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NetGear MP101

While I was at VON in March, I stopped into the San Jose Fry’s and picked up a couple of networked music players — the Netgear MP101‘s. There are lots of things to like about the MP101, including just how simple it is to operate and set up.  However, the server software is awful.  It’s slow, and everytime you add a new track to your collection, you have to update the entire database, which in my case takes the better part of the night to scan.

Fortunately, the MP101 is also a UPnP device. It can be made to work with any device that conforms to the UPnP MediaServer standard.  So far, I’ve tried the UPnP server that comes with MusicMatch, Nero’s MediaHome, and TwonkyVision.  Interesting things happen when you do this.  Depending on which server you choose, the behaviour of the music player is different!  This is because part of the negotiation between the UPnP music player and the server involves the server sending information to describe the feature set it supports.  For instance, Nero’s MediaHome supports the ability to play and shuffle by genre, and select by artist, genre, date recorded, and so on.  The Netgear default server, while not offering the same level of control that Nero MediaHome has over individual tracks,  lets you play Internet Radio.

For the moment, I am settled on MediaHome.  It seems to be the most reliable, and offers the feature set I want.  MusicMatch looked very promising, but I cannot get it to reliably respond to connection requests from the MP101.  The TwonkyVision server wouldn’t allow me to index files that weren’t located on my own PC. 

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