|ReQuest Fusion Pro 250 Music Server|
|Home Theater Media Servers Music Servers|
|Written by Jerry Del Colliano|
|Saturday, 01 January 2005|
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The FreeDB database simply doesn’t do a good enough job of getting you started in managing your collection. There are just too many mistakes at every level. ReQuest is a very expensive source and they might consider adding a very small subscription fee to keep an employee or two on staff to make sure the music you rip is correctly labeled. Kalidescape doesn’t charge a service fee for this, but they have people on staff keeping track of every movie ripped on one of their systems. Most are already in the database. However, when some Hollywood big shot gets a “For Your Consideration” copy from the Academy of a feature film that is still in theaters, Kalidescape can scan the art and get the DVD into their database. I am not expecting that kind of service, but it might be expected to see the database on the ReQuest managed in a more intuitive way that could at least get Led Zeppelin in the right category.
On the faceplate, the readout for the unit is a cheap green LCD display in an age where receivers come with pretty good-sized color screens. Managing your ReQuest works well on an AMX, but not everyone has a $6,000 to $10,000 remote control system in their system. If you do have a projector, you might not want to run it for prolonged listening sessions, so you can access the onscreen display. The little screen on the ReQuest will work, but I found it difficult to use.
The remote that comes with the ReQuest is loaded with features and can be hard to use at times, especially when the lights are dim. At this price, a backlit remote should be standard equipment.
The retail prices of the hard drives on the ReQuest servers are astronomically high. A 250 Gigabyte Firewire hard drive, like the one I use on my Apple G4 to back up my MP3s for my iPod, costs under $300. Upgrading from an 80 GB drive to a 250 drive can cost $2,000. To me, this begs questions as to what ReQuest does to the hard drives to make them so expensive. Assuming a stock hard drive from CompUSA would work (it would cost a fraction of the price your dealer would need to charge you), it makes you wonder. However when you consider that popping in such a drive would void your warranty, it quickly becomes a bad idea.
I have been heavily critical of the Request Fusion 250 as a cutting edge product in a new category. Clearly, it has a lot of room to improve, but I want to be clear – I bought the ReQuest Fusion 250 and have every intention of keeping it for years to come. I find listening to music from my server to be an entirely different and completely valuable experience that coincides with my traditional audio enthusiast way of carefully listening to an album from start to finish with the lights dimmed.
The ability to control your ReQuest with your touch screen remote and distribute your entire music collection to every room of your house is fantastic. Back in the days when I was designing high-end home theaters and multi-room audio systems, the best source we had was a five-disc changer. Try controlling that in a 24,000 square foot house with a keypad from 1992. Good luck. Today, you can make your Request jump through hoops from every room in your house. Heck, you can even enjoy your entire music collection from your laptop in a hotel room that has a high-speed connection. The same goes for your office.
Without question. in fully considering the units areas for future improvement, the ReQuest Fusion 250 will be an Audio Video Revolution Top 100 winner. If you have the hard drive space, it can reproduce your music collection faithfully and bring it to areas of your life that would have been inaccessible just a few years ago.