Autonomic has updated its Mirage MMS-5 music server with new features and a new design.
The media server market is experiencing some dramatic changes these days with competing trends pushing development in opposing directions. On the one hand, more people are moving from locally stored (and locally owned) content to cloud-based content and streaming services. But with most streaming services you’re essentially getting a radio-like experience. The music may be your style and taste, but it’s not your music, so it may not be as perfect a match as you’d get from your own library (or nearly the same quality). Autonomic’s product offers a hybrid solution that combines cloud-stored content, local content and streaming content that can be distributed through a multiroom system and even remotely.
Last year at CEDIA the company added support for iTunes video content to the MMS-5.
New to the Mirage MMS-5A is USB support for 24-bit/192kHz output. Users can sync their own locally-stored music from a Mac computer, PC or NAS drive that then can be uploaded to a cloud library. Content can also be sync with other Mirage servers the user may have in other locations, such as a vacation house.
The MMS-5A offers access to the most popular online streaming services including Pandora, Rhapsody, SiriusXM, Last.fm, Spotify and TuneIn.
Another new feature is the inclusion of Apple’s AirPlay, which adds another way for users, including guests, to share their personal music with a whole-house system.
Yet another improvement to the new system is noise control. By using an external power supply, Autonomic was able to make the MMS-5A virtually silent. The original did tend to get a bit loud due to an internal fan.
All this cloud business doesn’t mean that Autonomic is ignoring the importance of reliable local storage. Like the original MMS-5, the 5A includes a 1 TB hard drive.
While most users will have their installer integrate the server with a control and distribution system, the MMS-5A can be operated with an iOS app and now a supplied IR remote.
The system supports six independent audio streams with digital outputs (including USB) and four stereo pair of analog RCA outputs for distribution to any number of zones. Compatible with standard A/V racks (1RU), the new chassis includes rack ears, optional feet for shelf top display and a defeatable blue light on the front panel. It will be available from authorized dealers June 25 for an MSRP of $4250.
Check out a review here of the Autonomic Mirage MMS-5
Follow Electronic House
Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. He's also the author of the book The Trouble with Rivers
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.