Pioneer Adds AirPlay To Tabletop Music Systems

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Indianapolis - Pioneer is moving Apple's AirPlay technology from AV receivers into tabletop music systems for the first time with a CEDIA Expo launch of two Music Tap systems.

Both systems also connect to multiple music sources, including Internet radio and USB-connected devices.

The $399 Pioneer-branded MusicTap and the $479 Elite-branded MusicTap ship in October, both with built-in Wi-Fi, a 2.5-inch full-color LCD display, and vTuner, which enables the streaming of 16,000 of Internet radio stations. They also feature integrated pop-out dock for playing and charging iPods and iPhones.

 In addition, both models feature front USB port to play back music from flash drives and hard drives in the MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC LPCM, and FLAC formats.

With AirPlay, the single-chassis devices play back music streamed via a home Wi-Fi network from an iTunes-equipped computer and from Apple's iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. Using Apple's Remote app on the hand-held Apple devices, users can remotely control their computer's iTunes music library via Wi-Fi and play the library's songs through the Music Taps. The tabletop devices also play music from AirPlay-enabled music-streaming apps loaded onto the mobile devices. AirPlay-enabled apps include Pandora and iHeart Radio.

The systems, which lack CD, also feature DLNA 1.5 capability to stream music wirelessly from networked NAS drives or from PCs that lack Apple's iTunes music-management software.

The Elite model adds stereo Bluetooth, while the Pioneer model is compatible with an optional $99 stereo Bluetooth adapter. With stereo Bluetooth and Pioneer's AirJam app for Apple's mobile devices, up to four people at a time can jointly create a master playlist of songs to be streamed via Bluetooth to the compact systems from their Apple devices.

Both systems can be controlled from an included IR remote or, via Wi-Fi, from a free Pioneer control app for the iPod touch, iPhone and iPad.

 Both music systems feature dual full-range drivers, passive radiator, and tuning by Pioneer's noted TAD director of speaker engineering, Andrew Jones.

AirPlay requires iTunes 10.1 or later, or iPad, iPad 2, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod touch (2nd, 3rd or 4th generation) with iOS 4.2 or later. AirPlay streams music in Apple Lossless, enabling owners to hear high-quality audio when music is encoded in the high-resolution format.

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