MusicGremlin has answered my No. 1 request for their devices: These portable, Wi-Fi-enabled music players outdo Zune by using their built-in wireless adapters to, you know, synchronize with a computer and connect over the Internet. In fact, their peer-to-peer mode doesn't require proximity; I can exchange music with another MusicGremlin user elsewhere on the Internet as long as I have a network feed where I am. That's a bit more--social, innit?
The company announced Monday that they'd upgraded their Wi-Fi firmware to handle WPA and WPA2, which was my only real complaint with the initial foray a few months ago. WPA Personal is the minimum level of security I can recommend for home networks, and now MusicGremlin supports that.
The music player can also now take advantage of Wi-Fi gateways that use WMM Power Save, a feature that dramatically lowers power usage when the adapter is not actively transmitting or receiving. It requires a Wi-Fi gateway that has this feature installed, which is part of 802.11e (quality of service), but has been separately certifeid by the Wi-Fi Alliance.
MusicGremlin said that a new feature will let a player owner control the player wirelessly using a Web browser and an account on the company's Web site. Artist alerts about new music can now be delivered to the MusicGremlin directly, as well as to email.
Finally, this upgrade is an over-the-air release: no separate download required.