Olive O3HD brings HD music servers under $1,000

High-definition music servers have been the bailiwick of serious audiophiles for a little while, with music fans spending sometimes outrageous sums of money to get their music collections converted to a high-definition audio format (often 24-bit, 192KHz, compared to the 16-bit/44.1KHz of a normal CD), buy pricey D/A conversion and low-distortion amplifiers and speaker sets just so they can experience the subtlest nuances of some of the world’s finest recordings. Now, Olive Media is looking to put some of that technology in the reach of ordinary consumers, announcing its new Olive O3HD high-definition music server, featuring dirt-simple installation and enough storage space for 1,500 CD or roughly 5,000 HD music tracks. And the price tag is a $999—just barely under $1,000.

olive o3hd bring hd music servers under 1000 server  sept 2010

“Olive wants music lovers to enjoy the convenience of digital music without having to sacrifice audio quality,” said Olive CEO and co-founder Dr. Oliver Bergmann, in a statement. “The new Olive O3HD is the first dedicated music server with full HD capability to sell for only $999. Now more people can enjoy this outstanding music experience than ever before.”

The Olive O3HD features 24-bit/192Khz digital-to-analog converters that handle up-sampling so users can experience their CD-based music at higher quality levels. The Olive 03HD is designed to slide right into an existing audio system, eliminating software installation and configuration headaches, along with the maintenance hassles of streaming music from PCs or NAS devices. The unit features a color touchscreen for control, enabling users to browse and configure their entire music collections, along with a 500 GB hard drive that should be enough for about 1,500 CDs worth of material. The unit can burn audio, MP3, and data CDs as import audio CDs directly using lossless FLAC compression—however, to ease the transition, Olive offers a CD Loading Service to get users’ music onto the o3HD—and the first 100 CDs are free. Users can also tap into over 3,000 Internet radio stations (hook it up to a home network using gigabit Ethernet), and there’s even an iPhone/iPodtouch/iPad application for remote control.

The Olive O3HD music server is available in the U.S. directly from Olive for $999; the unit will also be available internationally through selected resellers.