first showed off AirPlay media streaming, part of iOS 4.2, and now we have another receiver adding compatibility. Marantz is calling its Melody Media receiver "the world's first AirPlay certified music system," a title that we think Denon, who announced compatibility last week, might take issue with. Regardless, the systems are quite similar, even sharing a nearly identical form-factor and neither actually being compatible with AirPlay out of the box. Marantz's option will require a £40 firmware update, available next month, which seems a bit excessive given the up-front cost of the thing: £499.90. But, perhaps there's some sort of licensing fee involved here Marantz doesn't want to pay on each and every one shipped. The receiver offers dual stereo amps with 60 watts per channel, the ability to load MP3s from its integrated CD drive, and a USB connection on the front for connecting older devices that cannot play through the very air we breathe. How terribly pedestrian.
Update: And the reason why these receivers look so similar? Both companies are owned by the same parent: D&M Holdings. Perhaps this slightly optimistic statement by Marantz boils down to simple sibling rivalry.