Record button? I was so deep in the computer interface that I’d forgotten about the MUSICA’s front panel. I turned the scrollwheel to “First Mix” and hit the record button. The MUSICA asked me to insert a blank disc, and in 10 minutes I had my hot little experimental compilation in hand. Olive had just made a friend for life.
The MUSICA is a fantastic but imperfect piece of transitional technology. The front-panel interface and instruction manual leave much to be desired. The variable analog stereo output could directly feed a power amp, but the remote’s volume up/ down function is slow to respond, and won’t go to zero. There’s no frontpanel control for headphone output. That’s via remote control only, by briefly hitting the right arrow key, then using the left arrow key for down volume and the right arrow for up. For my purposes, the MUSICA’s Internet radio feature was useless, because it uses the Shoutcast portal. Streaming Sirius satellite radio requires password log-in, not possible using the MUSICA.
Those are minor shortcomings compared to all the MUSICA does right. As we went to press, Olive announced the OPUS, with audiophile-quality circuitry and construction, a 400GB hard drive, and improved functionality. I can’t wait to take it for a test drive.