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Pictures And Music

I found similar functionality when exploring the Pictures sub-menu. The user-interface allowed browsing the exported file structure to find the collection of pictures you want to display. Figure 9 shows a directory of pictures where each is represented as a thumbnail.

Figure 9: Picture Selection Screen

Figure 9: Picture Selection Screen

From this menu, individual pictures or the entire directory could be displayed as a slide show. As the slide show played, pictures would cycle from one to the next without any translation effects. The amount of time a picture would be displayed was a configurable item. Hauppauge documents support for JPEG and GIF images, but I found that I could view BMP and PNG files just fine.

The next area I tried out was Music. Once again the basic idea is that you browse the file system until you find the music you want to play. Figure 10 shows a music selection screen and Figure 11 shows info about the song.

Figure 10: Music Selection Menu

Figure 10: Music Selection Menu

Figure 11: Music Information Screen

Figure 11: Music Information Screen

Some systems I've worked with automatically create play lists based on artist, album, genre, etc. but this functionality didn't appear to be available with the MediaMVP. Instead, the groupings were based strictly on directory structure. Hauppauge did document a way to create or use music play list files, but this was a manual operation. Pre-made play lists from Winamp, Musicmatch and Windows Media Player were supported, however.

I found that while my music was playing, I could navigate into the photo menu and start a slide show that would play along with the music, which was a nice feature. I should also mention problems I've previously had with album art. I normally import my CDs into iTunes and add album art to the tracks. Some multimedia players I've used choke on songs that have album art, but the MediaMVP didn't have any issues. The album art wasn't displayed (which would have been a nice addition), but at least it played the music properly.

Note that the MediaMVP, like all other non-Apple products, can't play DRM protected tracks purchased through the iTunes store. Hauppauge advertises support for MP3 and WMA files, but like DivX video, the WMA files require transcoding on the server. DRM protected WMA files are also un-playable on the MediaMVP.

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