Storage/playback device for music and movies

rosegarden3October 6, 2011

I listen to music often, in my car and at home. I currently plug my phone(droid original)in to a radio in my kitchen or FM transmitter in my car and use that as my MP3 player. My phone contract is up for renewal soon and I was thinking of going with the new iphone 4s. My reasoning for this is there seems to be a million aftermarket products for the iproducts and they are all interchangeable. So when I get a new iphone again in two years the docking stations are the same. So therefor I can charge my iphone while I listen to music without having to have a phone charger everywhere I go. I need a new radio for my kitchen anyways so I would just get one that the iphone can connect to. I finally crossed over to blue ray about a year ago and now have an ever increasing number of digital copies of movies and don't know what to do with them. I'm not exactly tec savvy.

I'm looking for a set up where I can have my music and digital movies on one device that I can take anywhere. It would be nice to have a docking station for the iphone conected to my tv, a radio with a docking station incorporated in my kitchen, and a docking station for my bedroom. That way I could use my media anywhere.

Here is my confusion. How big of an iphone will I need? will the 64gb iphone hold about 200-300 songs and a dozen digital copies of movies plus what ever memory it needs to run and any apps I happen to get? Is there another device that would hold everything and work better? I have a large laptop that is a desktop replacement and it is not easily moved from place to place. I have also considered getting an ipad so I have something that is easier to take with me that would also replace my ereader. Would it be better to put the movies on the ipad? if so how big of an ipad should I get?

Thank you


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Unfortunately there is no easy answer to your questions because there are quite a number of ways to accomplish what you want to do. They also vary in terms of technical complexity and, of course, cost.

For example, you could set up a "home media personal computer" (HMPC) and use that to stream music and videos anywhere in your house. Of course, you would need to invest in the necessary hardware.

In terms of a phone, an iPhone and iTunes offer the most seamless integration but certainly Windows and Android work well enough together too.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 8:26PM
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Thanks for your reply. Lets make this simpler then. What kind of device do I need to play digital movies on my tv? for example is there a way to connect something like an external hard drive to my tv? Do they make a device that holds digital movies and music that is made to connect to a tv for playback? How do I do that? Is there another tread on here that explains this or how to set up a "home media personal computer"? or perhaps another website that someone could direct me to where I could learn the possibilities, and or hard ware needed?

Thanks again

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 1:08PM
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Hi Rose, Apple has something called AppleTV; I don't know if it comes with storage, but you can connect it to your TV and stream any iTunes movie or song to this box.

Also, many blu-ray players come with an USB port in which you can connect an USB flash drive or hard drive, and watch them on your TV. I have the LG Bd630C and it works beautifully, but it won't allow you to watch any movie bought on iTunes.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 5:46PM
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You don't really want to be storing all your digital media on an iphone - just the content you may want access to on the phone - drop or lose the phone and well... start over!

It sounds like what you may be looking for, at least for the videos, jpegs, and MP3 music, is what known as a DME (digital media extender) that connects to your television and home audio system. It then connects to you home LAN and can access files on your computer, a dedicated home media computer, or other network storage device that contains all your digital media. They typically have USB ports and SD card readers built in as well to read media off other devices.

The Apple TV is an example of this but there are also solutions from several other manufacturers, as well. As pointed out, several Blu-Ray players have this capability built-in, as well as some televisions, with local media playback via USB as well as local area network playback. Since capabilities, file formats, and output quality and options can very greatly, you'll really need to do some research.

Since you haven't migrated to itunes yet, you may wish to explore the various options first as the itunes format may limit your choice of options.

By the way, in looking around, the DME acronym has been made somewhat obsolete by the marketing people and products are often now called things such as Digital Media Players, Receivers, Renderers, and such.

You may also wish to check for "DLNA" certification on the product to hopefully avoid DRM (digital rights management) issues.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 8:19PM
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Thank you again for your replies! I checked my blue ray player and it does have a USB port on the front and back. I copied 2 movies 1 windows version and 1 itunes version onto a jump drive and plugged it go. it said that they were "not supported"

When I crossed over to digital music I was very happy to be rid of the large collection of cd's my family had. We also have an ever growing collection of DVD's and Blue-ray. I would love to go digital on them as well and reclaim my book shelves that now house them. Also avoiding the loss of movies from damaged disc's would be nice.

It looks like the apple tv/or something like it is what I might need. The reason I say this is because I have crossed over to the iphone 4s now and it seems that it would be less complicated to have my music and movies in the same place.

However I would like other opinions as there maybe other ideas that would work well.

This is what I do have. I am willing to buy other equipment.
Samsung 32in. LCD Tv. (we are thinking about buying a new one that is 3d.)
Sony 3d Blue-ray player
Xbox 360
Wii(we currently use this for netflix also)

So what in your opinion would work well to go with what I do have to play digital movies. Apple tv or other device?

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 12:31PM
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