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Six of the best CD storage devices
7:00am Saturday 1st September 2012 in NewsXtra
Six of the best gadgets and gizmos on a theme. This week: Six of the best hard-drive CD-playing machines.
By Peter Jenkinson
With most of our music now being sourced digitally, maybe it's time to take a good look at that collection of compact discs.
All they seem to do is clutter up shelves and drawers, and when was the last time they were all sorted into alphabetical order?
Far from wanting to lose all the classics hidden away inside their cases, set free those tracks you haven't listened to for a while and go digital.
Here's a selection of hard-drive CD-playing machines that will store all the sounds, and some that will send them to a portable player to max out storage space and create an even more impressive 'on-the-move' collection of tunes.
Shaken And Stirred - Cocktail X10 500GB - £379 from www.cocktailaudio.co.uk
This is the starter unit, which can hold more than 7,000 CDs, but its much bigger brother can contain up to 30,000 - do you know anyone with a collection that size? Along with functioning as a hard-drive unit to store your music, it can also stream songs and albums from a remote computer using a wireless connection, and access internet radio stations. All the information you need is displayed on its colour screen.
Shelf Chic - Brennan JB7 320GB - £429 from www.brennan.co.uk
Somehow shoehorning in an impressive 2,500 CDs, you'll be gawping in wonder at both your new device and the amount of space you've managed to clear. Packing a 60-watt amp into a unit the size of a book, it can play your collection at random so you never have to budge; or you can select tracks with the remote unit. Add to this the cool blue scrolling text information display and you'll wonder why you waited this long to get one.
Magic Music - Sony CMT-G2BNiP - £399 from www.sony.co.uk
This system not only has some impressive high-quality speakers but it also comes with built-in Wi-Fi so you can stream music from your PC. It's able to support multiple devices, so with the Party Streaming function you can play the same music all over your home. This smart gadget also features a DAB radio and USB connectivity, so you can load up a memory stick and play your tunes from there.
Audio Files - Meridian Media Core 600 - £6,000 from www.martinshifi.co.uk
Most certainly one for those with very large homes, this top-end system boasts a pair of two-terabyte hard drives that can store - at the very best quality levels - 5,000 CDs. The unit can be hooked up to several speaker systems around your abode, so you can play whatever you choose in the bathroom while those in the kitchen can opt for a different treat. The cost of this one is down to its overall build quality and its pristine sound delivery.
Well Organised - Olive 03HD - £999.95 from www.richersounds.com
This one stands out as it allows the user to design the touchscreen colour interface display. There is a built-in database of 2.7 million CDs and the device shows you what you're listening to on screen. The creators have also put together an iPhone and iPod Touch app to assist in your music organisation. This unit will hold around 1,500 of your discs.
Old School - ION Profile LP USB Turntable - £79.99 from www.pcworld.co.uk
We apologise if this puts any music purists up in arms, but please let us try to appease you. Your vinyl collection probably never sees the light of day, and is likely to be released only on special occasions. But use this device and you will enjoy a trip down memory lane more often. Place your record on the turntable and convert the sounds into digital format. It's a one-touch affair, and you can reminisce as you bring your vinyls into the digital world. The device is also available as a cassette tape converter.
App of the week: DriveOFF esure - Free from Google Play
Your mobile phone can be the source of many distractions while you are driving; beeps, alerts and incoming calls always occur - and they're dangerous. Using GPS technology, this app automatically switches your smartphone to aircraft-like mode when you travel over 10mph. Notifications are turned off, along with incoming calls, and a screensaver of your choice is displayed in place of the usual distracting phone screen. All of this is done automatically, so the app is both smart and safe.