The Shed’s hi-fi correspondent recently posted something along the following lines on the Amazon Brennan users’ site, which is occasionally active but doesn’t have much so far on the Brennan B2.
The old Brennan JB7, a jukebox for Cds, sold a lot and has a lot of devoted fans, plus a lot who got stuck in one of its bugs. Its inventor, Martin Brennan, moved on to launch the B2.
Our reviewer writes:
I loved the old jb7 Brennan but mine now has a new home while I learn the b2.
I spent some time at first finding flaws – through my random flailings – in its vinyl recording function. They were quickly ironed out. And in the end, improved vinyl transfer was not the point of the b2. The point was the web interface.
In some ways, this is brilliant. But there are surprising things it cannot do, or for which I cannot easily find the way. Streaming radio from around the world works well, working directly from the Brennan interface. But if I try to stream from YouTube to Brennan and hi-fi speakers, using a special option on the Chrome browser over a usually decent wi-fi connection, it stutters unbearably. Don’t know whether it is Brennan or Chrome who has not yet got this quite right. But it’s typical of the product, in my opinion – great promise but details still being ironed out.
Surprisingly, and possibly as a sop to the copyright lobbies, I cannot take a tune off my Brennan database and copy it to my PC, or email it or something, without using old-fashioned transfer to and from a USB stick. Actually, I probably could, using my son’s old smartphone and a bluetooth connection. Using bluetooth, I can stream into and out of the Brennan okay and I should be using it as my standby remote control. But I don’t like the smartphone much yet. Brennan users generally want to avoid too many computers, I would guess.
Another thing I would expect to be easier is calling up the griff on an unknown tune on the B2. Shazam, which I used to use a lot on dumbphone, seems to have left me behind. The old 2580 dial-up service, 50p a shot, doesn’t work any more. Can’t get the shiny new version on my Android device – almost certainly my fault – and can’t find an official version for my PC, although I see workarounds on offer which look genuine. As for the Brennan interface, if there is a button there I can’t find it.
I should be able to identify a tune through Cortana, I am told, but that means getting it to play through the PC. It must be possible to do that through the Brennan interface but again I can’t see how.
Best solution for me looks like to back up the machine on a storage device and play through the pc from that. Bit cumbersome, though, in view of the cutting edge talk about the machine.
I offer all this for discussion but I’m not really complaining. I think all these things will eventually become possible and the development process is part of the pleasure of going Brennan.