iPod goes multi-room via ReQuest music server

ReQuest is rolling out revamped versions of its hard disk music server line over the next few months - and all will have Apple iPod integration at their heart. This enables you to network tracks stored on your PC across a multi-room network and even share music libraries from multiple iPods.

The ReQuest N Series, F Series and S Series music servers are able to do this thanks to NetSync for iTunes. This is a plug-in that automatically locates music stored on a computer in your network and transfers your music, along with track metadata to the server. NetSync for iTunes currently isn't available for the Mac.

Usefully NetSync can also do this the other way around. The ReQuest server creates high bit-rate versions of your songs for home listening. And it creates lower bit-rate versions for enjoying on your iPod, or even from work via the internet. ReQuest calls this Automatic Dual Encoding (ADE).

Multi-room, multi-location, multiple iPod

"For the first time, families with multiple iPods can use their ReQuest server as a hub to share libraries and enjoy their entire music collections anywhere - in another room of the house, in the car, travelling, at work or even streamed over the internet onto a personal computer in a hotel room or office," says Peter Alloway, sales manager for ReQuest's UK distributor Invision .

"Additionally, owners of one or more ReQuest servers can sync music collections to each system whether it's located across town or anywhere in the world using ReQuest's patented NetSync technology."

Handy, so what do you get for your money?

You can pick up an entry-level N Series server for as little as £1,495. ReQuest says the base N1.200 model can store up to 200 CDs worth of tracks on its 120GB hard disk. At the other extreme sits the S Series which has a 2,500 CD capacity - that's four month's worth of non-stop music listening.

All ReQuest systems have been designed to be easily integrated into a multi-room audio-video system. And they can be accessed and controlled using touch-panel displays from AMX , Crestron and others.