The new EX Series centres around the introduction of a new software suite to Melco’s existing hardware. The EX upgrades include the recently announced Melco Intelligent Music Library (MIML), vTuner Internet radio plus web control from network-connected devices, including smartphones, tablets and PCs
MIML offers the integration of a metadata engine, SongKong for Melco plus a UPnP Server, MinimServer 2, into Melco’s hardware.
New software for the user interface on the units’ OLED display gives greater detail of status and playback too.
The MinimServer software offers four browse and search ‘profiles’, each offering relevant tags for rock, jazz and classical, along with a default.
These profiles give users the ability to locate music based on browse or search (with supported control points) on any tag in any order, removing the UPnP convention of being forced to browse: artist; album and song.
In the classical profile, is the addition of tags such as composer or conductor and choir or work.
The concept of a ‘work’ for classical music means that rather than browse for a classical album, which will likely contain more than one work, it is now possible to browse or search directly for the work.
Integrating SongKong for Melco into the hardware automates the process of re-tagging, using a variety of additional databases and algorithms to replace (or supplement) the original metadata. The system also benefits from one-touch processes including, ‘find additional metadata’, ‘add missing art’ and ‘replace all missing data with new’. New tagged metadata is then available to MinimServer.
Control of SongKong is from a web interface (control device/tablet or PC) and includes the creation of report of tags across the whole library, allowing selection and replacement of cover art and metadata for single albums or even whole collections.
Further features include vTuner Internet radio, which has also been implemented in conjunction with an updated version of the Melco Music HD app and features radio searching by genre, region and broadcaster plus web control, which allows all Melco units to be controlled from an Internet-connected device.
The introduction of the EX Series also sees the roll-out of a capacity upgrade in the flagship SSD-based HA-N1Z/2EX-S40. From 2TB to 4TB of solid-state storage.
Mk2 N1A/N1ZH/N1ZS digital music libraries purchased after the Munich announcement (May 2019), can be updated via either UK or European tech support centres or Melco dealers, for a handling charge – the upgrade programme is scheduled for spring 2020. Older N1 Mk2 machines can also be updated for a cost of £309 and Mk1 N1 series machines are also supported at a cost of £449. Dealers will also be equipped to discuss trade-in options with owners of early models.
The new EX Series includes the following full-width models:
HA-N1Z/2EX-S40 (SSD £9,999)
HA-N1Z/2EX-H60 (HDD £4,999)
HA-N1A/2EX-H60 (HDD £2,749)
Plus, two half-width units
N10P-H30-B (HDD £6,999)
N100-H20 (HDD £1,999)
To learn more, click www.melco-audio-masters.com
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