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Roku SoundBridge allows music anywhere in your home

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By Dennis Lloyd

Publisher, iLounge
Published: Tuesday, February 3, 2004
News Categories: iPod Accessories

picAlthough this device is not directly related to the iPod, it does share a common feature playing digital music. The SoundBridge allows consumers to listen to digital music that’s stored on their computers, in any room of their homes, whether from the comfort of the couch or the convenience of the kitchen. All that is required is a network connection (ethernet or wifi) and a connection to speakers or a stereo amp. The SoundBridge is compatible with Mac (iTunes) or PC, supports streaming music in MP3, WMA, AAC (Note: SoundBridge can not play back protected AAC files purchased from the iTunes Music Store.), AIFF and WAV formats, provides a large vacuum florescent display (VFD) and a remote control to browse and select music by artist, title, album, or genre. It’s available in two sizes, the 10” wide M1000 ($249) and the 17” wide M2000 ($499). Roku is taking pre-orders with expected shipping starting as early as this month.

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i saw that attis - thought it was a bit naughty - unless they hide in the plastic bits at the side?

Posted by dmeineck on February 4, 2004 at 11:43 AM (PDT)


There a little drawling of it on the site and it looks like after you hook up all the wires, you put the cap back on and the wires go out the back through a little slot in each cap.

Posted by iamdone on February 4, 2004 at 12:23 PM (PDT)


just fyi
SlimServer 5.0 can convert other file formats to MP3 on the fly, and iTunes AAC files can be played from SlimServer running on Mac or Windows. To enable these features, you’ll need to install the free (and high quality) LAME software.

Posted by seringen on February 4, 2004 at 1:34 PM (PDT)


I like the idea of this, what I would prefer though is to not have to rely on my MAC/PC being switched on to access all the MP3s etc

Anyone know of a ‘media server’ that has built in storage supports MP3, divX, JPEG playback to hi-fi or TV. iTunes support would be nice as well.

Everything I’ve seen just streams the data from another storage place across an ethernet connection (I need that storage appliance to start with).

Posted by Solomalee on February 5, 2004 at 3:26 AM (PDT)


i reckon it would be sweet to have a lightweight networked attached storage (NAS) box which was connected to a wireless access point, with some sort of fileserver to allow devices such as this media player to work with no pc running.

Posted by dmeineck on February 5, 2004 at 6:02 AM (PDT)


dmeineck…that’s what I’m after…anyone any ideas?

Posted by Solomalee on February 6, 2004 at 12:47 AM (PDT)


OK, I found this……almost just the job. Anyone seen or tried one or know what they cost?

Posted by Solomalee on February 6, 2004 at 1:21 AM (PDT)


I currently have a WiFi network with a Squeezebox (as well as a few laptops and a couple of PCs).

It would be good If I could use my iPod as the storage device for all my music - one of the PCs could run the server software and this would access the iPod and send it to the squeezebos which would decode it for my hifi amp.

But for this to be possible, there would have to be a device availible for the iPod, like a dock but with a built in WiFi adapter, providing its own IP address on the network.

Posted by Dan on June 8, 2004 at 9:37 AM (PDT)


How stable is this Roku? It’s gotten some *very* bad reviews recently on the gadget and gizmodo sites for crashes, reboots, and dodgy firmware.

“Anyone know of a ‘media server’ that has built in storage supports MP3, divX, JPEG playback to hi-fi or TV. iTunes support would be nice as well.”

Well my central server runs Media Center. And on the network there are a few dumb PCs + huge disks running SAMBA. Their storage is visible on the network and the audio and video files shared out by Media Center, and served up to clients. It works pretty well.

Given the cost of NAS devices, it’s often cheaper to just build a regular PC or ITX box and attach a few 250GB drives…

“for this to be possible, there would have to be a device availible for the iPod, like a dock but with a built in WiFi adapter”

The Rio Karma does exactly this - it comes with its own ethernet port and grabs a DHCP address upon connection to a network. Very useful!

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Apple include this feature on a future iPod.

In terms of wireless hubs, there are more and more to choose from. Here’s a review of wireless/wired media hubs - I have an Escient (with built-in ReplayTV) and it works beautifully.,1761,a=125143,00.asp

Editors’ Choice
Audio: Turtle Beach AudioTron AT-100
Audio: Creative Labs Sound Blaster Wireless Music
Video: Not there yet

Posted by hey rokus on June 8, 2004 at 10:27 AM (PDT)


One more thing, the Escient NAS digital audio hub mentioned here works very well, but at $2500 for 120GB you can see why I, like most people, prefer to simply attach a few dumb boxes with SAMBA to the network.

Posted by Digital Audio NAS on June 8, 2004 at 10:31 AM (PDT)


OK- I too, set up a Roku soundbridge and am now nearly distraught that it won’t play purchased tunes from iTunes.  Is there any way around this?  Will making a CD of these tunes, and then re-importing them to iTunes work? I have more uploaded music (my extensive CD collection) than purchased music, but of course when creating a playlist for that special occassion….the PERFECT song is one i bought from iTunes and YO! I can’t play it!  HELP!

Posted by flamingo on February 20, 2006 at 5:58 PM (PDT)

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