As well as the slow and painful death of traditional radio stations and of the compact disc, the move to digital musical consumption is also having a detrimental effect on home stereo systems.
Despite their great amplifiers and graphic equalizers, the only way to get the most out of them is to plug a smartphone, tablet or notebook directly into their microphone jack. Fine for a studio apartment but not so great when you have multiple rooms and multiple devices with multiple music collections.
This digital divide has seen companies like Sonos come to prominence with their wireless music streaming systems, and although they sound great and support everything from iTunes to Spotify, they're expensive.
However, Beep aims to be different. The little metallic disc plugs directly into a set of powered speakers or into the back of a music system, then streams music wirelessly from a device via a home's WiFi system.
Developed by a group of ex-Google employees, the little device will cost US$150 (RM450) when it launches later this year. It will be available in two colours - copper and gunmetal grey - and looks like an old-fashioned dial for a good reason: you turn it to control the volume.
Other companies such as Belkin and Ikon have attempted to breathe life into old school HiFi equipment, and their devices, which use Bluetooth to stream music to a set of speakers, work surprisingly well (until the smartphone doing the streaming receives a phone call and it's broadcast through the stereo).
By using WiFi instead, the Beep overcomes this problem and makes it easier for multiple devices to stream to the same stereo or speakers. - AFPRelaxnews 2014
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