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Music

When it came time to find a media server, the DSM-520 located both the newly installed server and a Twonkyvision UPnP server running on one of the network attached storage (NAS) boxes on my network. I selected the D-Link server and wrapped up the wizard. When the configuration was complete, the attractive main user-interaction screen was displayed on the TV (Figure 6).

Figure 6: The main menu

Figure 6: The main menu

As shown, the three options were My Media, to access the media through the previously installed server, USB Direct, to access media from a USB device plugged into the front USB port and Online Zone, an option to access premium media from online services such as AOL and Napster. Digging into the My Media option (Figure 7) showed three categories: Music, Photo and Video.

Figure 7: The media menu

Figure 7: The media menu

Underneath the Music option I found the audio files exported from my laptop automatically categorized into various groupings such as artist, album, folder, etc. Within these directories, I found the individual tracks from my ripped CDs. But when I played a song, I had a familiar problem: the song either wouldn't play or was garbled. Sometimes the song would sound like it was being sung by The Chipmunks; other times it sounded like Damien from The Omen had possessed my box.

A bit of investigation showed the problem was what I expected: album art. Songs that had album art added through iTunes just wouldn't play. Listening to these same songs with iTunes, Windows' media player and other programs worked fine, but the same problems occurred that I experienced in the past with other network media devices. The audio files that would play had a little screen with information about the song (Figure 8).

Figure 8: The music information display

Figure 8: The music information display

After a couple of minutes, the display would be replaced by a bouncing D-Link screen-saver. D-Link advertises support for MP3, WAV, AIF, OGG and WMA. Note that DRM protected songs purchased through the iTunes music store are not directly supported by the DSM-520. But songs locked up by Microsoft's DRM are playable as long as you are authorized and you run your server under Windows XP SP2.

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