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Lydstrom Pumps Up Jukebox Profile Heading Into CES

Lydstrom, a Boston-based start-up, has lowered the price of its hard-drive jukeboxes and announced plans to display models on the January CES show floor, where it will line up brick & mortar distribution to supplement online sales.

Lydstrom plans to sell its device beginning in December on its Web site,

Initially, the company priced its 10.8GB SongBank at around $850, but the company repriced it to $599 based on customer research, according to business development director Sourav Goswami. In addition, the company now plans a version with fewer features at $390.

The higher-priced model, the SongBank MZ3-5000, features MP3 and ePAC encoders to rip and compress songs at 10x to 20x speed from a CD in the unit’s CD transport. It supports the simultaneous playback of three different songs in three different zones when patched into a distributed-A/V system via an RS-232/422-A serial port.

In addition, the device is software-upgradable to download music from Web sites without a connection to a PC.

All told, about 7,000 songs can be stored on the hard drive. Additional songs can be installed on a planned slave hard drive, to sell for an undetermined price.

The $390 SongBank MZ3-6000 is a single-zone model with a lower capacity hard drive storing about 6,000 songs, Goswami said. It wasn’t certain whether the $390 model would be able to download songs from the Web.

Each system can be controlled from an RF touchscreen remote that lets users call up songs by album, artist or genre. For multiroom applications, additional remotes will be available.

Users will be able to create an unlimited number of playlists, but the device will also create its own playlists based on its ability to learn a user’s listening habits at different times of the day or week.