Mini Mac, Sonos and NAS HELP

I was reading some of post here about using a Mini mac amd boy do I need some assistance! I currently have most of my CD's ripped into itunes in AIFF about 400mb (i have about another 300 Cd's to go and probably another 100 albums to digitize as well........I'm listening to then using a Sonos connect and ipad/ipone remotes with the Sonos app.
So far so good, but I can only play CD quality... I want to be able to play 24/96; I just bought a Wired 4 Sound Dac-1 it sounds great but I'm pulling the tracks from a PC w/vista using itunes....I'm out of hard drive space so considering adding a Mini Mac to store all my music and high rez files. This allows me to plug th Mini Mac directly into the Wired 4 sound dac with USB.
My other thought is to add a NAS so Sonos can pull the songs directly without my conmputer being on...I should of mentioned that i will have 2 set-ups the sonos for ambient whole house use and simplicity and the mac for my dedicated listening room...
Here's my current set-up:
Prima Luna Dialouge 2 intergrated
Wyred 4 Sound Dac-1
Golden Ear Triton Threes
Oppo 93
Sonos Connect/90
Any insight or advise would be appreciated!
One suggestion, stop ripping your collection to AIFF. Go with FLAC or ALAC (Apple's FLAC). This way you're not tossing away bits and it is easy to transcode to any other format using dbPowerAmp or something similar.

Another suggestion: lose iTunes, another Evil Empire creation that serves to bind you to their plans of world domination. Go with Foobar2000 or WinAmp, at least you'll have some independence and more capability than you'll probably ever use. Oh yeah, Foobar2000 is stone-cold free and plays every audio format....WinAmp can handle the audio and video if you want a one software solution...

Here you go cut and pasted from Emprical Audio Website:
General Recommendations
Rip to WAV or AIFF files if possible
Try Upsampling 44.1 files to 24/96 using S/W programs: SRC, iTunes, R8Brain or Adobe Audition - Wave Editor on Mac (Instructions are on the Empirical Audio forum)
Avoid ripping to ALAC or other compressed formats using iTunes
Avoid using iTunes on a PC for audio playback
Using iTunes by itself on Mac compromises sound quality and resamples files unless you specify sample-rate. Use Amarra, Pure Music or AyreWave on Mac. We find full Amarra version 1.2 to be the best sounding, although its not the most stable. We are optimistic about 2.1.1. The Equalizer function of Amarra is wonderful and essential for best system optimization.
Set 64-bit mode on PC or Mac for better sound quality.
Avoid Windows Media Player on PCs. Use instead Foobar, Jriver or Media Monkey. Better sound quality
If using a PC with XP, always bypass KMIXER using Kernal Streaming. If Vista or Win7, use WASAPI:

USB Recommendations
Mac Mini has the least problematic USB ports.
Recent PC Laptops are recommended, particularly those with ungrounded power cords. We have had good luck with Toshiba,HP, Macbook and Mac Mini. Not so good with Dell.
If you are using USB output to one of our products, we recommend that you try more than one USB port on the computer. They are often not equal. The latency or time it takes to service them varies even on the same computer. Some are even USB 1.1 and not USB 2.0 compliant.
Dedicate the Laptop to music playback if you are using USB. Using the computer for lots of other tasks can cause conflicts, increase latency and cause popping in the audio.
If you are using USB for audio streaming, do not attach ANY other USB devices to the computer, even a mouse and particularly not USB disks.
Remove or stop all unnecessary tasks, even screen-savers and virus scanners.
Set the player to have the highest priority.
PCs with faster processors work better, minimum 1.5GHz
Vista needs 4GB RAM and XP 2GB RAM
For Mac, 4GB is minimum RAM.

Software Recommendations
The best ripper we have found for PC (the best overall) is dbpoweramp professional with Accurate-Rip enabled:

For Mac, we recommend XLD for ripping (also enable Accurate-Rip):

Also worth trying is MAX:

For PC, try Foobar 0.8.3, Jriver, Media Monkey and XXhighend:

For PC, the best upsampler is Adobe Audition:

For Mac, the best upsampler is Wave Editor (uses Izotope code):
Thanks Chuck......great information, I'll give some of this a try. What about the using a NAS? Do you recommend this?

My setup is as follows:

NAS (2TB) connected to ethernet switch/router - SONOS Bridge also connected to same switch/router (in 2nd floor office). Sonos Connect then connects via digital coax/copper to a PS Audio DLIII DAC (in living room). The DLIII is then connected to my Ayre Integrated via balanced XLR cables. My AYRE CDP is cabled via XLR to my Integrated as well. The sound may be the slightest more detailed on the CDP over the DLIII -- but very hard to do an A/B comparison. While I use Apple Lossless as my file format. The DLIII is about 4DB stronger signal to the AMP then the Ayre CDP, so I always have to play the volume game before comparing A/B. My listening room is also my main living room, and I did not want a full computer setup (USB direct from computer to DAC)located here. My computer, router, Sonos Bridge are all upstairs in an office. I know many that take issue with the Sonos sound, but as I said through the PS Audio DLIII - near perfect. Also I am sorry, but the Sonos is the best interface for navigating music period, especially to get the rest of the family to enjoy the audio as well (Panrora, Sirius, Digital Radio Stations, Wolfgang's Vault, Rhapsody, ...)They can each access by iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch, and they listen more to the other audio sources listed above -- even if I primarily listen to my music library.

I need to say I love it, I also have the CONNECT AMP in a bedroom, Connect 3 in the kitchen.
Sbleam, what in your opinion makes the Sonos system better than Squeezebox? Seems like they are very similar, but the SB can do higher resolution at a lower price point.
I agree that Sonos is mot cheap, and the logitech sb is comparable for a single application. Also if I was simply looking at the best tool to present my music library to my main audio room -- I would have looked harder at the Log sb or just a direct USB to dac from my computer. However, the benefit was the easy user interface for all family members to play music anywhere -- other rooms, my digital library or other online music sources. Yes, is not there on the hi res side yet, but I have never had a drop of service, whether my library or online service through Sonos. While being from the IT field I am far from the Apple zealot -- but to make the comparison Sonos really makes it easy, flexible and reliable with a great UI - not cheap but very good.
Sbleam, you've arrived at where I'm heading. Just purchased a Sonos Bridge and Connect -- easy setup, great UI (even on Android phone app), and excellent sound when run thru external DAC. Now I need to get my iTunes library (Apple Lossless files) onto a NAS. Is there any trick to getting Sonos to recognize and access your music on the NAS? Can you please tell me what NAS you're using? I'm looking to get NAS with RAID capability.

Side note: I also use Sonos to access the MOG music service. It is a great resource with remarkably good sound (320 kb/s stream), and, for someone into classical and jazz, a great place to rediscover old favorites and explore new music as well.
Rlwainwright is correct. stop ripping using a lossy format.

And, HD space is cheap now, so buy a 2TB NAS and be done with it. The NAS works well with the Sonos systems. Wtih 2 TB of HD space, might as well rip as a WAV file to get all the data, and forget using compression formats.

Regarding NAS - I simply moved all my music files (Apple Lossless) to the NAS. Restablished iTunes library (more for finding artwork not playback or ripping). From Sonos could simply point too music library share on NAS.

The beauty is that the Sonos setup took me all of 15 minutes - no pc in my living room/listening area, and the sound through the DAC rivals my Ayre CDP. Yes more expensive then just connecting PC via USB, but more flexible for the family and other listening areas (living room, kitchen and master bedroom). Have never had any latency - and the online services are used heavily by everyone for casual listening (from Car Talk on Stitcher to love concerts on Wolfgangs Vault)