Stereos to download music via the 'net

— 11:04 PM on October 21, 2003

In yet another sign that PCs are now leading the way for consumer electronics devices of every stripe, some of the major consumer electronics manufacturers have demonstrated prototype stereo systems equipped with Ethernet ports and capable of downloading music from an online service. (Thanks to morpheus777 for sending in the link.) Big names like Sony, Pioneer, Kenwood, Sharp, Yamaha, NEC, Denon, and Onkyo all appear to be on board. These Linux-based boxes use a service company called Any Music Planning, Inc. The service seems to work something like iTunes or MusicMatch, but this initial report isn't long on details of the service, possible subscription fees, copying restrictions, or the like.

Now that stereos have picked up PC-like characterstics (along with game consoles, video recorders, cable boxes, and cell phones), I'm sure we'll soon see the inevitable associated trend: PC users hacking into these Linux devices to add features or remove restrictions—in short, to make them more PC-like. All of which raises the question: why not just stick a PC in your living room and be done with it?

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