I recently discovered the iPronto after browsing Philip's Streamium Web site (www.streamium.com), and I think it is a pretty cool device that shows a lot of potential. I have also searched throughout the Internet for reviews and articles about the iPronto, and this has led me to more questions.
Various articles mention that the iPronto has the ability to play MP3s and/or control the playing of MP3s that are stored on a computer. The manual (which I downloaded from the Yahoo iPronto group) does not mention this feature. Is this a feature of the iPronto or something that will eventually be enabled?
I've seen articles discussing the ability to use iPronto for home automation. A search through the manual does not turn up anything on home automation, however. Is it possible to use the iPronto, at this point, for home automation? I read in a post in the forum about someone who was using an IR-to-X10 bridge to send commands to X10 devices, but I'm not sure if this is required.
The iPronto and Streamium products are featured in Philips "Connected Planet" vision ([Link: philips.com]), and it appears that there might be some specific interaction between the iPronto and future Streamium devices at some point. Any information on this?
I might add that at the "Connected Planet" Web site, it states the following: "iPronto is the all-in-one dashboard for your digital home. Just a few buttons and touch-screen interfaces can control an entire entertainment centre – and anything else, from lighting to air conditioning.
But, iPronto does more than replace existing remote controls. Because it functions over Wi-Fi,it manages music, movies and photos across all the devices on your wireless network – making it the perfect Streamium companion."
Is the above statement from Philips true based on users' experiences with the iPronto?
Finally, has anyone done a port scan on an iPronto with the latest firmware? I'm interested in seeing the list of ports that are open on an iPronto.
Addressing only one of your issues, (playing MP3's stored on a PC)....there are two parts to my application for this.....Audiotron by Turtlebeach is a device that can control/sort/playback any and/or all MP3's from a PC. You can either "hard wire" a connection between your PC's router and the audiotron with a network (cat-5) cable from one room to the next, or you can create the connection wirelessly (802.11b wi-fi) So once you have this hooked up, you can access every mp3 stored on your computer from wherever it is that you place the audiotron in your home. Now, the cool part is that along with your purchase of the audiotron, you get access to your own webpage that you can use to control sorting and playback of the mp3's via your audiotron...so as a simple example, you can go to your audiotron webpage, and you can select A song, or an artist, or genre, and hit the play button and it sends a signal to your audiotron, which tells your PC to select the appropriate songs, and seconds later you're listening to music. NOW how does this relate to iPronto???? Since you can access webpages on the iPronto, you can type in the address of your audiotron webpage and handle 100% control, selection, and playback of exactly the songs you want to play right from the iPronto and once again, it sends the signal to the audiotron which controls the pc,...etc....it's a very cool combination of technologies that is one of my favorite parts of the iPronto. AND since the ipronto's webpage control only needs to be within range of your WiFi connection to access this webpage, you could be outdoors, out of range of the RF signal reciever on the audiotron, but that's irrelevant.....you're not sending an RF signal to conrol the audiotron, you're telling the audiotron webpage what do, which in turn controls the audiotron. Hope this makes sense. Best part...If I recall, I think the audiotron is about $300 to $400......about 10% to 20% of the cost of a standalone hard disk music recorder like the Escent Fireball.
This is indeed a very cool use for the iPronto, one that I had not really considered before. I see that you already posted this discovery four months ago to the forum. At first, when I read your reply, it seemed that this couldn't be what Philips has in mind regarding the "Connected Planet" vision. But, the more I think about it, the more it seems that Web pages are the answer. But, I would like to take this concept and extend it further.
Imagine that each of your A/V devices is networked into your home network and each of these devices is running its own mini Web server. The mini Web server isn't hard to imagine--my Integra DTR 7.3 receiver has an Ethernet port, and a port scan demonstrates that it is running a Web server, one that unfortunately provides virtually no content. More and more A/V devices are becoming available that have Ethernet and/or wireless, such as Philip's Streamium product set. Now, what would be the content hosted on an A/V device's Web pages? Well, everything that is needed to control the device and get status information! For instance, imagine that we have a CD/DVD player with a network connection. Using this network connection, it can connect to CDDB (or FreeDB) to get disk information. The product that I am describing here happens to already exist--it's one of the Streamium products (which has many more capabilities, but let's just consider the CD/DVD capability). And here's where we go into the potential future: along with being able to connect to CDDB, the CD/DVD player is running a tiny Web server which hosts pages that can be used to control the device. By controlling the device, I mean it provides at least the following things on the Web page:
1. Standard controls found on the device's remote. 2. Status information (track, time, speed, etc.) 3. Album and track information if available (artist, track name, etc.)
Just imagine it--this advancement, one that the iPronto is quite suited to handle, would take remotes to the "next level". Instead of a remote being a device that just sends information (i.e. IR commands), it will also be a device that receives information from A/V devices. In the past (and currently), the only way to get information about the current status of a CD player is to look at the LCD or, if available, the status as sent to the video output connected to a TV screen. Both of these have disadvantages, however. To read the LCD screen, the user most likely has to get up and go over to the CD player. And for the video output to work, the TV has to be turned on, an inconvenience when the user is just listening to music. But, the iPronto (and related devices) is the user's remote and travels with the user. It is the perfect device for both sending and receiving information. Oh, and I might add that a Web page is not generally limited to width issues (i.e. number of characters), as is frequently the case for an LCD or on-screen display.
I really hope that this, or something similar, is part of Philip's plan for the iPronto. I've wanted the "receiving" capability when it comes to remotes for years now.
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