A small US technology company specialising in music management and storage, Sooloos was acquired by high-end British audiophile marque, Meridian, in early 2008, with the Control 10 being the first fruit of their union. The touchscreen controllable music server comprises two parts, a hard drive storage component available in a number of configurations, and the Control 10, um, controller.
Essentially a colour touchscreen monitor (17 inches; 1280 x 1024 pixels) with a built-in smarts, this uses the AMG music database to help you find music when you don’t know what you’re looking for, but unlike other companies using the database, Sooloos has a full data license on tracks. This means it will not just sort your library by genre and artist, but by sub-genre, contributing artists, specific instruments used on a tracks, record label or the recording studio where the album was made. There is, in short, infinite scope for audio wonks to customise their playlists, with default functions, such as Swim (like random play, or shuffle) there for when you want the Control 10 to do the thinking for you. We played with the system at the Sydney premises of the Australian Distributor, Amber Technology, in early May 2009, and found worked quickly and elegantly.
As for where to store your music, the Ensemble includes 1TB storage which is good for around 2000 albums of uncompressed PCM music, and will serve music to up to five discrete zones. It supports WAV, AAC, FLAC and MP3 formats, features special digital connections for coupling to Meridian DSP speakers and one-touch backup of all stored media to an external HDD attached to a personal computer. The Meridian Sooloos Ensemble costs $8999, with the Control 10 adding $11,299.