With computer hard drives becoming bigger and bigger, it is easy to amass a big music collection, and never have to worry about deleting any music. The problem is that there are so many songs you like, you often forget which are good, and which are bad. If only there was some technology that is more advanced than shuffle in the sense that it plays very related music. Enter Bang & Olufsen’s BeoSound 5 with MOTS technology.
MOTS in a nutshell
Other than a word that sounds like the popular applesauce company (Mott’s); it is actually a special piece of technology that allows the BeoSound 5 to play music that is really similar in several components to the last played song. More of the Same, or MOTS, basically scans every song in your music library and finds similar songs based on sound, dynamics, and rhythmic aspects. Essentially, it does a lot more than just group songs based on genre. In fact, Bang & Olufsen wanted MOTS to be as advanced as it can, so they teamed up with the Austrian Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence, or OFAI. Their line of work specializes in Artificial Intelligence that isn’t limited to bio-informatics or robotics, so it can be applied to music classification.
Now, to get started you just have to select a song and then MOTS will do the rest in terms of creating a playlist that revolves around that one song. Bang & Olufsen claims that MOTS will help you find long and forgotten music that you once enjoyed. If MOTS works well, it could definitely be the deciding factor in purchasing this product, because I, personally, would love to have a software that could find similar music to what I am playing right now, because I definitely forgot a lot of music that I like. Also, in case you want to compile your own playlist, you can and then after that, MOTS will take over and add more, related songs.
Bang & Olufsen tested their MOTS algorithm first with a computer, and after they were pleased with the results, they moved on to a certified panel of judges to make sure they got exactly what they envisioned from the MOTS technology.
Moving on from the MOTS aspect of the digital music player, let’s see what special features it comes with and whether it is worth the hefty price tag it carries. The BeoSound 5 isn’t exactly portable, so Bang & Olufsen could add a nice sized screen, without having to worry too much about portability. The BeoSound 5 boasts a sexy 10.4 inch LCD display, with an intuitive aluminum wheel and a few buttons located on the side of the device.
It also comes with something called the BeoMaster 5, which is essentially a tiny black box that is located near the device, but placed out of sight, which contains all of the necessary hardware components such as hard drive and Internet connections. The BeoMaster 5 contains a 500GB hard drive, which can hold 20,000 songs in lossless WMA format. The BeoMaster 5 has Internet connections as it comes with ethernet cables, however, it is not networkable. The ethernet capable is mainly used to receive Bang & Olufsen updates as well as getting music from Internet radio sites. At this time, Bang & Olufsen do not have a partnership with prominent sites such as Pandora. It can be hooked up via USB port, but this would only be used to transfer songs onto the device.
With all nice pieces of technology, the thing that everyone hates reading about is the price tag. The BeoSound 5 is set to be shown off in all of their stores by February 2009, and is also going to be available for purchase around that time. For a 3 year service plan, the MSRP is $5900. This includes the BeoSound 5 and the BeoMaster 5. Now, if you want to purchase a floor stand, table stand, and wall bracket, that will cost you $500, $250, and $100, respectively.
I’m not sure how realistic it is to purchase one of these for your homes just yet. I do imagine, however, something like this becoming popular in doctor’s offices, dentist offices, etc., because those are places where customers have to wait a long time and it would be nice to have this type of a jukebox.
We were able to get some hands-on time with the device, as well as several pictures. Check out the gallery and video below.