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Sonos adds Windows Media DRM to multi-room music system

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CES 2007 High-end multi-room digital audio player maker Sonos today added support for Microsoft's Plays for Sure DRM-protected music technology to its hardware via a system software update.

Available today, Sonos System Software 2.1 allows tracks purchased through the likes of Napster, Virgin Digitial and HMV to be beamed from room to room. Sonos rolled out support for Real Network's Rhapsody service last year, so the addition of Windows Media DRM leaves Sonos needing to support Microsoft's Zune system and Apple's FairPlay DRM to complete the set.

Ironically, Sonos System Software 2.1 improves interoperability with Apple's iTunes, but Apple-sold songs remain unplayable on Sonos' hardware. And if Zune really puts the squeeze on Plays for Sure providers, as some observers have suggested, Sonos will remain unable to work with the majority of downloadable songs going forward.

It's a shame that Sonos can't persuade Microsoft and Apple to licence their proprietary DRM systems since its excellent hardware - reviewed here - remains complementary to both firms' hardware portfolios. ®

Read our complete CES 2007 coverage at Reg Hardware

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