May 20, 2013
As I have become more dependent on my Android smartphone I have started working more with streamed content. Reviewing the bCoda Jak gave me an opportunity to look at another way to use my device to be a multimedia dynamo. Better yet, in a house like mine with several Android devices (and consequently several different streams), the Jak promises to allows the user to wirelessly stream pictures, music and video clips from Android devices to stuff like TVs, projectors, car stereos and other smart devices with USB input.
I am still surprised at how small and lightweight the review piece is. It is about about the size of an ordinary portable jump drive, but lighter. It came in gentle green and, in my eyes, quite humble looking.
The biggest part was pairing it. With the companion app from the Play Store, it was surprisingly easy. It handled the pairing and even updating the devices firmware. In my opinion, seamless pairing like this should be the norm with regards to this type of matchups.
As noted, the Jak works as a plug-in media receiver for just about anything that has a USB port. I found the output to be far from shabby; it handled music and onboard clips well as long as I playlisted them with the companion app. In my testings with several devices, the Jak’s performance was close to flawless. On my laptop, it invoked the media player and piped it through just about as nicely as I would expect on-board music to play. I was able to stream from different devices seamlessly.
The biggest drawback was the file set-up. I had to have pre-created playlists. While that could be optimistically looked at as some needed rigidity in the needed world of Android, I do believe that I would have preferred a more organic way of accessing media. Also, it is universal, but as far as I could tell, the app is Android-only for now, so for multi-platform households, it might be a bit restricted.
I think the Jak can still be a relevant piece of the arsenal for folks who have multiple devices and/or several output peripherals. It’s handy size belies it’s overall functionality, and it is an excellent way to go BIG with media.