August 5, 2008

Sonos Introduces the Sonos Zoneplayer 120 and Sonos Zoneplayer 90

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We've got some exciting news on some new Sonos ZonePlayers. According to a new Press Release:

Sonos®, Inc., the leading developer of wireless multi-room music systems for the home, today introduced two new ZonePlayers to deliver a state-of-the-art multi-room music experience. With innovations in both wireless technology and amplifier design, the Sonos ZonePlayer 120 (ZP120) and the Sonos ZonePlayer 90 (ZP90) make Sonos the ideal system for music lovers who want to enjoy all the music they love, all over the house. The new ZonePlayers are available starting today at all Sonos authorized retailers and at www.sonos.com. The two new Sonos ZonePlayers give music lovers the ability to add music to absolutely any room. Connect speakers to the amplified ZP120 and place in the bedroom or the backyard. The non-amplified ZP90 can be connected to a home theater or stereo, allowing customers to make use of the audio equipment they already own. "Sonos' mission is to fill every house--and every room--with music," said Phil Abram, President & Chief Operating Officer, Sonos, Inc. "These new products continue Sonos' heritage of blending the latest technology, software and user experience to create an unmatched music experience in the home."

The new ZonePlayers incorporate SonosNet™ 2.0, our latest wireless mesh network technology, which doubles the wireless range of the Sonos Multi-Room Music System. SonosNet 2.0 uses Sonos' mesh network combined with state of the art MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) wireless technology which uses 3 antennas to send and receive music. SonosNet 2.0 helps assure the music gets to all the right rooms, near or far, at the right time - creating perfect synchronization of music without all the wires. The extended range works between any mix of ZP120s and ZP90s and is compatible with all previous generations of Sonos ZonePlayers, Controllers and ZoneBridges.

Here's the basic details of each system:

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Sonos ZonePlayer 120

Advances in power supply design, digital amplifier engineering, industrial design, and mechanical engineering make this the smallest, lightest, most powerful amplified Sonos ZonePlayer ever. The incredibly efficient amplifier and power supply, combined with the fan-less design of the aluminum case, allows the ZP120 to operate silently. The ZP120 delivers 55 watts per channel RMS at 8 Ohms. With measurements of THD+N < 0.02%, 20Hz-20kHz, the ZP120 delivers powerful low distortion audiophile quality sound to every room of the house. The ZP120 can be connected to speakers and discreetly placed on a bookshelf, under furniture or beds, or hidden in cabinets with connections to in-wall speakers.

The ZP120 will retail for $499 individually. It is also included as part of the Sonos Bundle 150 (see accompanying press release) for $999.

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Sonos ZonePlayer 90

The Sonos ZonePlayer 90 allows music lovers to play all the music they want, all over their house, on all of their favorite audio equipment--a home theater system, powered speakers, a premium table top radio such as a Bose Wave® Radio, and more. It is the easiest way to integrate existing audio equipment into a multi-room music system.

The ZP90 will retail for $349 individually. It is also included as part of the Sonos Bundle 150 (see accompanying press release) for $999.

Since we're big fans of Sonos products, we can't wait to check out these systems. We'll keep you posted.


Full Press Release at Sonos.com

William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 24, 2008

How To: Streaming Your Music Online

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Yesterday we told you about a cool little project to build your very own Wireless Audio Streamer for under $100 bucks. So once you build your streamer, what do you listen to? You might want to check out this handy "wiki" at Wired.com that shows you how to stream your music online.

The tutorial starts out:

You've spent a lot of time and money collecting digital music. And by now, you have a pretty sweet library of MP3s and AACs to show for the effort.

But let's say you want to take that library to go? Before you start carrying around a huge hard drive, you might want to try streaming your tunes online instead. All it takes to start streaming your music over the internet is a playlist, a server with some storage space, and a software player that can open and play an internet stream.

The steps are:

  • Step 1: Host it somewhere
  • Step 2: Create a playlist
  • 2.1 Extended M3U
  • 2.2 XSPF
  • 2.3 PLS
  • 3 Download Software to Do It For You
  • 4 Don't Feed the Lawyers

If you're not sure where to start when you want to stream your own music, this article is a good place to begin.

At howto.wired.com

William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 23, 2008

Build a Wireless Audio Streamer for Around $100

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Need a wireless audio streamer for the house but you don't want to shell out $200 or $300 dollars. Maybe you have the money but you're looking for a cool weekend project?

Popular Science's website has a cool "how-to" that shows you how to assemble an audio media streamer starting with an old PC that you have lying around the house.

Some of the things you'll need to get started:

  • Salvaged PC (must have serial RS232 port, two USB ports, and one stereo line out jack; or, build your own, like our $72 PC
  • Streamzap PC remote control (Amazon.com; $30.24)
  • TRENDnet 54Mbps wireless G USB adapter (Amazon.com; $15.99)
  • Serial-Enabled 20x4 LCD (SparkFun Electronics #LCD-00462; $32.95)
  • RS232 shifter board kit (SparkFun Electronics #PRT-00133; $6.95)
  • Hookup wire (RadioShack #278-1223; $5.99)

This project made be a tad advanced for some, but it definitely looks like a project that might be fun to try. We here at NetworkingAudioVideo will give it a shot and let you know how it turns out.

At PopSci.com (image credit: Luis Bruno)

William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 22, 2008

Review: MediaGate MG-450HD High Definition Digital Media Server

A few months ago we introduced the MediaGate MG-450HD High Definition Digital Media Server to you. Since then we've been working on a review of the MG-450HD that we wanted to share with our readers. In case you missed it, you'll want to check out our unboxing of the device we did in May.

We'll start by telling what makes the MG-450HD such a powerhouse. The device is a media streamer that connects to you home theater in ways that most devices can't. Besides wireless and wireless connections you also have the ability to connect to multiple drives like to the hard drive of a networked computer, an attached USB device, or an optional SATA internal hard drive. Without the optional drives you can stream HD video, photos and audio from any PC on your wireless or wired network to your TV. Once you add one of the optional drives you can then store media locally.

Let's look at the basic specs:

ArrowContinue reading: "Review: MediaGate MG-450HD High Definition Digital Media Server"

William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Is it the End of the Road for CDs?

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How do you get your digital music? Here at the NAV headquarters we prefer to stream music over the internet. Sometimes that involves a streaming device like the Grace Digital Radio or the Sonos Wireless Music System and other times we stream right over a PC. One thing we noticed lately is that we rarely listen to CDs anymore and it appears we may not be alone. According to CNET.com, there was poll recently at Stereophile that asks: How do you listen to digital music? The results:

The poll says 34 percent still use CD players as their primary digital source. Yikes, I would have guessed much higher, more like 70 percent. Thirty-six percent use a computer-based server, and 10 percent use dedicated servers such as Sonos or Squeezebox. Another 4 percent use iPods! I felt a little better that 11 percent use a SACD or DVD-Audio player. Another 3 percent voted "other."

We'd like to see this poll taken again in about 12 months as we bet the 10 percent for dedicated servers at least doubles and the CD uses gets cut in half. The sad thing is that CDs are definitely appear to riding off into the sunset like LPs once did (although LPs have made somewhat of a comeback).

Do you still listen to CDs? Leave us a comment and let us know how you get your digital music.

At CNET.com

William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 15, 2008

Review: Four Wi-Fi Radios to Take a Look at

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Streaming radio has to be one of our favorite things here at the NetworkingAudioVideo headquarters. When you add a portable device that allows you to stream radio anywhere in the house or office, what more could you want? Since there's quite a few intenet radio devices on the market, where do you start? Well Newsfactor.com has a nice article that looks at these four radios:

You'll have to read the article to get the rundown on each device but we will tell you the reviewer's favorite device was the Phoenix because of it rechargeable batteries even though the sound quality way below par. Be sure to check out the complete review.

At NewsFactor.com

William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 11, 2008

OpenPandora Desktop Client Rocks!

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It's no secret that we're Pandora Radio fans here at the NetworkingAudioVideo headquarters and in the few weeks we'll have a review of the ITC-IR1000B Wi-Fi Internet Radio. The ITC-IR1000B was sent to us by friends at Grace Digital and lets you stream Pandora Radio anywhere in the house.

In the meantime, we listen to a lot of Pandora Radio on our computer. The only issue we have with Pandora is since it plays in a web browser window, were always accidently closing the browser and losing our music. We then have to open the browser again to start our music. Now that may not seem like a big deal but we're a bit lazy here at the headquartes and we don't want to restart our music every fiteen minutes just because we're click-happy.

So imagine our surprise when we found the OpenPandora Project. Basically OpenPandora is free Windows software that lets you play your music without having a browser open. The nice thing about the player is that the great look and function of the Pandora website resides in the player giving a familiar feel. Another nice feature is while the player is minimized in the system tray you can hover over the OpenPandora icon and see the name of the song and artist. We can't tell you how many times before OpenPandora we had to keep maximizing our browser to see the name of a song. In addition there are a lot of other great features that you can check out when you download the software.

pandora_screens.JPG

So if you listen to Pandora Radio on your Windows PC be sure to downlaod this simple but powerful piece of software.

OpenPandora Website

William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

July 9, 2008

TVersity Finally Launches Version 1.0 of Media Streaming Service

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TVersity has finally come out of beta after several years and has launched as Release Candidate 1. If your're not familiar with TVersity, it's free software that allows you to stream media from your PC to multiple devices. While there are quite a few pieces of media streaming software out there, TVersity is a Truly loaded product. According to the TVersity website:




Play Internet audio, image and video streams and RSS/RDF/ATOM/OPML
feeds and podcasts on your TV, Stereo and other connected devices

The media server streams media from the Internet and delivers it to
connected devices via HTTP, the only protocol supported by those devices


The only truly universal media server (including support for the
Apple iPhone, Sony PSP, the Sony PS3, the Xbox 360, the Nintendo Wii, The
Nokia 770/N800 and many more devices)

Use the same server for home and mobile networked devices (with multimedia
capabilities) whether they support UPnP AV / DLNA or just have a web browser
or an RSS/Podcast Reader


Enter your own Internet URLs or select from the bundled Audio and
Video Guides

The media server is bundled with hundreds of TV stations from all over the
world and thousands of radio stations


Play your ENTIRE media collection on your connected
devices

Finally almost any content that plays in Windows Media Player can be
played on any of the supported devices disregarding their codec limitations


Automatic Real-time Seamless Transcoding
Let the Media Server automatically detect when a given media needs to be
transcoded for playback on your media player


Very fast browsing of your media library with unprecedented speed
for huge libraries (up to 100,000 items and more)

You can see the full (and very long) list of features here. At the great price of free, you got no reason to not give the software a try.

At TVersity.com

William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 8, 2008

Installing a Harddrive on the Networked Media Tank from Popcorn Hour

When we here at NetworkingAudioVideo rolled out our review of Networked Media Tank from Popcorn Hour we didn't really talk about the ability to add a harddrive to the device.

Well, our sister site TVSnob.com has found a video on how to install a harddrive on the Networked media Tank. The nice thing is the 10 minute video also shows how to set up the device as a BitTorrent client. Be sure to check the video above out.

[via TVSnob]

William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 2, 2008

The Digital Home of 2013 - We Don't Even want to Think About the Electric Bill!

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Are you curious about the home of the future? If you are, you'll want to check out a lengthy article about the Digital Home of 2013 at TheStandard.com. The article starts out:

It's 2013, and you've just come home from work. As you pull into the driveway, you reach into your pocket and swipe the screen of your smartphone with your thumb. Your garage door opens and the lights in your house turn on. The TV queues up the shows you missed while you were working late. Your favorite songs are following you from the living room to the kitchen. Then you stop. The phone blinks and warbles at you. The fridge says you forgot the milk.

It's the HD/wireless/automated/streaming/sych'd/ready-to-entertain house of the future, and you're living in it.

In the following pages, you'll be treated to a glimpse of the toys and technologies that will grace your home in the not-so-distant future. If you are like most people, you probably have already sampled some of them, but others -- such as automated home control and personal applications of cloud computing -- haven't made it into people's homes ... yet.

The articles is broken down into the following categories.

  • Introduction: What your future really looks like: The Digital Home of 2013
  • 1. The Digital Home of 2013: High-speed telecommunications
  • 2. The Digital Home of 2013: It's an HD world
  • 3. The Digital Home of 2013: Gaming gets real
  • 4. The Digital Home of 2013: Reach out and touch something
  • 5. The Digital Home of 2013: Automated home control
  • 6. The Digital Home of 2013: Green goes mainstream
  • 7. The Digital Home of 2013: Welcome to the cloud
  • 8. The Digital Home of 2013: The rise of streaming media
  • 9. The Digital Home of 2013: Online distribution of TV, movies
  • 10. The Digital Home of 2013: Collaborating across town, and across the world
  • Sidebar: The castoff home technologies of 2013?

We told you it was a lengthy article but it's well worth the read.

At TheStandard.com

William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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