mwahahaha etc. etc."
  • Almost perfect (Score:2, Informative)

    by Jon Chatow (25684) *
    All I need is one of these that can convert on-the-fly from a native store of FLAC to MP3 or Vorbis depending on the using application. Oh, and, currenntly, an 800 GiB hard disc. *sigh* Yeah, I know, "not the target market" and all that jazz, and I'll probably get one regardless of the lack of FLAC/Vorbis, but...
    • Why not just do a batch conversion once on all your flacs and then not worry about the on-the-fly? The extra disc space isn't going to be that bad...
  • Slimserver (Score:5, Informative)

    by Quixote (154172) * on Monday February 28, 2005 @12:15PM (#11803678) Homepage Journal
    This appears to be an Asus Pundit [asus.com] with Linspire. The music server component is a hacked-up Slimserver [slimdevices.com], as clarified by Robertson himself [gmane.org] (see link for more answers from him).

    Still, looks like a nice box.

    --
    Does MSN censor search results? [buffalo.edu]

  • And for $100 more... (Score:5, Informative)

    by sootman (158191) on Monday February 28, 2005 @12:16PM (#11803688) Homepage Journal
    ...you can get a Mac Mini to do just about all that and more. I have mine hooked up to my TV doing most of what this does, as well as playing games, showing slideshows, and ripping and playing DVDs.
  • Finally! (Score:5, Funny)

    by MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) <`dylan' `at' `dylanbrams.com'> on Monday February 28, 2005 @12:18PM (#11803708) Homepage Journal
    A machine you can put on autopirate and it works! A new generation of AI!
    • Well, it does have a dvdrw drive, and presumably some spare pci slots as the case lookes to be a microatx case so it could be a tivo with a dvdripper.
  • Slimserver (Score:4, Informative)

    by jhernand (180688) on Monday February 28, 2005 @12:19PM (#11803725)
    This product borrows heavily from the OSS Slimserver product, which is primarily developed for the Squeezebox and SliMP3 by http://www.slimdevices.com/ [slimdevices.com]Slim Devices.
  • by William_Lee (834197) on Monday February 28, 2005 @12:19PM (#11803730)
    If you check out the site, they're offering the software only for around $70 which makes it a more viable solution for many of us unwilling to buy a box for $400.

    The only box that has to be running Linux is the main beamer, so you could easily work this right into an existing home M$ network.

    It even looks like you can beam your collection remotely to work.

    Also, different users can play different tunes at the same time.

    It seems pretty cool and useful at first glance.
    • by Zed2K (313037) on Monday February 28, 2005 @12:25PM (#11803806)
      Or you can download slimserver for free. Granted the $70 fee gets you linspire, but I'm willing to bet someone wanting to do this has the ability to download linux iso images and do the install themselves and for free.
      • you might be missing the point. simply because they have "solutions" priced at $400 and $70 does not mean they are trying to con anyone.

        there are many customers that will fork over the $400 because all the configuration is done for them and they can rely on dedicated tech support should the need arise. if they do not care for the standalone box and they only require the software then its only $70 again, the software is designed to work out of the box. no need to spend however long to configure it yourself.
        • If double clicking a windows installer and typing in a path to your music is too complex for someone (which is all you really need to do with the windows version of slimserver) then they really need to rethink their need for a streaming server.

          I'll double click myself instead of paying someone $70 to do it for me.
  • by borawjm (747876) on Monday February 28, 2005 @12:21PM (#11803764)
    I use my roomates machine to stream and store all of my music. He doesn't notice and it cost me no money.

    Did I mention that he's not very computer literate?
  • AAC Support (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Synesthesiatic (679680) * on Monday February 28, 2005 @12:22PM (#11803766) Homepage
    It kinda sucks that it doesn't at least include unprotected AAC support. It seems like, outside of Apple, AAC is turning into a flop (although I know the Roku Soundbridge supports it).

    Heck, with Hymn [hymn-project.org] they could even add support for iTMS files, outside of the US anyways. Not that it matters. If I wanted to change portable players I'd just find one that played unprotected AAC and run my music through Hymn myself. But there don't seem to be any options out there!

    • Re:AAC Support (Score:3, Informative)

      by DaveJay (133437)
      It kinda sucks that it doesn't at least include unprotected AAC support. It seems like, outside of Apple, AAC is turning into a flop (although I know the Roku Soundbridge supports it).

      I currently run SlimServer on an old Dell Optiplex, and it supports AAC -- via re-encoding on the fly with faad2. I don't know if the Roku Soundbridge uses this method (it also uses SlimServer) or if the hardware natively supports it, but it makes sense that the MP3Beamer ALSO supports AAC via re-encoding on the fly, given t
  • Where's the utility? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Radi-0-head (261712) on Monday February 28, 2005 @12:23PM (#11803783)
    So why can't I do this with my existing machine and maybe an additional hard disk for storage? Oh wait, I already do!
    • It's not for you! It's for someone who just wants to be able to buy a box that has a certain feature set, and works right as soon as you plug it in. In other words, it's for the TiVo crowd, not the MythTV crowd. Nothing wrong with that.
  • free schwag (Score:5, Funny)

    by Lord_Dweomer (648696) on Monday February 28, 2005 @12:23PM (#11803784) Homepage
    "It'd be excellent to get a review of one of these machines; looks like a good one."

    In other words, Slashdot editors want a free one to play with.

  • hmm.. side note (Score:2, Interesting)

    by shadowpuppy (629329)
    A while back I noticed that iTunes has the ability to automatically rip a CD when it's put in the drive. And when it's done the CD can be automatically ejected. I'm not certain but I suspect that combined with some Applescript and a CD jukebox could be a frightenly effective combination. How much you wanna bet that programmers at Apple have already done it for themselves?
  • by Slackrat (128095) on Monday February 28, 2005 @12:25PM (#11803801)
    In the product FAQ [mp3beamer.com], they mention an MP3Beamer Sync component that automatically syncs your iTunes collection with your MP3Beamer collection. I'm curious how they pulled this off. Does the iTunes Sharing protocol (DAAP) support file upload? Or are they pushing the music in some other way?
    • Possibly by using SMB? The iTunes library is, after all, just a bunch of artist/album/genre folders in your Music folder.
      • Based on the description of the Sync program in the FAQ (aka it runs as a client on the same machine running iTunes), I don't think it's SMB. Also, I think SMB is ultimately a no-go for shared iTunes as discussed in this BoingBoing link:

        Mac Mini Media Center Challenge [boingboing.net]
    • ...I'm curious how they pulled this off....

      I believe it went something like this...

      vi smb.conf
      insert:
      [music]
      path = /home/music
      comment = MP3 Beamer super technology link
      browseable = yes
      writable = yes
      create mode = 0664
      directory mode = 0775
    • by natrius (642724) *
      It doesn't sync your iTunes collection, you stream from the server using iTunes' built-in sharing. [mp3beamer.com]
      • I think it's more than that. After looking at the FAQ a little more closely, I see that you can sync your MP3Beamer music from iTunes to your iPod, which you definitely can't do from an iTunes share. However, it looks like there is some program running on the machine running iTunes that does the work of talking to iTunes on behalf of MP3Beamer.

        To quote the FAQ:

        Q: Can I use my iPod with the MP3beamer?
        A: Yes. Because you can "sync" all songs from MP3beamer to iTunes, when you plug in your iPod it will a

    • I'm curious how they pulled this off. Does the iTunes Sharing protocol (DAAP) support file upload? Or are they pushing the music in some other way?

      You run a client on the machine with iTunes. When you hit "Sync" in the client, it talks to the server, copies the files to the local machine, then uses iTunes COM interface to add the files into the iTunes Library.

      Basically it syncs iTunes to the server in the same basic way that the iPod can sync to iTunes.
  • Seriously, I'd prefer to have my music in a format unemcumbered by licensing fees to Thompson...

    • SlimServer does Ogg Vorbis with re-encoding to mp3 or wav on the fly, so presumably MP3Beamer might be able to as well.

      The bottom line seems to be that the end player -- not the server software -- dictates the native streams that are acceptable. For instance, my Slim Devices Squeezebox can't play AAC streams unless they're re-encoded to MP3 or WAV, but if they came out with a Squeezebox that could play AAC streams, the server software could be configured to send them without re-encoding.
  • by xtermin8 (719661) on Monday February 28, 2005 @12:33PM (#11803876)
    $150 in M&Ms would not be so bad. If only my Ex-wife had only asked for that!
  • As many others here have stated, it looks like this machine is just running a modified version of the SlimServer software. I was shopping for wireless MP3 players last year and I got myself a Linksys WMLS11B. This MP3beamer says that certain media receivers can play the content stored on it, and it shows a picture of the WMLS11B.

    My question is, how are they doing that? The server component I need to use currently is MusicMatch, which sucks. I need to run Windows on a seperate computer for it and it's very
  • Apple already beat them [apple.com] to the punch. Wait, wrong Beamer...
  • What exactly does this do that I can't do with my Mac already? I've already ripped my CDs and keep my whole music collection in my iTunes library. It already syncs with my iPod. I can stream music to my main stereo system, over the Airport network to my Roku Soundbridge. And. . . I don't have a PDA. So what's the point of buying a whole new $400 box to do all this stuff?

    Am I missing something?
  • by zoloto (586738)
    This might be offtopic but its' in honest question regarding the device...

    What is the case the system is in? I find it very attractive and small. Can anyone help me out with a link or a name?
  • Ok, this is great. We now have at least three appliance-like devices that can take ripped cds and make them available over a network (comments about how the mac mini already does this aside). But where are the clients? This is the missing link. Sure, you can buy some crappy mp3 players that will let you browse a gigantic list of mp3s on a tiny lcd display, and won't support multiple formats or playlists or have high quality audio outputs for your stereo system...c'mon, we need a good client.

    What I want:
    • Easy answer: check out Slim Devices Squeezebox. Here's how it addresses your needs:

      1. The box is barely wider or taller than the display, and it's not very deep, either.

      2. The output is analog or digital stereo, not 5.1 or 7.1, but it doesn't funnel video anyway so there's no need for surround sound support (unless there's 5.1 and 7.1 non-movie audio out there?)

      3. You can use the remote and the surprisingly large and bright screen to configure your player, search through your music, build playlists, adju
  • But, does he own the schematics or did he find them somewhere and assume they were free?
  • Too expensive... but a cool idea would be to hack the software so it shares your collection with all of your friends. Perhaps only let it serve 2 tracks at any given time, then make a network of these so you can play music from anyone connected to the network. You wouldn't store the stuff locally, of course, but the collective would have a huge library of music.

    I was looking at those setup tv devices that let you play stored mpeg1/2/4 content from a server. Neat but they rely on a host computer to do pro
  • Incredibly funny phrase. Maybe I'm just in a mood. Haven't RTA yet but the post made my day. Good jorb.
  • All the money that goes into technology research and the best we can do is yet another toy for listening to music?

    All the money that goes into drug research and the best we can do is yet another ED pill or something to stop heartburn or keep your nose from running.

    Sometimes consumerism gets me so depressed that I go out on a shopping binge.

    • It's funny, but when you try to do something really hard, you need a lot of money and a lot of talent. Projects like that throw off a lot of extra useful knowledge, and people who don't have the talent or money to tackle the big thing can look for a lesser problem and solve it with the spillover knowledge.

      Besides, even the smallest things are worth doing better. Read "The Evolution of Useful Things" to see just how much time and effort have gone into the creation of the Gem paper clip (the one you picture
  • I've been thinking lately about a similar device for an in-car player/media station which would combine an in-dash slot-loading drive (Pioneer makes them, such as the DVD-106s or similar) with a small PC with a local hard drive and 802.11.

    You could pop a new CD into the drive on the way home/to work/wherever, and the system would recognize it as a new device, automatically ripping it. With multi-session, it shouldn't be a problem to rip while playing. When you return home (or anywhere with an 802.11 connec
  • The first time you insert an audio CD you'll be asked if you want your Mac mini to launch iTunes. You can set iTunes to automatically rip and eject CDs (and pick the format).

    I imagine you can probably get a cheap PC to do the same trick using WMP (although you'll have to fight the defaults harder to avoid locked up file formats).

    Oh, but a Mac mini is *slightly* more expensive than this $400 one-trick-pony.
  • Is it just me, or dose the 'beamer' box look exactly like an ASUS pundit case?

    Asus Pundit [asus.com]

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