How Do IPod Docks Stream Audio?

More and more vendors have started to release iPod docks that promise ultimate freedom of movement by streaming the ipod music wirelessly through a home. There are many technologies used by different models. I will glance at a few of these techniques and contrast the pros and cons of each of these techniques.

Some models use proprietary protocols such as the Sonos dock or the Amphony wireless ipod dock. Other docks are based on standard wireless protocols such as WiFi and Bluetooth. Each of these technologies has their pros and cons. The strength of the proprietary protocols is that they were specifically designed for streaming audio while the standard protocols were designed primarily for wireless network and connectivity applications.

Real-time audio demands very high quality of service (also called QoS). In today's crowded wireless environments, these systems must perform flawlessly regardless of how much interference exists. This is where the proprietary protocols excel. Standard protocols such as WiFi or Bluetooth are preferable if you are looking to stream to 3rd-party devices. Most products which are based on standard wireless protocols can communicate with products from other vendors while products which are based on proprietary protocols can only transmit to products that were made by the same brand.

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