I would like to share my experience with the Squeezebox Touch.
I have been running a Squeezebox Touch system for about 5 months now, and it is equal to or better than most high dollar CD\SACD systems I have heard.
(but only when done right)
The system must be set up correctly for ultimate sound quality.
I have been involved in computers for over 25 years, and an Audiophile for 38. This setup assumes you have a home network (wired & wireless) and a desktop computer. (but we will NOT use the desktop for playing your music) If you need a bit of help with computers, get a friend to set this up for you - it will be worth it.
The complete system below runs about $1240.00 including the Touch. (not at all expensive in the Audio world - you can probably sell your CD player for that)
The system should be run with wired ethernet cable for flawless playback. (yes it's a little harder -but do it anyway)
OK - Let's go..
File Storage - purchase an HP Mediasmart Home Server. (about $450.)
This small box holds up to 4 hard drives with RAID backup and more space than you will ever need. Besides holding your entire music library, it can back up all your home computers, collect pictures and videos from your computers, and you can access all of it from anywhere.
You can place this server anywhere in your home with an ethernet cable into your switch or router. When tested against various desktop computers, the server always sounds better.
File Storage - purchase the DbPoweramp download for $39. and put the program into your desktop computer.
This fantastic program has every single thing you need to rip & convert your music file Library. (it even has automatic batch ripping so you can use 2 CD drives at the same time for continuous ripping if you wish - all you do is keep inserting CDs.)
Use your Desktop to Rip your music as Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC) onto the server.
You can also download HDTracks high resolution 96-24 FLAC files and put them on as well.
Install the free download of Squeezebox Server onto your home server.
Connect the Squeezebox Touch in your listening room and run ethernet cable to connect it to your network. Connect it with a digital Coax to a good DAC for the highest quality sound. (If you do not have a DAC yet, use the analog outs and connect it that way until you do get a DAC)
The Squeezebox Touch will automatically find the Squeezebox Server on your home server and be able to see and play the library, but there are settings that will make playback better..
In the Squeezebox Server program on your server, change the settings to send a stream of PCM instead of a FLAC file. (Easy to find & do) This means that the server is doing the work of converting the FLAC files instead of the Squeezebox Touch. (The server has more power and resources for this, and avoiding this on the tiny Squeezebox Touch produces a pronounced increase in sound quality)
So now that you are listening to some of the best sound you have ever heard from your system..what's next?
The perfect remote control... an Apple iPad with The Squeezepad application.
This iPad program controls your Squeezebox and is truly a beautiful touchpad interface with crystal clear large album artwork. The iPad connects wirelessly in your network.
If you are moving into digital files and the Squeezebox Touch this is the way to go.
I can guarantee you will love the sound of this particular setup.
IF you have a quality DAC it is way beyond good..stunning is the word.
Have fun & Enjoy your music!