Olive Opus No. 5 HDD Jukebox Is Profit Margin Machine

Olive_Opus_No5.jpgYouth may be squandered by the young, but it's the older folks that foolishly spend on equipment that should cost much less. Take for instance Olive's Opus No. 5 hard-drive audio server, referred to in marketing material as "The world's first digital audio system bringing together the sweet sound of vinyl and the accuracy and convenience of digital audio." To its credit, it is one of the only high-end products that boasts, "No costly custom installer required," but under the hood, the $3,000-$4,000 system is charging for hard drives at a markup of over 1000%.As you might expect for something that costs so much, it holds between 1,156 and 2,200 CDs at full quality, and can be accessed via web interface throughout your home network. It's nice to hear that no installer is needed:

Setup and basic operation of the OPUS is similar to a standard CD Player, so you will be up and running within minutes. Even its integration into your home network, a nerve-wrecking task with so many other network music players, is done completely automatically, wirelessly if you wish.

I am certain that the thing performs as billed, and sounds incredible, but take a look at the pricing: • 400GB - 1,156 CDs - $3,000 • 500GB - 1,450 CDs - $3,500 • 750GB - 2,200 CDs - $4,000

Now check out the mainstream retail prices (from Amazon) between Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM ATA drives in those capacities: • 400GB - $123 • 500GB - $124 • 750GB - $220

My calculator tells me it's less than $100 to go from 400GB to 750GB. But it costs an extra grand for the higher-capacity Opus. And the funny thing is, you know they can get the drives for even cheaper.

But hey, we should probably let rich old people have fun with their cool electronics. This might be just the thing to pear with Charlie's similarly named but unrelated Opus transparent speaker cables. [Olive]

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