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Old 7th December 2012, 02:34 PM   #1
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Default So, what am I looking for?

Hey, you all......

I typically hang out in the Class A Amp forums (Pass Labs), so this is a relatively new "journey" into digital PC-based audio.

I'm looking for a "device", that permits me to:

1. Read audio CDs, and place them on an internal hard drive.

2. Select, from the audio tracks I've loaded, specific albums and/or tracks and/or playlists I've created. I'd like to use an intuiative, simple display (like Windows Media Center?) to make my selections, etc.

3. Output that audio stream to a quality DAC (and then into the rest of my audio system). I'd like to use a good quality link between this device and the DAC, and I would like the DAC to be "external" to this device, so I can change out and upgrade DACs over time. SPDIF, USB or optical works for me.

(I only want to play the audio in my listening room--no need to network the streaming audio to other parts of the house.)

I realize I could probably use a stand-along PC or laptop (with Windows and Media player) to do this, but to me, using a PC might be overkill, and would not make best use of the power of a dedicated PC.

I've scanned a number of websites, but continue to get hung up on the technologies, streaming, etc, etc. Again, this is an "audio newbie" area for me, so please be gentle in your responses....!
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Old 7th December 2012, 02:41 PM   #2
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KatieandDad's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: UK
With the price of laptops tumbling, a second hand one would seem the best option.
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Old 7th December 2012, 04:18 PM   #3
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Jackson,michigan
Any PC will do this it just depends on what your budget is.
Also are you planning on setting up a HTPC for Video as well?
If so you don't need a super powerful PC to do this and there are alot of options that are quite affordable.
A good Quad Core would be the most that you would need from either AMD or Intel.
The PhenomII X4 965 was AMD's finest only a few years ago and can be had now for about $85.
Or even the newer FX-4300 for $130 or the FX-6300 hex core for $10 more is more than enough.
Even a a good i3-380m laptop would work, as we got a HP Pavilion g7-1070us two years ago new for about $500 with a 17" HD screen.
It plays music and videos just fine and has a HDMI out built into it.



Last edited by geraldfryjr; 7th December 2012 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 7th December 2012, 07:58 PM   #4
BonkM is offline BonkM  Canada
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Have a look at these two, they're dedicated, DIY music servers on the Computer Audiophile forums.
v3 Intro,
Computer Audiophile - Computer Audiophile Pocket Server C.A.P.S. v3 Introduction

v3 Tier 1 design, tiers 2-4 to be released on a weekly basis for the next 3 weeks.
Computer Audiophile - Computer Audiophile Pocket Server C.A.P.S. v3 Topanga

And the out going model, the C.A.P.S. v2,
Computer Audiophile - Computer Audiophile Pocket Server - C.A.P.S. v2.0

Or, if you're just looking for an intro to it all, just as KatieandDad said, get a laptop. It's exactly where I started and even now that I'm moving on, it's still useful.
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