Imagine the possibilities, says de Nigris:
Users can schedule content like a Pandora station, a local Internet radio station or a playlist to play back in specified zones on predetermined schedules.
Say you like to listen to Bloomberg radio in the morning. The MMS can be programmed to tune to the Bloomberg Radio Internet station at 6 a.m. on weekdays, and stream the news to your bedroom and bathroom zones. At the same time, the system might message the control system to ramp up the lights and adjust the temperature.
If you change the schedule, the control system adjusts accordingly.
Locally, the system can be controlled via keypads or touchscreens from compatible home automation systems, not to mention iPhones, iPads and other generic devices.
Photos, but no Video ... Yet
The MMS does have a video output, but today it is used solely for on-screen display (OSD) information and photos.
“Now Playing” information can be viewed on a connected display, and photo slideshows can accompany the music. Or, users can be schedule slide shows – perfect for digital signage, de Nigris suggests.
He adds that firmware updates “later in the year” will allow Mirage to store and play back downloaded music videos, TV shows and movies – “and of course, all of it will be available anywhere life takes you.”
Pricing and Storage
The MMS is available immediately to custom installation professionals (sorry DIYers).
It retails for $3,995. Currently, S1Digital and Autonomic are partnering with mp3tunes for the online service, which is free for up to 2 GB and $40 per year for 50 GB and $140 for 200 GB.
de Nigris says Autonomic has plans to migrate to its own service.
How It Compares
Windows Home Server “is similar, but there’s no cloud storage and it’s not designed for an integrated environment.”
NuVo Technologies’ Music Port Server “has four sources [compared to five with MMS] but this shares a lot of functionality.”
Plus, there’s content scheduling and cloud-based synchronization.
ReQuest for a long time has offered NetSync synchronization for music servers in remote locations, and its servers are integration-friendly like the MMS. But it lacks the cloud component and some of the content integration capabilities of the MMS.
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Julie Jacobson is co-founder of EH Publishing and currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro, mostly in the areas of home automation, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. She majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. Julie is a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player with the scars to prove it. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson.