Great Little Balls of Fire
Anyone familiar with whole house music servers knows that they're not inexpensive. But Escient's FireBall FP-1 Music Manager can give you a taste of the good life for a pittance (well, at least compared to their full blown servers.) The FP-1 does this by using your iPod as the storage device, instead of a rack of servers. Best of all, all your favorite music is already on it. I think they're tapping a huge, uh, untapped market for their products.
But the FP-1 isn't just another iPod dock. For starters, you get Escient's very attractive Music Manager software (seen in the background) that does neat things such as get cover art that will display on your plasma while you're viewing track titles and selecting tunes or shuffling through playlists. One Ethernet port puts the FP-1 on your network and you can configure it from your browser. Add a remote control and a digital output (optical) to your system, something most docking stations lack, and the $600 FP-1 sounds like a welcome addition to a home theater, doesn't it?