Originally Posted by zhenya
I can't see what that stick can do that an Airport Express can't (at least as regards your wants) - and the Airport Express is a tried and true system that we know passes bit-perfect data wirelessly between a computer and the connected device. I have no idea what the specs are on that stick, but I would be very very surprised if it is anything close to audiophile grade.
The other question I would ask about this device is can you actually do any control from the computer side of things? It looks to me like what it does is just act as virtual storage space for that stick, so you point a file share at it, and it now can access the media on that share, but you still have to access that media from the device's own navigation system. I don't think it can 'push' any kind of control from the computer side - but maybe I'm not understanding.
It's the very same question that ProtegeManiac asked in the very first reply - "I kinda get what you want to do, but I'm confused - if the music's in the USB drive in the stereo system how are you playing it from the laptop?"
USB on these devices is not designed for any kind of remote control from another device. An Airport Express or Bluetooth receiver is, because they are just plugging in to a dumb audio port on your receiver leaving all the control to the connected device.
What this stick can do that the Airport Express can't, I believe, is enable me to play music wirelessly through the USB input on an audio component (CD player in this case), and therefore use the CD player's DAC. If I had an external DAC, then I could use the digital out on the Airport Express to plug into that. (And I may do just that if I end up getting a Bifrost at some point, but for now, for around $50, this stick seems worth a shot.)
As for control, it seems that you "tell" the stick which folders you want it to access while it is plugged into the computer, then when you plug it into a device (CD player), you access the stick from the computer and choose what you want to do (play music, movies, share pics if connected to a digital frame, etc.) , and the stick accesses the files through the WiFi.
The thing is, the music etc. is NOT on stick, it is still on the computer but being accessed by the stick through the wireless network. The stick not a storage device but instead is basically just a bridge, or antenna, that access the files. So the performance is affected by the usual WiFi factors
I am still researching how well it is implemented (arranging playlists, etc.) - I am guessing that you just choose songs to play in WMP (or whatever) like usual, and the signal is sent to the stick. From what I've read so far the thing seems to work pretty well, although it may access files slowly depending on the WiFi network.
Here is a similar thing I just found, which I will check out online also: