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    by Published on 09-19-2010 04:53 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Wireless,
    3. Remote

    Problem: Multiple remote controls using multiple technologies without integration.

    Example: iPhone controlling iTunes over WiFi and traditional remote controlling HiFi components via infrared.

    Solution: RedEye from the ThinkFlood company. Converts WiFi signal into infrared allowing iPhone to control iTunes and HiFi components.

    In my dream world an iPhone not only controls music playback, but control the volume on my DAC via the volume up and down buttons on the side of the phone. This would allow use of the Apple Remote application or Plug Player while simultaneously adjusting the volume with a single device. Since my dream world isn't a reality yet the next best thing is the RedEye from ThinkFlood. This hardware and software combination allows one to use an iPhone app like an infrared remote without the need for direct line of sight from the phone to the electronics. Switching between the Apple Remote app and the RedEye app is pretty simple with newly enabled iPhone multitasking. However watching the volume level shoot up at breakneck speed is a little scary especially after the virtual volume button has ben released for a few seconds. RedEye might not be the ultimate in remote control products, but for less than $190 it's a great solution for many computer audiophiles looking to retire one more traditional remote control.
    by Published on 09-07-2010 11:30 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Music Servers

    As we approach Rocky Mountain Audiofest 2010 I can't help but think about the 2009 computer audio seminar at RMAF. During the seminar I mentioned Linux based music servers a couple times and how I thought they had great potential. I took a little heat from my fellow panelists for mentioning Linux. I still stand by my statements and think Linux has incredible potential as a music server operating system. If music servers are ever going to work as well and as easy as a toaster they'll need to run on Linux. These appliance-like music servers aren't for everyone. Some computer audiophiles like the familiarity of Windows or Mac OS X and the ability to roll up their sleeves, look under the hood, and make configuration changes. On the other hand computer audiophiles who prefer the simplest approach that doesn't require knowledge of how the music server operates, doesn't require configuration for bit transparent audio output, and doesn't require a local keyboard, mouse, and monitor will love turnkey Linux based music servers. One such turnkey solution is the Sonore Music Server by Simple Design. The Sonore server is built a la carte style to fit the customer's needs. This type of customization up front leads to simplicity and sound quality once placed into a high end audio system.
    by Published on 08-24-2010 04:41 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Digital Interface Converter,
    3. USB Interface,
    4. S/PDIF (RCA) Interface

    The M2Tech hiFace has received a lot of press this year. It was one of the first very inexpensive asynchronous USB to S/PDIF converters to support all sample rates from 16/44.1 kHz through 24/192 kHz. The hiFace's good specs, good technical design, support for high resolution sample rates, and $150 price tag has had users from all over the world going gaga. While there is no such thing as bad press too much good press can make it very hard for a product to live up to expectations. Such is the case with the M2Tech hiFace. I tried for several months to pull every ounce of sound quality out of the hiFace. I began to wonder if I was the only person on Earth unsatisfied with this converter. I have no qualms about saying the hiFace, through no fault of M2Tech, is overrated. Fortunately this has nothing to do with value. At $150 it's well worth the price and has a very high price to performance ratio.
    by Published on 08-13-2010 03:08 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Music Servers,
    3. Software

    Many of us computer audiophiles, and audiophiles looking to get into the music server game, have long wanted a music server that rivals the Sooloos touchscreen interface without paying the Sooloos price premium. What many people don't realize is how advanced the Sooloos product is as a complete package. Notably how it handles metadata and library navigation using this extended metadata. I continually research music servers and every related product under the sun but I've yet to find anything that duplicates or equals the quality of Sooloos metadata support and library navigation. For example browsing an album's credits to find the producer then searching for other albums in the library that were produced by this person. It's all a couple touches away and without manually entering the information at any time. As the saying goes, there's no free lunch. This is certainly true with what I call Joe Sixpack's Sooloos.
    by Published on 08-10-2010 11:23 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Appearances

    Join Computer Audiophile at Listen Up in Colorado for Digital Music Matters. Myself, David Solomon of Peachtree Audio, and Adrian Eiben of Sonos will be talking about nothing but digital audio for three nights. The events will take place in Colorado Springs August 24, Denver August 25, and Boulder August 26. I'll be talking about how to get the best audiophile sound quality form a music server as well as sharing some tips and tricks related to computer audio. As usual I'll have plenty of high resolution material to play through a number of great audio systems at Listen Up. I hope to see many of the Computer Audiophile readers during this trip. Read more for RSVP information and the official event postcard. I look forward to seeing many of you there :~)
    by Published on 08-04-2010 12:20 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Speakers,
    3. Wireless

    I’ve used the Sonos S5 ZonePlayer for the last several weeks and have really grown to like the unit. At first I was skeptical and thought an Apple Airport Express based system would easily equal or better a Sonos system. After setting up the Sonos S5 a couple times and using it via the desktop and iPhone interfaces, not only do I like the all-in-one system, but I am certain the S5 is perfect for its target market. The simplicity and comparatively good sound quality of the S5 make it a luddite's luxury.