With the holidays upon us, we have been reviewing products that might make nice gifts for the computer geek in your life. A networking appliance that could be used to play a vast collection of MP3, WMA, and WAV files across a user's home network sounded like an ideal fit for a holiday present.
The increasing number of folks with broadband access these days has led to a subsequent increase in home networking in general. Although most networking use still centers around print and file sharing and gaming, new technology is starting to bring other possible uses into the spotlight.
Turtle Beach originated their AudioTron connected audio concept in January of 2001. When we first saw the AudioTron at that time, we found it to be an interesting concept, but thought the price of $299 was a little too high. Now, however, the AudioTron has dropped in price to as little as $270, a price point that, we feel, makes the AudioTron more attractive.
What is AudioTron?
When people ask the question, "What is AudioTron?" the answer isn't easily explained. In a nutshell, AudioTron can be described as a networked interface that allows users to access music in MP3/WMA/WAV format from a storage share point on their network. In addition, if you have a broadband cable modem or DSL connection, you can also use AudioTron to listen to Internet-based radio stations.
Instead of connecting to your computer, the AudioTron connects to your home stereo receiver. Thus, AudioTron allows a user access to their vast MP3/WMA/WAV music collection over their home stereo, using AudioTron's simple interface. AudioTron does not have a hard drive or storage capability, so it is more of a "smart interface" than anything else.
AudioTron is a "smart" stereo component, as the software can be upgraded and it can handle the decompression of compressed audio formats. AudioTron does not use the PC for this process. You can use either the included remote or any Web browser to access the AudioTron. Once the AudioTron is installed on your network, you have a digital "jukebox" of sorts, which offers a great way to listen to and manage a huge music collection, without having to deal with stacks of CDs.