Well, I gave up. Hopefully someone else will find this thread and not go thru the same hoops. I guess a Mac Mini is for me.
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I did work with some of the Support Groups for the devices I tried. But, they are just not willing to work in-depth with you. While their products work with printers, scanners, and hard drives via wireless or ethernet USB, they just don't make considerations for a USB DAC. It's really too bad. Think how many other WIN users that will attempt what I did. I saw threads at different sites trying the samething I was attempting. The only solution I saw was to use Squeezebox and change the USB connection so that it would send music out thru its USB to the DAC. That change for the Squeezebox was a hack change and not supported by the Sqeezebox vendor.
Companies that specialize in USB interfaces can help with this if you buy the right gear. USB can outperform your CD player.
There are quite a few companies that are trying to jump on the USB bandwagon now that have little experience with this. It is just a checkbox for the marketing types I think.
Do they even tell you what kind of USB interface it is? Does it need USB 2.0? Adaptive or Async?
Another problem is that many of these USB interfaces are not great quality. I would not expect it to beat the CD player spinning a CD. You may go to a lot of trouble just to find that the CD is better.
However, if the quality is not great and the CD Player has a S/PDIF input to the DAC as well, then you can consider a high-quality outboard USB converter.
The Audiolab USB input is looking for connectivity that supports asynchronous mode for its onboard Sabre chips. This requires a handshake via software drivers between your media serving computer and the dac to control clocking and data transfer rates. It seems clear that neither of your tried wifi devices will support this. True for (virtually?) all other such devices.
If you have access to a USB-to-S/PDIF converter, you might try streaming into the S/PDIF digital inputs of the Audiolab. These are running in isosynchronous or other similar mode, and won't have the handshake restraints of the USB port. This solution should also work with the Squeezebox (which outputs S/PDIF?) short of the hack SB adaptation that you already mention.
Most conventionally for asynch USB, just use a laptop or mac mini, etc. with direct USB cable (<15 ft)to DAC, running media software as per your Audiolab user manual. You can then remote network that computer with rest of home data system to your heart's desire.
Thanks for your excellent response. I did come across the "asynchronous mode" and figured that may be the cause. Your response explaining that term makes it very clear thatÂs the issue. .
I have been researching the mac mini. That should, as you said, be the best solution for a long-term music server. Wow...that sure don't give the Ammara software away. Probably try the Pure Music first.
Very frustrated. I have a new MAC mini. IÂve configured my Audiolab 8200CDQ to the mac. Mac sees the DAC. I have the RCA outputs of the 8200CDQ hooked to my amplifier. I start the 8200CDQ and it says its connected via USB. Start ITUNES and play a song. Not a peep will come out of my amplifier!!!!! When I turnoff the 8200CDQ, the music now goes to my amplifier. IÂm perplexed at whatÂs wrong. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I've found the overall issue. The ARC functionality on my SONY TV is forcing the RCA patch cords on my Yamaha Receiver to not be used for the signal from the DAC. Disabling the ARC option in the Setup menus for the SONY HDTV will cause the correct set of input RCA jacks to be used so signals flow from DAC to Receiver RCA's. Whew...that wasn't fun.