Linn Launches the Index

Linn's early decision to develop hard-disk audio systems first got our attention when the Kivor project was announced back at the 2000 Consumer Electronics Show. The Linn Kivor has now spent almost two years on the market, garnering a positive review from John Atkinson and a special "Editor's Choice" mention in this month's 2002 Products of the Year.

The Kivor concept is simple: create a computer-controlled hard-disk music server, conceptually similar to MP3 systems, but capable of storing and playing back uncompressed CD audio, and with the ability to serve as the music source in a multi-zone environment. While most high-end audio companies still appear leery of the concept, Linn has refined its Kivor with its second-generation Kivor Index.

Like the original Kivor system, the Index sports eight "zones" of audio that allow simultaneous streaming of different programs; it, too, is web-enabled and can connect to networks via RS232 or Ethernet. Unlike the Kivor, the Index is a single-box stand-alone product that can interface with both the Linn Knekt system and other audio products using Linn's new integrated "PCI Musik Machine" card, which provides eight simultaneous analog audio signals through eight stereo pairs of RCA output jacks.

Unlike the Kivor system's open hard-drive architecture, the Index is available in two fixed configurations, providing either 250 hours or 500 hours of full-bandwidth CD audio storage, increasing that capacity by a factor of 10 through compression.

According to Linn, the Index includes the company's proprietary Rekursiv software, which offers improved music storage integrity, faster disc copying, and improved track transition compared to the original Kivor system. The Index employs the Linntek PC set-up and control utility and supports multiple interface options, including Linn's RCU and third-party touch-screen control systems.