Bose’s UMusic

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If there is any company that introduce the whole concept of digital lifetyle sans computers to the mainstream consumers, then it has to be Framingham, Mass.-based Bose Corp. Look this is the same operation that turned high-end speaker business into a “mall phenomen” with over $1.6 billion in worldwide sales. The company has a brand new offering, UMusic which goes on sales in July 2004, according to The Boston Globe.

uMusic is part of Bose’s new Lifestyle home theater systems. It’s essentially a giant hard drive that can store the contents of up to 350 compact discs. UMusic links each track with information about its genre, tone, and musicians. As uMusic plays songs from your collection, it notices how you use the remote control: which songs you skip, and which ones you ”tag” with a negative or positive rating.

bose If a disc was stored recently, the system will play it more often, assuming that you bought it recently. uMusic was designed for people who don’t want to worry about the intricacies of ripping CDs, or connecting a PC to a stereo system. In the demo, Steely Dan segues into the Doobie Brothers; Michael McDonald happens to play Hammond B3 organ on both tracks, and uMusic knows enough to make that association, just as a good DJ would.

What’s not to like about this product? Well for starters it is not a standalone product and comes only with high-end lifestyle systems that cost in excess of $3000. Ouch! Without knowing too much about the product, I am thinking well – there has to be a way to port my entire CD collection to that mega hardrive. Otherwise what’s the point! I personally find the lack of connectivity a bit of a blah, but still this could prove to be a hit with the aging boomers!

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Frank Perry

Calling Bose “high-end speakers” is like saying the holocaust never happened.

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