Magazine article Gramophone

It's All about Keeping Your Options Open: 2012 Will Be Remembered as the Year When Streaming Services Went Mainstream

Magazine article Gramophone

It's All about Keeping Your Options Open: 2012 Will Be Remembered as the Year When Streaming Services Went Mainstream

Article excerpt

These days it seems just about every audio company is finding ways of offering more means of accessing music, and more choice to consumers.

Denon is the latest brand to add Spotify capability to its products, with its latest AV receivers and lifestyle systems offering access to either the basic free Spotify service or, with the payment of a subscription, the higher-resolution Spotify Premium. That's in addition to the huge range of internet radio stations on offer, plus of course the ability to download or rip purchased music and access that remotely: 2012 was the year when streaming services stopped being the preserve of those 'in the know', and went 'mainstream'.

Denon European Marketing Manager Achim Schulz says that 'millions of users are listening to their favourite tracks on their PC through Spotify. From now on, they will also be able to enjoy this huge music library through our new Denon AV receivers.'

Yamaha, meanwhile, has added a different streaming service to its receivers from the RX-V673 upwards: Napster is available on these models as a 30-day free trial and thereafter on subscription. The service offers access to 15m tracks plus hundreds of preprogrammed music channels, and the ability to build one's own 'radio station' based on personal music preferences.

Streaming of a different kind is on offer via Roth Audio's latest desktop radios, which have DAB/DAB+/FM radio reception plus the ability to accept Bluetooth wireless audio from suitable smartphones, tablets and computers, allowing any audio available on those devices to be played through the radios. Two models are available: the mono DBT-100 sells for 109[pounds sterling], while the stereo DBT-300 is 149[pounds sterling]. Both also have 3.5mm stereo analogue inputs plus a USB socket from which to charge portable devices.

Internet or network music streaming is also possible using the new IX from Chord Electronics, which is part of a redesigned MX range also including the SX stereo amplifier, TX headphone amplifier and QX digital-to-analogue converter, which can accept signals up to 192kHz as well as SACD-standard DSD. …

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