I do so wish that reviews were clearly dated!
I can only guess that it's about a year and a half since this review. It's important, because at the date I write this, you can buy a single 1 TB HDD for around £50, making the four x 500 GB supplied HDDs look completely out of date and a terrible waste of space and money. Sure, you can replace them with larger drives, but you have already PAID for those tiddly little 250 GB!
Given the above, the five star rating is pretty irrelevant and even quite misleading today.
I use the EX475, which is the previous version. Solid build, good software bundle, great software operating system making it so easy to use and seamless integration (often over-used word but very much the case in this instance) with Windows 7. A friend of mine has bought this model and this solves the shortage of RAM when running add-ons such as Squeezebox Server and also the very niosy fans. Worth paying the extra for build and ease of use.
I have just bought the EX490, having previously been a user of the old EX475 version for the last 2 years or so.
Unfortunatly I've been very disapointed with this product. The Bundled mediacollector product that is supposed to aggregate music/pics/vids from around the home network onto the server just doesnt work reliably. It just stops working and leaves me with no option but to reset the software which then tries to recopy everything again. In my case about 150k separate bits of content - which clogs my network for about 20 hours before it stops working again. For a product that describes itself as a mediaserver this is a pretty fatal flaw. This function also did'nt work on the previous version of the product, but given the intervening 2 years, and a complete re-write I had hoped HP would have gotten round to fixing it. Ah well back to the freeware synctoy product from microsoft.
Another problem relates to the firefly media server that comes as part of the software bundle. Its a 3rd party product that allow pc's on the network to access shared media on the server via the pc's itunes. I've previously used firefly very successfully to do this but for some reason on this hardware platform, it seems to crash intermitantly. Again for a product designed to act as a media server this is not good enough.
Finally given the processor/memory upgrade from the old model, its disapointing that the administrator console is now slower than before and elsewhere there are no discernable performance improvements.
All in all a very poor product.
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