Olive Opus N4, Melody N2 Music Players (For Rich People) Become Slightly Better Music Players (For Rich People)

Illustration for article titled Olive Opus N4, Melody N2 Music Players (For Rich People) Become Slightly Better Music Players (For Rich People)

We haven't heard much from Olive since they released the pretty-but-pricey Opus and Melody music wedges last year, but that kind of cautious pace is to be expected in the high-end A/V world. Today, they've given their line a refresh.

The Opus 4, which previously maxed out at 1TB of storage in a $1799 incarnation, now lugs along 2TB of ripped music, preferably, according to them, in lossless format. The software touch interface has gotten a hefty overhaul, promising greater responsiveness, search and custom internet radio streaming via the device's Wi-Fi. The core functionality, however, remains unchanged: this is a music device, and that's it. The Melody extender gets the same software upgrades, but must draw on an Opus box or PC media server for content, and retails for substantially less, at $599.


Olive's strategy with the Opus and Melody is possibly more interesting than the products themselves, at least to most folks: they advertise their highest price options over their lowest ones (the Opus actually starts at $1500), and are completely upfront about the fact that their technology is deliberately simplified, to the point that obvious potential functionality—through the Opus' Linux-based OS, for example—is left unrealized. The thing is, if these issues bother you, you're not the target audience. Who are they? Old people with money, basically. Related: Hello, old people with money! [Olive]

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The Opus No. 4 is still shown on their site as maxing out at 1TB for $1799. The site also doesn't have a press release after 4/2/08, which is odd...

I never understood these things. You want real audiophile, this thing doesn't hold a candle to the slimdevices Transporter coupled with a network NAS. I'm guessing even a Duet and a network NAS makes a better system with a lot more flexibility. How does this company stay in business?