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Music, Pictures

Live Internet Radio, the first option shown in the Setup menu, allows you to stream Internet radio stations to your EVA700 without using a server on your computer. (I'll come back to this in a bit.) The second option allows you to use the media exported from your newly installed server. I opted to explore the server-exported media first. Figure 8 shows the top-level media options: "Music," "Pictures," "Playlists," and "Video."

Media Selection

Figure 8: Media Selection

When I selected the Music menu, I obtained access to submenus where my music was automatically categorized by artist, album, genre, and so on. When I made a selection from the submenus, titles appeared, as shown in Figure 9.

Music Playback

Figure 9: Music Playback

Several devices I've tested did not work with the MP3 files that included album art, but the EVA700 had no problem with them. That said, the album art was not displayed on the screen, however. This is in contrast to other devices such as Netgear's previous model, the MP115, that had some capability to display the album art associated with a song.

Netgear advertises support for MP3, WAV, WMA, M3U, PLS, and ACC music files but encrypted files purchased through online stores such as the iTunes music store cannot be played. Also note that the screensaver did not start while the music played, which can be a problem for some TVs, like plasmas, which are susceptible to burn-in issues.

The next feature I tried out was the Pictures option, which allows you to display slide shows on your TV. The EVA700 can display JPEG, BMP, PNG, TIFF, and GIF files and my tests showed this feature worked as designed. After pressing the "Play" button on a directory of files, the pictures would cycle sequentially, one to the next. The amount of display time for each picture was an option in the initial setup screen, but there were no fade, dissolve or other transition effects available.

One feature common on these types of devices that the EVA700 did not offer, is the ability to play music while the slide show is being shown. Another feature the EVA700 didn't offer is the option to show image thumbnails. Some multimedia devices display the menu of pictures as thumbnails so that it is easier to located the desired photo, but the EVA700 only displays the file names, as shown in Figure 10.

Photo Selection

Figure 10: Photo Selection

The "Playlist" option from the top menu (shown in Figure 8) allows you to use a named list of songs or videos for playback. Using Microsoft Media Player, I created two lists, one with music and one with Internet radio stations. My music playlist worked fine, but my Internet radio playlist did not appear. Netgear supports playlists in either M3U or PLS format.

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