When I was a child we had vinyl records and CDs but no music streaming services. We had Nikon, Canon and Leica cameras and lenses slow chemical photography, no Instagram. When I was a child we had paper books, no Kindle. No Netflix, to see movies you had to go to a movie theater. When I was a child we had less experiences, but surprisingly, we also had much better quality experiences. Now we live in an era in which everything is accessible in your smartphone or tablet. But the question is, at what quality? For example, people are uploading childhoods to Instagram. But how good will those pictures look when kids grow up? Or you get Alexa to play your music and you have an endless music library with Spotify which is awesome. But the quality of that music? Can you compare an Alexa speaker to a sound systems of the 70s? And now we can watch any movie on Netflix on our iPhone, but how does that compared to going to a movie theater? What we have done is trade quality for convenience in a gigantic scale.
As a result we got a huge backlash, a back to quality movement represented by hipsters. Hipsters see that paper books read better than books on your iPad, or that vinyl records in sound better than a Google Home speaker, or that a picture taken with a reflex camera is better than your Instagram filters on your Samsung. But Hipsters miss out on what is great about mobile, access. Personally I have been thinking about the quality deterioration paradox trying to achieve both, the quality of my childhood with the awesome ubiquity of today. And I have good news here, you can get both!
Examples, we got an amazing projector in our bedroom equivalent to that of a movie theater, a remarkable sound system streaming high quality music. I have been using new digital cameras like the Sony A7 series with old Leica lenses and obtaining great digital photography results. I have been working on projects like Gramofon in which you incorporate digital music streaming to old sound systems and obtain the best of both worlds, an endless music library with great sound. I don’t want to settle for a world in which everything is plentiful but of terrible quality. I think with some work and investment, we can achieve ubiquity and quality.
I am very excited to announce that this year Gramofon will provide the ultimate home audio experience with the integration of Qualcomm’s AllPlay feature!
At the moment Gramofon works with Spotify, but AllPlay will increase our music service coverage to include TuneIn, iHeartRadio, Rhapsody, Aupeo, DoubleTwist, Soma FM, and Napster. AllPlay also allows you to stream music stored locally on your phone and play music from a DLNA server.
With AllPlay, Gramofon’s will be able to play music simultaneously over multiple Gramofons around the home. Place Gramofons in different rooms “group” them together to listen to the same music all over the house. You can also pick and choose which speakers to play from and “group” different rooms ex. Kitchen & Living Room.
I am excited for this new phase of Gramofon. Creating a holistic music experience that allows you to play music from your favorite music services/your phone, and listen to them everywhere around the home, is what Gramofon has always strived for.
First my sincere apologies for the instruction manual that we have provided, we are improving it a great deal thanks to your feedback. In the meantime this is my simplest way to explain how to connect a Gramofon.
Then if you found this link after November 2014 don’t go on reading, the Gramofon installation will be simpler by then. This is only for the beta units of the Kickstarter backers.
Take Gramofon out of the box.
Decide where you want to place it, you must have electricity and a sound system nearby. Ethernet or cable Internet is optional but if you have it use it as speeds will be better. Think of an Apple TV, in a way the Gramofon is like an Apple TV for sound and it connects via cable or WiFi like an Apple TV and it turns any sound system into a cloud music player just like an Apple TV turns any TV into an Apple TV video player.
Plug to electrical outlet and to sound system via the audio cable
If you have ethernet (cable that gives Internet) plug to ethernet, if not no worries the Gramofon also works via WiFi receiving and extending your wifi signal. Now one warning here, the Gramofon will extend the signal of any router that is not made by Fon. It will not extend the WiFi signal of a Fonera for example. It’s an IP conflict problem and in this case to fix it you will have to be an advanced user.
Download the Fon Utility app, please make sure it is the Fon Utility app, yes I said Fon Utility app and I did not say Gramofon app, I also did not say Fon app. Fon has three apps but the one you need here is Fon Utility.
Connect to the WiFi signal Gramofonxxx with password that is written under the Gramofon, if you are over 40 get your reading glasses as font is small!
Open Fon Utility app and follow instructions in the app, the app is like an instruction manual, and it shows you how to personalize the Gramofon choose names, like GramofonBedroom or GramofonKitchen or whatever you want to name the Gramofon, the WiFi signal that comes out of the Gramofon and your favorite password. The app also takes you to Facebook so your friends do not need a password to play music and to use your WiFi because Facebook lets us know they are your friends. Last but not least the app via the registration process gives you a username and password to roam for free at 13.5 million hotspots around the world! So please go through this app from beginning to end. See how to do this by watching our instructional video here.
Once the Gramofon is configured and you are done with the Fon Utility app, close it
Open the Spotify app and choose your favorite song. Play it.
As the song starts playing in your phone, look for a gray circle and wait for it to turn green, a circle with a speaker sign on the bottom right of the screen, that will appear next to the song, click on the green circle and you will see the choice of playing the song either via your phone or via the Gramofon, click on Gramofon and enjoy your favorite song on your sound system. Here is another short video.
There is another way to play music, and that is the radio app Gramofon. For this:
Download the Gramofon app.
Provide the PIN that appears on the Gramofon itself as the app requests it. This PIN is on the side of the Gramofon together with the MAC.
Register with Facebook and start playing music with the Gramofon app. See how its done here.
At this point the Gramofon supports Spotify and Gramofon music provided by WahWah, in the future we will get more music services via All Play, click here to learn more about All Play.
And once again thank you thank you thank you Kickstarter backers, you are awesome.