Will it do 24/96 or better?
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Does it need to do 24/96 or better? ;)
For 16/44 content, it sounds excellent. The interface is wonderful and it syncs with iTunes without any additional software. The iOS Remote app is extremely cool, and the AirPlay feature that is coming with iOS 4.2 should be impressive.
It's definitely different than the Squeezebox, and a good deal ($99) if you use iTunes a lot.
I had a Transporter and now a Duet, setup in a similar fashion (Duet-DAC-Pre). I ran FLAC files and the sound was quite good with standard Redbook but I had problems. The Logitech Squeezeserver software wouldnt recognize all of my files and I had ripped the majority with the same software (DBPoweramp). I switched from Win XP to Windows Home Server and finally to Win 7 Ultimate. I also switched machines, and eventually built a standalone FLAC server. I have been in IT and supporting Microsoft desktop OS since Win 3.11 there was nothing all that complicated about what I was doing. I did everything from re-ripping discs to searching the hacker forums to see how I could get the FLAC files into the Squeezeserver database. I switched to MP3, tied it to iTunes and the software found everything and now works as it should. The sound is less than stellar but it works. Believe me; it was way more difficult than it needed to be. To make a long story short: I am planning on a Mac mini now and will compress my files to the ALAC format. The DBPoweramp software will convert from FLAC directly to ALAC, so I am hopeful it wont be too bad (3000 discs). I did trap ID3 tags on the FLAC rips so I am hoping all that makes its way across to ALAC. If it doesnt work, I get to spend the winter re-ripping everything for probably the 3rd time. Im not wild about iTunes I like a simple Foobar 2000 type interface. I hate being solicited to buy more music and despise ads. I will dig into Apple OS X a bit more and I am sure there are other ways to crack that nut. Its got a Linux style shell so I might be happy with a prompt. Maybe I can even script some of the ripping process.
Id go the Apple route if I had it all to do again. I am not a big fan of Steve Jobs and his OS is anything but perfect. We fix as many Mac problems as PCs on our campus but for digital music streaming Apple has a solid solution that seems to work well.
Horseface, did you manage to try the Mac Mini? If you have, is it better than the Transporter/Duet in terms of sound quality? I am in the midst of deciding between a Squeezebox Touch and Mac Mini to get into computer audio playing iTunes after doing some research here.
From what I was told the Apple TV is not a very good product when compared to the Squeezebox and Mac Mini due to high levels of jitter, and for the fact that it streams wireless music from various sources(wireless degrades sound quality although is extremely convenient).