Macsense ships HomePod device

Discussion in 'MacRumors News Discussion (archive)' started by MacBytes, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. MacBytes macrumors bot

    Jul 5, 2003
    As noted by MacMinute, MacSense will start shippingHomePod this week. The HomePod is described as a digital stereo component that allows users to take advantage of their existing wireless network to stream music files stored on their computers to HomePods located anywhere in the house.

    The device presently supports MP3 files, and is compatible with iTunes, MusicMatch, WinAmp and other applications by streaming over your local WiFi network. According to the company's site:

    The $249 unit is reported to be "upgradable" to AAC, WMA, WAV and more, but gives no indication as to possible Protected AAC support -- which is the format provided by the iTunes Music Store.

    There have been some unconfirmed rumors that Apple might create similar media-pc bridging devices.
  2. TomSmithMacEd macrumors 6502

    Nov 5, 2003
    Fargo, ND
    What does this have to do with anything apple. Or why is it a big deal? Oh well. I wonder how well the product works.
  3. arn macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    For interest's sake.... potentially cool product, itunes integration. something like this is what some people have been clamoring for from apple.

  4. autrefois macrumors 65816


    Oct 22, 2003
    Somewhere in the USA
    Re: Macsense ships HomePod device

    Sounds Apple-related to me. :)
  5. Ling macrumors member

    Dec 17, 2003
    Oberlin, OH
    Upgradable to AAC? I don't see how this is going to be useful to many people running iTunes 4. At least, it won't be useful for me. It seems like a really good idea...but it's not really developed yet. Hopefully, they will provide better format support in an 'upgrade' ...or maybe Apple will beat them to it!
  6. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I didn't understand how you can use it to connect to a stereo system. My stereo system doesn't speak "iPod". So I read the spec sheet, and now I see. The HomePod has left/right and headphone audio outputs, built-in stereo speakers, and digital coaxial and optical SPDIF ports. So you hook it directly to whatever audio device you want.
  7. dashiel macrumors 6502a

    Nov 12, 2003
    other than the fact it has built in speakers (which to be honest look a bit crap), and the portable aspect of the design (which is a bit weird considering the ipod already has a better portable form factor), i think slim device's squeezebox, is a much better alternative.
  8. Bad Beaver macrumors regular

    Nov 27, 2003
    So, on the one hand this is really nice. Everyone who ever used iTunes via Rendezvous will agree.
    OTOH these devices need to work with MP3, WAV/AIFF AND AAC in order to make sense.
    I also think there must be some seriously expensive technology used, leaving next to no money for decent case design, as all of the products I have seen yet are so incredibly ugly that I would never ever consider to put them next to my stereo, or anywhere else where I might have to endure the sight.
    B & O produces a very nice answering machine of about the same form factor, maybe the designers of these wireless products should have a look.
  9. adt macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2004
    Perth, Western Australia
    Looks like a fantastic product. How and why 802.11b though? I use 802.11g for streaming music, and surfing, and that takes up most of the bandwidth.

    If you were streaming music to more than one location a nice mp3, say 192/44100, how do you have enough bandwidth on the rest of the network to do other stuff, share internet etc?

    It seems designed to use existing an existing server's wireless technology (the demonstration shows an old airport), but this seems a bit... 1999. ;)
  10. slowtreme macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2003
    Tampa FL
    .11g is backwards/parallel compatible with .11b

    You don't need more that 11mbs to stream music files (and generally 10x faster than a broadband internet connection), Having a .11g network will give you plenty of bandwidth to use for other devices while this uses very little of it. Streaming 192k mp3 is using ~2% of the total bandwith of an .11b network, but almost 20% of a 1mb DSL line. (i think I got that right)

    That said: I think it's pretty ugly, at least in the picture. It seems clumsy and out of place for a home entertainment system.
  11. Skull Leader macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2003
    One Question...

    Will 192kps stream over 802.11b at only 11 MB/s? My TiBook only has Airport, not Airport Extreme. My AACs are 192, no less. I already hard wire my PowerBook to my reciever to play on my stereo, and have a secondary stereo upstairs in my bedroom. If I could get this to happen wirelessly over Airport (I have the card built in, but no base station) AND get an Airport base station for wireless Internet in one unit....all I can say is SOLD!

    Hope Santa Jobs announces one tomorrow...that and a cheap 2GB Minipod for the car (which already has an Aux-In :D )
  12. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Its a step in the right direction, IMO.

    I have seen and been intrigued by a slew of similar products that are Windows friendly and seriously considered getting the Linksys version since it also includes an ethernet port.

    The jury is still out on a hands down winner in the home theater music streaming device, but its good to see some cater to Apple and its products.
  13. sjpb15 macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2004
    AAC - not from the itunes store

    Macsense sent out an email in December which specifically said iTunes Music Store downloads are not supported on the HomePod due to DRM issues. The only AAC it will work with is if you rip your own CD to AAC. Bummer. I'm waiting for the Apple iBox - that will be the component to get.
  14. rjstanford macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Re: One Question...

    Just in case this was a real question...


    192 kps == 192 thousand bits per second
    11 mbps == 11 million bits per second

    Now, you won't be getting 11 usable mbps. But you've got plenty, nonetheless.

  15. Skull Leader macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2003
    Re: Re: One Question...

    Yes it was, forgive my ignorance. ;) I haven't used the Airport Card in my TiBook 1GHz yet (want to very much!) so I have no idea what kind of practical performance to expect, especially if the TiBook is one floor up from the base station where my secondary stereo is (I hear their reception isn't all that hot on TiBooks, and it's only 802.11b, not g). Most internet radio is 96K to I was just hoping that 192kps wouldn't be too much of a draw. If it works flawlessly in practical terms, with the occasional simultaneous web browsing....all I can say is oh baby! Bring it on!!!
  16. frank5050 macrumors member

    Nov 11, 2003
    way out west
    Great, more options for Mac users.

    I'll be interested to see a review or two once actual production units are out there. Seems like this product has been poised to enter the market for some time (and was already released/announced once in a much different form factor).

    I wonder what sort of "upgrade" will be required for support of AAC files (software upgrade? flash to firmware? hardware?). Slim Devices products already support AAC (M4a, *not* M4p) and integrate very well with Mac's and iTunes. They have quite a few units out there so many of the bugs have been discovered or are being worked on, this product will no doubt go through a similar process.

    I don't think there are any products out there (except iPods and computers with iTunes 4) that will playback protected AAC files.

    Does anyone know if any of the Windows compatible digital audio receiver devices (Audiotron, PrismQ, HP, Linksys, etc.) will play back protected WMA files downloaded from Napster, Musicmatch, Wal-Mart, others?
  17. elgruga macrumors 6502


    Dec 31, 2001
    kind of useless

    This product streams music on a wireless network. Wow.
    Talk about idiotic specialisation. Who needs this rather ugly looking thing?

    I can plug my iPod into my home stereo right now.
    Why would ordinary home users want this thing?

    I dont get it. Sorry.

    I actually thought it was a hoax.
  18. Paul Turpin macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2003
    Bellingham, WA
    Well - for one thing my iPod 'only' holds 40gb. My music drive currently has over 120gb. So - how do I listen to the other 80 gigs of stuff using your method?

    However - I also :
    a. think its ugly
    c. think it should have an ethernet port
    b. think it should use 802.11g in case I want to stream 192kHz/24bit non encoded AIFF to it or even DSD which is like 2.4 mHz!
    d. think it should have surround capability

    But I'm an audio geek - not an "ordinary home user". Are ordinary home users the market base? I thought those people bought PC's and/or just watched TV! I think the market base for the home pod are mac geeks.
  19. anodized macrumors member


    Dec 15, 2003
    wait --

    I know it's a little off the subject - What happened to the Panther feature that allowed you to store your home folder on your iPod? Is it coming back?
  20. appelm macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2004
    It supports AAC already. Just not iTunes downloaded music. See

    I think this thing looks awesome. I want one for each room of my house. They should make a shower version!
  21. doogle macrumors regular


    Dec 29, 2003
    I have to say the Homepod looks really PC ugly.
  22. doogle macrumors regular


    Dec 29, 2003
    Re: wait --

    YES YES YES - where has this gone? I need it real bad , it would make the ipod more useful and valuable overnight...anyone have any news.:confused:

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