This is a rather lovely looking project currently seeking funding on Indiegogo. The concept is to create the ultimate media station in a sort of beautifully combined tablet, stand and audio interface. They’ve only managed to raise 2% of their $100,000 target and have just a month to go. I think this deserves a bit more attention because there’s some real possibilities in here.
What’s attracted me to it is the versatility. They say in the video that professional recording equipment and media players are all very complicated and hard to use, which isn’t particularly true. They also say they are not compatible with each other and you end up having multiple devices for dealing with different sorts of media, which is a bit more true. The Fi Station aims to be a recording device, a music player and a video streamer, potentially replacing a few things around the home. Quite possibly.
The iPad can do much of what’s on offer here. A touch screen interface, music and video player that’s very portable and easy to use. However it lacks the professional connections. You can always add an audio interface but then you’re into two devices and connecting things up. With more integrated devices such as Alesis iO Dock it ends up being a bit chunky. Fi Station is attempting to do this in a much more elegant way.
The design is very beautiful and pleasing to look at. Into the back they’ve included mic and instrument inputs, TRS outputs, S/PDIF and MIDI In/Out. The wheels on the sides are actually knobs for controlling volume and …. Something else. One of the slight strokes of genius is the USB port which allows it to become a ASIO or Core Audio interface for Windows or OS X. Then you have the fabulous touch screen interface, running Android with all the apps and possibilities that implies.
What I like is the possibility of it being a stand-alone recorder which can then be connected to a larger computer setup. A couple of interfaces, like the RME UFX, let you plug in a USB stick for instant computer free recording. But this is done far more intentionally. It’s an awesome feature. And then when you want to listen to music or watch a film you can do so straight from the Fi Station with pro quality outputs.
The expected price will be around $500 which is of course way cheaper than an iPad with an audio interface. But if you pledge now you can get up to $200 off that price and be one of the first to receive a Fi Station. They expect to deliver in March 2017.
For more information checkout their campaign.