New Products - July/August 2004

RCA Still playing your CDs and your DVDs on two separate machines? The RCA DRC510N changer is here to simplify things for a price that's a no-brainer. Shuffling between five discs, the changer can play CDs loaded with MP3, Windows Media Audio (WMA), or mp3PRO files as well as all recordable DVD formats except DVD-RAM. More good news: random and repeat functions work for CD, MP3, and WMA tracks. The progressive-scan output will ensure your DVDs look their best on digital TVs, and you can view JPEG photos on CD, too. Price: $149., 800-336-1900

Samsung samsung yh-920 - new products 0704Feeling like you've come late to the iPod party? You can still be first on the block to own Samsung's portable digital music player, the YH-920. Loaded with Napster 2.0 software, the player is compatible with MP3, WMA, and Ogg Vorbis - an open-source compressed-audio format that's said to be higher quality than MP3. Songs are imported through the USB 2.0 port to the player's hard disk, which has 20 gigabytes of storage space. Going beyond just playback, you can make voice recordings on the fly through the built-in microphone and even record from the onboard FM tuner. A full charge of the lithium-ion battery is said to provide 13 hours of continuous playback. Price: $350., 800-726-7864 Yamaha yamaha - new products 0704The original Yamaha MusicCAST system (click to read the original review from September 2003) streamed music from a digital server to as many as eight "clients" - freestanding mini music systems (with optional matching speakers). The new in-wall MCX-C15 client (left) doesn't even need floor space, because it fits in a standard dual-gang electrical box. It communicates with the MusicCAST server over Cat-5 cable or wirelessly via 802.11b/g Wi-Fi (you'll need an Ethernet/Wi-Fi bridge). You select your music with the four customizable buttons, browsing tracks on the display by artist, album, genre, or playlist. Digital audio streams from the server to the MCX-C15 and then to an in-wall I/O box (right), which has preamp audio outputs and an auxiliary minijack input, or to an in-wall 17 W x 2 power amp (not shown) - both are included. All you need to do then is hook up a pair of in-wall speakers, and you're in business. Price: $650., 800-492-6242