HP Media Receiver

I played around a lot with the HP Media Receiver this week. A lot of promise but a lot of problems.

The Promise: Once I got the receiver playing a slideshow with pleasant background music, my family was entranced. They could have sat for a couple hours watching family photos. I could easily see this becoming a family event a couple times a month.

The Problems:

  • Performance. I have 500+ cds ripped and ~3000 photos. The device is slow to enumerate and browse the collection.
  • UI. It just doesn’t scale to a collection this size. Browsing a big flat list of artists or albums doesn’t work. The UI needs to be better informed about my prefs based on my MRU on my PC, or based on explicit config at the PC, and needs a thumbsup/thumbsdown UI.
  • Photos. Too many of my photos are rotated incorrectly or are too dark. The software should just autofix this.
  • Simultaneous Music and Photo control. I never did figure out during a slideshow whether the pause (or stop or ff) button applied to the photo or the music. Sometimes it seemed to do one, sometimes the other.

To take advantage of this device, I am going to end up doing some authoring on the pc side. I am going to make thematic folders of corrected pictures, and also make folders of appropriate background music. I’ll name these folders using yellow page listing tricks to force them to the top of the browse list — “AAA Summer vacation photos”. I am actually going to do all this work because the family enjoyment is great.