I have taken both paths and, as always, it depends. Computer audio via USB or Squeezebox is cheaper for similar quality reproduction, but I wasn't impressed with the software DSP I tried. I build my own silent computers because a noisy one is a no-no in audio. Ripping and tagging is not a pleasurable job. Doubts remain when dB Poweramp shows the rip as "secure" because it isn't in AccurateRip, and it is frustrating when I tag "Brandenburg Concerto" and my SB insists on showing "Concerto Brandebourgeois". You might also miss the ability to read about the work, performers or orchestra when listening. Hardware DSP can be used with both.