Media Streamers and Hubs Guide

ASUS O!Play Mini Plus review

ASUS O!Play Mini Plus – Adding Plus To The Mini

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Software Features and Performance

Playing With The O!Play

Booting up the O!Play Mini Plus may take a while yet once you are playing around with its UI, everything feels snappy and simplified. The UI is composed of six icons, namely Movies, Music, Photo, File Manager, IMS, and Setup. The O!Play Mini Plus instantly detects an attached external storage and, based on the icons, it automatically organizes recognizable files according to type (audio, video or photo). Based on our trial, this O!Play can host up to two external drives at the same time.

Like on the previous iterations of the O!Play, the Mini Plus still relies on its remote control and virtual keyboard for text input. Hence, video searching on YouTube on this O!Play may require patience from users, especially when they have to type in long keywords.

Going to the Movie UI, it is nice to see that the O!Play Mini Plus gives you a preview of the videos that you are about to play. We never had a problem playing a variety of video formats, including those that are quite unpopular like DAT, ASF, FLV, VOB, M2Ts, and ISO. During video playback, you can change video settings on the fly such as aspect ratio, subtitle, magnification, brightness, contrast, saturation, and hue. While changing settings, the O!Play Mini Plus pauses the video, hence, you wouldn’t have to go back for missed frames. Overall playback was smooth even at full HD (1920 x 1080p) resolution.

The Music UI has a simpler layout. Audio files recognized by the O!Play Mini Plus can be viewed according to album, artist, year, genre, and order (alphabetical or recency). Photos, on the other hand, can be viewed only by order. Images in RAW format are not recognized.

The File Manager UI simply consolidates all of the recognized file formats on the attached external storage. Stored files are viewed according to their folder location and file type (audio, video or photo).

One of the unique selling points of the O!Play Mini Plus are the integrated Internet-based apps located on its IMS UI. Here, users can access online content such as RSS news feeds, podcasts, YouTube videos, and photos from Flickr and Picasa. Moreover, free international TV channels and radio stations are also available, though accessing them may also take time depending on the speed of your Internet connection due to buffering. Acetrax is also present, though this service is available only in European countries such as the UK, Italy, Germany, Denmark, France, Austria, and Liechtenstein.