CES - Creative gets into music streaming

Audio-specialist Creative's biggest announcements at CES this year focused on streaming music around the home.

The company's new US$200 Xdock Wireless comes in two flavors. One, as you'd expect, is for its latest Zen Vision media player while the other is surprisingly designed for Apple's video-enabled iPods. Both versions are otherwise identical. Each features technology to improve the sound of compressed music files and both have line-in, line-out and optical-out audio connections in addition to an S-Video output for displaying movies and photos on TV.

The Xdock Wireless can stream the contents of a docked player (via a 2.4GHz wireless signal) to an unlimited number of Creative's new US$100 X-Fi Wireless Receivers. These in turn connect to any nearby powered speaker system. In "broadcast" mode, each X-Fi Receiver within 100 feet will pick up the same stream while "zone" mode lets each receiver-equipped room have different music.

Creative also announced its US$130 XMod Wireless; a USB-powered device for those who might prefer to stream to the X-Fi Receiver from a computer.

Creative plans to start shipping each device this Spring.

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