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back to article Forget Apple's AirPlay - it's Windows 8 you want, says speaker maker

Rather a lot of speakers are touting their support for Apple’s AirPlay Wi-Fi hosted audio streaming technology, but here’s one designed for Windows fans. The Audio Aris is, says creator Aperion, the first Windows 8 certified speaker. It too operates over Wi-Fi, being fed from a Windows PC, tablet or smartphone using the source’s …

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Anonymous Coward

There just needs to be a standard for this sort of thing. Imagine if you couldn't plug your bluray player into the TV unless they were the same brand?

If fanboy geeks refused to buy any of this tech until it was an official standard then the world would be a better place.

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They exist

Standards do exist, but companies constantly decide a standard isn't good enough and make up their own shit for no reason.

Apple is great for this, and their connector designs, for example.

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Linux

"There just needs to be a standard for this sort of thing" -- Or a mini-jack connector.

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There is.

There is a standard, and Microsoft are following it. "Play To" is simply a subset of DLNA, A Windows system's Play To functionality is simply it acting as a DLNA DMC, and a "compatible" speaker/amp/tv/whatever for Play To is simply one which can function as a DLNA DMR. There's nothing unstandardized about either of these.

This is really no different to the various "technologies" used by TV/blu-ray device makers for unified remote control, Samsung's Anynet+/Sony Bravia Sync/Sharp Aquos Link/LG Simplink etc etc are all just CEC under different names.

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Happy

preferably with an option of 2 phonos also

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HMB
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Hello!? Standards!?

Or alternatively you could use the bluetooth standard and hook any phone into any speakers using a small bluetooth audio adapter.

I don't really get this "let's all make our own proprietary wireless audio systems" thing.

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FAIL

Re: Hello!? Standards!?

Bluetooth is OK for headsets and hooking it into a PC, but see how many NAS servers support Bluetooth. How about multiple sources supporting multiple devices easily? Also, why should I broadcast yet another network stack around the house when I have a perfectly good wired/wireless LAN? A standard protocol for delivery over IP networks answers this - DLNA is a pretty good starting point for this, but Apple and others love that funky proprietary vibe to sell more tin.

Take Apple TV (and I mean the little box, not the mythical TV) - a lovely little box, hobbled by Apple's insistance on either web based services or a PC/Mac with iTunes - forget using it with a 3rd party iTunes server or DLNA or even good old CIFS file services.

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Re: Hello!? Standards!?

You could, but not all devices stream the original MP3 (or AAC, ATRAC or Mpeg x whatever), but rather subject it to another compress-decompress cycle with the SBC codec.

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Bluetooth? Not quick enough.

You need to compress audio to run it across BT, and you loose quality in doing so. Definitely not HiFi.

There are also issues over range and driving multiple speakers.

DNLA? The standard is a complete mess. Getting two DNLA devices to talk to each other can be a nightmare because CODEC support is optional for many formats.

Airplay is turning out to be one of the better options. Although it is proprietary its based on open components and has been mostly reverse engineered. The result is that non Apple devices can quite happily play to Airplay speakers, discovery is automatic and transparent and quality is pretty good (providing your wireless network isn't crappy before someone starts off on this)

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@GitMeMyShootinIrons - Wrong format

iTunes, CIFS etc are pull formats, AirPlay is push. Either you need a smart app on your NAS that does track selection etc (by web?) or you need a device that takes the pull data and pushes it to the AirPlay device (pretty much any i device, a Mac, assorted players on Android etc). There's no GUI or even UI on the speakers. AppleTV is a little smarter, but doesn't seem to be able to connect to third party iTunes servers for some reason.

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Guys, this *is* standard - it's DLNA!

"Windows 'Play to' " is just Microsoft's branding for DLNA media push.

A DLNA-compliant device is all you need. Fortunately, that includes Android, WindowsPhone and Symbian smartphones, as well as most Linux, Windows media players.

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Is that stand made out of recycled coat hangers?

"pumps out 100W of total power"

RMS or some fake PMP crap?

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Anonymous Coward

Err...

It says total power, so I'd be very much surprised if it was anything except peak-to-peak. Which is still pretty pokey in terms of noise generated from a small unit.

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FAIL

You do know that Windows 7/8 actually just use DLNA right? Unlike Apple, Microsoft aren't creating a new standard here they have just added a 'Windows' certification on top of DLNA to verify that the device is DLNA compliant and supports a minimum set of codecs.

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Anonymous Coward

Aris.

Aris. Aristotle. Bottle. Glass. Arse.

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Anonymous Coward

little known fact

but Apple invented the Speaker

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Facepalm

Why is it......

...that companies think stereo/audio works best when the drivers are 11 inches apart?

You can never get past the 'bedside clock radio effect' with that sort of arrangement no matter how much money you throw at it.

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Meh

Re: Why is it......

Which is why I stick with my *mono* Squeezebox Radio for kitchen/bathroom/bedroom/garden/....

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Re: Why is it......

Of course, but the power of marketing (and companies like BOSE) has made it possible for a company to charge north of 300 hundred quid for a a box of cheap speakers with some wireless playback capability!

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Boffin

Re: Why is it......

I was thinking the same thing, and wondering why the high frequency drivers weren't located outside the mid/bass units. At least that would provide a little more separation in the frequencies where it matters most.

The other option would be to drop one of the tweeters, move the other to the middle, stand them on end, and use them in pairs as a D'appolito arrays.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why is it......

Bose charges extra for the bluetooth connection adapter. It's transmitter/receiver is also connected with a proprietary din (which has an issue with pins breaking off).

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Anonymous Coward

I don't understand.

Is there a global shortage of copper wire?

PS: Get off my lawn.

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Alert

Re: I don't understand.

Why yes, or at least the increasing price of copper will mean that in many situations a little bit of bluetooth chippery will actually be cheaper than a run of cable.

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Anonymous Coward

Do these people know anything about audio ?

For the sort of money they're asking, it's possible to buy kit with proper separation between speakers, & enough real power to 'Blow the bloody doors off'. OK, won't be wireless, but what's a few cables between friends.

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Facepalm

Nostalgia

Ah. That takes me back! The stand on that thing reminds me of the base of this horrible rack thing we used to have back in the 70s, that sat beside the telly and held the TV Times and Radio Times. They used to get ripped to shit on the crudely finished ends of the bars.

Good to see the Windoze ecosystem continues its relentless pursuit of modern, innovative and stylish design.

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Happy

All good and well

But can Microsoft and the manufacturers improve on the latency issues that airplay suffers from? If they can, this will make it a very strong answer to current bluetooth and airplay setups.

Recently I went on a somewhat OCD fueled exercise to reduce all cable clutter in my workspace - part of this was getting an airport extreme connected to my speakers. While I succeeded in my total desk cable clutter to a single thunderbolt, the airplay speaker component doesn't work as well as I had hoped.

Currently theres 3 seconds or so where airplay has to stream and buffer due to the fact it is transcoding at the source and decoding at the station. This is obviously a turn off if you want to use it where you want instant audio feedback that is not on a predetermined timeline eg. gaming. You are also at the mercy of your router as well, though wireless speed increases should help to solve these issues, I guess as with everything the technology will eventually mature wireless will probably replace cabled systems entirely.

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