At first look I thought it was Apple’s approach to a portable media player. But it’s actual made by a company that I have never heard of, Sonos. Consider this the first and only digital music system that lets you affordably play all your digital music, all over your house and control it all from the palm of your hand. Traditionally, you’d need to spend thousands of dollars for wiring a multiroom controller (like the Russound CAV6.6)… something that isn’t easy in old homes. Unlike all the current streaming media players, the Sonos doesn’t need a PC in every room, a music server or a wireless network. Just a Sonos ZonePlayer, speakers in the rooms of your choice and a Sonos Controller in hand to access all your digital music. The controller (pictured) is used to find and control the playback of music in the zone your are in, you can also control remote zones. All the hard work is done via the ZonePlayer. It has support for multiple music sources and accesses music stored on any number of PCs, Macs, or NAS boxes on your home network as well as Internet radio and legacy A/V devices, like a CD player. It can playback compressed MP3, WMA, and AAC music files (don’t know about Apple DRM), uncompressed WAV files, and Internet radio that use “streaming MP3” format. They also have an analog audio input with digital encoding which connects an audio source (such as a CD player or portable MP3 player) to the audio input of one ZonePlayer. That input can be selected as a source and played to any other ZonePlayers. So the more ZonePlayers, the more traditional sources you can add. The pricing for this system is very reasonable… the ZonePlayer costs $499 and the Color Controller is $399. They also offer a bundled package of two ZonePlayer and a single Controller for $1199. If I were looking for a whole house music system, and didn’t want to pull wires needed with a traditional system… the Sonos would be on the top of my list. [Thanks Justin!]

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