NAS or USB drive to stream audio to a Squeezebox ?

Hello All,

Total newbie to PC Audio here. I am sticking my toes in the discless pool for the first time. Have a SQB Touch on the way and just replaced the old wireless g WAP and 10/100 router with a shiny new Netgear WNDR3400 dual band wireless router. In addition to being a wireless b/g/n router it also has a USB port that claims to be a shared storage access point. Netgear calls it Readyshare(tm).
My intent is to install SBS on the drive and build the ripped library ( approx 1.5K CDs ) via a yet to be chosen "ripping" program.

The current configuration has the main pc connected via ethernet, the SQB Touch will also be hardwired as is the office laptop. My personal laptop uses the wireless n.

I guess what I need to know is if I do a NAS, can the main PC be left off while the SQB gets data? Can the same be done with a USB drive connected to the Netgear router? I think I am better off going the NAS route as it can actually run the SBS software independent of the main PC. It would be nice if all the computers on the network could be used as "rippers" as the main PC is in a high traffic location and I would prefer to rip from my laptop upstairs.

I think that FLAC looks like the best and most flexible style or file to rip to initially. What is the best ( least data errors and best metadata accuracy ) program to use? I gave up on being savvy in the computer world almost a decade ago and am somewhat daunted by all the choices out there.

The current 2 channel rig the SQB will drive is:

VPI Aries with 10.5 arm
Dynavector Karat D 17 MK II
Dynavector P-75 Phono Pre
Ayre C 5 Xe disc player
Ayre K1 Xe Line Stage
Ayre V3 X Amplifier
Dunlavy SC-IV Improved Speakers w/ Bi-wire terminals
2 Final Labs SW 220 Subwoofers
Vans Evers Model 83 AC Filter
Richard Grays 400 pro AC conditioner

I will use the SQBs analog outs until I can get a handle on the DAC choice but would consider the Ayre QB-9 or a Wavlength model if I am bold enough to do the USB out mod to the SQB Touch. Otherwisw a Wyred for sound looks promising. Just way too many choice out there.

Any help would be great. Thanks in advance.
My solution is to use an old laptop to run Squeezebox Server.
I have found running it on the Squeezebox touch problematic (slow) with a large library. For ripping, I suggest dBPoweramp. Flac will be fine if you don't use Itunes.
Sorry I can't help here, yet I'm interested too as I'm also trying a Touch off a PC and planning on an outboard DAC down the road. You might want to check over at as there are folks there trying all sorts of NAS/USB drive/PC configurations.
Update: I went the route of a Headless Linux PC running as a 2 TB NAS. 2 gigs of Ram and it is connected to the LAN via ethernet. SQ Sever runs on the NAS and all decoding is done in the NAS and the SQ is sent PCM. I love this rig. It is a blast to use and it only took me 3 weeks to rip 1.5 K cds via DBPoweramp.
SQB Touch is also connected via hardwire and as a standalone player it does not embarrass itself. When compared to the Arye C 5Xe however it does sound flatter, with less depth and breadth of stage. It is also more closed in and lacking in tonal shading and dynamic contrasts. I am now on a DAC hunt and will have a Musical Fidelity M1 in house early next week to test. Also a Bel Canto e.dac 2.5 will make a run at the Ayre.
The SQB Touch mods look interesting but I am a bit leery of the process as I am nigh illiterate in the computer world these days.
bypassing the output caps in the touch may save you having to get a dac. also give it 100hrs burn-in on analogue out. mine improved radically during burn-in

How tough is it to get the SQB touch open to do the cap bypass?

How did you like the M1 paired with the Touch? Have you tried the Touch with other DACs?

FWIW, I'm in a DAC hunt too, and considering the Bryston BDA-1. Getting very good feedback from several users, plus great reviews. Has discrete Class A analogue stage, 24/192 capability, defeatable upsampling, electrically isolated inputs.
Check out a Vortexbox Appliance. Breeze easy to setup and maintain. $350