Wi-fi Hi-Fi from Digital Fidelity
Digital Fidelity has announced a wi-fi equipped music server that can be controlled anywhere in the home with a Dell PDA.
Called the Hush AVX Music Centre, the company claims it runs much more quietly than other music servers because it doesn’t have a cooling fan or many moving parts. However the headline feature is undoubtedly the wireless equipped Dell Axium X5 PDA which is bundled with the music server as standard.
This can be used to create playlists as well as for searching for tracks by both genre and keyword. Track data and album covers, which are provided by www.freedb.org , are downloaded automatically to the PDA.
Other noteworthy features include:
160GB hard drive – enough for around 800 CDs
Support for both MP3, WMA and uncompressed WAV music formats
Available initially online from Hush Technologies’ website, Digital Fidelity’s Hush is expected to retail for around £1200 to £1500. However it faces strong competition from other manufacturers. Imerge is now a well-established brand in the high-end music server market with wi-fi equipped machines that support the Palm OS.
Meanwhile, Yamaha Audio recently launched a multi-room audio system that also boasts 802.11b wi-fi capability. Called the MusicCast, it features 80GB storage and allows users to listen to eight different musical streams on eight different terminals/speakers.
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The interesting thing about WiFi is that it is radio and is subject to interference.
I’m in the US and in many high density dwellings (apartments and condos) we are starting to see real interference with 2.4GHz phones, some noise floor pollution from microwave ovens and several other forms of unregulated rf in the 2.4 GHz band.
A few years ago the company I was with was working out some entertainment home networking issues and, after some serious study, we were forced away from WiFi.
When it works it is great, when it doesn’t work it really sucks.