Sonos is looking to market to the iPhone and iPod touch crowd with their new ZonePlayer S5 wireless music system. If you’re familiar with Sonos, you know that the price of entry has always been a bit high historically. The ZonePlayer S5 brings that price down to about $400. You plug it in to a router, and you are good to go with the ability to play your entire music library, as well as music from services like Rhapsody, Napster, Last.fm, and others, by using your iPhone as the remote control.
The price rises if you don’t have an Ethernet port handy for the S5, as you would then also need to buy a ZoneBridge, which allows you to connect the ZonePlayer S5 (as well as any other ZonePlayers you have) to your network wirelessly. We definitely think this is a positive step in the right direction for Sonos. By adding an all-on-one ZonePlayer/speaker to their line-up at this much lower price point, they’ve made it enticing to check them out to see what all the fuss is about. We’d pick up a ZonePlayer S5 over a Bose Sounddock any day of the week.
Read More | Sonos ZonePlayer S5 Demo
Tom Cullen of Sonos stopped by to give us a first-hand look at the new Sonos Controller 200 CR200 remote control. A marked improvement over the original Sonos Controller 100, the CR200 is a full touchscreen device that allows you to interact with music from a vast amount of sources and services, both on your network and from the Internet, with relative ease. We give you a look at how it all comes together in this episode.
The HT-BD3252 not only features a bundle of speakers, but it has an integrated Blu-ray 2.0 profile player that supports BD-Live. It supports audio codecs like Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD-MA, and includes streaming Internet services such as Pandora, Netflix, and Blockbuster with the included Wi-Fi dongle. All this plus an iPod dock for just $799.
Full press release after the jump.
At the CTIA wireless show in Las Vegas this week, Microsoft announced new software partners for its Windows Marketplace. Pandora, Electronic Arts and Facebook have joined the team that already includes Gameloft, Accuweather.com and MySpace. All told, the company expects more of its 20,000 mobile partners to offer software when it launches later this year. Apps will work on phones with Windows Mobile 6.5, also due out towards the end of the year.
Read More | eWeek
Good news for Blackberry owners. In addition to Slacker, IHeartRadio, with over 150 regional stations, is now available for the handheld. Pandora is also streaming their music service with included custom and pre-made stations with its music genome technology. If you already have Pandora, you can log in on your existing station. The two applications will work with Blackberry Bolds, Pearls and Curves and is supported by Verizon, AT&T and Sprint. Unfortunately, T-Mobile phones are not compatible.
Read More | Mashable
VIZIO is launching a new platform that they’re calling “Conneced HDTV,” and with it comes confirmation of the second Netflix direct-to-TV partnership. VIZIO’s Connected HDTV platform is designed to compliment traditional television viewing. You just connect the television to your home network, and if there’s nothing good on, you can go into Netflix, and I am sure there will be other services (YouTube? Hulu?) that you’ll be able to pull up as well. This is a trend we are definitely liking, let’s eliminate set-top boxes while providing more viewing options for the consumer.
EDIT: Okay, we just got more details on this. Aside from Netflix, the VIZIO Connected HDTV platform also brings Amazon Video on Demand, Pandora, Flickr, Blockbuster OnDemand, Rhapsody, Adobe Flash content, games from Accedo Broadband, and the Yahoo! widget engine. Very, very interesting!
Read More | MarketWatch
We’ve been big fans of Slacker since we saw it earlier this year at CES. Now, we were big fans of the Slacker Internet radio service, but that meant you had to keep Slacker in your browser. With the Slacker G2, all that Internet radio goodness is now portable. So, why the Slacker G2 over a regular MP3 player? Well, first off, the owner doesn’t have to pay for the music. You don’t even have to use a computer to transfer music to the device, as that can all be done with the devices itself. It connects to the free Slacker service over Wi-Fi, and will update itself with music whenever it has a connection. The 4 GB Slacker G2 supports 25 stations, and retails for $199.99. You can pick one up at Amazon.
Read More | Slacker G2
So this morning we gave you the scoop on the new Sonos 2.7 features, along with the news of the new (and free) Sonos Controller for iPhone and iPod touch, but we figured you’d be interested in seeing how all this worked. Luckily, Sonos CEO John MacFarlane was able to stop by to give us a first look at all the announcements. In this episode, John walks us through all the new hotness that Sonos announced this morning. That includes a walkthrough of the new iPhone app, which incorporates and supports all those slick new Sonos 2.7 features that we’ve been raving about so early in the morning over here. If you are a music fan, you owe it to yourself to look into Sonos, if you haven’t already.
Oh, and be sure to check our Sonos for iPhone gallery if you wanna see some screenshots of the app in high resolution.
If you thought we were done with today’s Sonos news, think again - they’re on a roll, having just announced the availability of Sonos Controller for iPhone and iPod touch, for free. If you’re a Sonos fan, then you immediately understand what this means. If you own an iPhone or iPod touch, you get a touchscreen Sonos controller, at no extra cost. Seriously, that rocks. The new app gives you access to all the new Sonos 2.7 features we told you about earlier as well, like Rhapsody, Sirius, Last.fm, and tons of radio from across the globe. In fact, with the Sonos Controller for iPhone, you can access music from any computer on your network, a NAS drive, or even a Time Capsule. When you realize that one of the standard Sonos Controller remote costs $400, you begin to see how big a deal this is. Releasing this as a free download makes Sonos instantly easier to use, especially in a multi-zone, multi-iPhone household, like mine.
We are big fans of Sonos here at Gear Live, which is why we are super excited about the new Sonos 2.7 update that is launching today. This one truly fits in with the whole goal of filling your home with music from anywhere on the planet. Let’s jump into this. The new update provides computer-free access to services like Last.fm, Pandora, and more than 15,000 radio stations from around the globe, all at no additional fee. If you subscribe to a subscription service like Napster, Rhapsody, or Sirius, they’ve got you covered there too. They’ll all stream directly to your Sonos system, with no need for a computer or server running in the background. That’s some slick stuff.
Even better, the Last.fm integration is fantastic. Every song you listen to through a subscription service, or your music library, is scrobbled and added to your Last.fm profile. A few other new features in Sonos System Software 2.7:
- Rhapsody now streams at 192 kbps MP3 as opposed to 128 kbps WMA
- RTSP streaming protocol now supported, allowing for greater Internet radio coverage
- Better language support
The update is free to all Sonos owners.
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