Media Servers

Olive 03HD Music Server


Design and Setup

The Olive 03HD was much larger in person that I expected from the photographs. The size of my five-disc SACD changer, the Olive houses a 500 GB hard drive to store your music, a CD-RW drive for ripping and burning albums, and a 4.3" LCD panel for playback. The back panel is very minimalist with only L/R RCA outputs, a USB jack for making a backup of the drive, Ethernet for Internet Radio and Metadata retrieval, and a standard IEC power cord. Unlike the higher end models, there is no Wi-Fi, digital inputs, or digital outputs, but the integrated Cirrus Logic DAC can play material up to 24/192.

The front panel is also very clean, with your standard CD controls (Play/Pause, Forward, Back, Eject) in addition to a cursor control if you don't want to use the touchscreen. I did like the cool engraving of different musical genres on the top of the player, but I did wish the green plastic around the CD mechanism had been a more neutral color. The color display was a good size and relatively sharp, with enough resolution to display all the information on the current track during playback.

Setting up the Olive proved to be incredibly easy. I put it into my rack, attached all the cables to the back, and then setup the network. I like to use a static IP address so I can more easily access my components over the network, but had I chosen to use DHCP my setup would have been completed once the Olive was turned on. When you purchase the Olive they have a service to pre-load the server with your music, and the first 100 albums are included. While I didn't take advantage of this, their servers come loaded with some of the 24/176.4 HRx albums from Reference Recordings to help show off the ability to play back those higher resolution files. Being able to unbox a component, turn it on, and have music going in under 10 minutes was a very nice experience.