Digital Disorientation


I have been a mid-fi guy my entire life.  My current system consists of PSB Image T6 floorstanders, NAD C375 BEE int amp, NAD C546BEE CDP, and "nice" speaker cables/ICs.  I have also accumulated ~400 CDs over the last 25 years.  I have been looking for a book/site that explains the digital world from file formats to DACs,music streamers/players, and setting up a proper system - basically the basics on digital music.  I would eventually like to migrate in that direction but need the information in order to make the right decisions.  Any input would be appreciated.  Thanks in advance.
e012389
I don't know of a book, but post what you are trying to do

put CDs on a computer?  and play them?

Dirt simple on a Mac - just use iTunes and set it to Apple Lossless as one possibility.
Finding a trusted dealer in this case can save you more than buying a deal. I am biased but what you are asking requires 2 hours of typing.
@e012389

I found good information on this site. Its focus is on the technology and the "how to" rather than opinions. 

http://www.thewelltemperedcomputer.com

Another site that is good but quite large is:

http://computeraudiophile.com

Plenty of opinions on computeraudiofile.com. Look for comments that say things like "I wish I had known that before I...." ;)

My best advice is: Rip your CDs to a lossless format and be a good steward of your digital music collection by keeping the metadata well-groomed. Let perfect be the enemy of good. (Don't let metadata grooming prevent you from enjoying your music.)



In a real way I think, that "book" you’re looking for, as others here may tell you, is still being written...and some of the key chapters like any definitive description of what a true audio computer should look like and where you can buy one have scarcely even been started, so as others here suggest, you may have to find any info on that wherever you can find it and what people may post here about what they’ve come across will be helpful. I’m kind of in the same boat when it comes to computer audio, but then a lot of folks are I suspect.

For me with the issue comparatively clouded in that way for the foreseeable future, I have elected to take a few hundred bucks of what would be the overall budget for a computer audio addition to my rig and have parked it in a new Tascam solid state/CDR recorder machine which allows me to get on with wanting to make digital copies of CD’s, which allows me to copy some oop CD’s I have and then be able to sell the originals while they are still oop and are fetching higher prices...plus being able to make backup copies and my own compilation discs and so on. I have no records or tapes to archive, but the machine would allow that. It doesn’t record in 24bit, but it’s fulfilling all my needs beautifully for the money at the moment since its sound quality is excellent. I’m leaving audiophile downloads, the very best sound quality, storage, playback ease and all the rest for later on when the picture looks a little less vague or when something that everyone begins to recognize as definitive begins to take shape. When I've acquired computer audio, then I can sell the recorder, used.

But, my point is, that as you go about piecing the bits of info together you might at least consider, on your own terms, hedging your bets, so to speak, in some similar way or other that may help tide you over...or you can jump in and experiment with things, either on the cheap or with what looks like it might fly high, it’s up to you of course, but I’m just saying many people are interested in the subject right now, but lack of a clear overall direction may be par for the course these days, until something changes.

Again, I, too, am looking for anyone who will to share some of their tips.

Good luck and cheers!
You may find these sites helpful:

http://www.audiostream.com/resources

http://www.audioquest.com/computer-audio/

http://www.audioquest.com/pdfs/Computer-Audio-Demystified-WhitePaper-EN-R2.pdf

http://www.hifi-advice.com/blog/audiophile-insights/digital-info/computer-audio-part-1-the-basics/

http://www.hifi-advice.com/blog/audiophile-insights/digital-info/computer-audio-part-2-file-formats/

http://www.hifi-advice.com/blog/audiophile-insights/digital-info/computer-audio-part-3-external-inte...

http://www.hifi-advice.com/blog/audiophile-insights/digital-info/computer-audio-part-5-file-formats-...

Cheers

Thanks everyone for the above infromation.  I will be doing some research over the next few weeks and hope to have some "more intelligent" questions next time I post.
You have to define your goals as to what you want out of your system - do you want to play physical media?  Do you want a wireless system?  Do you just want to copy CDs that you have onto a disc, or do you want to "stream" from outside services?   Stuff like that.  Once you know what you want to do, it becomes easier.  But I do agree with whomever above said to go to a dealer and let them help to realize what is possible and then you can select what you want.  For me, I just like having a decent CD player and popping in a disc when I want digital music.  IMO, the other stuff is a PITA, although I think it's another toy to play around with if that's what intrigues people about it.  
Apple makes wireless and computer playback no big PITA

or stream from some co. that charges you by the month

No need to jump into the deep water to start. There are many solid options. You can start for not much using any existing computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone you already own and go from there. Take your pick of source device and ask away from there. Should not take long to get up and running with something pretty decent sounding that way. Then go from there one step at a time as needed.
I am with mapman on this. Would you be willing to use a computer as a server?
used Mc Mini