Rocki plans to 'revolutionize' music streaming with new products

​Music streamer startup Rocki says it plans to "revolutionize the industry" and plans additions to its Play product series, including more music services, better support and new devices.

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The Rocki Play (in green) is a music streamer with a 3.5mm output and is designed to be connected to a existing hi-fi. Sarah Tew/CNET

Music streamer startup Rocki says it wants to "revolutionize the industry" and plans additions to its Play product series, such as more music services, better support and new devices.

The Rocki Play is a $40 (about £30 or AU$53, converted) streaming audio player that connects to existing speakers and debuted, and managed to score funding on Kickstarter in late 2013.

Co-founder Nick N.M. Yap, attending CE Week in New York, said the Roki Play is just the first step in his dream for multiroom music.

"We didn't think about just creating a streaming device, we wanted to revolutionize the music industry," Yap said.

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The forthcoming Rocki Play adds HDMI and optical outputs Rocki

In the coming months the company plans to release a follow-up product, the Rocki Play+, which adds HDMI and optical outputs which would enable audiophiles to connect their own digital analog converters (DACs).

Yap said that the future of Rocki wasn't just in the Play devices themselves but getting the technology into as many different devices as possible. He said the company was working with five high-profile audio companies on a new "Rocki Inside" program and showed CNET a prototype circuit board designed to fit inside a speaker or other receiver.

In our review of the Rocki Play we found that the lack of music services and DLNA to be the only major sticking points. Yap said he expects at least eight new music apps to be ready by September, including European service Deezer, and that these would join existing services Last.FM and Soundcloud. He was unable to confirm if Spotify was one of them, but said he has been working with the company.

As far as DLNA support is concerned, co-founder Dennis List said the feature was coming in a number of weeks, in addition to improved multi-room performance.

Though the device is designed to be used with the forthcoming iOS app, it currently supports Airplay, though List said this was accidental and not an advertised feature. He said that it may not make the final cut, pending Apple approval.

"We're just a startup, if Apple doesn't want AirPlay in there then we'll remove it," List said.

Look forward to an updated review of the Play and the new Play+ once the promised features are released.

 

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