Eumeles - Media Player & Stereo Amplifier

  1. System
  2. Player
  3. Amplifier
  4. Integrated
  5. History
  6. Roadmap
  7. Contact

Compact, quiet and stylish Media Player & Stereo Amplifier featuring a large 4-line display and the XBMC home entertainment software.

  1. Overview
  2. Rationale
  3. Usage

Whether it is film, music or any other art, the sequence from production to consumption occurs in several phases:

  1. artistic creation, e.g. artists performing works created by other artists (or themselves)
  2. contents generation, e.g. recording, mixing and cutting of artistic performance resulting in digital masters
  3. contents release in a digital container on media such as CDs, digital media streams over broadcast or the Internet, as well as contents storage
  4. playback of one or several media streams (audio, video) in a digital container, i.e. mostly decoding
  5. rendering, i.e. bringing the contents back into the real, physical world through display and speakers
  6. Perception of rendered content by a human; in many cases we want to re-create here the perception as if we were present in phase1 (high fidelity).

The Media Player & Stereo Amplifier lives in the fourth category - playback. There are many media players and media solutions on the market. To name but a few:

  • Audio streamers such as the Squeezebox or Sonos product range providing excellent audio playback and appropriate means for contents navigation.
  • Multimedia players from companies such as Western Digital, Asus, XStreamer, Iomega, all delivering adequate playback of audio and video contents to a TV set.
  • Media player jukeboxes from companies such as Sony, with a built-in hard disk, an amplifier and speakers, resulting in a nice and neat solution.

However, there are some issues and this is where the Media Player & Stereo Amplifier solution differentiates. It is a hybrid allowing playback of video and audio contents with the following advantages:

  • Audio streamer requires an additional device to display pictures and for video streaming. The Media Player & Stereo Amplifier solution can do playback audio & video - in essence everything XBMC can play back
  • Cheap systems do not provide enough processing power to run a nice user interface. XBMC is the most advanced media player and home entertainment software and is run on appropriate hardware
  • Music browsing only in the simplistic & reductionist "Artist/Album/Song paradigm" - not very suitable for classical music. The Media Player can display Composer, Work, Part and Performer due to its free software nature (provided the information is present in the media)
  • Some systems seem to lock the user into their way of storing data. The Media Player does not store anything.

Storage is considered to be an external issue and has to be provided with more suitable hardware such as a NAS. There are several reasons for not providing storage in the media player. Firstly, it is a good design decision to separate playback from storage. The requirement for the latter keeps increasing and there is never enough, and it is a hassle to upgrade a storage device later. Secondly, if there are several players in a household, it is preferable to keep all digital contents in one central place, potentially with some form of backup. Thirdly, storage will be required less and less as digital contents will be stored in a distributed way, such as in torrents. Even CDs or DVDs are only a “medium” - a means of transport to get digital contents from a producer to a consumer.