Olive Media Products Inc. on Wednesday announced the
Symphony. It’s a digital hi-fi component that stores music on a built-in hard disk drive. Pitched specifically at audiophiles who like classical music, the US$899 Symphony features a built-in CD-R burner and USB 2.0 interface, so users can burn discs containing collections of their favorite compositions — the USB interface can update the contents of an Apple iPod without needing a Mac or PC.
Users can transfer audio in lossless formats like AIFF, WAV or FLAC. The Symphony can interface with a conventional stereo system using SPDIF optical and a TOSLINK coaxial digital interface, and sports a built-in 2.5-inch 80GB hard disk drive. The system looks up track and album information, tagging CD’s automatically using a built-in database containing 2,000,000 track IDs. A stereo RCA input also lets you record music from external analog devices, such as a record turntable or a tape deck.
The Symphony also features integrated IEEE 802.11g and four-port 10/100base-T Ethernet switching, so you can network the device to allow simultaneous multi-room audio distribution. Olive also makes the $199 Sonata, a wireless music interface which can also play music stored on a Mac or PC when used with UPnP AV-compatible music server software.
Available in mid-August, users who pre-order the Symphony are also being offered “Preload,” a service that rips and loads their CD music onto their Symphony. You send your original CDs to Olive, and they take care of loading the music onto the Symphony before it ships.