Easy-to-cue, remote-controllable varispeed CD player with professional features. The Straight Wire Audio CDQue CD player can be supplied with an upspeed crystal permitting faster song playing. A varispeed controller is also available for production uses. The audio circuits provide digital filtering of the four times oversampling rate. The high-current output circuits provide sufficient power to drive more than 1,000 feet of cable.
Transition away from consumer models.
Dave Bowman, director of professional dealer products for Studer, says he sees a transition among radio stations away from the consumer models they were first using and towards acceptance of professional players. The reasons reflect the industry's specialized needs. Cueing is probably the most important function desired by stations.
The Philips model uses a "flywheel," a separate panel with a round disc that can cue a CD cut up to its exact start time, much as the on-air talent would cue up a vinyl recording. The Studer player uses a pair of forward and reverse skip buttons, which sample the audio in small increments for cueing.
The Studer unit is rack -mountable; the Philips, a table -top design Both the Studer and Philips pro models are considerably more expensive than consumer CD players, with the Studer selling for under $2000 (pricing on the Philips players is not yet available). But the units are more durable and reliable than consumer units, withstanding stations' constant and not always gentle use.
A compromise in price between the consumer and pro models.
One additional hardware offering is a new product from Straight Wire Audio, the CDque. It's basically a consumer CD player that has been specially modified for broadcast use. However, it offers a compromise in price between the consumer and pro models.
Bill Sacks, president of Straight Wire, says the CDque is the most popular product the company has made.
The CDQue offers cueing within milliseconds via a rollback to the beginning of the cut as defined by the disc's index codes. A cue button will "walk" through the cut to find the actual desired start point.
One function that will please broadcasters is the ability to alter the "speed" of play-either faster, as many "top hits" stations do, or more slowly, for production applications.
Some stations eager to begin playing CDs will continue to buy the cheaper consumer players initially, and, even with the addition of an amp needed to boost the gain for on -air and the subsequent increase in S/N ratio, a station can probably still get a -80 dB S/N from a consumer model and have the benefits of digital as well.
Marketing CD hardware
But companies marketing CD hardware to broadcasters are looking for increased interest as the idea of the digital radio station catches on. Still to be solved, however, is the problem of getting music on CD that is tailor-made for radio, and that has become a software consideration.