Before executives took the stage at Google’s I/O Conference for a keynote earlier today, the company revealed a new media streaming device called the Nexus Q. Described on the Google Play product page as the first social streaming media player, the orb-shaped unit is able to stream music, HD movies, TV shows and YouTube videos to your home theater system or stereo system using Google Play.
The device is controlled by your Android phone or tablet but content is pulled directly from the cloud. Google believes that music is often best enjoyed with friends, so to differentiate itself from similar streaming media offerings and drive that point home, Google infused Nexus Q with social capabilities.
The company describes it as a cloud-connected jukebox where everyone brings their own music to the party. Nexus Q allows friends to create a single playlist that everyone has access to. Anyone in the group can move songs up or down on the playlist or even play a new track instantly before the previous tune is finished.
The device itself is essentially a small Android-powered computer with a dual-core OMAP4460 processor running Ice Cream Sandwich and 16GB of onboard storage. Rear panel connectivity options include an optical audio port, Ethernet jack, micro-HDMI port and a micro-USB port. Additionally, an internal 25-watt amplifier is able to power a set of speakers without the need of a stereo receiver should you feel so inclined.
Google expects to ship the Nexus Q in the next few weeks at a price of $299. As PC World points out, this is three times as much as an Apple TV but there are a lot more features built in to justify the price.