Audeeva's Con Brio Music Server
I try to be logical about show coverage so usually start at the top floor and work my way down, room by room, floor by floor.
CES exhibits at the Venetian top out at floor 35, and as soon as I exited the stairwell, I spied the first exhibitor, Magico speakers. I'm here to cover digital and tend to skip the speaker-only rooms, but Magico provides great demos, so I stepped in.
Am I glad I did. I asked what source was playing and was quickly introduced to Matan Arazi, who was described as the builder of the music server being used. Tucked away in the equipment racks were two very stealth-looking (I mean literally, like Stealth Bomber airplane black) boxes along with a third box, the power supply. These were feeding a Pacific Microsonics DAC.
Arazi is ex-Israeli Intelligence Division, and has been around military-grade electronics for years, and decided to apply that approach to a music server. The result looks like a couple solid bricks of metal. One box is a unix-based music server that contains the hard drives and is controlled with an off-the-shelf iPad app. The second box, connected to the first via custom protocol optical cable, is called the "Streamer" and outputs the data in the desired format. This second box runs a custom OS and playback software, all totaling about 8MB, and featuring your typical outputs for sending the data to a DAC.
Arazi was coy about officially starting production on the Con Brio, and pointed out that just the cases alone took about 800 hours to manufacture.