You’re not stuck with Denon's drivers though. For £500 or thereabouts you can get the unit without SC-N7 speakers and use your own. The 65W Class D amplification inside will certainly drive considerably more powerful speakers – I tried it with a pair of Quad 12L2s, a chunky standmount with power handling up to 100W, and they turned in a perfectly fine performance, particularly with CD and lossless recordings (it can play Apple Lossless and FLAC files).
The output selection appears in the bottom right corner of iTunes
iTunes offers level controls for different output configurations
The Ceol’s DLNA capability meant it was easy to connect to my PC and also my Buffalo LinkStation Mini Nas server and play back all the tunes on there. It recognised playlists that I’d set up in Windows Media Player too.
While it worked equally well with both PC and Nas options, as tends to be the way with these things, navigating through your music collection from the three-line display is a rather limited. That said, the remote’s alphanumeric keypad does help as it enables you to skip through your track or artist list by simply pressing a letter.
To get you beyond small screen squinting is where Apple’s AirPlay comes in. It’s available as a Ceol system download and makes the business of sorting through your music collection easier by linking to iTunes on your computer. The catch is that the upgrade will cost you £39, which seems a bit steep, though you may be able to find a dealer who’ll bundle it in with the price of the unit.
Similar configuration choices appear on the iOS4 devices, as shown here on an iPhone
Once installed you can then select from iTunes on your computer whether you want to play through your computer speakers or the Ceol. Anyone who owns an Apple AirPort Express will be familiar with this sort of configuration.
Next page: Remote viewing
Gaelic Keyholes indeed...
In Irish*, the word "ceol" has a single syllablle. "Ceo" is pronounced like the first syllable of "Kyoto" and the L is sounded as would be normal in English. Rhymes with "mole".
*never "Irish Gaelic". Ever.
Nice device though. Denon make very good small Hi-Fis. If I was looking, and there was one without the Apple nonsense, it would be on my list.
Of course, Ceòl also Scottish Gaelic* for 'music'... yet people forget such a language exists and is spoken.
*Yes, I agree with above post, Irish = Irish, but Scots Gaelic is "Gaelic"
I'm not a linguistics expert
I suppose calling the English language "English Modern Frisian-Latin" would be a bit cumbersome, hence "Irish" instead of "Irish Gaelic", but I think adding the Gaelic modifier adds a bit of clarity on an English-language site aimed at people who probably aren't familiar with the languages and dialects of the British Isles.
(it's all mostly Modern Indo-European anyway.)
"You can play back through up to six sets of speakers simultaneously, though it won’t let you assign different tracks to different speaker sets at the same time, so it stops short of being a genuine Sonos-bothering multi-room system."
You can play different iP*d/PC/Mac sources through different Airport express-connected speakers, though, and use an iP*d as a remote control for the PC or Mac iTunes. I do this to 6 sets of speakers from 8 possible sources, all controlled from a single MacBook running Apple Remote Desktop.
All for MUCH less than a multi-room Sonos.
I upgraded last night
Firstly the system has been out since before christmas and Denon have been dragging their feet on the airplay upgrade. It was announced for the beginning of Jan ( not 1st feb ).
It will find any music server over the network and browse / stream from that. Thats what I had been doing before airplay with Nullrivers media server software.
Airplay is great, the system is as well. Very powerful, anything higher that 20% on the iTunes volume causes the speakers to be very loud ( its a loud system ). That can be a pain, remembering to turn the volume down. ( iTunes volume controls the Ceol onboard volume)
I bought this system for its airplay capability and it works really well and doesnt occasionally skip unlike using Nullrivers media server (which crashed a few times with some mp3s).
But it rocks.
BTW their iPhone app will crash constantly if trying to browse media servers but it works ok for everything else ( could be Nullriver again )