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Ralsina.Me — Roberto Alsina's website

100 Days With the Mele A1000

I have been us­ing the Mele A1000 for a few months now. I think I have set­tled in­to a us­age pat­tern, so let's do a quick roundup of what it's good for and what it's not very good at.

First a quick re­minder of what it is:

  • Small com­put­er run­n­ing An­­droid (4.0.4 right now)

  • HD­MI/V­­GA/­­Com­­pos­ite video out­­put, ide­al for us­ing with a TV

  • SA­­TA con­nec­­tor, full size SD card, 3 USB port­s: ba­si­­cal­­ly un­lim­it­ed stor­age ca­­pac­i­­ty.

  • Re­­mote con­trol that works with most apps

  • Wifi and Eth­er­net

  • It will cost you ~ $90 to get one.

  • No noise, low pow­er us­age.

I have it in my bed­room, next to my old CRT TV. I could put it in the liv­ing room with the new­er LED one, but I have a Mac Mi­ni I got for work there any­way.

Hav­ing it plugged to an old TV means the video qual­i­ty suck­s. How­ev­er, it works great for watch­ing videos, and when con­nect­ed to a mod­ern dis­play it works per­fect­ly.

So, what do I do with it?

I watch movies and se­ries on Net­flix.

Ver­sion 1.8.1 of the Net­flix app works fine (later ver­sions do not!) and lets you see movies and se­ries legal­ly for a flat low month­ly cost. The re­mote pro­vid­ed does­n't re­al­ly work all that well, be­cause you can't do "drags" and there­fore can't scroll the movie lists left and right. So, to take full ad­van­tage of this you need to get a key­board­/­mouse set. I use this one.

How­ev­er, if you know what you want to see, it's just a mat­ter of search­ing for it.

I watch videos in gen­er­al.

MX Play­er works very well, and gives smooth, well synced video. The Hard­ware video de­coder works just fine, but you have to switch to soft­ware au­dio de­cod­ing.

Hav­ing a plug­gable SA­TA drive is very use­ful here. Just get any 2.5" SA­TA drive, plug it in, and start us­ing it.

File Serv­er

I used Sam­ba File­shar­ing and it "just work­s". You set it up, con­fig­ure us­er and pass­word, and your drives are now shared lo­cal­ly and ac­ces­si­ble to all your oth­er de­vices.

I am us­ing it to store back­ups from my "re­al" com­put­er­s, cre­at­ed us­ing rdif­f-back­up but any back­up tool that can store in a re­mote fold­er should work.

Ra­dio & Mu­sic Play­er

There are plen­ty of an­droid ap­pli­ca­tions that han­dle mu­sic stream­ing and play­ing your lo­cal mu­sic col­lec­tion. Just use the one you like.

Weath­er Gad­get

I like my TV telling me the weath­er. Us­es a ran­dom wid­get from the play store.

VNC Serv­er

In or­der to use it more com­fort­ably, or be able to do stuff in it when I am on the note­book, I am us­ing Droid VNC Serv­er and that even means I can use my own phone as a "re­mote" us­ing the Jump VNC client

Yes, that means I am in my bed us­ing my an­droid phone as a re­mote to my an­droid TV's screen. If the per­for­mance were bet­ter, it would be as cool as it sound­s.

I am us­ing Jump be­cause it's the on­ly An­droid VNC client I found that sup­ports drag­ging things (and it's not per­fect by a long shot).

Pos­si­ble fu­ture us­es

  • Skype box (need to hook a we­b­­cam. Mi­cro­­phone?)

  • Game con­­sole?

    I have Need For Speed: Shift and I would love to play it on a large screen, but how would I con­trol it? I need to in­­ves­ti­­gate con­troller­s, maybe joy­­sticks or gamepad­s.

I bought this with the idea of us­ing Ubun­tu on it, but the lack of ac­cel­er­at­ed driv­ers and Net­flix sup­port has made that a non-s­tarter. So, I am do­ing lots of things where An­droid re­al­ly has low­er qual­i­ty soft­ware than Ubun­tu, but those are forc­ing me to stay there.

I am quite hap­py with it, and as a "dum­b-tv-s­marten­er" it's quite awe­some for its price.

Roberto Alsina / 2012-10-16 12:59:

El "samba filesharing" que menciono creo que es lo contrario de lo que vos decís, es para compartir el disco de la Mele con el resto de la red.

Hasta donde sé, todos los clientes de smb para android exponen los archivos a las otras aplicaciones via http, porque "montar" un disco remoto es muy complicado en android (si es que se puede), y con todas vas a tener ese problema.

Una alternativa es poner los SRT en la Mele. MX Player te permite indicar un folder extra adonde están los subtítulos, capaz que con eso funciona.