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Audiotron Digital Music Player  
by Brandon Hetherington

The AudioTron by Turtle-Beach is nice affordable place to start for a Home MP3 Jukebox. This is a new technology and the Audiotron is one of the originals. As history has taught us, this technology will improve, and prices may drop ... but as for now AudioTron is a good choice for anyone who wants a Home MP3 player for a reasonable price ... now.


www.turtle-beach.com


The AudioTron by Turtle-Beach allows you to draw MP3 files from of your computer and play them anywhere in your home. The slim box fits neatly in with your other home stereo components and the remote control has the familiarity of other stereo remotes. All this in an easy to install package for under $300. AudioTron is a very affordable way to make use of all those MP3 files on your computer.

Installation of the AudioTron is as simple as it can get. Plug it in, run the output line to your current stereo receiver and connect the input to your home network (ethernet or HomePNA) or directly to you computer (be advised if you are using phone line you can expect it to take a little longer to transfer the files). All the wiring is included with the system, however they only provide a short Ethernet cable so, if you don't already have a network,  you may need to purchase a crossover cable of sufficient length to reach your PC. The nice thing about the AudioTron is that once connected it searches for music on your computer without the need for software. So all those playlists you have organized on your computer will still work with the AudioTron. For myself it took less than 10 minutes to get my MP3 files playing. Not bad compared to a lot of the systems out there.

The AudioTron has a small LCD screen which allows you to scroll quickly through your songs or playlists. Included with the system is software which allows you to setup playlists on your PC and access these through the interface.

AudioTron does not have storage capabilities which means that in order to play a song it must first be stored on your computer ... and the computer must be on. You will also want to have a system with large storage capacity as the MP3, WMA and WAV music files use up lots of space.

If you really stand back and look at any Home MP3 player it is actually a very simple device.

  • It searches your computer for music files
  • Converts them to audio format
  • Transfers them into a home stereo receiver
  • Which in turn amplifies them through your speakers

So ... what sets the AudioTron apart?

  • Price ($299.95) is very reasonable for such a new product.
  • It uses a home network (HomePNA or Ethernet)
  • Its ability to locate music on multiple network computers. (Avoids the need to constantly pull wires)
  • Grouping of Music - Set up Playlists for all your different listening moods.
  • Ease of Installation
  • Familiarity - It basically has the same remote features as any other stereo component
  • Includes an optical output (for sending a pure digital stream to optical input on some receivers)
  • Works with multiple operating systems beyond Windows (e.g., Linux, Macintosh)
  • Works with network attached storage (NAS) devices such as NetGear servers.
  • Later this year software will be made available for direct Internet streaming.

The AudioTron by Turtle-Beach is nice affordable place to start for a Home MP3 Jukebox. This is a new technology and the Audiotron is one of the originals. As history has taught us, this technology will improve, and prices may drop ... but as for now AudioTron is a good choice for anyone who wants a Home MP3 player for a reasonable price ... now.

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