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Meridian Serves Up New Music Server

CEDIA Expo 2009 Atlanta
– The next-generation Meridian Sooloos music server and management system features
multiple enhancements, including the ability to stream Sooloos-stored music
from a Web-browsing in-home or remote PC based on the Windows, Mac or Linux OS.

Meridian will demonstrate the
system to dealers attending the CEDIA Expo at the company’s Austell,
Ga., offices near Atlanta.

Other new features include the ability to import music onto a Sooloos
system from a networked PC or Mac and the ability of PCs and Macs to access the
Sooloos system as a shared library for syncing music to PC-connected iPods and
other-brand MP3 players, a spokeswoman said. The new system also manages
classic music better, including the ability to recognize that our tracks on a
CD might represent four movements of one composition, she added.

User interface enhancements include the ability to sort through “hundreds
of thousands of files with the same speed and flexibility as just 100,” said Meridian chairman Bob
Stuart. The system also expands sorting options to any stored metadata, not
just genre, artist, title, album or producer, the company said.

The Sooloos 2.0 system, which has begun shipping to dealers,
consists of a 17-inch color-touchscreen controller with embedded CD slot for
transferring CD music to connected Twinstore hard drives, which store music in FLAC,
WAV, MP3, AAC and Apple Lossless with up to 24-bit 96kHz quality. In a 1TB
configuration, the combination retails for a suggested $8,250.

Like before, the system automatically encodes a song
simultaneously in a lossless format and in the lossy MP3 format for transfer to
MP3 players. Also like before, it connects to other-brand audio,
distributed-audio and home-control systems.

Also like the previous generation, the Control 10 features Meridian’s SpeakerLink
digital databus technology and Comms control-signal technology. SpeakerLink
carries balanced digital audio and control signals in the RS-232, IR and
Meridian Comms formats up to 300 feet over shielded CAT-5 cable to Meridian’s active speakers from Meridian’s preamplifier/controllers and
source units. The active speakers incorporate digital crossovers and digital
signal processing.

Meridian speakers using Speakerlink technology can be
daisychained rather than home-runned back to a Meridian
stereo source. In a surround system, the speakers must still be home-runned to
a preamp/controller, but in either case, fewer cables need to be run because
separate audio and control cables aren’t needed.

Control 10 also supports older Meridian
products equipped with Comms communication technology. Comms is a bidirectional
analog-control-signal technology that rides over RG-59 coaxial cable, which
would also carry IR and RS-232 signals converted to Comms by Meridian
equipment. Digital audio signals are carried by separate cables.