Saturday, March 03, 2007

Jukebox in the Sky

So, I have this dream of having a networked system in my future home, where I can go anywhere in the house, access my music from my PC and play anything I want where ever I am. Part of that dream is having a DAP like Zune. But my Zune is mostly for portable music away from home. I just want to listen to music all the freakin' time, in the most user friendly, efficient way possible, whether I'm home or abroad.

I've heard of digital audio receivers (DARs) that connect to both a computer and a stereo and translate between the two. There's articles out there that detail what you can do. For instance from Microsoft: Link

But I haven't found something that fits the bill with making the music integration jive really well with a multi-room set up, all the while making music access a cinch.

Well, I finally found something the other day that I thought I'd share with all my fellow zuners out there, or anything really who loves music who might be interested in the same full on music dream.

While I've heard of sonos before, I've seen ads in mags, caught blurbs via articles, I've never really looked and delved into what sonos brings to the table. Basically with a sonos setup, the level of user friendliness and ease of music access is possible. I've recently poured over their website, looking for how I might set everything up. Essentially how it works is you buy a Zone player, either on with an amp built in, or one (that's cheaper) that can connect to an amp you've already got, like say one with your home theater, and then connect that first one with a router that is connected to your PC network. From there you can add (as in purchase) Zoneplayers where ever you want/need throughout your house, effectively giving that huge music collection on your PC some serious wings. You can even play different songs in different rooms, so say a family could listen to their own stuff in each of their rooms, accessing from a family computer. Cool stuff. And it's all controlled via a wireless remote with a three inch screen. It's all very nice. Check sonos' site for the demo of how the whole thing works.

And even more interesting is what something like this, when paired with say, a Zune pass, would mean. (I noticed they just added Zune MP support in Jan) You could, on a whim, listen to anything you wanted, across the whole of the ZMP - whether it be an individual song or an album. It could just stream through the Internet via your wireless setup with something like sonos. In fact, this could literally be the future, especially with Zune and it's future incarnations, the wifi we have now is just a step in that direction. Screw hard drives, I would pay some sort of monthly fee to listen to anything and everything where ever I am. Jukebox in the sky. It's an interesting prospect and it makes the Zune pass pretty tempting if I were to get something like this in my home.

So anyway, the sonos system is pricey. To get a bundled set up, it'll run ya either $999 for two Zoneplayers (sans the built in amp) + a wireless remote, or $1199 for two Zoneplayers that have built in amps, so you just plug in speakers, plus the wireless remote to control the whole rig.

I figure I can get the $999 version, buy a couple of Sonic's T-amps (You need to read about this) for $25 bucks or so, and nab some decent speakers for each room and I'll be sitting pretty.

One of these days I'll save up and drop my hard earned cash on this. I'll be in music heaven.

/just sharing

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