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Music

Next, I tried out the Music feature. When I had installed the server software there was an option for synchronizing with my iTunes library and I selected it. But what I found was that this option really meant the LinkTheater just loaded the iTunes database sitting on the same Windows machine that the LinkTheater server application was running on. The LinkTheater can't actually communicate with networked iTunes or mt-daapd based servers, and - like all non-Apple products - can't play music purchased from Apple's iTunes store.

There are also options for having the LinkTheater scan Windows Media Player and Winamp playlists, but I didn't try either of these options. Note that the LinkTheater does support Windows Media Connect, so will connect to Windows XP machines that have this application loaded and running and play files encoded using the WinDRM codec. This means that if you have downloaded content purchased from napster.com, walmart.com, movielink.com, cinemanow.com, etc., the LinkTheater should be able to play it.

The Music sub-menu did show the iTunes playlist I'd directed the LinkTheater to, along with buttons for selection by album, artist and genre. When I navigated into a list, I could play either a single song, or play them all. As the music played, the TV displayed the song title, album and artist along with a cycling display of music-related graphic images.

Music Graphic, song title, and album

Figure 6: Music Graphic, song title, and album

I had hoped that album art for my music would display while it was playing, but I only had a single song that showed its included art. The rest of the time I had the generic images. The normal iTunes Internet radio list didn't appear, but I found that if I created an iTunes playlist of radio stations, the LinkTheater would pick up the list and display it and the stations were playable. Finally, none of the music from my UPnP servers showed up in the LinkTheater server-generated menus, as the photos had.

Update: Buffalo said album art does work if it's in industry standard mp3 id3v2 format. And if your music files are in this format, the LinkTheater-generated menus will display them.

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