Network Audio Players/Servers

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Ed Selley and Paul Miller  |  Jan 15, 2012
Pro-Ject enters the keenly contested media streamer category with the latest member of its compact Box range, a design based on the StreamUnlimited platform. The market for network media streamers has expanded dramatically in the last 12 months and with it the number of units available to choose from. Although the process of buying high quality music via download is still somewhat lacking in choice, the advantages of well implemented network audio are becoming apparent to an ever wider circle of buyers.
John Bamford and Paul Miller  |  Dec 16, 2011
The first in a new breed of ‘computer transports’, WideaLab’s Aurender S10 employs a Linux-based OS and solid-state storage to render your music collection via digital outs. Aurender music servers are new to the UK. Made by WideaLab, a specialist subdivision of Korea’s Wonik Corporation, they are designed for pure audio replay of a lossless digital music library – aimed squarely at audiophiles who care passionately about sound quality. That’ll be us, then!
Steve Harris and Paul Miller  |  Dec 16, 2011
Known for its poetically-inspired amplifiers, Sonneteer chose instead to name its stylish network player after the god of dreams. Now there’s a CD-ripping server to match. For those of a certain age, the term ‘music centre’ still conjures up a cheapo record player/radio/cassette unit in a plastic wood-effect finish, sitting uncomfortably on a suburban sideboard. But Sonneteer’s thoroughly modern Morpheus has very little in common with those old audio dinosaurs.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 20, 2011
Bryston presents a simplified method of enjoying computer audio Confronted with the burgeoning of computer audio, manufacturers of conventional hi-fi equipment have reacted in diverse ways. A few have buried their heads in the sand; some have made USB DACs, others hard-disk players, still others streaming network players.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 20, 2011
A clever combination of streamer, DAC and pre-amp that ought to win many converts. What is the CLiC? To describe it as a digital preamp, or a streamer, does not do it full justice. Better to think of it as a unit which selects internet radio, and music files from a variety of sources – including wired and wireless networks and data stores, Red Book CD players and even analogue.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 20, 2011
Naim's move towards streaming audio continues with this innovative all-in-one. Cute by nature, Qute by name. Though there’s nothing overtly cuddlyfeely about the Naim Audio UnitiQute (black and angular in the familiar functional Naim manner) this compact box offers so much at an attractive price that you have to regard it with affection.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 20, 2011
The flagship Olive server backs up convenience with audiophile credentials. Olive Media Products has developed its digital range slowly and logically, initially with the less ambitious O2M multi-room player and O3HD and O4HD music servers, all of which feature 4. 3in touch-screens and command lower prices. The O6HD is its premium product, aimed at audiophiles who desire the convenience of a music server but are not prepared to sacrifice sound quality.
Keith Howard and Paul Miller  |  Jun 08, 2011
A fairly costly system with certain limitations but the bee’s-knees intuitive touchscreen interface is a plus, and for some this will be the ideal home music distribution solution. When Meridian announced, to some surprise, that it had bought Sooloos in late 2008, it was a demonstration that the UK’s premier exponent of digital audio technology had recognised the burgeoning importance of computer audio, conceded that it was somewhat behind the game, and concluded that the best way to fast-track a move into this sphere was to buy what was, and remains, widely recognised as the best music server software available.

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