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Photos
Similar to music, clicking on the Photos icon lands you on a page of thumbnails similar to what’s shown in Figure 13 (below). You can view your images by Album, Date, Name, or Recent. If you choose Date, you can refine your search by year and month. Like the Music menu, the Photo menu has an alphabet bar that helps you better refine your search. There are also icons to toggle between the list and icon views.

Photo Thumbnails

Figure 13: Photo Thumbnails

When you click on an album, the contents are displayed. Clicking on an image automatically starts a slideshow as shown in Figure 14. While you can set the time delay between images, you can’t control the transition effect between images. You also can't create slide shows from images in multiple albums or save slide shows. Note that images need to be in the correct orientation before the Media Hub imports them since the slide show viewer doesn’t have the ability to rotate images.

Media Hub Slide Show

Figure 14: Media Hub Slide Show

Video
Clicking on the video icon opens up a screen with thumbnails of the available videos as shown in Figure 15. As with the Photos and Music menus, there are icons for changing between the icon view and a list view. In the icon view your choices are limited to “Name” or “Recent”.

Media Hub Video Thumbnails

Figure 15: Media Hub Video Thumbnails

You can, however, sort your videos in the list view by any of the column headings shown in Figure 16. Note that the date on the video files is actually the date they were imported to the Media Hub, not the date on the file. The file dates of the video files are correct if you check with Explorer.

Media Hub Video List View

Figure 16: Media Hub Video List View

My experience with video playback varied widely based on the computer and browser I used to test. When clicking on a file for playback, I experienced a delay from a few seconds to as much as several minutes depending on the computer used and the file format. For example, I was unable to play either .WMV files or .AVI files from my digital camera using Firefox V3.05 on my Mac. Even though I had installed the recommended Flip4Mac plug-in for WMV, I was still unable to play the video.

The videos play in a small window inside your browser – a new window or tab doesn’t open. The video size is fixed, and you can’t enlarge it or view it full-screen. Table 1 shows the results of my video tests using various browsers and platforms.

Table 1

Table 1:  Video Test Results with different browsers and platforms

File Browsing

When you click on the File Browser icon, you are prompted for the administrative password. Once the file browser loads, you’ll see an Explorer-like interface as shown in Figure 17 below. You can copy, move, rename, delete, upload, download, create new folders and delete folders using the icons across the top of the screen. This is especially handy during remote access.

Media Hub File Browser
Click to enlarge image

Figure 17: Media Hub File Browser

Figure 17 also illustrates how the Media Hub organizes files from imports and backups. The two default shares, “Media” and “Backup” each have subdirectories with the names of corresponding computers. The folder with a date on it under \media\import contains media files imported from an SD memory card.

The NMH405 and NMH410 feature slots for reading media cards as well as USB flash drives. When you insert a memory card, the LCD screen alerts you that it has detected a card, asks you if you want to import media and then provides the status of the import. Figure 18 combines three photos of the front panel that shows this process.

Memory Card Media Import

Figure 18: Memory Card Media Import

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