Is this the future of the next CD player


Is this the future of the next CD player or some thing like it? http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12497823/ http://www.olive.us/p_bin/
If it is what is the minimum cost with dac to get it to sound as good or better of a audiophile CD player.
Or would you build your own audiophile PC. If so what would be minimum cost to get audiophile results and what components would you use.
hemihorn
This may not be my "next" CD player (or DVD, SACD, DVD-A, HD-DVD, Blu-Ray, etc., etc. player), but my crystal ball says that this type of product is the future. A number of companies are moving in this sort of direction. And I also predict that it will be the same cost as any other audio component. In other words, some will be cheap, being directed toward the mass market, and some will be expensive, being engineered and sold by audiophile companies.
I look forward to having something like the Olive in my system one day. But did you dig the author of this article defining a DAC as being a "digital audio controller"? That's pathetic.
Yes no doubt.
Looks good, but where do I put my 760GB? This is still a "toy" in the market of other toys. I look forward to something similar for large collections and audiophile sensibilities.
And this review appeared on Audioholics:

http://www.audioholics.com/productreviews/avhardware/olive-symphonyp1.php

It was favorably reviewed, but with some reservations. Yes, it will be the future, with lossless hard drive music storage and high end DACs.
I think that what people have already begun to realize with these types of products is that computers have eliminated the need for CD players. Just like Ericrulifson said, even the best products out there right now that try to emulate CD players are limited in space. Nothing beats the add-on capability of hard-drives in computer towers or external drives for laptops, and most certainly NOTHING beats the graphic interface of a mouse and monitor for navigating your vast library of music. As people's music collections keep getting larger on their computers, they will realize that it makes the most sense to turn their PC into their stereo instead of trying to find new components that emulate what CD players do. This is why, in my estimation, CD players are a dying breed. Those of us who grasp this idea and have already started ripping lossless or high-bitrate at least are I think a step ahead of everybody else in terms of realizing this.
05-01-06: Glitch947
Nothing beats the add-on capability of hard-drives in computer towers or external drives for laptops, and most certainly NOTHING beats the graphic interface of a mouse and monitor for navigating your vast library of music.
I agree. Where computer based audio has a way to go is in its visual/industrial design, and ease of set-up. Make it attractive to see. Make it fit in a rack, or look appropriate in a living room, and make it plug-and-play without the necessity to manage files, hard drives, etc.

Make it friendly for non-techies. That's when computer based audio will explode and become the Second Coming of the audio hobby.
05-01-06: Ericrulifson
I look forward to something similar for large collections and audiophile sensibilities.

Red Wine Audio is offering mods for the Olive Symphony and Musica.

http://www.redwineaudio.com/Olive.html
I reckon the Squeezebox and music downloads is more like the next thing - not something that plays disks. It makes more sense to store music on a centralised server and play the music from a distributed clients. Music retail distribution via disks will survive for some time but having to root it out whenever you want to play it is silly.
JA gave the Olive high praise in the April issue of Stereophile.

"NOTHING beats the graphic interface of a mouse and monitor for navigating your vast library of music."

Some people don't want a a noisy PC/monitor in their listening room.

The Olives and Cambridge(it can handle external HDs or network to your PC's library of music) are just the start of these in the room devises. All those DVD recorders with HDs from the big name companies are music servers waiting to happen.

I completely agree, Dan.
"Some people don't want a a noisy PC/monitor in their listening room."

Since when were monitors noisy? Unless you're using a CRT, which are rapidly getting phased out by affordable and virtually silent LCD's. The solution that I'm creating for myself about the noisy PC? Remove the PC from the listening room entirely, and just connect the monitor through a long cable or a CAT5 RGB converter or similar device. Or, design or buy yourself a silent PC. Both of these solutions are completely viable even with the products out on the market today.

When I get my setup complete in the next few months (I'm currently living in a dorm about to graduate) I'll post pics of my virtual system or whatever, and it will be in my mind what future HD based systems will look like.
Glitch947- A "silent PC" and LCD monitor both have power
supplies that are far from noise free. Have fun.
My LCD monitor runs completely silent. Dead silent. A PC can be located in another room as I mentioned before, or a silent PC could simply be placed out of the way, say behind a shelf or somewhere where you wouldn't even hear the roar of its silent power supply.

Even less than silent LCD monitors have these funny little things on the front called power buttons. I suppose you overlooked that feature though. I can assure you, I will have fun in my perfectly silent room. Silent except for my music, that is. I can even have fun in noisy rooms; thats right, I said it. I must be the only one here on Audiogon who can do that though. But like I said, mine's silent.
Glitch947- I guess you're unware of ripple noise, e.m.i. and r.f.i. from PC/monitor PSUs. Have fun.
Kana75- I'm very aware of ripple noise, e.m.i. and r.f.i. from PC's and monitor power supplies. To me they just add to the fun factor of any system. They are one of my favorite "tweaks" if you will, like Walker SST Extreme, a glass of red wine, and listening in my underwear after a shower. Their effect is subtle at first, but over time I have come to realize that they work some truly sublime things on the midrange and especially in the highest registers. Not to mention how easy it is to manage my music collection on the PC, but thats just a bonus. E.M.I., R.F.I. and ripple noise are at this point integral parts of my listening system that I cannot see myself removing at any point. Thank you for your words of encouragement, I'm sure that if you add these tweaks to your system you'll see what you've been missing!

"NOTHING beats the graphic interface of a mouse and monitor for navigating your vast library of music."

I totally disagree. Having tried both I find the functionality of the Squeezebox and its interface works far faster and more effectively than a mouse and screen, with any software including foobar, itunes, slimserver, etc. I find the only point of using the large screen is if you like gazing at album art, and I don't.
this may be the future but it is nothing new. SIMA came out with a similar unit a few years ago, albeit with a few less features.
i don't think msnbc or any other popular news site will accurately show us the future for technology products. check out tech oriented sites for that info...
The future of audio will come out of technical discussions?

Most of the revolutions in audio have been driven by one thing only, convenience.

The 78 was less convenient than the LP, which was less convenient than the musictape, less than the CD. Sound quality claims were usually just smoke-screen marketing claims to make people feel better about choosing the lazy option.

That is where computer-based music servers come in. But what has to be solved is acceptable means of music download and standards that make it all seemless for the lazy option to be marketable.
The Olive looks great.

Has anyone heard the new "Opus" model advertised on their website? This is the "audiophile" version at $3000, quite a jump from the about-$1000 pricing of previous models.

Also, does anyone know what the USB ports are used for? External DAC? External hard drives to expand storage? External HDs to backup the internals?

Thanks,

Eric
"Also, does anyone know what the USB ports are used for? External DAC? External hard drives to expand storage? External HDs to backup the internals?"

USB are for External HD or memory stick. You'd run an external DAC off it's digital outputs.
Hi Kana,

Can you tell me more about using USB-attached hard drives with the Olive?

Can I use this to expand the amount of music the device will store? Can I expand a device from 80gb to, say, 300 or 400gb just by adding an inexpensive external USB-attached drive?

Is there some way to backup the internal drive on the Olive?

Cordially,

Eric
Works just like connecting a USB hard drive or memory stick to your PC, You can use it for expansion or backup. You can also access music files via it's network connections.

You might want to also take a look at the:

http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/summary.php?PID=39&Title=Azur%20640H%20Music%20Server%20-%20with%20AudioFile%20technology
Does it come with a phono input?
"Does it come with a phono input?"

The Opus has a line level input for converting analog sources
to digital. Suggest you give Olive a call on 1-877-296-5483,
if you need more info.
This isn't the future, but one of the happening developments. One of more then popular themes in serious audio is minimalist approach, with shortest possible signal path, etc. Many attached to this idea. Such versatile devices as Olive don't fit there by definition.

This kind of media server have a good chance, but we're enthusiast niche, aren't we - I'd vote for much more powerful remote server + network client as the way to go. This keeps your audio system clean from "the outside world".
For me, the future is now with the very recent procurement of a Wavelength Brick AG USB DAC!

My front end is an antiquated Dell 300Mhz Pentium II machine using Foobar, WinAMP, or Media Center software. I haven’t chosen which media player to go with yet, or whether I want to put a Mac and iTunes in the mix.

This combination of DAC and ANCIENT PC, replaced a $6K CDP, and I couldn't be happier, or more impressed with the resolution, soundstage, frequency response, etc.!

With sonics equal to, or better than CDP's costing 2-3 times as much, being able to simply click on close to 3,000 tracks is a WONDERFUL bonus. I haven't played more genres of music in one sitting, in my 30+ years in this hobby, and I'm having a blast.

Because my Galibier Quattro turntable is my main front end, my decision to divest myself of my CDP and replace it with a USB DAC, was a fairly risk-free proposition. For the ease of PC audio, I was ready to accept somewhat of a sonic downgrade. But when I powered up the Brick, the opposite was the case.

It’s interesting to have both sides of one coin in the audio room – vinyl, and computer audio. The differences couldn’t be greater in ease of handling and musical satisfaction. In my system, both are appreciated for what they do well…..Cheers, Mike