Yamaha have announced a new version of their home audio streaming system, the MusicCAST2. Set to take on Sonos in the high-end audiophile market, MusicCAST2 currently consists of a touchscreen LCD controller, the MCX-RC100 Network Music Commander, and two types of Network Music Players, the MCX-A300, which has an integrated amplifier, or the MCX-P200, which is non-amplified for integration with an existing AV setup.
The whole system uses WiFi b/g to communicate and stream, and can access both music stored locally – on a NAS, PC or MAC, USB stick, Bluetooth device or shared network folder – or streaming from Rhapsody and other internet radio services. As well as the 3.5-inch touchscreen LCD, the Commander remote control has a trackpad and offers independent or joined control over up to 32 different zones.
In addition to controlling distributed audio, the MusicCAST2 system can be used as a universal remote control; the Commander has an IR port, and Yamaha offer IR blasters to fit to your existing AV rack. Supported file types include MP3, WMA, AAC, FLAC and WAV, though no DRM-encryption is supported (nor lossless files other than FLAC).
As for pricing, you’re looking at $500 for the Commander remote, then around %$400 for the zone players.