Apple has sold almost 150 million iPods so far. This is an incredible number of course, but there is something even more powerful at work here. The iPod has profoundly changed the way we access our music. Before a song can be loaded onto an iPod, it must first be loaded into your computer. The iPod is simply a copy of what is in the computer. So in the the process of filling their iPods with music, tens of millions of households have created a music library on their home computer. This is a huge shift!
For the first time in the history of recorded music, recordings can exist without some physical form, the music no longer resides on a record or a tape or a CD. Now the music is just zeros and ones — you can download the file, store it on a hard drive, even email it! Ironically, given all of this flexibility, the tough question has been how to get the songs out of the computer, which might live in your study, and into your stereo system which is probably in the living room.
The best solution to date, by a wide margin, is from a company called Sonos. Their system attaches both to your stereo and to the computer network in your home. It can connect directly your router or do it wirelessly. Either way, as soon as it’s turned on, the Sonos processor automatically finds all of the music stored on each of the computers in your home! This is cool enough, but the next part is even better.
"Oh, my stars and garters, this thing is amazing! The system,
from hardware to software, is beautifully thought through."
Nov 21, 2008 — Macworld magazine
The complete review can be seen HERE.
It would be great if you could browse through your music library without having to sit in front of your computer. Sonos can do this. From anywhere in your home you can access your library and control the music. Most people use the excellent Sonos controller, but you could even use an iPhone to do this. With the Sonos CR-100 controller pictured above, you can access playlists, sort by album, song or artist, even search the library.Every system consists of at least two parts — a controller and base station. The base stations are available either with or without an amplifier. The Sonos ZonePlayer 90 is designed to feed the music directly into your existing stereo system. It’s hooked up just like a CD player. The ZonePlayer 120 on the other hand, includes a powerful 55 watt/channel amplifier so you can connect it directly to a pair of speakers. Depending on your needs, you can mix and match these components and add additional base stations or controllers as needed. Can’t run a new wire out to the back porch? Or up to your bedroom? No problem, these components can all connect wirelessly. Each time you add another piece, the system automatically reconfigures itself and optimizes the network.
But wait, there’s more! If your computer is connected to the internet, the Sonos system can also access Rhapsody and Napster music subscription services, Pandora and Last.fm, SIRIUS Internet radio, and over 15,000 radio stations, shows, and podcasts streamed over the Internet. In our area every one of the major radio stations is readily available.
You have really got to try this system to appreciate how well it works, it is way beyond my initial expectations! Let us know if you would like a demo.