Name That Tune (and Distribute It)
Later this month, Olive Media Products, Inc. will be shipping a wireless digital music center called the Symphony. Olive Media describes the Symphony as a device that "combines premium audio with the latest convergence technology" for storing, managing and distributing digital music throughout the home.
Olive Media, however, says the Symphony is more than another me-too audio distribution system. The new unit uses the company's proprietary "Digital Pure Audio (DPA)" technology for "high fidelity sound an audiophile calls for." In addition, the Symphony is said to use an intuitive navigation system that requires no prior knowledge of convergence technology on the part of the user. (Wow, what a concept! A convergence navigation system that works for you rather than demanding that you work for it.)
Integrated "Playlist" software helps classical music lovers to "meaningfully catalog and compile classical music" - a difficult proposition as those who have amassed large digital collections of classical music will tell you. The Playlist management software provides "a customized metadata structure" that allows users to label and catalog classical music correctly - and includes access to a free online music encyclopedia with detailed information about composers and their works
To make the initial setup as easy as possible, Olive Media is offering a free "Preload" service in which the company rips the new owner's original music CDs onto the device's hard drive before it ships. (My guess is Olive Media sends the CDs back to the owner - or maybe they become an eBay PowerSeller…)
Audio is recorded onto the Symphony in the user's choice of "lossless quality" formats - AIFF or WAV (uncompressed) or FLAC (lossless compression) - and stored on a noiseless 2.5-inch 80GB hard drive capable of holding up to 20,000 songs. CDs can be ripped using the unit's built-in CD player, and the Symphony's RCA input can be used to capture audio from analog devices.
Olive Media says the system is designed to integrate into any existing audio system, can stream music from or to PCs and Macintosh computers, and provides access to free Internet radio stations. A built-in USB interface allows for updates to Apple iPods without hooking either device to a computer.
The Symphony connects to your home computer network either wired or wirelessly (802.11g) and can simultaneously distribute audio streams to five locations. Symphony digital music centers will be available for $899 directly from the company. Wireless Sonata music receivers for the listening locations are $199.