There are in fact a myriad of ways to accomplish having all of your media at your fingertips with almost instantaneous playback and at very high quality fidelity rates.
Its all in how you wish to establish the interface and playback method which suits you best
and of course the budget, if any.
An old desktop unit seeing little if any use will work fine. Add some storage to either it or as a Network attached storage device or simply add USB Hard drives to it. Throw on or in a quality sound card, a digital cable to feed your DAC and some remote control device such as an Iphone, or other similar product and youre in your easy chair with thousands of tracks at your disposal in no time. The most arduous process here will be downloading all the CDs into the storage bays youve selected.
Such a system, mine in fact is very cost effective. $500 +/- for storage, $175 for PCI sound card, $100 +/- for cables. The Media player (s) are free or of nominal cost, being under $50. Thats it. I have to use a laptop for remote control operation of the desktop/server, and as it has other uses Ill not add in its cost in full to the endeavor. Same thing for the older desktop which I should have thrown away already. So for roughly $750 youre there. Initially however, one terra byte drive is enough. So for only half of my current price youre clicking through your library. All in bit perfect fashion.
Naturally, if you elect to upgrade various components within the architecture along the way, costs rise. Just like in the audio hobby, they dont always equate to exact value to performance ratios either. Noteably in the D/D interface. USB can be used and further savings are then yours too. I prefer the sound card for higher fidelity and resolution gleaned by using 24/88;96;176;192.
The limitation here is this provides or works as a single source output device. Dedicated to my main 2ch system. For added flexibility or to send info to other systems or areas, a NAS drive was added. Now the Old PC is purely a stand by and a new one I have now Im gearing up for full on server duties that can be accessed from anywhere. Video too.
A turn key setup looks like the fastest and easiest path provided one has the funds for that acquisition, and isnt concerned terribly with support issues should they arise, ala, packing up and sending off the unit.
I had originally thought the sound of the TK device (s) would play a part but the DAC one uses to feed the system analog info and the system itself will determine all that.
I suppose it all comes down to how involved one wishes to get in the process, and the funds on hand.
In my reference, what Im using now equals and or surpasses the overall quality of my former SCD xa 777 + DAC experiences.
The noteable problem thereafter? Premature clicking. There may well be a pill for that too
beats me. Remember youll no longer have to wait
or put back the disc anymore. So buy an analog setup or a treadmill
or play tunes from a stationary bike.
A quality music serving apparatus is the appittamy of self indulgence and sloth.
. It sure is fun.
.and like Bob Barker always said, Be kind to your data, and always remember to back it up
or was that spay and neuter? Well, youll make the right choice there Im sure.