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vaiofreak

Sony NAS-CZ1 Network Audio System

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Sony has introduced Network Audio System in summer of 2005. And again thanks to Sony's skillful marketing (sarcastically speaking), I learnt about it just a few days ago in February of 2006 by browsing MySony site. There was a press release in Europe and that's about it. I do not think Sony USA has ever done anything about promoting it here.

You might ask what is so great about this system?

Well, when you first look at it, the design looks kind of futuristic. It has a network function allowing you to stream your music from any PC in the house and what's more, it is even compatible with iTunes. This can be done by using your wired LAN or if you attach a wireless converter (that is my setup at home), you can enjoy your streaming wirelessly.

Another plus, it also has a WEB RADIO function, allowing a user to stream any internet radio station.

As you will see in the pictures, the unit has omni-directional speaker system which creates a wide acoustic field.

Here are some short descrtiption of the system:

Sony’s NAS-CZ1 Network Shelf System allows you to stream music from your PC to any room wired w/ Ethernet within your home network. Fitting nicely on a shelf or table top, the NAS-CZ1 is versatile when it comes to enjoying your music in various locations of your house. The NAS-CZ1 also includes a single CD compartment for playing your favorite CDs and is MP3 (CD-R/RW) Playback compatible. Rated at 40 Watts (in operation) and including 4 tweeters and 2 subwoofers, the NAS-CZ1 provides you with powerful, clear sound ideal for any single room. NAS-CZ1 supports non-secure music files in the MP3, WAV, S/B, ATRAC®, ATRAC3Plus®, WMA, and ACC formats. Compatible with playback of these non-secure music files with following jukebox applications: iTunes, Sonicstage, Windows® Media Player, and Musicmatch™.

Features:

* Stream Music from your PC to any room wired w/ Ethernet within your home network

* Create up to 5 custom user profiles

* Create 4 types of Play lists automatically

* Single Disc CD & MP3 (CD-R/RW) Playback1

* Hi-Fi Audio Driven by 360 degree Omni-Direction

* Store and play your favorite Songs with included Remote Control

* Supports non-secure music files in the MP3, WAV, S/B, ATRAC®, ATRAC3®, WMA, and ACC formats. Compatible with playback of these non-secure music files with following jukebox applications: iTunes, Sonicstage, Windows® Media Player, and Musicmatch & trade.

Specifications

Audio

* Frequency Range: FM: 87.5-108 MHz

* AM: 530-1710 kHz

Inputs and Outputs

* Analog Audio Input(s): x1 (Rear Mini Plug)

* Ethernet Port: x1 (Rear)

* Headphone jack: x1 (Side Mini Plug)

* Antenna Terminal(s): x1 (Rear FM)

* Antenna Terminal(s): x1 (Rear AM)

Power

* Power Consumption (in Operation): 40 Watts

* Power Requirements: 120 Volts AC, 60 Hz

Speaker

* Driver Unit: x6 (4 Tweeters and 2 Woofers with 2 of the Tweeters aimed to the rear)

The supplied M-Crew software that can be installed on several PCs allows to register your music with the system. When you start the Network function on the player it will search for available servers and let you choose which one you want to use. If you are like me that has several VAIO systems in the house, it can also use VAIO Media servers. You can also choose to have it automatically connect to one specific M-Crew server.

User Profile (up to 5) allows different users select their preferred server and therefore music stored. Organize your Playlists, Albums, Favorites, etc.

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Nice Info Panel shows all kinds of info from network state and configuration to Music titles:

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Top:

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Connections in the Back:

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Neat Remote:

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Documentation and Software Sony also threw in a long thin network cable and Loop Antenna

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Screen Shots of the Software:

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Supports AtracPlus up to 256 kbps as you see in the above screen shot.

WEB RADIO set up screen:

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So as you see it is an interesting model. You can always stream/play your music from your desktop but you cannot always place it in your living room (unless it is a pretty VAIO PC :D ) as it messes up with your decor or your Mom's decorating style.

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Brilliant review and the pictures are very thoughtful. I am very intrigued with the M-Crew Server and the brushed aluminum top of the unit looks very smart indeed.

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Interesting that this uses M-Crew software, because isn't that the software that used to be used with Sony's USB connection (pre-NetMD) on MDS-PCx decks?

Also though this is certainly interesting and it is nice that it works with ATRAC3/3plus, there are a lot of products like this out for PCs already; most of which support wi-fi out of the box, many of them with digital audio outputs, some with video support, and some with Media Center support... To me, it just seems a bit "too little too late" from Sony but it does look nifty.

Another question I have is... You indicated that the CD drive can support MP3 on CD-R/RW discs but there was no mention of it being able to play ATRAC CD. Has Sony bumbled on this again??? I guess it is made up for by the fact that you can stream ATRAC3/3plus but you'd think the CD drive would play ATRAC CDs as well...

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There sure are lots of devices that may do the same function as this one. I have a VAIO Roomlink that is connected to Sony Receiver via optical and S-video connections and can play any sort of music. It does not though support Web Radio. I think the Roku Squeeze box (not sure if it is the right brand name) also does the same work. I guess this Sony system was an effort to bring a networking functionality to their boombox type CD players.

I believe NAS series were released in Japan a while ago, and it made finally to Europe first and made a late appearance in the US. The latest Japanese Net Juke (as they call it there) is NAS-M7HD that has a 40 Gig HD, MD, CD, MS Slot and USB to connect your Sony A, NW and Bean Players. Very nice system

NAS-M7HD_003.jpg

As for ATRAC CD support, the manual does not say anything about it, I guess not many users burn those type of CDs and most of people have never heard of such a CD.

For those interested in it more, check out the User Manual .

It is available for sale at SonyStyle.com for $199 (price reduced).

Edited by vaiofreak

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god damn, no fricking line out? I mean technically you have all the music already, but if i wanted to record to an md deck while streaming from the net AND listening through that mini system i wouldnt be able to, mucho sucki sony lol. but overall it looks pretty sweet, congrats.

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Here is a great deal for one of these if anyone is interested: $69 at UBID

Compared to the original price tag of $200, 70 bucks is not bad at all.

Still loving it.

Nice find, Stan!

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Hello vaiofreak!

Seems like you are an expert about this Sony NAS-CZ1 system and I have some questions to ask, hopefully you can help me thru!

I also have this NAS-Cz1 system, but I keep having problems with the whole installation and operation that drives me nut! Here they are:

1. the unit (NAS-CZ1) does not display properly. When I finished installation (with the "M" icon display properly on the taskbar), I came to register the system on my computer, manually, then the display messed up. It keeps saying "no server", then "select servers", and every now and then I managed to get it display "registration" for me to click "enter", but then it display "NET", and not the countdown as it should do, as per what the manual says. Also, when I got to the network menu, any item listed that I clicked all prompted back to the "NET" display, without any options of the relevant item.

2. the M-crew cannot add equipment / device. When I clicked on "tools" of the M-crew, and click "M-crew equipment list" to add the device (the NAS-CZ1 system I guess??), I chose "manual" for the "selection mode", then clicked "add", then it ran for a little only to tell "failed to add the device".

3. FYI. I am using a laptop, with windows vista home premium software, wireless internet. So I decided to connect the computer with the system directly, using the supplied cable. I followed the instructions from the manual about ultimate connections for the computer environment.

Well, I am still hoping to solve these problems so that I can enjoy my favorite music on this nice system!

thank you very much for your valuable help, and hope to hear from you soon! :)

BagLady76

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