Follow Us

DMN on Feedburner
Connect with:
divider image

Gramofon: An All-In-One Cloud Music Player, Social Jukebox, and Router…

Screen shot 2014-04-15 at 3.27.29 PM

If you want to play music from streaming services through your speakers, then you have these options:

  • Buy a wireless speaker setup, which will set you back hundreds of dollars.
  • Plug into your speaker with an aux cable, and then leave your device next to the stereo as you go about your business.
  • Use a bluetooth speaker, forcing you to stay pretty close to the source of the music.

 

Now there’s a new option, which I think sounds better than any of the above.

Fon (the company behind the “world’s largest WiFi network“)  has introduced the Gramofon, which is essentially a wireless router that plugs into your stereo system.

The Gramofon is up for funding on Kickstarter. It was originally available for the surprisingly low price of $30. That tier is now sold out, but you can still get one for $50. As of April 15th, 5 PM PST the campaign has raised $48,601 of their $250,000 goal. The campaign has 29 days to go.

Screen shot 2014-04-15 at 3.27.41 PM

You can connect the Gramofon to ethernet or WiFi.  If you choose to connect through ethernet, then you could use the Gramofon as your main router.  You could also use it to extend your existing WiFi reach.

There’s an audio output on the Gramofon that plugs directly into your sound system.  You then connect an Android or iOS device to the same WiFi network.  Using your device as a controller, you can select music from Spotify or WahWah’s radio service.

Gramofon will also be adding more services in the future.  They are looking into Beats, Grooveshark, SoundCloud, Google Play, Rhapsody, Songza, Pandora, Deezer, Rdio, Slacker, and Amazon. They’re also taking suggestions for services on their Kickstarter page.  Wireless updates will automatically be sent out to Gramofons, so you don’t have to worry about missing changes.

The music you select plays directly from the Gramofon, not your device.  If you have friends over, they can also select songs from their own devices.  Up to 20 people can connect at once, making your Gramofon a social jukebox.

Instead of giving everyone your WiFi password, you can turn on an option that lets Facebook and Google friends use their logins to sign into your Gramofon-powered WiFi network.  From there, friends can choose songs to play or simply connect to the internet.  Think of how easy this would make things when you have groups of friends over who want to connect to your internet.  Options also exist to let anyone – or no one but you – connect.

Screen shot 2014-04-15 at 3.28.04 PM

If you buy a Gramofon, you automatically become part of Fon’s global WiFi network.  This means a second WiFi signal gets split off from yours.  Other Fon users in the area can log into this second WiFi signal with their Fon login.  This brings into question the speed and security of your network, though Fon says their technology makes this a non-issue (but read the details yourself to decide).

The upside is that anyone on the Fon network receives a dedicated Fon login.  If you’re near a Fon hotspot anywhere in the world, you’ll be able to log in.  There’s a surprisingly large number of hotspots in various cities across Europe and Asia.

After careful consideration, I decided to pledge. Hopefully it gets funded, because I’m pretty excited.

When Nina Ulloa isn’t writing for DMN she’s usually reviewing music or at a show. Follow her on Twitter: @nine_u

blue bar background graphic
Comments (11)
  1. jw

    Glad these guys had the foresight to invent the Apple Airport Express. Only Apple’s output supports S/PDIF, so you can run a digital signal directly into a high quality receiver, or into a decent digital-to-analog converter, & not rely on the cheap dac in the device. For $30, I’m sure the hardware inside the Gramofon is junk, & no digital output leaves no way to bypass it. So I’m sure it sounds like junk, if you care about that sort of thing.

    Not to mention the security risks… this all seems like some elaborate ploy for Fon to piggyback off of unsuspecting folks’ internet connections to boost their own network. “If you buy a Gramofon, you automatically become part of Fon’s global WiFi network,” is kind of a terrifying sentence.


    Reply
    1. Nina Ulloa

      I think it clearly states that you join Fon if you buy it. If you don’t want to join Fon, don’t buy it. If you do, then buy it. Pretty simple..


      Reply
    2. Ali Pratt

      Nina,
      While you may be the author of this article, you are not a journalist. JW raises several excellent points that your customers (that’s right you have customers – ask your boss) should be made aware of. Instead, you reply with a snarky comment? If you are reporting news, those are exactly the issues that you should have covered in your original piece. If you were a journalist, you would have immediately followed up. Since you did not, this is more likely some sort of paid advertisement for the device.

      Either way, it speaks volumes about the quality of DMN, its “journalists,” and the editor’s ability to report news. I stumbled onto this site a few weeks ago and now see that, at best, it is no more than a place for hobbiest bloggers. I will not be returning.


      Reply
  2. mb

    how much range does it have from phone to device?


    Reply
  3. Tim Wood

    The Gramafon has another, better (compound) name: Sonos Connect + D-Link Router. Why spend $50 or $30 on substandard sound and redundant WiFi chips so the company can pump the size of its “network” to the next round of suck–e-r-investors?


    Reply
  4. William Robertson

    To be fair, it sounds like a neat package for under $50. The idea of a media streamer that is also a wifi extender with guest authentication via Facebook and playlist sharing sounds like it has a place, even if the components aren’t completely new and the sound quality might not be great.


    Reply
  5. Kenny G

    Pretty cool technology, BUT, it’s still streaming, ripping off $$ from the artists, just read the recent post regarding Bette Middlers recent fortune from Pandora..and besides, the quality coming out of this little gadget in NO WAY compares to the new PONO. Lets face it folks, keep music quality high, time to pay the artists what they deserve.


    Reply
    1. Skipp

      Kenny, before you jump into conlusions based on two-year old rumours about how much Spotify is ripping off $$ from the artists, please read Spotify Explained – and then check these figures against iTunes or YouTube artist royalties. You’ll be surprised.


      Reply
    2. skipp604

      Kenny, before you jump into conlusions based on two-year old rumours about how much Spotify is ripping off $$ from the artists, please read – and then check these figures against iTunes or YouTube artist royalties. You’ll be surprised.


      Reply

Leave a Reply

Connect with:


+ 3 = six

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  1. OUR SPONSORS

  2.  
  3. Most Heated!