The MP Shuttle II features its own processor buried in a solid black chassis, and although a hard disk drive (HDD) is not included, a removable HDD is used to copy across MP3 files. The drive slides into your PC using a bundled removable drive bay. Any IDE HDD of an unlimited size can be used, allowing support of FAT16, FAT32 and long file names. You can organise files into 20 different musically categorised partitions, including subdirectories. Under the MP3 file format, 1MB roughly translates to one minute of a track, so with a 30GB HDD, for example, you could fit about 21 days of non-stop music.
The options are endless. Create your own virtual radio station, listen to tunes in the car or use line isolation for a PABX system's hold music. Control it all with the aid of the large, backlit LCD remote. Play, stop, fast forward, rewind and repeat all remain, and the ability to randomise files, folders or entire drives has been added.
Car installation is relatively easy. The unit is small enough to fit under a seat or in the boot. For the latter, the remote cord offers ample reach to the driver's console or glove box. You're able to use your existing car system via a cassette adapter - a dummy cassette is used for sound output. On the road, you're powered by a bundled cigarette lighter plug; at home, you can use a standard 12-volt adapter cord, which isn't included. I did notice that the documentation is a little sketchy in some areas, particularly in regards to the auxiliary power cord.
The MP Shuttle II includes one line out, two RCA outs and 8MB of DRAM (used to buffer against stutter). Priced at $945 and including a one-year warranty, the MP Shuttle II is compact and solid. It's just a taste of what we can look forward to as MP3 is applied in new and exciting ways in the years to come.
Xeenon MP Shuttle II
Distributor: Sound and Music Promotions
Phone: (03) 9569 3834