November 23, 2008 As more of us store and access music and media in a digital format and our personal collections grow, the need for fast and convenient access becomes increasingly important. Bang & Olufsen have addressed this with the Beosound 5 digital music system, a product designed to bridge the gap between the company’s high-end hi-fi system.

The heart of the system is the BeoSound 5 controller. Sporting a 10.4 inch 1024 x 768 LCD display and aluminium scroll wheel, it weighs in at 2.65kg and can be table top or wall mounted.

A clever combination of graphics and mechanics, the BeoSound 5 controller provides an easy, convenient way to navigate through large amounts of digital music and media. Each selection and move you make is mirrored on the LCD display in an intuitive and stylish fashion. While the BeoSound 5 controller makes one-hand operation slick and simple, the feel is still very tactile.

Providing storage and connection options is the BeoMaster 5. Designed to be hidden away, it provides 500GB of storage and all the electronics to drive the BeoSound 5 system. Music can be stored in lossless WMA format allowing up to 28,000 songs to be stored in all their digital glory. Also supported are (compressed) WMA, MP3, WAV, ASF and AAC (iPod) format. On the video side, there’s support for MPEG, MPE, MPG, AVI, WMV and VFW formats.

Connections provided on the BeoMaster 5 include analogue line-out, s/pdif, DVI-I, DVI-D (for the controller,) component, s-video and composite video out, three USB 2.0 ports (one for the controller,) ethernet and IR-in. The BeoSound controller itself also offers USB and HDMI/DVI connections.

Perhaps the most interesting feature of the BeoSound 5 system is Bang & Olufsen’s, MOTS (More Of The Same) algorithm. The award winning MOTS concept is an “intelligent” playlist if you will. Playing a song is like planting a seed. Once playing, MOTS will scan your music library and find similar tracks based on parameters like rhythm, syncopation, key tonality and vocal harmonies. As the MOTS algorithm uses the actual music rather than file or tag information, it lets you rediscover those hidden gems in your collection based on your initial song choice.

With the introduction of the BeoSound 5, B&O are introducing a new standard in digital music storage and performance with their usual stamp of quality. The BeoSound 5 system – including the controller and BeoMaster server – will be available from March 2009 and priced around $5,377US.

Tim LeFevre

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