The Aurender music server - a formidable fanfare of technology and convenience
Tuesday, 31 July 2012 19:21

Sometime in 1967 during my prank-playing days, a group of us ‘borrowed’ a Wurlitzer jukebox from the Students’ Union on the compound of the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus and pushed it all the way across the great divide to the courtyard of Chancellor Hall. An extension cord was connected and soon enough we had awoken many of our fellow students. Carefree and inebriated, we swayed until daylight enjoying the rock steady sounds of Ken Boothe, Derrick Harriott, Toots & the Maytals, Byron Lee et al, played on 45 rpm vinyl records that formed the nucleus of the 400 lb instrument’s ‘memory.’

The device was very mechanically biased with an ‘arm’ selecting records from stacks and placing them on a built-in turntable. Music was reproduced via powerful tube amplifiers driving multiple loudspeakers integrated into the design. Without a doubt, Wurlitzer jukeboxes were cutting-edge technology andformed the basis for entertainment in pubs and recreation centres worldwide. However, the most appropriate word by which I can now describe those programmable record-playing behemoths is obzocky.

Forty-five years later at TWBAS 2012 I had a pleasant, fulfilling initial encounter with the ultimate ‘digital jukebox’ - a sleek, quiet, elegant, robust ‘featherweight;’ a graceful, ergonomically friendly feline, tactile and aesthetically appealing. The device contained absolutely no moving parts and could store, retrieve and output musical files under the command of a sophisticated remote control, the Apple IPAD.

The Aurender S10 Music Server is manufactured by WideaLab, a division of the Wonik Corporation of Korea. Imagine being able to access music randomly from your personal library of 6000-odd CDs cached in high-resolution lossless formats, download stuff from the Internet or simply relax with iTunes. The Aurender is unequivocally the foremost example of how to optimise technology for high-quality entertainment with convenience that I have encountered in five decades.

In his review of the product, colleague Randall Smith concluded “I’m sure it’s by now apparent why the Aurender S10 has been chosen as the digital source for TWBAS 2012. WideaLab has approached the S10’s design from seemingly every angle, and the result is an all-out assault on the music-server category. This amazing product far exceeds in performance what I’ve experienced with other music servers. WideaLab is dedicated to making compromises unnecessary, and that makes it a perfect fit for TWBAS 2012.”

I have forecast many interesting applications for the Aurender and its bigger sibling the W10, including archiving our country’s rich musical heritage. But recently during a visit to Legacy House, home and gallery of artist emeritus Leroy Clarke it dawned on me that much divine inspiration is derived from his vast eclectic collection of vinyl, cassettes and CDs. Any serious appraisal of Leroy’s work would, of necessity, need to relate to the type of fare that fuels his genius; the Aurender would proffer an elegant solution... Read my new August Ultra Audio feature on Nakamichi.


Simeon L. Sandiford
Managing Director