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Play music files off an external HDD without a computer


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I thought this was going to be simple but I have just spent about 3 hours searching without getting any satisfactory answer.


Basically what I want to do is play the music files stored on my external HDD through a set of speakers without having to use a computer.


If you take a look at the TDK Sound Cube you can hook an external hard drive up to it and it will navigate through your floders and play the music files straight from the HDD. The only problem is this is not exactly the most portable option out there in the field of portable audio. Instead of the bulk Sound Cube I was thinking of getting the much more portable Bose Soundlink which sounds really nice and is small but it can't hook up to a usb flash drive or a HDD. I therefore need something that could act as an intermediary between the HDD and the Speakers.




HDD music files → Needs something → To play on these speakers


What is that something? I am hoping for something portable. The speakers are small, the HDD is tiny and will hold my entire collection in 320kbps mp3 so I need something that will allow me to play the music and still keep this entire set up something I can put in an overnight bag.


I really don't want to just get a large capacity mp3 player as the biggest one seems to be the ipod classic at 160gb which 1. isn't big enough and 2. I don't want to buy anymore apple products after the shittiness I got from the ipod shuffle that broke instantly and I can't take it back to the local shop but instead must find the nearest (not anywhere near) apple store to get it fixed. A seriously shitty company I'd like to be rid of.


So is there anything that anyone would recommend?



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I still use the old iriver ihp120 music player that I got years ago.

It's basically a HDD with audio in/out. They don't make them anymore but perhaps on ebay you could find one.

Or, their current player is this: http://local.iriver....sp?lpCode=M0005


For speakers, you could use any that have their own amplification. You would need a converter jack most likely, but perhaps not.

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Iriver was my first mp3 player and I did like it a lot. Shame the battery life, which started out excellent, degraded so quickly. Has the battery improved much in the last 8 years?

The main problem with that though is that the largest storage is nowhere near what I am looking for.

I really thought there'd be something out there that would allow this but it seems impossible to play the tunes right off the drive without the giant TDK boom box.

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SONOS maybe? plug n play...just sayin, you mentioned soundlink.


That system looks pretty cool but not what I am looking for. I've got a huge choice of speakers to choose from but only TDK will read the files right off the HDD. That SONOS looks like it needs a computer. Thanks though.


I think a solution might be a small (7inch) tablet with USB compatibility. A windows one maybe or would android work with an external hard drive in a case like this?

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Searching for tablets that I can hook up a HDD to is also proving to be a pain in the arse!

Seriously, I never thought this would be such a fucking hassel!

Come on technology, pull yourself together.

I think I am going to have to opt for a supremely small netbook (like the sony vaio one you can put in your pocket but not so damn expensive) and make do. Or give up altogether and shun all technology forever more :mad:

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Some nice items there but none that I am really looking for.

I have basically given up on this idea and have gone in a different direction.

I am still going to purchase the Bose speakers, not only will they be portable enough to take on a plane when I travel but I they will be decent enough to use in one of the training sessions I conduct every month. I shall also take them to the beach next summer!

I won't get a 1TB HDD though (the price recently shot up due to the floods in Thailand where they're made) as there doesn't seem to be any way to easily read the files off of it. Instead I have bought one of these Sandisk mp3 players which are basically designed to read the micro SD cards (up to 32gb) and I learned that they are one of the few devices that does this smoothly. I'll keep all of my music on a load of these micro SD cards. I just need to get a really fine pen to write the contents on them :lol:

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