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The WMA in action...

Using the WMA was almost anti-climactic, since the menu system was pretty straightforward and within a few minutes I had driven my way around all the menus using the infra-red remote control. Figure 2 shows one of the music selection menu screens.

Music selection

Figure 2: Music selection

My biggest problem was that I kept pressing the right-arrow key on the remote to make menu selections, since that's the icon I saw next to each of the menu selections. Once I figured that the Select button did the job, I didn't have any further navigation problems. The WMA can play MP3 and WMA encoded files and even handle playlists in ASX or M3U formats. It's also a nice touch that you can control the volume level from the WMA's remote, although the level is forgotten when you shut off the WMA.

Picture selection is similar, but you also get a "Now Showing" screen that displays thumbnails of all the currently selected pictures in JPG, GIF, TIF and BMP formats. Pressing the Play button on the remote automatically starts a slide show, or you can step manually through each picture. You can even listen to music and browse pictures simultaneously by just starting one of the functions then switching to the other.

I can't really critique the fidelity of the video and audio produced by the WMA, since my testing was done on a small portable television with audio / video input jacks. But what I was able to see and hear looked and sounded pretty good, even with both music and a picture slideshow going at the same time over a wireless connection. My only complaint in this department is that the sound is not totally muted during the WMA's boot-up process - although the sounds that are produced aren't too obnoxious.

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