The Rokulabs Soundbridge

Wow is this thing cool.
I won one of these in a listener giveaway at THE BEST ONLINE RADIO STATION EVUH! (that would be RadioParadise, if you hadn’t guessed). It just arrived today, and I had it up and running in literally 30 seconds.
The model I have is a Roku 500 (the ‘bottom tier’ version). It’s basically an embedded linux media player with a nice VFD display on the front. It came with a CF 802.11 wireless card, which socketed right into the side of it. I plugged that in, plugged it into the stereo, and powered it up.
First thing it did was basically go “Hmm. Okay… Homeport, right?” (that being our wireless network name). I hit [Enter] on the remote, and it continued setting itself up. Next prompt was “No music player found. Would you like to listen to online radio? [Ok]” Hmm, well “Ok” [Enter].
Pick a music station *scroll scroll scroll* Oh! Radio Paradise. Sure. [enter]. And voila, I was listening to RP on my stereo.
It’s a sexy little unit. It has an automatic updateprocess that let me upgrade the firmware in it in about a minute. I found the whole experience quite surreal, but couldn’t help grinning all the way through it.
Chances are we won’t get around to setting up the Windows or Mac only ‘music server’ for quite some time. I suspect the primary use for this thing will be up in our house in Maine so we can listen to DECENT radio stations on the house stereo (can’t get much up there in the woods).
If you like your online music library, and you really want living-room-access to online radio stations, this is a great looking and capable unit.

Dave Shevett


A wandering geek. Toys, shiny things, pursuits and distractions.

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3 thoughts on “The Rokulabs Soundbridge

  1. I got mine and had to buy a Linksys access point. I’m having problems with the access point. I had to call Linksys twice yesterday, because once I hook up the access point, and shut down the PC id prohibits me from reconnecting to the Internet. Will call ’em again tonight to see if I can master it. Had the Roku working for a while tho.

  2. I haven’t had major problems (In fact, it connected through our APple Airport AP without a hitch), but I’ve noticed the screen going blank regularly. I may need to call Roku support to figure out what’s up.

  3. Thanks for the nice comments.
    Just to correct a couple of minor nits, the SoundBridge M500 has a LCD display while the M1000 and M2000 have VFDs.
    Greg, feel free to join us at The Roku Forums ad we’ll see if we can’t get your SoundBridge working as it should.
    Sr Software Engineer, Roku.

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