Netgear MP101 – Wireless Digital Music Player - Netgear MP101

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If you’re worried about anyone eavesdropping on your choice of music the MP101 also supports 64/128-bit WEP encryption. When the unit attempts to associate with a secured access point it automatically detects that WEP is enabled and asks if you want to activate this on the player. You use the remote’s alphanumeric keypad and music control buttons to accept encryption and enter a passphrase or manual key.


We have heard reports of problems with Netgear’s Media Server but have to say it behaved impeccably during our testing. Adding music files to the Netgear collection is easy enough as the import function scans selected drives and folders looking for MP3 and WMA files. You can even use a built in scheduler to scan selected locations at regular intervals. Your next job is to organize the files into playlist, album, artist and genre categories. We ripped MP3 files using Roxio’s WinOnCD and had them served up onto our wireless network in a few minutes. Track details can be edited so you can add information about the artist, album and genre although for a large number of tracks this can get tedious. Even so, it’s worth the effort as you can use the remote to select any of these four categories from the display panel.


Smart playlists make things even easier as you can match conditions based on any or all of these categories and use keywords to automatically populate a playlist. No doubt the burning question is about sound quality and all we can say is; it’s great. Playback was very clean over both headphone and stereo connections and at no time did the wireless link cause any performance problems.


From the System tab on the Media Server you can see all connected MP101 devices along with their IP addresses. The update button takes you straight to Netgear’s website where you can download any new firmware and Media Server upgrades as they become available. We would recommend doing this regularly as we found the MP101 as supplied for review refused to play any of the vTuner radio streams until its firmware had been updated.


”’Verdict”’


We enjoyed testing the MP101 and found it very easy to install and use with good playback quality. The unit offers excellent levels of control over the music provided by the Media Server so you can mix and match tracks to your heart’s content. The remote control was also simple enough to get to grips with making this package a useful addition to a home entertainment centre – just remember to upgrade it regularly to avoid any problems.

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