The Ancho controller performs all the functions of the Petine, but with a more user-friendly, 20-character alphanumeric display and dedicated transport controls for navigating without a remote. It comes standard with a sound card (optional on the Petine), as well as a CompactFlash card with hundreds of songs.
Both systems come standard with a speaker. Both the Ancho and Petine have mixed and unmixed audio outputs: the background music track and the piano track can be mixed for piping around the house, but the piano track can be omitted from the speakers in the room containing the piano. Individual sources of audio sound can be finely adjusted to sound properly balanced at any volume level. Dual USB ports and an S-video output are on board both controllers but are not yet implemented.
The MIDI information on Pianomation CDs is in analog format: compressed by QRS's patented AMI (Analog MIDI interface) technology, then uncompressed and translated back into digital format as it is received by the piano for playback. The analog signal can be transmitted to the piano by radio waves using the optional wireless transmitter and receiver, which could be handy for use in commercial establishments, or when you don't want to run wires between the CD player and the piano.
SyncAlong is a MIDI-controlled piano performance that synchronizes with a commercially available audio CD of a major recording artist. SyncAlong CDs play on the Ancho and Petine. A Transcription series, similar to SyncAlong but without the background music, is also available. In this series, a solo-piano audio CD is transcribed and offered as a Pianomation CD so the customer can hear the performance on his or her own piano.
Qsync is a DVD interface designed to implement QRS's patented DVD SyncAlong technology. With the addition of Qsync, a Pianomation player piano will play along with selected popular, commercially available concert DVDs.
QRS offers an optical recording strip called PNOscan that now comes standard on all Story & Clark pianos. (Story & Clark is a subsidiary of QRS.) Placed under the keys, PNOscan translates each keystroke into MIDI data about the note, speed, and duration, without affecting the piano's touch. This MIDI data can be output to Pianomation for storage and later playback, or stored as a standard MIDI file on CompactFlash for computer editing. Coupling PNOscan with Ancho or Petine (with optional sound card), the pianist can play General MIDI (instrumental) sounds. SilentPNO consists of the PNOscan record strip, a piano sound module, and a stop rail for muting the acoustic piano. By muting the piano and turning on the sound card, the pianist can play in privacy with headphones. See the article on "Hybrid Pianos" for more information.