Atlanta - Denon and Marantz have gained the exclusive right through the end of the year to offer component audio products equipped with Apple's AirPlay technology, which streams music and album art from a networked computer's iTunes application.
Beginning Oct. 15, the two D&M brands will offer Airplay firmware upgrades for a total of eight networked components. The upgrades will be free through Nov. 7, then cost $49.
AirPlay, which works over an Ethernet or Wi-Fi connection, is designed for use with a free Apple Remote app. The app turns iPods, iPads and iPhones into remotes that deliver full remote navigation of music in a user's iTunes program, then sends songs and playlists to AirPlay-equipped devices for playback. From an audio component's included remote, consumers would be able to pause and skip songs in iTunes.
Two components capable of AirPlay upgrades include the first networked CD-receivers from Denon and Marantz.
The Denon model is the $599-suggested RCD-N7, shipping in October with a white chassis that incorporates AM/FM tuner, CD player, two-channel amplifier, integrated dock on top to play iPod/iPhone-stored music, and built-in Wi-Fi to stream music wirelessly from a networked PC. The device is DLNA-certified. Through a networked broadband modem, the CD-receiver also accesses Internet radio stations through the vTuner portal and Rhapsody, Napster, Pandora and Last.fm Internet music services. A USB port lets consumers play music from a USB stick. A matching pair of stereo speakers is available at $199/pair.
The Marantz version is black, lacks built-in Wi-Fi, and swaps a dock on top for a front-panel iPod/iPhone-controlling USB port, which also plays music from a USB stick
Marantz's model ships in late October for a suggested $699. Marantz won't offer matching speakers for the components.