I'll start with the OPUS Nș4 which is a considerable upgrade from the Nș3. Audiophiles will like the upgraded DAC for even better sound quality. The silent hard drive is equally as important to those of us with quiet listening areas.
According to Olive the biggest upgrade is the user interface. From the sound of it this interface is second only to Apple for design and eas of use. As you can see in the photos of the OPUS Nș4 there is a larger color screen. This is a touchscreen that puts the music at your fingertips. In addition to the touchscreen the unit can be controlled by the large buttons on the front of the player. Options are always a nice. The UI is one of the most intuitive available. Everything is color coded. This will make navigation so easy you'll be on autopilot in about a week. When it comes to finding your music the OPUS Nș4 is head and shoulders above the rest. The genre hierarchy and intuitive tagging are great features. This hierarchy can be influenced and personalized by the user and will allow the user to browse small lists. This gets you quickly past your whole gangsta rap collection from college and to the latest Michael Brecker album in no time. The tagging features are very nice as well. The tags can be different for every kind of music you have. For example, when listening to your new Flo Rida single you have no use for composer information and would rather see who produced the single or who created the beat. When you move over to your Bolero album from Reference Recordings you'll surely want to know it is from Eiji Oue and the Minnesota Orchestra with pieces from Liszt, Brahms, Dvorak, Berlioz, Chabrier, Kabalevsky, Deems Taylor, Dinicu, Jarnefelt and famous conductor Otto Klemperer. This is all customizable by the user and it is very easy. There is certainly no need for professional installation with this all in one music server.
The OPUS Nș4 is of course 24/96 capable. This raises the question of how to get 24/96 content on to the server with only a CD-R/RW drive. I will say more good things are coming from Olive, in the form of online store integration etc.. If you can't wait and want 24/96 right now, then all you need is the MELODY Nș2.
The MELODY Nș2 is very similar to the OPUS Nș4. They share the same simple interface and it produces excellent 24/96 audio. The MELODY Nș2 can be part of your multi-room solution, allowing your music to reach up to ten areas of the house. Simultaneously streaming content from the OPUS or even another source such as a DNLA/UPnP source. So, share your iTunes library and play it back through the MELODY Nș2 in any room of the house. This is where your Linn Records Studio Master flac downloads will shine as the MELODY Nș2 will play them back flawlessly. Don't worry about tough configuration either. Shared libraries will appear automatically! If you want to take advantage of all the MELODY Nș2 has to offer you'll want to connect it to an OPUS Nș4, or the up coming OPUS Nș6. The configuration allows really cool customized public and private playlists. You can dedicate a playlist to a certain room of the house or a specific MELODY Nș2.
Last but not least, a feature many readers of Computer Audiophile will be fond of is the iPod Touch remote capability. Since both the MELODY Nș2 and the OPUS Nș4 have built-in web servers they are controllable via the Safari web browser on an iPod Touch or anything with a web browser for that matter.
Olive is really on the ball with these latest offerings and they have made very good technology very easy. Something that many high performance audio manufacturers are still trying to perfect.
See the Olive website for all the details.