I'm going to prepare a full article on this new 2-channel stereo software music server from Sonata in the near future, but I thought I would share a quick note or two right away. I have been in touch with the folks at this company (based in Spain) for over a year, watching and waiting for the day that their product launched. Well, the email came the other day and I've been looking through the information.
The Sonata Music Server is a piece of software that lets you rip, access, organize and distribute your digital music collection in a very flexible manner. You can search for specific labels, compositions, performers and display the results on the screen complete with the album art (in both large and small formats).
The system is then configured with your hardware depending on the level/cost of sound reproduction that you want. A basic configuration simply stores the digital audio files on the local computer hard drive and uses the output of the computer's sound card and a powered set of speakers.
From there you can move up to an audiophile level system with a dedicated NAS (networked audio server), high end HD DAC, preamplifier, power amps and audiophile speakers. The system will also allow you to distribute your music into four seperate zones.
The introduction of the Sonata Music Server is another step in the right direction. The ease of access and the inclusion of better than CD-quality promises a bright future for consumers interested in the next level in stereo fidelity.
I'll spend some time with the software and write a thorough review asap. For additional information, check out their site:
Just a quick remark on Mark's comment. Sonata plays both stereo and 5.1 multichannel as long as the Win computer has a multichannel sound card. It's also possible to stream 5.1 FLAC files to an uPnP streamer like the WD Live TV via its HDMI output to an A/V receiver.