With the popularity of digital media continuing to increase, it seems that almost everyone has a personal media player. The most popular of these players by far is the iPod. Coming in a multitude of stylings ranging from the discrete Nano to the sleek iTouch, and even being incorporated into the iPhone, there is an iPod to fit anyone’s lifestyle and media needs. Recognizing this ongoing trend, Control4 recently released their own iPod docking station to allow all your digital media to be accessible and distributed throughout your Control4 network.

The design of the dock is convenient and discreet; its table-top design has minimalist dimensions of only 5.5” x 3.75” x 1.25” (W x H x D), making it easy to find a place for the dock in your home. The dock does require access to an AC power outlet as well as a wired connection to your home network. These connections, as well as the audio and video outputs, are made on the rear of the unit, allowing the wires to be neatly managed.

Once your iPod is docked it becomes another source in your audio and video distribution system. This allows you to listen to your music anywhere in your home even if the dock is in another room. Multiple rooms can simultaneously access the same single audio stream from the dock so you can have the same music throughout the house. Control4 included video outputs as well, adding the same capabilities for your iPod’s stored video content. As an added benefit, the dock will also charge you iPod whenever it’s mounted.

Since your iPod is now on the Control4 network, you can access it from any Control4 interface in your home. Your Control4 touchscreens and the on-screen graphic interface that appears on your TV monitors will allow you to browse your iPod for a selection and even display your library by cover art. Control4 accomplishes this impressive level of control by utilizing two-way communication over the dock’s ethernet connection.

Speaking of the iPod, another new option offered by Control4 is the ability to turn your iTouch or iPhone into a handheld system controller. This impressive feature is not related to Control4’s iDock, but is an application that is available to be installed on your iTouch or iPhone. Once loaded, the touchscreen of your iTouch/iPhone becomes a Control4 wireless touchscreen, giving you full control over your entire system when wirelessly connected to your home network. This application is simply incredible! You will have all the information and control available on your regular touchscreens right in the palm of your hand, presented to you exactly as you’re used to seeing it on your Control4 touchpanels and onscreen interface. This application gives you the freedom and convenience of wireless control wherever your home network reaches, and the best part is that you may already have an iTouch or an iPhone, so all you need is the software. Of course, when you’re using your iTouch or iPhone as a wireless controller, it won’t be available as a network music or video source as it would be when it’s mounted in a Control4 dock.

As Control4 continues to embrace new trends and incorporate them into their evolving infrastructure, it is exciting to think of what else they will have for us as the year progresses. By supporting iPods not only with their dock but with their touchscreen application, they are successfully maintaining their relevance in the industry and demonstrating how attuned they are to the ever-changing technological desires of their customers. It’s that type of approach that makes the Control4 product line a favorite for home integration systems.

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