When I first got my TiVo, I declined the Home Media option. I wasn’t even sure that I’d like the product, so I didn’t want to invest $50—or whatever the fee was then—more on a product I was unsure I’d use. That indecision paid off; while I really like TiVo and have since bought a second unit, I also got lucky, for TiVo rolled the Home Media service into the basic package for Series2 users. For once,
being patient slacking off paid off for me.
For the last week or so, I’ve been making use of the digital music streaming options on the TiVo. I’ve got to say that I’m unimpressed. Here’s why:
- The unit has no native playlist functionality. You can’t build a playlist on the TiVo; you either load a pre-made playlist from your computer, or you listen album-by-album. That’s a big detriment, I feel; SlimDevices‘s old SliMP3 had this functionality years ago. [I should know; I’ve played with Jeff and Amy‘s unit more than once.]
- When MP3s are and .m3u playlists are present in a folder, the TiVo will include the playlist with the individual files and will not differentiate between the two filetypes. I’m having to go and delete my .m3u playlists from folders containing music just so my folder-based playlists don’t have twice the play time that they should, purely because you can’t say, “Play from the .m3u,” or “Ignore the .m3u.” That’s annoying.
- No support for album cover art that I can find. The Series2 TiVo has song, artist, and album information available at all times on-screen, but there’s no sign of the album cover art. You’d think that a visual medium would do something like that.
- No support for playlist export to HTML, pinging, etc. Admittedly, this is an advanced topic, but I’m kinda used to MP3 playlist export at this point.
- No *nix support for streaming with TiVo Publisher. This isn’t an issue for me, but it’s kinda curious that a company building their set-top box on top of Linux would support a Linux streaming service. :shrug:
I thought, for a while, that the Series2 TiVo would keep me from wanting to pick up a Squeezebox. Instead, it has only stoked the fires. I do have a working solution, though, so I’ll be able to forestall it for a while.