If you're an audiophile with $700 burning a hole in your pocket, you might've been tempted by iRiver's Astell & Kern AK100. Already boasting Mastering Quality Sound (MQS) lossless audio playback -- along with support for MP3, Ogg, FLAC, WAV, WMA and APE codecs -- there's now another reason to be seduced by the luxury pmp. Released today, firmware update version 1.3 for the device finally adds Apple-based codecs (AAC, ALAC and AIFF) to the list -- who said iTunes and audiophiles can't get along? To jog your memory, the AK100 has a Wolfson WM8740 Digital-to-Analog Converter, 32GB of built-in storage, two microSD card slots and a 2,000 mAh battery that'll last 16 hours. Get a peek at the press release after the break or just head to the source to download the update.
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The Astell&Kern AK100 High Definition Portable Audio Player Is Now The ONLY
Portable Music Player You Need
With The Addition of AAC, ALAC AND AIFF File Support, The AK100 Plays Any Audio File Format You May Have
Irvine, CA --- iriver is proud to announce the release of firmware version 1.30 for the Astell&Kern AK100, which now supports many Apple-based audio codes most consumers currently use. Music lovers everywhere can stop carrying multiple portable audio devices in order to enjoy the high definition, studio-quality sound from Astell&Kern's AK100.
The new upgrade allows users to play both new high definition audio and their current collection of digital music, all with one player.
The Astell&Kern player is the first portable hi-fi audio device from iriver, capable of Mastering Quality Sound (MQS) playback. MQS files are sound or music files saved as a lossless format, straight from the studio mastering source. Because less data is lost during the digital mastering process and the sound quality is distortion-free, a dramatic difference from the 24bit source data from MQS files and CD (WAV)/MP3s can be heard and felt. MQS files are often in 24bit WAV or FLAC formats. With the encoding process in the AK100 MQS Portable System, MQS music and sounds are more refined and pure.
Henry Park, CEO of iriver, says, "We are very pleased that the addition of AAC, ALAC, and AIFF codecs makes the Astell&Kern portable audio player the only music unit anyone will ever need. Music lovers finally get the quality of the music they have been longing for, yet can access their entire collection in one unit. We think that is pretty awesome."
The Astell&Kern is the world's first portable audio device equipped with the Wolfson WM8740 Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC). It contains 32GB of internal memory and can be expanded via two (2) microSD card slots, each supporting an additional 32GB microSD card. The Astell&Kern is compatible with FLAC, WAV, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC and AIFF audio files. Its 2,000 mAH battery provides up to 16 hours of playback on a single charge. The Astell&Kern offers numerous connection options, including micro-USB, optical in/out and headphone out.
Iriver has partnered with HDtracks to provide users with albums encoded with Mastering Quality Sound. HDtracks is a high-quality music download service offering an exciting catalog of Mastering Quality music from every major label across all genres. They have several formats available for fans of all types of music. If you would like genuine CD-quality sound, HDtracks offers both AIFF and FLAC lossless files. For those who wish to carry their music in a portable mp3 player, they have 320kbps files that far exceed the quality of standard MP3 files. For audiophiles, HDtracks has a large catalog of ultra-high resolution 96kHz/24bit and 192kHz/24-bit titles from legendary rock, jazz, and classical artists as well as emerging artists. This is true DVD-audio sound quality for music lovers that demand the very best!
The AK100 is $699 and is available at high-end audio stores and online at Amazon.com, Buy.com, ebay.com and www.iriverinc.com.