Previewed at IFA, Philips has launched the WAC3500D Streamium Wireless Audio "Center" that combines a large internal hard drive, an iPod dock and USB Direct connectivity.
The latest member of Philips' Streamium family of wireless digital music streaming systems, the WAC3500D enables consumers to store up to 1500 CDs on an internal high capacity 80GB Hard drive. The music can then be wirelessly streamed to up to five Wi-Fi stations located anywhere in the house.
The same digital audio track can be enjoyed simultaneously in each location or, alternatively, independent track selections can be streamed to each of the five Wireless Music Stations.
Alternatively, the WAC3500D can receive, play and store MP3 or WMA tracks saved on a PC and wirelessly streamed to the system using simple drag'n'drop selection.
The music collection can be further extended by using the included iPod dock which allows the selection and direct playback of tracks stored on an iPod while the unit re-charges, while USB Direct allows "plug and play" connection to USB memory devices for transferring tracks to the Hard Drive or direct playback.
CDs can be ripped to the hard drive at MP3 bit rates between 128 and 320kbps or VBR and WMA at 16-128kbps - using the Gracenote automatic song information system which can be regularly updated over the internet.
Once stored, tracks can be searched for, using the remote control, by genre or by artist, album or track names, with all of the information clearly shown on the large integral backlit LCD display.
The center includes a 2x 40W RMS Class 'D' digital amplifier, large driver compact 2 way speakers, Dynamic Bass Boost and a Smart Equalizer.
The WAC3500D will be available in October with an approximate retail price of £299.99.
STORY UPDATE: Philips has announced that this product will NOT feature internet radio capabilities as was previously reported.