PS Audio's Memory Link

The PS Audio Memory Link ($1695) is a CD/DVD/RAM drive. It's a mechanical player (ie, it still spins the discs), but it has an unusually large cache. Conventional players have caches of around 8–16MB, the Memory Link has a 64MB cache. Why is this better?

Paul McGowan says the larger cache—about three minutes worth of music—allows the processor to handle larger "packets" of information, which in itself reduces the amount of timing jitter. The data is put through a digital lens with output jitter measured as low as 0.5ps.

The Memory Link runs Linux and, McGowan says, will be able to harvest metadata and album art off the Internet, as well as rip CDs to a music server. There's a small display on its front panel which can display art or text.

We asked which music service PS was using for metadata and album art. McGowan told us PS would write its own software to do that, which strikes us as a fairly ambitious for what is essentially an engineering company.

The Memory link gas a full complement of outputs, HDMI (for I2S). Ethernet, USB, TOSlink, AES/EBU, and S/PDIF RCA.

A similarly priced DAC is in the works, McGowan said.

It will ship by summer, McGowan said.