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Day 6 - IFA International

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SPECIAL FEATURE - SoUnd

SPECIAL FEATURE - SoUnd gEAR InTERnET RAdIo CoMES oF AgE nIChE PRodUCT bECoMES MAInSTREAM By Mark Dezzani The Sonos family of internet radio enabled kit and devices. The growth of online radio listening is set to continue as new stand-alone sets hit the market loaded with additional functionality, mobility and styling. With several in-car internet radio receivers launched this year and a set of baseline standards for standalone sets released at IFA, the market for internet radio listening devices is moving from niche product into the mainstream. The popularity of listening to radio online has been rising since internet radio was liberated from the workstation with Wi-fi connectivity and the first dedicated standalone receivers. More competitive pricing is also increasing their appeal. Pure has just debuted its most affordable internet radio to date. The Siesta Flow is a bed-side set that offers all the functionality of their popular Evoke Flow and top-of-therange Avanti Flow. Siesta Flow uses a Wi-Fi connection to access internet radio, podcasts and library content. Regular FM and DAB radio and an input for an iPod/ MP3 player are also included. Another add-on is a unique selection of Pure Sounds to relax you or wake you in a positive frame of mind. Hall 2.2 / Stand 111 Further proof that internet radio is future-proof is its inclusion in state of the art home music systems. Sonos, a leading developer of wireless multi-room music systems, launched the Sonos Controller 200 (CR200) with internet radio capability at IFA. The new full-colour controller features an ultra-responsive touch screen display making it easy to quickly find and play all the music you want, in any room of the house. It rapidly accesses more than 25,000 radio stations online, allows the creation of custom radio stations, podcasts and your own personal music library. Taking internet radio on the road is the final barrier that separates it from traditional radio reception. Hall 1.2 / Stand 130 Already the iPhone and other mobile devices can play internet radio anywhere within range of 3G and WiFi networks and now Loewe has released an internet radio application for both the iPhone and iPod Touch available from the AppStore for just €4.99. This is a mobile extension of Loewe’s Connect Media for their home cinema system and multi-room receivers that also stream internet radio. Their internet radio applications can tune in to over 7,000 editorially approved radio stations from around the world. Hall 6.2 / Stand 201 Back in the home arena, Logitech's Squeezebox range continues to grow. The new Squeezebox Radio is a Wi-Fi equipped internet radio which will also stream music from your network. If you prefer wired networking there's a 10/100 Ethernet port as well. A battery can be added for mobility, while another option is an infrared remote to control it all. Hall 3.2 / Stand 113 Pure’s Siesta Flow bed-side internet radio. Another sign of internet radio’s growing maturity is that standalone internet radios will now have to be certified under a plan to future-proof them with a unified baseline standard. The Internet Media Device Alliance (IMDA) announced new certification at IFA this week. “The industry needs to harmonise the technologies used by device designers and webcasters to ensure neither they nor the end user lose out,” IMDA steering committee chairman and president of vTuner, Harry Johnson said. “The shift in internet radio listening habits to dedicated devices needs one standard to be implemented across the entire ecosystem. Otherwise, manufacturers will face a technology war, broadcasters will face rising costs and consumers will face owning obsolete products.” IFA International • Wednesday, 9 th September 2009 www.ifa-international.org 19

IFA International