Listening to music stored in the grooves of flat plastic discs is on the rise, with the latest data from Nielsen showing an increase in US sales for the 11th consecutive year in 2016. We've seen quite a few interesting reinventions of the humble turntable recently, including models that spin discs in mid air and others which allow integrated Hi-Res digital conversion, and now there's a modern take on the portable player. Billed as the first intelligent turntable, the Love system plays vinyl using a real stylus, connects to Bluetooth speakers and can be controlled using a smartphone.
The battery-powered, Yves Behar-designed Love system is made up of two main components. It will come with two 7-inch platters and an old school telephone handset-like upper module that's home to the stylus and more. As you can see from the image below, the stylus cartridge is attached to what looks like a linear mechanism for playback, which also presumably lowers the stylus onto the vinyl record and lifts it out of harm's way when playback ends.
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Once the record is placed on the platter, the receiving hex-shaped hole on the underside of the upper module is popped onto the spindle after setting the appropriate RPM speed using a manual switch. The system is activated using a touch button positioned directly above the spindle on the upper module. The button can also be used to select tracks – once to start at the outer edge, twice to skip straight to track two, three time for track three and so on.
The disc that's home to the hex-shaped spindle mount remains static, as does the record, while the upper module spins counterclockwise with what's described as religious silence. The system also scans the record to determine its size and number of playable tracks.
If manual operation seems a tad antiquated for our modern, connected world, playback can also be controlled through a companion app running on a mobile device. The app offers play, skip, repeat, RPM selection, volume control and can also display album art onscreen.
Unlike the kind of portable players that Crosley has been churning out for years, the Love system doesn't rely on a tinny built-in speaker to output the music. Its creators say that the device can wirelessly connect to powered speakers over Bluetooth and join multiroom Wi-Fi setups. It will even come supplied with a 3.5 mm or RCA Bluetooth adapter to allow users of non-BT speaker systems to go wireless.
The Love player is due to launch mid-February for an as yet undisclosed price tag. All of the reported capabilities certainly look promising on paper, but we'd need to see and hear it in action before casting our vote. Meanwhile have a look at the short teaser video below for a taste of what's to come.
Update Feb 2: The Love project has launched on Kickstarter to fund production. It's already exceeded its funding goal with more than a month remaining on the campaign clock. Pledges start at US$319, shaving nearly 50 percent off the expected retail price, and shipping is estimated for October.
Source: ComingSoon Tech