bCODA Multishare USB Jak - Testing the Jak

Article Index
bCODA Multishare USB Jak
Features and Specifications
Testing the Jak
Final Thoughts

Testing the Jak - Application:

As we get into the meat of the review we take a look at the application that you have to go and grab from the Google Play store.  This App worked great on both the Nexus 7 and Galaxy Nexus and I had no issues configuring it for streaming or creating custom playlists.  The Jak App allows you to connect your device to the Jak directly and also allows you to connect through your standard network.  Connecting through your network will enable you to use your device to access other network resources - including the internet, Dropbox and more.

Start Jak
Start Jak

Playlists
Playlists

Basic Info
Basic Info

I am quite pleased that bCODA seems dedicated to providing update for this device as I've done a couple of firmware updates to the device while we've been reviewing it.  This is a nice change as many other products that offer firmware updates aren't updated regularly.

Firmware Update
Firmware Update

Settings
Settings

The App experience is very smooth and simple.  Playlists can be created very easily and it just plain works.  I've nothing bad to say about the App at all.

In order to stream media to the Jak (and whatever it's plugged in to), you simply hit "Transmit" on the Playlists page.  That will stream everything in that playlist.  If you only want to allow some of the images, movies or music to appear on the media player, you'll need to create a different playlist and stream that.  Browse the files you want to add to the playlist by touching the "Latest music", "Latest photo" or "Latest video" links.  This will open a file browser where you can select items and add them to your new playlist.

Testing the Jak - TV:

On the TV, the Jak performs a little different that I had expected.  I guess what I expected with the Jak was the ability to use your Android device to control the content and to interact like a WiFi remote control.  What actually happens is that they you choose to stream content - whether it is music, movies, or images - you will then have to specify on the TV what content you want to stream.  At this point, the Jak shows up to the TV as a USB storage device - with your playlist on it.  

You're playlist is not actually transferred to the device - instead the index is available wirelessly and all of the content will be streamed on demand.  To do this, you'll have to use the remote for your TV (or other media device) and navigate to the file you want to play and then select it.  This works the same way for images, music and movies.

Images
Images

When streaming music or movies, the entire list shows up and it takes a couple of seconds to buffer the content before it starts to play.  When streaming movies, I had no issues streaming 720p content from my device without any lag or buffering issues.  The wireless signal was quite low to the Jak and if you have a USB extension cable to move the Jak from behind a metal TV to somewhere with less interference, I'm sure it would help.  We did have some buffering issues with 1080p content when streaming from my couch, but when the device was placed beside the TV - with better line of sight to the Jak, it worked flawlessly.

Movie
Movie Playback

Music
Music

To switch from media type to another - say from movies to music, you simply choose to stream a different playlist on your Android device.  At this point the Jak disconnects from the TV and you'll have to again select it from the list of inputs and choose the media type that you now want to play.

I can't help but think that this process could be a little more seamless, but I'm sure some of this limitation is due to the way TVs (at least those we tested) sort and play back media from USB devices.  I won't dock the Jak too much for this, but it would help create a better user experience if switching media types was a lot more seamless.

The Jak uses it's own wireless network to connect to the Android device and this way music isn't compressed and the sound quality is very good.  Overall, the experience is pretty decent with the Jak.