Music Server vs. PC vs. Transport vs. ?

I don;t really want to add another rack in my living room. If I do, I may end up sleeping on one of the couches. Ideally, I would like to do the following:

1. Either use a pc or a server to store discs and have them accessable.
2. Have a way for the kids/wife to hook up their ipods
3. Have a way to get digital radio (xm, sirius or even computer streaming, doesn;t matter)
4. Do all of this WITHOUT degrading the sound quality ( i know, the ipod, by definition will do this)

My understanding of most high end DACs is that they do not have USB ports, but that is the ideal port to use to negate jitter. As I was researching this, I got the latest issue of the absolute sound, and they address some of this a bit. My feeling seems to be that one pays a HUGE premium for a server, that both their DACs and PCs DACs suck, and one has to get a USB to AES or other adapter, and still use an external DAC. It also seems that if one is willing to use a lossless system, that the universal opinion is that a hard drive rivals or beats any transports.

So my initial thought would be to get a pc with an ipod dock, run lossless, get an additional adapter say from Wavelength, and use the current dac. That adds at least two pieces, maybe three.



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Marcmen: You should state that you are a dealer/distributor of the Qsonix product since you have them refurbished/show demos for sale/auction right now.
I am considering going this route as well. I am wondering if there is anyone on this thread from Chicago who might be able to help me. I am really a newbie at this who just read the 6 moons article about the modified teleporter. Bob
you cant buy lossless flac or itunes music If you use wma lossless which is what the qsonix supports you can buy music with out ever leaving your living room. I am a dealer for qsonix and sooloos
with what macs provide and the interface with itunes with the flexibility of distributed music throughout the home, i just can't see the reason to go with Qsonix or sooloos. according to articles and other threads on different forums, you still need a good external dac with these 2 units. you might get a different interface (better is in the eyes of the user), but as far as i can tell, thats about it. a dealer try to sell a customer a $6000 qsonix setup and he almost went for it. after we talked, he decided on a macintosh setup with a 2 tb nas (raid 5 setup), a couple mac minis around the house for music distribution (multi source capable from the central itunes library) and internet access in those rooms, an airport express and 2 apple tv's. we also included jitter reduction devices and decent external dacs for better quality music in 2 rooms for for around 1/2 the cost of a qsonix standalone unit.
Mac Mini and a Peachtree iDac. That is THE answer.