When Bluesound announced last week that its high-resolution, audiophile music streaming solution was getting Spotify Connect capabilities, I got curious. Since Bluesound is part of the same family of products as NAD’s Master Series components, I thought to myself, it stands to reason that Master Series models like the M50 Digital Music Player might also be on the receiving end of some Spotify Connect love too. So I asked. And the answer was less than conclusive.
I should have been a little more patient, because NAD announced this week that the M50 is, indeed, Spotify Connect compatible as of today. Of course, glossy compressed music streaming isn’t the M50’s raison d’être. The player is predominately designed as a digital audiophile playback solution, with support for high-resolution files up to 192 kHz/24-bit. Combine it with the M52 Digital Music Vault and it also makes one heck of a convenient (and high-quality) way to rip and store your tunes without ever having to fire up a computer or install iTunes.
But not every song you might want to listen to is available in high-resolution, and maybe you’re fine streaming Fatboy Slim’s Greatest Hits on demand rather than shelling out for the CD or MP3 download. Or maybe you just want to surf for some new tunes. All of that and more is now easier than ever on the M50 thanks to Spotify Connect.
If you need a reminder about what makes Spotify Connect different from (and better than) vanilla Spotify, I’ve covered it a couple of times recently (here and here), but the bottom line is that instead of streaming directly from your portable media device to your player, Spotify Connect uses your phone or tablet as a fancy remote control, and the music itself goes straight from the internet to your player. Not only that, but you can swap out control devices (say, if you need to charge your phone, or if you need to leave home with it and other family members want to keep listening to what you were streaming) without interruptions.
“This partnership with Spotify Connect is the perfect enhancement to the M50’s advanced digital and multi-room streaming technologies,” said Greg Stidsen, NAD’s Director of Technology & Product Planning, as part of the announcement. “Our customers will get the best of both worlds: true and reliable high-performance audio along with Spotify’s premium music service and its ever-expanding catalogue of songs. It’s a true music lover’s dream.”
If you’re already an M50 owner and want to enjoy Spotify Connect today, you’ll need to be a Spotify Premium subscribers, and you’ll also need to update your player or players’ software to the latest version: 1.10.0. You’ll also need the latest version of the iOS or Android app. If you’re running iOS 7, that should update automatically. If not, you can find it on the iTunes store. Android users can find the latest version of the NAD M50 Remote app on the Google Play store.