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RAIN 7/28: New Sonos home music system sports touch-screen remote, access to streaming services

Posted on: 07/28/2009

CNETEDITOR’S CHOICESYSTEM CAN STREAM INTERNET RADIO TO MULTIPLE ROOMS

Sonos has released a new home music system, dubbed BU250, capable of streaming networked music and Internet radio wirelessly to multiple receivers. The system includes two receivers (identical to those found in previous Sonos systems) and the star-attraction: the new CR200 touch-screen remote control. This remote, sporting a touchscreen QWERTY keyboard, replaces the previous click-wheel version. CNet named the BU250 system an “Editor’s Choice” pick (here). It’s available for $999.

That price, though high, should be a “no-brainer” for all the features you get, writes Engadget (here). Not only is the new touch-screen CR200 the “best Sonos controller money can buy,” but the system provides an “absolutely seamless” experience with streaming and subscription services. This in part thanks to the new remote, which displays artist bios, album reviews and more. The remote can purchased separately for use in pre-existing Sonos systems for $350.

INVESTORS NO LONGER INTERESTED IN DIGITAL MUSIC STARTUPS, MUSIC INDUSTRY MAY BE TO BLAME, SAYS VENTURE CAPITALIST

Investors once funding digital music startups have abandoned the market, says music industry veteran and Venrock Associates venture capitalist David Pakman. “Investors lost a lot of money in this space,” he said at the Fortune Brainstorm: Tech conference in California. Less than 5 venture-backed digital music start-ups have produced substantial returns, Pakman said, out of 109. A big reason for the low success rate may be the music industry, Pakman reasoned. “What the music industry never encouraged or even allowed was building an ecosystem around its product.” Read more on Pakman’s thoughts at CNet here.

NYT: STREAMING SERVICES MAY STEM TIDE OF ILLEGAL SHARING

New York venture capitalist Fred Wilson’s son Josh has stopped using illegal file sharing sites in lieu of legal streaming destinations. “BitTorrent takes too long,” Josh said. To The New York Times, this anecdote sums up the hope that streaming services might be able to attract music lovers away from torrents and P2P sites. “[Streaming sites] are free, supported by ads, and with an expanding catalog of songs, they are finally ready to overshadow the more cumbersome, unauthorized services that can be hard for newcomers to navigate…Many music industry observers now believe that there is a fundamental shift under way: from illegal downloads to licensed streaming services.” Find the full New York Times article here.



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