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Big Audio Dynamite

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Linux

The request S4.2500 is the Mercedes S600 of digital music players: big, powerful, built like a tank. And expensive. This music server runs $18,500, making it just right if you're the kind of music lover who spends $100,000 on a home theater system.

In that environment the S4.2500 fits right in, delivering sound quality that's as good as the best stand-alone CD players, along with a towering 1.5 terabytes of storage capacity, enough to stash 2,500 CDs in the highest-fidelity digital format available (which is not MP3 but uncompressed WAV). Just to let you know this is serious audio gear, the S4.2500 comes in a solid aluminum chassis and weighs 60 pounds.

I've been using ReQuest's bottom-end N Series server ($1,500) in my office and loving it. But the S4.2500 is at the top of ReQuest's line. It's basically a rock-solid Linux computer coupled to a Lynx Studio Technology sound card of the sort used by professional recording studios. Nice touches include 24-karat gold connectors and aircraft-grade fasteners.

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