OmnifiMedia’s DMP1

For years I’ve been looking for a good way to listen to my digital music on the go.  Only recently did I figure out exactly what I needed, and the product I needed to do it.
 
I’ve tried portable digital audio players similar to the iPod, and I just found me not using them that often.  I have the Audiovox SMT 5600 smartphone, which plays mp3’s and the like, but I don’t use it that often either.  Then one day as I was driving along I realized that I do almost all of my music listening while in my vehicle.  I then decided to find what I needed to take my music with me in my car.
 
I looked at FM transmitters that hooked up to a DAP or my phone, but that always involved the hassle of finding the transmitter, hooking it up to my device, and then tuning the radio to the right channel.  All of that effort yielded subpar quality sound.  Then one day I happened across Omnifi Media’s DMP1 on Woot.  For a measly $100.  From what I understand many people paid $600+ for these last year when they came out.
 
Let me cut to the chase, this is a great device.
 
Now to explain what it actually IS.  The system consists of a display, a hard drive unit, a hard drive cartridge, and a USB WiFi antenna.  The display consists of controls like Play, Pause, Stop and the like and connects to the hard drive unit and your regular car radio.  The hard drive unit contains a removable 20GB hard drive cartridge which contains all of your media files.  Pretty simple.
 
The real versatility comes in when you try to get your media onto the hard drive.  For putting the bulk of your collection onto the hard drive you can eject the hard drive cartridge, take it to your PC, hook it up via USB, and transfer the music with the included software called SimpleCenter.  Subsequently, you can transfer any new media you get via WiFi as long as where you park your vehicle is within range. 
 
Things about this setup that I didn’t expect to matter a whole lot, turn out to be my favorite features.  WiFi transfers of new media happen automatically every night at 2 AM.  So anything you download during the day gets automatically transferred to your vehicle for listenting to the next day.  I have a couple of podcasts that I subscribe to like The Dave Ramsey Show and TWiT.  These are automatically downloaded at midnight and then uploaded to my DMP1.  No intervention on my part is required.  Awesome.
 
There are a few downsides to the DMP1. 
 
1.)  WiFi is only 802.11b.  If you just downloaded some new music and want to take it with you before you leave you can manually initiate a wireless sync before you drive away.  This takes awhile at the speeds that 802.11b allows.
 
2.)  Mounting flexibility.  It’s not really fair to pin this directly on the DMP1.  It’s also the fault of car manufacturers not thinking ahead or allowing form to dictate function, but the display/controller for the DMP1 is a single DIN (meaning it’s the same size as any regular aftermarket stereo), but you can’t just replace your radio with it because all it does is control media playback.  You still need your regular radio so you have to find a place to mount the faceplate…not an easy task on many of today’s vehicles.  Including my Ford F-150.
 
3.)  Instability.  Every once in awhile the device just refuses to accept any commands.  This doesn’t happen often, but if I was to throw a number out there I’d say 5% of the time I try to use it, I’m not able to without resetting the unit.
 
I have yet to tell you about the single greatest thing about the DMP1.  It’s hackability and user community.  The DMP1 runs the Linux OS and there is already a user-made firmware for the device adding some great features.  Discuss Omnifi with it’s user community here and check out the user-made firmware here.