I am looking for a product that should be readily available, but seems hard to find.
It's a unit to sit next to the hifi that will play playlists of digital audio from a USB or SDHC etc, through a direct connection to the amp (digital or line-level analog) with a remote control to select a playlist, play, skip, repeat, shuffle etc. Powered, NOT portable in a docking station. No wireless broadcasting. No internet radio. Just a player.
The equivalent of a 6-stack CD player that uses playlists on a storage card (created from the PC) instead of my custom-mix CDs. Any ideas?
If you need cd quality or less then any of the media players such as the Western Digital TV media players would work. They do audio as well as video and are not expensive. You may have to place the files in one folder to make a playlist. The Logictech Squeezbox products or Sonos will also work.
Thank you for the response. Whether the unit uses playlists or folders to organise compilations doesn't matter.
I can't see a WD player that doesn't require the TV for playlist or folder selection.
SqueezeBox Touch seems to do what I want ("Play songs stored on memory card or USB disk") and I will take a closer look at this, although the slow wake up time of the remote might make it impractical. It also seems much more complex than I need. All the other models appear to require a wired or unwired connection to the PC.
I had a quick look at Sonos - their www site is impossible to navigate or find much information - but they only seem to have models that stream audio from the PC. If you could suggest a model number and a link to a simple description of the features for a stand-alone Sonos model that would be helpful.
This is now solved. I found a small portable DVD player that supports USB and HDSC input. It's a generic brand. The folders and files are listed on the screen, so navigating and selecting can be done from some distance away. I hadn't looked at portable devices previously because I assumed that they would not have a remote control - I don't know how many of them do, because it seems superfluous in a portable. But the combination of a 7" screen and a remote, together with the memory device source, fits my requirements exactly.
This unit also has a coaxial digital connection to the amp, so I am not concerned that this is a cheap device - the quality seems fine.