Computer system

Educate me. I am old school still with CD Player, HT separates and turntable. What is the typical computer setup for CD playback or music storage. Give me some examples how you integrated it into your system
Thanks for posting the question. I have been watching these threads and bookmarking for my own info. Maybe we can get the down & dirty quick version, if there is such a thing. Looks like it will give us a new reason to procure more audio equipment.
Trying to wrap my head around it too.First large hard drive.You can get 1 to 1.5 TB for $70-$100 and get second to back it up.Then decide on how good you want sound.You can use "lossless" compression and not hear difference and save 40% or more of HD space and sounds waaaay better than crummy 256KB Itunes or Amazon downloads as opposed to a CD.320 is or even a bit less is fine for IPod/MP3's or Automobile use but you want qaulity in decent Hifi rig.You could just make a WAV (full size copy of CD maybe 500-700 MB)But they are large,long to rip etc.

So use Lossless of some sort.WAV,FLAC,Apple I(AIFF-guess good if you own Apple).Most folks use EXACT AUDIO COPY (see review at 6moons) to make rips though their are many ripper grabber programs this is best.The most popular Lossless compression is FLAC (free as is at least now with beta EAC).Once you have ripped music of CD you will want to make second folder withing with at least cover art which you can find everywhere (I use Amazon) and maybe scan in whole booklet.Then your media player.Yeah you can use Apple or WMP which have their own lossless programs but b don't player everything (like FLAC in Apple or WMP or AIFF on Windows have their proprietary codecs).I use WMP to play a lot of lossy stuff I (ahem) borrow on web" for mobile use and synch MP3 player but these are "lossy" and lousy on stereo.

Among open media players most popular are VLC for free and BDPoweramp.Get yourself a DAC (from Appogee used cheaply to PS Audio,Benchmark for $1K or less or new 41500 Wyred looks good or what you can afford.And play them into your stereo.Many people built specific HTPC with form that fit sideways but Dan Ackerman of CNET is dumping his after three builds in favor of Google.Then last is this for one room or wireless.You can send these files over wireless router using a excellent Sonos for $1K to any room in house or go cheaper with Logitech Duet etc.SO Hard Drive (where 1 TB may get small if we all want 4.7 or god forbid 25 Gig Blue Ray capacity) then type of encoding (go FLAC using EAC) then DAC and then run it to DAC with US Ethernet or in some DA's Firewire (I am waiting fot USB 3 speeds before jumping on any new computer gear) then if you want to play it through portable radio like Logitec or into another room with receiver and speakers you will need to decide on wireless output and wireless receiver.I suck with computer so this is yet to put into practice but this is the scheme I have heard over and over a few times with some variations.

So again start with storage large with a second for back up.Next choose format for copying> encoding,next a media player (VLC,Fubar 2000),DAC.Run it.

Then look into if you want to walk around house and sent tune to this computers stereo or that receiver hooked to in walls or bedroom speaker etc.If you start with Sonos.Logitech or other wireless device then you can set all the gear up in your office and not have any of this stuff in your Hifi room or need second computer etc.Pretty good deal for $400 Logitech Duet which shows you music on a screen with scroll dial and you walk through your house.

All reminds me of Groucho Marx saying to Doctors in a Sanitarium in "Horse Feathers" "Why this problem is so easy and eight year old could figure it out" and then whispers to Chico "Go fine me and eight year old".Being computer based you ARE better off with an eight year old then not.
- MacMini with external 1TB firewire drive (music in ALAC)
- Airport Express (wireless across the room)
- Toslink
- Benchmark DAC1 D/A converter
- Amplifier
iTunes on MAC Mini->DAC->pre-amp/processor/integrated-amp/etc.

You will need to consider how to backup your collection. If it is small, ou can just use the internal drive in the MAC Mini and keep the CDs as a backup. However, it takes considerable time to rip a collection to disk, so you need to consider external disk and a backup disk. I haven't set mine up yet, but I have 2 1G firewire drives that I'm going to use. One is the primary and one is a backup. They are now cheap and firewire is fast and takes the load odd of the USB bus which I'll be using to connect my USB DAC.

Use iTunes (simple, free, sounds good) and make sure you use a lossless file type like Apple Lossless or AIFF. Go into the config and turn on error correction.

That's it. It's really pretty simple and you can get excellet results if you use a good DAC.
Reubent - I have three 1TB drives just in case if something goes wrong during copying and I loose two drives. I can imagine one drive interface (electronics) or firewire itself going bad and copying garbage to another making two disks unusable. I keep two drives at home and one at different location (work) just in case of disaster (fire, theft etc). Each of my Firewire drives was $99. has a ton of information about setup options. Chris there is very helpful.

My setup:

1) Drobo multiple hard drive storage system. Automatically creates a mirror copy of files in case one hard drive dies.
2) Additional external 1 TB hard drive that duplicates the music files on the Drobo through an extremely user-friendly program called SuperDuper.
3) Mac Mini that runs iTunes.
4) Altmann DAC connected to the Mini (through the mini earphone jack) via optical cable.
5) I use my iPhone as a remote control. It runs the program "Remote" which uses my home network to access iTunes on the Mini

I rip my CD's through iTunes as lossless (AIFF) files.

Total cost around $3,500, everything brand new. This setup sounds significantly better than my Naim CDS-3 which I sold for $7500.
Turboglo - why don't you use Mac Mini remote?
why don't you use Mac Mini remote?

Hard to see what you are doing if the Mac doesn't have a screen attached (or one that is off when not used).
Mozartrules - How do you use Mac Mini without monitor?
Kinjanki: I think that's the point of his question. He's assuming that I do have a screen and wondering why I wouldn't just use the Mini's remote.

Mozartrules: Actually, I can boot up the Mini and launch iTunes without ever turning on a computer screen. The way I currently have things set up, I'm using my big screen tv, a rear projection DLP, as my computer screen. I do this so I can watch Netflix instant movies through the Mini. But I prefer to avoid too many on/off cycles, so don't turn it on when I don't have to. I have a smaller computer monitor, but using it would involve switching out the cable every time.

Actually, I prefer using my iPhone as a remote anyway. It's probably just personal preference, but I think I just like to have access to my entire library in the palm of my hands.