We’re in the process of digitizing our music collection (all music will reside on a central, networked server). All the listening stations except the kitchen have computers. The kitchen has (will have had) a CD changer and a basic Sony receiver. The receiver has a host of inputs, but nothing fancy nor shmancy — no i-Pod dock or what have you. The receiver drives four speakers.
Short of buying a whole laptop (though we’re really tempted to throw an HP TouchSmart on the wall), is there an easy and (relatively) inexpensive gadget that can tap into the server to browse/play files? We don’t need video per se, but do need some sort of decent screen to browse and select files. Hopefully it will have some sort of software to facilitate setting up mixes (we’re used to the CD changer), but a basic File Explorer-like interface would work. Lastly, it would need to work with all the common file formats — not just MP3. We’ll have a lot of uncompressed files (e.g., SHN, Ogg) on the server.
We work out of the house so are a bit out of touch with commuter conveniences — is this what an i-pod or i-touch or Zune or … or whatever does?
Budget is probably between $2–300. Much more and we’re in netbook territory.