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View Full Version : Do they make what I'm looking for?



Kyle
2006-10-10, 18:19
I would like a device that will play my FLAC files directly from my external hard drive though powered speakers. Is there a device that will allow me to eliminate the PC and LAN from the equation when I want my music portable?

andyg
2006-10-10, 18:22
An MP3 player with Rockbox?

Kyle
2006-10-10, 18:26
Do you have an example? It would have to have a USB port.

andyg
2006-10-10, 18:28
http://www.rockbox.org/

Kyle
2006-10-10, 18:40
Andy, do you know if a rockbox-enabled player could be hooked directly to my USB hard drive and allow me to browse and play FLAC files without actually loading them into the player?

andyg
2006-10-10, 18:41
No, I guess what I'm getting at is that these mp3 players are just external hard drives themselves.

MeSue
2006-10-10, 20:42
I would like a device that will play my FLAC files directly from my external hard drive though powered speakers. Is there a device that will allow me to eliminate the PC and LAN from the equation when I want my music portable?

The Macsense HomePod has a USB port so you can connect an external drive. http://www.macsense.com/product/homepod/

I bought one in early 2005, and it was horrible so I returned it and got the Squeezebox. Never used it with an external drive while I had it, and it looks like development has stagnated.

nicketynick
2006-10-11, 06:08
The Macsense HomePod has a USB port so you can connect an external drive. http://www.macsense.com/product/homepod/

I bought one in early 2005, and it was horrible so I returned it and got the Squeezebox. Never used it with an external drive while I had it, and it looks like development has stagnated.

Interesting bit of kit, in that it does provide the portability Kyle is looking for - but it doesn't appear to support FLAC currently......

Kyle
2006-10-11, 06:28
Interesting bit of kit, in that it does provide the portability Kyle is looking for - but it doesn't appear to support FLAC currently......

It also is wireless, which I don't want to pay for because I don't need it. Is there something simpler that is wired-only? It would need these capabilities: 1. Read and decode FLAC from USB hard drive; 2. Provide ability to browse music files; 3. Output audio line signal (RCA or mini) for powered speakers.

azinck3
2006-10-11, 10:20
It also is wireless, which I don't want to pay for because I don't need it. Is there something simpler that is wired-only? It would need these capabilities: 1. Read and decode FLAC from USB hard drive; 2. Provide ability to browse music files; 3. Output audio line signal (RCA or mini) for powered speakers.

Is there anything wrong with Andy's suggestion of an mp3 player with rockbox? It sounds like *precisely* what you're looking for.

JJZolx
2006-10-11, 10:31
Is there anything wrong with Andy's suggestion of an mp3 player with rockbox? It sounds like *precisely* what you're looking for.
Most don't have USB ports to access an external hard drive, so you're limited to the space on the internal drive.

JJZolx
2006-10-11, 10:43
I would like a device that will play my FLAC files directly from my external hard drive though powered speakers. Is there a device that will allow me to eliminate the PC and LAN from the equation when I want my music portable?

I think the best list of devices that support flac can probably be found at http://flac.sourceforge.net/. Not sure if any of them support external hard drives, though. I'd look into a cheap or used laptop for this purpose. If audio quality is a concern add an external USB DAC.

Any "device" that can play audio... even a tiny flash-based pen drive is really a "computer", so it's just a matter of drawing the line either at size, features, or cost. If such a portable player is going to cost $700 then why not just buy an inexpensive laptop with 12" screen at the nearest big box store for about the same price?

CatBus
2006-10-11, 11:18
Most don't have USB ports to access an external hard drive, so you're limited to the space on the internal drive.

FWIW, the iAudio (Cowon) X5 seems to be a favorite of some of the Rockbox developers, so it's very likely to be a well-maintained port. It's also got a very good reputation as far as hardware quality. It has a USB-OTG port, but I'm not sure that would work they way you'd want, even if RockBox supported it, which I believe it doesn't.

Nevertheless, there are several websites describing in detail how you can replace the hard drive in the X5, to replace a bad drive or to upgrade capacity. Basically the X5 does not do anything special to make hardware tinkering more difficult than normal (unlike other players). The only limitation on the drive is that it has to be under a specific height to fit inside the enclosure. I've even heard of people choosing an oversized drive and just holding their player together with electrical tape afterwards to give it huge capacity.

In all other respects, the device IS a portable USB hard drive, so it would work for all other purpuses exactly like your current portable drive.

Kyle
2006-10-11, 11:26
Is there anything wrong with Andy's suggestion of an mp3 player with rockbox? It sounds like *precisely* what you're looking for.

The problem is that the device would be limited by the size of its storage capacity and would require transferring music files to its internal drive. I've already got the music files on a hard drive, which is fairly portable. I'm just looking for a one-stop device that would allow me to choose and play those files.

funkstar
2006-10-11, 12:53
Do they make what I'm looking for?
By the sounds of it i don't think so :)

tomsi42
2006-10-11, 13:50
The problem is that the device would be limited by the size of its storage capacity and would require transferring music files to its internal drive. I've already got the music files on a hard drive, which is fairly portable. I'm just looking for a one-stop device that would allow me to choose and play those files.

I have been playing around with this for a while, and have given it up. First of all, my FLAC collection is now around 500GB and I don't need all of at at all times.

When I bring my music to parties etc. I have mp3 copies on a portable hard disk and use a laptop as interface -the sound systems are so cheesy that mp3 at vbr 0 (highest quality) is good enough.

When I am on the road I use a Sandisk Sansa e260 (4GB). About 2.5GB is miscellaneous easy listening and 80's hit's and rest is reserved for new music. Also mp3 at vbr0.

I also have a iAudio X5, but it is too bulky when I need a portable player, and there isn't space enough for all I the nusic I want to carry with me.

Kyle
2006-10-11, 18:55
I've got a Sony Clie TH-55 with Pocket Tunes, which makes a nice interface, but I don't think there's any way to read directly from a hard drive. It takes Memory Sticks, so I could go up to 4 gb and rip FLACs to mp3 or ogg. Not exactly what I'm looking for, but all I'd have to buy is the memory.

tomsi42
2006-10-12, 05:23
I've got a Sony Clie TH-55 with Pocket Tunes, which makes a nice interface, but I don't think there's any way to read directly from a hard drive. It takes Memory Sticks, so I could go up to 4 gb and rip FLACs to mp3 or ogg. Not exactly what I'm looking for, but all I'd have to buy is the memory.

That is actually a good idea. As memory stick prices go down, you can buy more of them.

adamslim
2006-10-12, 09:39
I've got a Sony Clie TH-55 with Pocket Tunes, which makes a nice interface, but I don't think there's any way to read directly from a hard drive. It takes Memory Sticks, so I could go up to 4 gb and rip FLACs to mp3 or ogg. Not exactly what I'm looking for, but all I'd have to buy is the memory.

I had a similar want some time ago - I wanted my XDA to be able to access my iPod HD. I abandoned that when flash got cheap, but now there's this:

http://www.value2you.co.uk/erol.html?527x3268#527X3268

Is that what you need?

Adam

flagbrew
2006-10-12, 09:59
I also have a iAudio X5, but it is too bulky when I need a portable player, and there isn't space enough for all I the nusic I want to carry with me.
I don't think i understand the problem here. We have an iAudio X5L; it is smaller than a cassette tape case, plays 60GB of flac, and can plug directly into a mackie soundboard. Thats a lot of music (60 entire dead shows) to carry with you in something smaller than the average wallet.

Regards,

Jeff

shabbs
2006-10-12, 11:31
What about a REALLY small laptop like the Sony VAIO UX Series. I know it does not eliminate the PC part of your requirement, but man it is tiny and has everything you need including touch screen. The SS Touch interface would go well with it.