For those who don't want to spend $1,400 on the Sony's Giga Jukes, you could try the HDD-based JB7 from market newcomer Brennan. There are no speakers, no Wi-Fi, no radio, no big colorful display, and no lush extra features. Instead, it's a compact unit with a simple purpose: to aggregate your CD collection with minimal fuss.or splash out on one of
Technophobes may appreciate its simplicity--we'll know when we've had a play ourselves--and anyone without a computer will undoubtedly find it a convenient way to break into the jukebox market. The JB7 includes a 60-watt amplifier and the Gracenote CD database built-in, so your CD rips are automatically labeled and tagged with artist info. The whole lot can be directly hooked up to a pair of speakers. Unfortunately, it only offers an utterly pathetic 20GB version starting at 250 pounds ($495), 40GB for 300 pounds ($594), and 80GB at a horrific 320 pounds ($634).
We see a major issue here: Why max out with an 80GB hard disk for Silicon Heaven's sake? Would it really break the bank to shove in a 250GB hard disk instead? Those drives are hardly costly these days; plus, it would open the possibility to rip CDs into true lossless quality--offered by the JB7--instead of lossy MP3, which is really the only way you're going to get a massive CD collection into even the top model's space.
But the main thing we take issue with is price. You can pick up a 20GB hard disk for less than 20 pounds ($40). This is what's in Brennan's entry-level model. Hop over to a site such as Scan.co.uk and you can snag 500GB drives for about 60 pounds more. Why, then, does Brennan want 70 pounds more for just 60GB of extra space?
We'll have a full review and a hands-on report for you very soon, as our JB7 has just arrived. Safe to say we're absolutely shocked at the expense of this simple unit.