Like many of you, I have my entire CD collection ripped to my PC, along with other music I've acquired through iTunes or Amazon MP3. Of course, this is much more music than will fit on a single iPhone/iPod or other media player. But, it can fit on a MyPassport external hard drive! Now, how can I play that music from my stereo?

What I'm looking for, but having a difficult time finding, is a stereo receiver that can read MP3 files off an external USB hard drive - and isn't limited to, say, a 16GB size of the USB device. Do such devices exist?

I do not want to rely on a computer/laptop needing to serve music to the stereo, which makes this question very different from a related question: How can I play my MP3 files through my stereo system?. Just want to plug in a hard drive to a stereo and have it work.

closed as off-topic by fixer1234, Journeyman Geek Oct 2 '15 at 12:10

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions seeking for hardware shopping recommendations are off-topic because they are often relevant only to the question author at the time the question was asked and tend to become obsolete quickly. Instead of asking what to buy, try asking how to find out what suits your needs." – Journeyman Geek
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    I'm not saying that this is a shopping recommendation, however, please read the FAQs before asking questions. Questions asking for shopping recommendations are not welcome here. – wizlog Nov 8 '11 at 3:00
  • Altered the question - hope the new wording makes it seem less like a shopping recommendation, which wasn't my original intention. Thanks for the note! – David Nov 8 '11 at 3:48
  • 1
    I'm not sure if this is on topic - while the device you are looking for interfaces with a piece of computer hardware (an external hard drive), it is not interfacing with a computer. – bwDraco Nov 8 '11 at 4:14
  • @David How do you plan on navigating through your files without any type of interface (other than on,off and volume)? Aren't you really looking for a really, really basic computer, even if it is just a forward, back pause and play button? – wizlog Nov 8 '11 at 5:27
  • They exist. get one of them Home Media Dvd player dolby sound system things. just look for a USB port on one of them, then get the manuel to find out its abilities (as usual asking the sales people doesnt always work). Also many TVs have them , plus a WD media box will do that , and many other "media boxes". AS said ^ above, they usually require some sort of display, at least to get it started. I dont know of a Music Only type of device , but for the cost of the full media devices I dont see the point. – Psycogeek Nov 8 '11 at 11:37

Logitech's Squeezebox Touch. (Note: not the other devices in the Squeezebox range, only the Touch).

It has USB input and SD card input to read music from these data sources, according to the Logitech specification page. The USB drive input reads from an external hard drive, according to the reviews of users at amazon UK. It has the usual audio outputs to connect to your receiver or speaker system.

PLUS, it has what I really needed in all of this: - A 4.3 inch screen that allows you to browse through your large collection of music (using your touch or the included remote), the way you would on a decent mp3 player, which is not available in regular stereo systems. - The other advantage is that it is not battery operated, you leave it plugged-in to the mains (I didn't want another mp3 player that drained a battery even though I'm not going to be carrying it around).

In fact, the device is actually advertised as being able to access music over a network, but the above is all I want it for. Sadly, it's around half the price overseas compared to where I live, but amazon UK won't ship it to where I am. Sigh.

Oh well, good luck to you. If you find something else like this (cheaper would be cool), please give us a heads up here.


Looks like mp3 playback via USB is still a very high end feature. There are recievers and amplifiers available which have this feature but they cost. Also, there are music players which either have USB connector or a place for HDD, but they are all high end (think Naim Audio and Linn). Also, there are internet radios which have USB connector for mp3 disks (Sagem). All these devices usually have a very simple LCD display for navigation and control. This is at the moment a neglected market. If you have your TV set connected to your audio system, above mentioned full media device would probably fit the bill. As it is, my audio and video systems are sepatate, and thus all media devices do not work for me.


Get a Western Digital TV Media Player and hook it to your TV with surround sound. The external hard drive will go into the USB on the media player and you will see the album art on the screen and can listen to the music through your surround sound speakers.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.