How Open Systems Provide Added Flexibility
Author: Rochelle Grubbs, Magic Home Entertainment LLC
When all of the components of the system use open standards – you can use one control device to work with all of the systems. You can also add storage to increase the capacity of the music server – without having to go back to the original vendor if you don’t want to.
Most importantly the music server can be added to the existing home back up process without adding any specialized devices. This makes protecting your prized music collection easy.
Where and how music is stored can have a significant impact on the audiophile listening experience.
When evaluating a music server one of the important things to consider is whether the server uses open or closed system architecture.
What does it mean to be closed?
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Simply – the device supplier has done their own thing in order to keep you locked in to their solution. You cannot purchase a device â€˜off-the-shelf’ to add to the vendor’s system or to control it. This device may need special interfaces to work with other parts of the audio system.
For music servers – this can be the storage medium, the storage format, how to control the device, or how music is delivered from storage to the audio system. If any part of the music storage is closed, you may need assistance from the original vendor to transfer the music to another system â€” if it is possible at all. To upgrade the storage capacity – you will likely need parts from the original vendor.
One example of this type of closed architecture can be seen in manufacturers that sell you customized backup solutions. This means that if you want to backup your music you must purchase one of these specialized items from the vendor â€“ or do without backup. While it is great that you can backup your music and protect your precious collection, this type of backup option is a perfect example of a closed system. With the size of home networks growing and the amount of data stored at home increasing, we are starting to see a large number of home backup solutions on the market. These solutions use simple programs that backup computers and other NAS devices found on the home network. Unfortunately, with a closed system approach, you will be forced to have two backup solutions. This means one process for your music and a completely different backup process for all the rest of your important data.
And, finally, if the network communication is closed – you will need to have multiple proprietary control devices wherever you want to enjoy music. The whole idea of network devices is that they can talk to each other. Unfortunately, some manufacturers have chosen to implement a proprietary networking implementation. What this means is that while the port on the back of the device looks like a standard RJ-45 port, it isn’t standard. The proprietary networking implementation means that vendors who implement in this way can only see other devices with the same proprietary implementation. It is the networking equivalent of two people sitting at a table having a conversation but one is speaking English and the other speaking Russian. While the two people conversing will hear each other, lack of a common language makes comprehension impossible. Network devices might happily co-exist on the same network but lack of a standard networking implementation means that an existing music library on a computer or NAS drive will never be able to talk to a music server with a proprietary network implementation.
Open Systems – many systems working together.
When all of the components of the system use open standards – you can use one control device to work with all of the systems. You can also add storage to increase the capacity of the music server – without having to go back to the original vendor if you don’t want to. An example of this is the way the moodSeer music server interfaces with network storage. As a product built on open standards, the moodSeer can offer many different options for music storage. You can choose to store music on the internal disk located in the moodCenter, you can access a music library on another computer located on the home network or you can even access music files located on a NAS device. In this way music can be moved around and backed up quickly and easily. Support of open standards and a common network interface means that you can choose how and where you want the music to be stored.
Most importantly the music server can be added to the existing home back up process without adding any specialized devices. This makes protecting your prized music collection easy. Life can be complicated; your music system should be simple. An open system will allow the use of one set of cabling to control and to deliver the music throughout the system.
The moodSeer systems also allows audiophiles to choose their control devices – be it an AMX system, the moodBeamer, their own iPhone or even a web browser. Commitment to design with open standards means you have a system that can change as your needs change.
How Do You Decide?
Choose flexibility and choose a system that can grow with you into the future. How many remotes do you want or need? With open systems – you can more easily integrate the many disparate systems in a residential or commercial setting, and quickly settle into enjoying and re-discovering your music collection.
Get more information at www.moodseer.com