We haven’t any plans to support DLNA. Our goal is to eliminate the need for a computer in the mix altogether. This might be tough for diehard computer lovers. It’ll take time, but we are trying to straighten out what we see is as a lot of missteps in streaming audio. JRiver and iTunes are great examples.
JRiver exists for the same reason iTunes does—they were once necessary to play digital audio from files—holdovers from a time that’s come and gone. They are very much like the tail wagging the dog. Computers were (and remain) separate machines dedicated to many tasks: word processing, browsing, email, spreadsheets. We run our business and some of our lives on them. They also do music and for quite some time, they didn’t do it well. Some of the earlier Microsoft products were simply dreadful. Then along comes iTunes, Apple’s entry into digital audio and music services.
JRiver, and a host of third party music management programs sprang up to augment (and sometimes replace) iTunes because iTunes had no aspirations towards high-end audio reproduction. Serious music lovers wanted something better and JRiver and the like gave it to them. But we still needed a computer which lived in places rarely close to where our stereo systems were. Then things started to change.
About a decade ago, a group of rebellious young guys put a computer motherboard in a nice box, added a touch screen video monitor, and sold it for a lot of money through hifi shops. It was unique because it was a purpose built computer dedicated to playing, managing, and connecting with music. It was called Sooloos and it was all the rage.
PS Audio (and others) soon took a similar (but different route) in an effort to bring high-resolution digital audio simply and easily to our stereo systems. All were attempts at freeing high-end audio systems from the necessity of having to be tethered to a computer.
Today, Sooloos is gone, but a new crop of dedicated computers emerged called servers. I haven’t found any servers yet that I like, but we as an industry are making progress.
Octave hopes to free us from our computers and give us the freedom to bond with our music and play it without worry of sonic degradation, software hassles, network nightmares, learning curves that cross eyeballs (JRiver, anyone?).
We believe digital audio ought to be fun, easy, hassle free, and computer free.
I think that when you see what we’ve managed with Octave, you’ll not lose much sleep over withdrawal pains from your computer and the programs needed to get music into your speakers. We can do better and we plan on doing exactly that.
But, whatever happens, we won’t let our customers down. If I am full of shit on this project, you can bet we’ll figure out how to make it right. It’s you, our customers, that we work for. Sometimes we have to push a little, risk a little, to make progress. And sometimes it works out well. I hope Octave will be that, but if not, we have plenty of experience with what works right now to fall back on.
Thanks for your patience and a special thanks to those visionaries among you that share our views of how bright the future can be with a bit of tweaking. We just gotta force ourselves to stretch our minds a bit.