DLO HomeDock Music Remote wireless iPod dock
The answer to the iPod owner's hi-fi dreams?
Review On paper, Digital Lifestyle Outfitters' HomeDock Music Remote is an iPod owner's dreams come true. It allows you to control your iPod's playback through your hi-fi via a remote control. Sounds good, and DLO got it 95 per cent right. But that last five per cent makes all the difference and will have you tearing your hair out and stamping around the house shouting: "Oh Lord, why vex your people thus?"
DLO's HomeDock Music Remote: see what's playing... using your remote
Out of its iPod-esque packaging the HomeDock Music Remote consists of a dock in which sits your iPod and the small DLO remote. You also get a set of iPod universal dock adaptors, a power cable, a minijack-to-RCA audio cable to link the base station to your hi-fi or home cinema system, and a 24-page manual. The dock also includes a mini-USB port so you can sync your iPod to iTunes while in situ.
Set up is straightforward. Connect up the cables, charge up the DLO remote, place your iPod in the cradle and you're done. Your iPod will charge while in the cradle, but don't leave it in when you switch the cradle off at the mains - I did and my iPod stayed 'on' and promptly drained its battery overnight.
Control of the system lies with the iPod Nano-sized radio-frequency remote. A bright, if tiny, 1.5 x 2.5cm, four-line by 17-character LED screen lets you know what's being played, along with the battery status. Access to the remote's various remote functions is via five rubber keys, a central menu key with four buttons around it. What these keys do depends on what menu you are in, but all in all it works reasonably intuitively and usually swiftly. Apart from track selection and volume control, the remote also allows access to the iPod's EQ and shuffle settings, and lets you set up a jukebox.
Though the DLO remote won't allow you to browse videos on your iPod it will allow you to stop, start, pause and fast forward or rewind a video that is playing. Movement up and down the menus is pretty rapid, holding down the 'up' or 'down' button giving you a sort of turbo scroll.
I don't know about VBR, as I don't use it, but iPods can play MP3s at up to 320 kbps. So I'm not sure exactly what you're complaining about. The ability to play a lossless format like FLAC would be nice, I suppose, but probably impractical for a portable device due to disk space issues.
I got the idea from the fact that the article totes the wonders of connecting an iPod to a home theatre. It's like saying "military intelligence", ya know? Hooking up a cheap mp3 player with expensive, shoddy recordings does not give a good experience. It's mediocrity at best. I know most Americans are quite comfortable with low standards, but I'm not.
"pretending that they can actually hear and appreciate sounds outside of the hearing range of most normal people."
Not that, I am alluding to the quality of the sounds. Audiophiles other than those you mention can easily tell the difference between 128/192k and 320kvbr. The difference is pretty blatant. The ambiance of the song, the tightness (and existence) of the bass, the clarity of the high end are so very obviously distorted at the lower bitrates. Sure, with iPod's puny headphones it doesn't matter, but since (I'm assuming) most people who use iTunes buy that music to also listen on their home system or car stereo as well, the utter lack of quality of 128/192k is horrendous. Especially for the price charged! (If one buys garbage like 50cent, they don't know what music is in the first place, so I guess they are excluded)
I have 5000 songs @ 320vbr and I'm still under 30G. I can fit my entire collection of Floyd on one CD for my car. (taking out some of the songs I don't like anyway.) Making mixed cd's gives me enough music to go on a 3 hour road trip on one disk. (Can't wait for in-car DVD mp3 players that don't have the 7" LCD) I'm very particular of the music I own though, I don't rampage p2p and just download everything in sight and then say I have a great collection. Besides the fact that most of the music is utter shit, it's at (you guessed it) 128k! What a waste.
You say iTunes has that feature 'built-in' since one of their most recent versions? Wierd, it's been a 'feature' of every software music player on the market for about, oh, I'd say the last 7 years. Is this another one of Apple's "innovations"? You can't buy songs at that bitrate, can you? I forget if the iPod itself can even play that bitrate with vbr...non-drm infected. If I remember, the first few versions of the iPod could not. Or should I say, would not. Deliberately.
I just noticed that I misconstrued my original post quite a bit. I have a habit of mangling my thoughts into incoherency around lunchtime :)