Why the recent litany of posts in the Music category? Sonos. It is all it claims to be and much, much more. It has helped me rediscover my CD collection and has provided me reason to explore new music. TB bought it for my birthday since I was seriously missing the whole-house audio system we had installed in our previous home.
The Sonos system is amazingly well designed and, quite frankly, runs circles around our previous AMX/Panja Landmark system. I’m embarrassed each time I think how much we paid for the Landmark system compared to what the Sonos costs. This is particularly true when one considers all the additional stuff the Sonos system has & does compared to the Landmark and similar “high-end” systems. To be fair, Landmark is infinitely more customizable and programmable than Sonos. Sonos more than makes up for that shortcoming by being elegant, easy-to-setup and easy-to-use. Indeed, a rare combination for anything involving a computer, a proprietary network protocol and thousands of MP3s.
Then again, I’m a computer geek and have been meticulously ripping my CDs to MP3 format since 1998. In fact, I rip all my CDs with EAC, archive to FLAC and transcode to MP3 with LAME (–alt-preset extreme) and WMA (-a_mode 2) for portability. To calibrate my nerditude, I did an impromptu survey and found 1 out of 1 significant others in my household agree: Sonos is good. You cannot argue with 100% customer satisfaction among significant others in our house! It has to be good when I pick up the controller and notice someone has been listening to Anita Baker CDs in one of the zones. Hmm, I wonder who that could have been — if I didn’t know her father I would swear the “B” in TB was for “Baker.”
The system is not inexpensive in absolute terms but for the price of 2½ iPods (or 1½ PS3s), the Sonos bundle is a better deal many times over. If any MS employees are reading this, open a browser and type cooldevices. Can’t beat that discount — membership has its privileges.
Don’t have a bunch of MP3s? That’s okay. Sonos, seamlessly integrates dozens of Internet radio stations you can listen to over the system at no cost. Additionally, you can also subscribe to Rhapsody (or use an existing account) and take advantage of the built-in support for accessing the entire Rhapsody catalog without being near a computer. Let’s see your iPod do that.