Sonos Controller 200 Offers Touchscreen Interface

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It’s been a while since we’ve heard from multi-room media-system maker Sonos, but the company hasn’t exactly been sitting on its hands, rolling out an iPhone application that enables iPhone and iPod touch owners to control their Sonos systems with their favorite mobile devices. Now, the company has introduced the Sonos Controller 200, which ditches the iPod-like clickwheel interface of the previous controller for a 3.5-inch full VGA (640 by 480 pixels) touchscreen display.

“Finding and playing music all over the house needs to be so easy that anyone who walks into a home can pick up the Controller and start playing DJ,” says Sonos CEO John MacFarlane, in a statement. “Sonos has applied our seven years of experience designing wireless music systems for hundreds of thousands of customers in more than 60 countries to deliver the most innovative and intuitive way to find, play, and control music anywhere in the home.”

The Sonos Controller 200 takes many cues from the iPhone application, where the company seems to have worked out the details of providing a touchscreen interface to its media services, enabling users to quickly locate media and set up custom Internet radio stations. The Controller 200 also sports an aluminum casing, although the unit does not offer the moisture-resistance of its plastic predecessor.

Sonos has also rolled out Sonos Software 3.0, which adds new tools for discovering music as well as Info View for the Controller 200 or iPhone app that offers one-touch access to metadata about music, like artist bios, album reviews, and information on similar artists.

The Sonos Controller 200 comes with a charging cradle and has a suggested retail price of $349; it’s also available as part of bundles with Sonos ZonePlayer units. The Sonos Software 3.0 update is free to all Sonos customers.

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