Just a heads up to any of you who want to add the Sonos ZonePlayer S5 to your current Sonos setup, or those of you who want to jump into Sonos for the first time for the lowest cost possible - the S5 is now shipping, and can be had for $399. We have one set to arrive later today, so we will hit you with a review after we play with it a bit.
Read More | Sonos ZonePlayer S5
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.
Moody’s Investors Service says that there may be 25 large company bankruptcies this year. Ratings from them and other sources came up with a list of those that are feeling the pinch. Sirius, Chrysler, Six Flags, Blockbuster, Rite Aid, and our beloved Krispy Kreme are all at risk of going under. Most of the companies have limited cash, large debts with huge interest payments and little chance of refinancing. While some of this may be inevitable, we suggest you go out and buy American. Treat your family or office to a dozen donuts or a trip to the amusement park.
Read More | Microblog Buzz
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.
Onkyo has just released a couple of new high-end THX Ultra2 receivers upon us all, in their TX-NR906 and TX-SR876 units. Both units feature 7.1-channel surround processing, four HDMI inputs, new THX Loudness Plus processing, XM HD, and the fantastic HQV Reon-VX upscaling processor. These bad boys will upconvert just about anything you throw at it to 1080p. In terms of audio, your got both units conservatively rated - the TX-SR876 is at 140 watts per channel, while the TX-NR906 hits you with 145 watts per channel. The TX-NR906 specifically is also Windows Vista certified, and supports digital audio devices (like the Zune) by way of its front USB port. You can also stream a bunch of audio formats on your local network to it, as well as streaming Internet radio, including SIRIUS iRadio.
Both models are available now. Suggested retail comes out to $1,799 for the TX-SR876, and $2,299 for the TX-NR906, but we are sure you can find them for a lot less if you do a little shopping around. Be sure to also hit up our Onkyo TX-SR906 image gallery.
It’s rare that things like this get covered in print before they do online, but XM‘s upcoming XMp3 device is one of the exceptions. Appearing in the latest issue of Popular Science, the XMp3 has yet to receive an official release date or price. What we do know is that it can decode, and record, up to five XM stations at one time. That’s kind of cool, we guess, although radio recording isn’t really our thing (although, some of that O&A stuff can get pretty hilarious.) Once we know more, you’ll know more. For now, just know it’s on its way.
Read More | OrbitCast
Sirius has finally completed their acquisition of XM. The company will now be called Sirius XM Radio (duh) and will consist of 18.5 million subscribers. They will have more exclusive programming in addition to Howard, Oprah, and Martha. Users have the option of maintaining their current packages, but it remains to be seen if SXM can get new $13.00 subscriptions and radio sales with the economy being the way it is. We think consumers may opt for a couple more gallons of gas instead.
Read More | Mobility Today
It was only a question of time until SIRIUS got involved with more than the droning voices of Howard Stern and Martha Stewart, and their Backseat TV was innovative enough to get them the In-Vehicle Video Overall Award. The device comes with a child-friendly remote for audio front/rear access to their satellite entertainment or attach by the dash mounted control for both radio and video. Parental locks are available to keep the kidlets confined to the g-rated stuff. Compatible with most video monitors with NTSC and audio outputs, the Backseat will set you back $299.99.
Read More | SIRIUS
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