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Wireless Whole Home Audio – It’s Easy with the Qualcomm AllPlay Smart Media Platform

Hope you caught all the news about Qualcomm® AllPlay™ that came out of CES, from Qualcomm and Panasonic. We think it’s a pretty big deal because, for the first time, the real promise of wireless whole home audio is now in reach for the broad consumer electronics industry and consumers alike.

I'm really excited to see that the AllPlay smart media platform will bring wireless whole home audio to the mass market because it’s a cross-brand interoperable solution that is enabling an ecosystem of like-minded companies to emerge.  If you're at CES, you'll see speakers and audio adapters powered by AllPlay from hardware companies including Lenco, Medion, Musaic and Panasonic demonstrated in the Qualcomm booth at CES 2014. In addition, doubleTwist with Magic Radio, iHeartRadio, Rhapsody/Napster and SomaFM are also demonstrating their AllPlay compatible streaming music apps in our booth.  Wait…there's more! Additional manufacturer and content partners who are planning to support the platform this year include Altec Lansing, Aupeo, Grooveshark and Tune-In.

And for those that want those technical aspects and offerings of the AllPlay smart media platform:

  • A turnkey smart audio module – this is the hardware piece. The AllPlay smart audio module’s compact design includes a Qualcomm Atheros 802.11n 2x2 dual-band SoC; flexible I/Os including USB, I2S, I2C and S/PDIF; on- and off-board antennas; support for multiple digital-to-analog converters, and global regulatory certification.
  • The AllPlay media player software package – supports ‘Party Mode’ playback across up to 10 zones/speakers, multi-source to multi-speaker streaming, shared/social play lists, cross-platform Wi-Fi network configuration and ‘Direct Mode’ streaming, over-the-air firmware updates, support for DLNA and Airplay, and a broad suite of lossy, lossless and uncompressed audio codecs (MP3, AAC, AAC+, FLAC, WAV, ALAC, PCM) with support for high-resolution 192 kHz/24 bit output. (Yeah, that’s a mouthful, but I had to cover all of it.)
  • Flexible controller apps and SDKs – for working across iOS and Android, speaker grouping with individual volume controls for each set of speakers (Party and Multi-Zone modes), and the ability to stream content from handsets, tablets and local media sources.
  • The AllPlay Click SDK – this is the final piece of the puzzle. The Click SDK enables music services and media player app developers to easily incorporate AllPlay functionality into their iOS and Android apps, while maintaining their own brand look, user experience and monetization models. Users of AllPlay-enabled apps can discover and stream to one or many AllPlay-powered speakers in unison on a Wi-Fi network.

This sort of cross-platform approach only makes sense, right?  Consumers, no matter how much they may prefer some specific brand for a particular bit of gear, typically don’t fill their homes with consumer electronics from just one company. So if you’re going to free their stereos from wires and make it easy for them to play whatever’s accessible on their phone or tablet to whatever speakers they have, AllPlay is just the ticket. And AllPlay can do this easily because it’s based on the power of the AllJoyn software and services framework which enables interoperability across connected products, apps and services. Initially developed by Qualcomm Innovation Center Inc., AllJoyn is now hosted as an open source project by the AllSeen Alliance.

If you’re interested in developing products using AllPlay, check us out here.

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