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Conclusions

The WMA100 accomplished all of its advertised features and performed hard tasks such as decoding video well, but needs work in a number of areas, most notably the user interface. The basic menu navigation was a fairly constant source of aggravation for me, but perhaps over time I would get used to it. But the various odd error and status messages need polish or even removal in some cases. Other areas that need tweaking are the startup time of Internet Radio Stations and the handling of MP3 tags.

But perhaps the biggest show-stopper for me is that the WMA100 can use only its own Win XP / 2000 software or companion WMG80 / WMG120 Media Gateways as media servers. Since most of my music content resides on iTunes (or iTunes-compatible) servers, I don't really want to have to copy those files someplace else in order to play them.

This proprietary-server approach isn't unique to the WMA100, however, since the Linksys WMA11B [reviewed here], NETGEAR MP101 and Creative SoundBlaster Wireless Music [reviewed here] - to mention a few - also require installation of their own Windows XP/2000-based server software. But, my personal preferences aside, the WMA100 would have a larger potential customer base if it could also stream content from media servers already in the market, such as SlimServer, mt-daapd, iTunes or even Windows Media Center Edition.

Still, the WMA100 has potential, and I hope that ViewSonic will soon release new firmware to address the problems I encountered.

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