A couple of weeks back, I ordered a SLIMP3 player from Slim Devices and thought I drop a few comments about it.

SLIMP3 connects to ethernet on one side, your pre-amp on the other, and comes with a small server app for OSX that feeds your MP3s to it over the net. Audio quality seems to be as solid as the source MP3s. The server app reads from your iTunes library of MP3s (d/ls or imported) for album and track selection. The server's available for Mac OS X, Winders, Linux, or in source so you can port it yourself.

The SLIMP3 player has three connectors besides power-brick: L/R RCA audio and RJ-45 ethernet. Jack into your 'net, jumper to your pre-amp, and it's ready to go. If you're running DHCP on your net, it'll acquire its IP address that way.

It comes with an I-R remote, which I've been completely incapable of getting the box to recognize. So it's a good thing I run a DHCP server on my house-net and have a PowerBook I can use in the Living Room to access the web-browser controls of the server in the other room. I haven't contacted Slim Devices about the remote problem yet, but comments I've read from other customers suggest I'll get a satisfactory reponse. One oddity: when SLIMP3's not currently playing anything, touching nearly any I-R remote in the room wakes it up for a few seconds, which can be visually distracting.

The physical design of the player is smoked plastic with a flourescent display behind it. Via the web interface, you can customize what data it displays when playing. In a DHCP environment, customizations will be lost if the player's IP address changes, which is why I'll move it to a static address once the remote problem gets solved. The display's a little bright for my tastes (troglodyte!), even when configured to its dimmest levels. However, it's highly readable.

My sister came into town with her iBook. I gave her the net-name and password so she could get onto my AirPort net, told her, "10.0.1.5:9000", and she spent the week happily feeding tracks & albums through the stereo from the browser on her iBook while lounging on the couch reading Ngaio Marsh books.

I wish that the browser control center had more refinement in search criteria. I pay attention to composers and artists when I update my library, and would like to be able to run more focused searches across a specific set of parameters. But that's a small issue considering the rather small iTunes library I've imported to date. The browser control would also be a lot better in a much smaller font, as you have to scroll a lot to do much of anything.

The SLIMP3 was $280 (USD) including shipping (less than 50 miles away), and I'm quite satisfied with it.

Jazzbo