posted on Monday, 24th September 2012 by Steve May
UK-based audio specialist AVA Media has launched a high-end music server solution, the Zara Premium. The slimline (350 x 200 x 36mm) unit, which offers near-silent (<9dBA ) operation courtesy of a fan-less design, is uPNP and DLNA compliant and can be used with Sonos, ROKU and Linn hardware - a Linn control point service allows Linn applications to push music to the brand's players. There's also optional control via AMX, Creston and Pronto modules, smartphone apps or from a Windows PC through a desktop client.
AVA Media CEO David Thompson says the new unit offers all the services an audiophile could possibly require from a modern music server, including ripping, storage and networked music management: "From a hardware perspective you have an energy-efficient design using the latest chipsets, from a software perspective, you have the culmination of nine years of software development." It's a serious contender for integrators looking for a versatile music server solution, he adds.
The Zara Premium server rips to either a local hard drive or networked NAS in WAV, but also offers FLAC, MP3 and WMA encoding. Metadata is automatically assigned using a resident database or over the internet via AMG. Network and USB music scanning also allows content stored on other devices or across the network to be indexed. The device can be scheduled to back up internally or to a targeted external drive. Power consumption is typically 15w.
The £1,899 Zara Premium comes with two 1TB hard disks pre-installed, enough for 2450 CDs in WAV or 4250 CDs in FLAC. It can also be used to play back music files locally, via S/PDIF or USB DAC.
The Zara Premium joins the recently released RIP-N-PLAY music server in the AVA Media line-up. Available in 1TB and 2TB configurations (at £799 and £899 respectively), the RIP-N-PLAY is a DLNA-compliant server able to work within a wide variety of playback ecosystems, including iTunes and SONOS. It rips in MP3, ALAC Apple lossless or FLAC and can be remotely accessed via any web browser on any internet-connected device. As with the Zara Premium, build-quality is high, with aluminium casing and 'near-silent' operation.
The Zara Premium and RIP-N-PLAY are distributed by Computers Unlimited.
Steve is a veteran of the UK consumer electronics
industry, having covered it for
various media outlets for more than 20 years.
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