It seems it's become compulsory for media streamers to have ludicrous names. Even our favourite streaming devices, the Popcorn Hour models, have pretty stupid monikers. But nothing prepared us for the idiocy of the name Xtreamer iXtreamer. Nevertheless, if this media streamer and dock for the iPod, and iPad offers decent performance, we'll forgive its preposterous appellation. It's available now for around £160 from Advanced MP3 Players and other vendors.
The iXtreamer can accommodate an iPad, so it's not the smallest media player we've seen. In terms of width and depth, but not height, it's slightly larger than a.
The device isn't exactly pretty either. That's unfortunate because it has a number of features that attract the eye. Among them is the sliding cover that conceals the dock functionality.
The iXtreamer's menu system is also fairly unique, featuring some sort of sea vessel, for a reason that's not entirely clear. The whole thing puts us in mind of that jumper with three wolves on that rose to prominence some time ago because of customer comments on Amazon.
Adding a hard drive
If you want to store video on the iXtreamer itself, you can add in a full-size desktop hard drive. We've added hard drives to quite a few media streamers in our time, but it's rarely been simpler than it was with the iXtreamer. We just plonked the drive into a hole on the right-hand side and that was it. The whole process took about 3 seconds and then the drive showed up in the list of available sources.
We're told that this streamer can accommodate up to a 3TB drive, which is plenty of storage space for a media player of this type. It could replace a network-attached storage device if you wanted to save on money and electricity, although we doubt its performance and reliability are a match for a dedicated NAS.
The iXtreamer is slightly different to most streamers we've looked at so far. It can be used as a dock for any of Apple's iDevices, including the iPad. This means you can access photos, video and music stored on your Apple hardware.
Accessing such content is achieved through a special, customised menu. We don't think Steve Jobs would approve of the menu's layout and design, but, functionally, it's fine and it won't waste your time. We used ato test the dock, and were pleased with the results.
Sometimes we have to work hard to make media streamers see our networked PCs. That wasn't the case with the iXtreamer. A quick browse of our corporate network and we located the media machine. Within a few minutes, we were able to stream video without any problems at all.