I have the files on my main computer and a NAS (Network Aware Server). The NAS is connected to the router and stands alone as a file server. In this manner, any computer on the local home network can access the NAS directly without having to share through my main computer. Each computer on the local network is assigned sharing privileges on the NAS, so one NAS can serve many computers on the local network and act as a backup.
Network aware servers have their own IP address just as any other device on the network, such as a network printer. In addition, NAS devices can be configured in a number of different RAID (Redundant-Array-(of) Inexpensive Drives) patterns, meaning the NAS can have 2 drives mirrored to protect the data if one drive happens to die. Sort of a self contained backup of the backup. Since they have their own IP address, it is also possible to grant sharing privileges to another computer outside of the local network, meaning I could grant access to a friend on the internet if I wanted to.
So rather than using the media player on my computer to access files on my computer's local drive(s), I can access the NAS instead. The NAS simply shows up in Windows "My Computer" as another drive. The big difference is that it shows up to any computer on my local network the same way, meaning it's always available even if every other computer is off. The NAS is gigabit fast and directly off the router, so it's faster than having one computer pull files from another computer over the network. It's really the best way to go. No need for each computer to have a backup drive, one big NAS can serve them all equally and offer superior protection.
I'm looking for a high quality Media Bridge between the NAS and an external DAC. To use the original Linksys Media Bridge, a driver was installed on the computer controlling the playback, only instead of choosing a speaker output or an spdif output, a new output device (Linksys Media Bridge) is installed and chosen. The playback then travels over the network to the media bridge which has L/R audio outputs.
The Linksys device works fine, I'm just looking for a more modern and higher quality product, something that has digital outputs to a high quality DAC.
How do people play digital files stored on a NAS without wires?