|Hard Drive||1 TB|
VortexBox 1TB Automatic CD ripping NAS
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- Setting up one customer-supplied network attach storage unit
- Installing storage software on computer
- Connecting storage unit to network
- Testing and verifying proper connection
- Pro will contact you within 1 business day to schedule
- Kick back and only pay when the job is done
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- 1TB of Storage with Gigabit Ethernet for fast data transfer
- Compatible with nearly all digial audio players. (Squeezebox, iTues, Sonos, WMP, XBMC, etc)
- Automatic CD ripper (MP3 and FLAC)
- Works with Logitech SqueezeBox automatically
- Low power, draws only 22W. Small size 3.75 x 11.1 x 11.1 inches (HxWxD)
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Your entire music collection, available anywhere in your home! VortexBox is designed to store your entire CD and Media collection in one easy to access location. With an integrated CD ripping engine and a huge amount of storage, the VortexBox is a single device connected to your home network, allowing blissful music management. It really couldn't be any easier - simply insert an audio CD into the DVD/CD burn drive. The CD is converted within a few minutes, added to the media library, shared on your network. You can then access your music from your Logitech SqueezeBox , Sonos, Linn, Windows Media Player, or other Media Player. VortexBox is easy to configure: just plug it into your home router and browse to the easy to use web interface through your favorite web browser. Available in 1 TB (1000 GB) capacities, VortexBox distributes your entire collection throughout your home and has plenty of room to grow. Watch anything, anywhere at home. VortexBox doesn't only stream music. Add movies, TV Shows, and other content to its storage to stream to any part of your house. Works with BoxeeBox or other network video players. VortexBox includes Logitech Media Server for media serving to any network connected audio device.
Top customer reviews
Well, within a week of getting my Vortexbox appliance, all my CDs are in my mini storage, my Levinson 31.5 transport sold on eBay, and my entire CD collection is now available to me throughout my home without the slightest issues, disappointments or problems.
I initially corresponded with the manufacturer a few times with questions about configuring this device to suit my particular needs I got immediate, understanding an useful help. I cannot speak more highly of the builder. In fact, I sent a modest voluntary donation to them as I felt the help I got was above-and-beyond. Since I became familiar with this gadget, I have had zero issues, it has been up and running for over sixty days without a reboot, issue, glitch etc. You just pop a CD in the slot and it will rip it to flac and/or any almost any other format you care to have.
Useful tip: if you are ripping a large collection disable the creation of MP3 copies (the system rips to both flac and mp3 by default). This will speed up the tedious job of ripping enormously and you can go back later on and create MP3 versions of any or all of your stuff as a background task when you're done transcribing your collection. Info on how this is done is on the manufacturer's simple but very useful web site.
Anyway, this is a great product from nice people and if anything happened to it I'd buy another in a flash.
The first thing I would say is that the tech service support from Andrew (SGC, USA) was excellent (never known him!), as well as by Vortexbox in the UK (Martin); I consulted both, especially the former, in detail for a month before purchase. Given the ability to configure this NAS in many configurations, the need to get advice was paramount for me. Patient advice is worth alot, irrespective of purchase.
The Vortexbox works without fuss and integrates nicely with my Squeezebox system (it also will work with Sonos though I haven't linked mine yet to the Play 5).
Ripping is at FLAC 44/16, which is just what I need. Just pop in the CD. You can also copy across pre-ripped stuff to the harddisk but be mindful of naming conventions.
You can peek at the insides of the Vortexbox's harddisk easily on any browser (on Mac, goto Finder, Go menu, Connect to server, type smb://vortexbox/)
It integrates seamlessly with Logitech Touch (watch out for the ridiculously yo-yoing price of the Touch recently - bewildering). Touch is a good DAC which works with 44/16 format (I think upto 96/24).
Typically the Vortexbox - connected to your router first via the supplied ethernet cable - can be linked via its 3.5mm stereo output to RCA input (at amp) to your bigger stereo speaker system (-standard or wireless speakers, standard hifi being able to output superior sound eg KEF Q900+a music dedicated Marantz 7004 amp)
The Vortexbox is supplied with a 110-240 power pack, helpful to those living abroad. It has a quiet fan at the rear for cooling; I can't hear it in my normal study at all (I read of some queries on the fan sound); only at ripping the fan sound is raised. I welcome a fan for hot climates (35C+ eg tropics).
In terms of other ports, various options abound eg USB...and I haven't tested all those yet.
Overall I am very happy with my purchase (I had considered an assortment of NASes) and it is a great price with truly commendable support. The Amazon Vortexbox web page also pulls in most of the peripherals you might ever need. Remember it is wifi dependent ! The alternative is a JB7 system, more expensive and less configurable, though also good and also more front end, whereas Vortexbox is more a backend (not to be seen) system.
(PS if your Vortexbox does not connect up on wired ethernet, replace the network cable and watch out for the two little indicator LEDs embedded deep in the network port of the Vortexbox (this will tell you if the Vortexbox is talking to the network...).
Electronic gadgets are NEVER easy to set up. These 2 sure were. I unpacked my new Vortexbox, plugged it into my router via ethernet cable, and plugged it into the electricity. Powered it up and waited a few minutes. Entered "vortexbox" into Internet Explorer on Windows 7, and right there were all the Vortexbox's server pages! I browsed around in the settings, changed nothing, and put the first CD into the tray.
I unpacked my new Logitech Squeezebox Radio, plugged it into my router via ethernet cable, and plugged it into the electricity. Powered it up and waited a few minutes. It asked me what to connect to. I selected ethernet. A menu appeared. I selected "My Music", and it showed me that CD which by now the Vortexbox had finished ripping. The Squeezebox found the Vortexbox without any sort of interaction from me. The tracks had the right song titles, and the album had a thumbnail of the album cover. All by itself. (The CD ripping log file shows that these titles are determined by the Vortexbox via the online database MusicBrainz before Vortexbox begins ripping each CD.)
The Vortexbox is surprisingly close to silent, even while ripping. Unless you rip several in a row, then a cooling fan comes on so it gets a bit louder. Not bad at all. When it's finished ripping, it opens up the CD tray, ready to accept another CD.
It comes with a stand so you can set it up on an edge. You don't have to let it lie flat.
You can plug powered speakers into it, or headphones, and control it via the "vortexbox" server pages in Internet Explorer on your computer; you don't actually have to have a Squeezebox or anything like that at all, if it's only needed for one room.
When I told the Squeezebox to connect via WiFi, I just selected my wireless network from the choices the Squeezebox offered, and began entering the password. This is a pain in the neck of course, but it only has to be done once. Thank goodness if you make a mistake and it fails, it gives you back the erroneous password so you can correct it, instead of making you start over like TiVo does! Then voila, it connected to the network, and I unplugged the ethernet cable.
When connected via WiFi instead of ethernet, I cannot tell any difference. The music plays just as continuously as if it were directly connected.
Upon plugging the ethernet cable back in, you have to tell it to connect via ethernet again; it doesn't happen automatically. When it switches back to ethernet, there is no hiccup in the currently playing song. Upon telling it to connect via WiFi again, it does, again without a hiccup in the music, and you can unplug the ethernet cable.
Moving from room to room with the Squeezebox is not as smooth as I had hoped, since it takes a minute or two for the box to boot up when you plug it into electricity. Purchasing the $25 third-party rechargeable battery took care of that: Unplugging or replugging the electric cord now has no effect on the playing music at all.
The Squeezebox Radio has pretty impressive sound for its tiny size I guess, but not really good enough to be my only music source. So the very next morning I ordered a Logitech Squeezebox Duet which I will attach to the stereo in my living room, now that I know that WiFi works fine and ethernet is not needed. I have also ordered high quality speakers to plug into the Vortexbox for here in my study, so the whole house is covered without even moving the Squeezebox Radio around.
The Squeezebox Radio's interface is nice. No trouble figuring out how to use it. There are 6 preset buttons, that can be configured with the greatest of ease to go to a radio station, or (get this!) an artist's whole collection of albums, or whatever you decide to configure them for.
I have put in some CDs that were recorded from my own cassette tapes by the medialocks company. It rips them just fine, but it assigns bizarre artist and album names to them!!! For example one of them got labeled as "20 Hot Tub Greats Pt. 1" by Seahawks. Huh?? I had to go to the Vortexbox forum's wiki to find out how to rename those! It wasn't terribly easy to find out how, but very easy to do, once you know:
You must download a freeware called mp3tag. Do not try to download it from a German web site. Very bad things happen; a half dozen programs you don't want get installed instead of the program you're attempting to download. Skip the German site that claims to be the mp3tag source, and download mp3tag from cnet instead. When you have tracks whose metadata you want to fix, you simply open \\vortexbox\files\music\flac in Windows Explorer, open the folder for the album in question, then drag and drop those *.flac files into the mp3tag program's GUI. Then in that GUI, select all the files you want to change on the right. Then on the left, specify the values you want to change them to. Press the Save button. That's all. To make those changes show up on the Squeezebox, you have to tell Logitech Media Server to rescan the media library. This is all easy to find at forum.vortexbox.org - documentation - wiki - How To guides - How to rip your CD collection. Most of what's on that page is optional, but it's a great place to get the links to everything you may need.
You really are going to need mp3tag if you care to be able to use the Genre classifications. The Genre values that get assigned by the MusicBrainz database are ludicrous. For example, Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti disk 1 is called Rock, while disk 2 of the very same album is called Classic Rock. I change the Genre on a LOT of my albums, so thank goodness mp3tag is so easy to use.
I later found out that iTunes can do all of this on the computer without any extra purchases. But only by eating up all those resources on the computer, and only by tying you permanently to the Apple company, and not nearly as automatically. I also found out that you can install Vortexbox software on any spare computer that has a CD drive and can run Linux. But this Vortexbox appliance is so much smaller and greener than an old spare computer, and ready to go without any installation work. So while this purchase was not strictly necessary, I do not regret it in the least!
Most recent customer reviews
The device has the capability to automatically transcode to mp3 but...Read more