Remote interaction with music server?

(I just posted this on Digital, but PC Audio may be a better forum:)
I'm only just now starting to investigate music servers, so please pardon my ignorance. I'm interested in a silent computer-based server with AES ouput and hi-rez capacity, which will also rip my CDs, for use with an outboard DAC like Berkeley alpha. (Similar to servers offered at endpcnoise; but any other suggestions are welcome). My main question: What types of remotes are people finding most useful with such systems? I've seen units like the Logitech remotes, and also the small wireless netbook offered with Music Vault Diamond, but there must be many choices....
Hi Ral,

I think the first question to ask is how much computer experience you have. Are you comfortable installing PC hardware and configuring software? The Music Vault Diamond looks interesting but it also looks like you could save a couple of thousand dollars by building your own server. It looks like the Music Vault Diamond is a quiet PC with a Lynx Studio sound card (I've built one of these myself, but no longer use it as a music server).

The next question is what do want to control with the remote control? If it is only volume, and choosing next and previous songs then you can do that with something as simple as the iMon remote control packages.

If you want a remote with a screen to pick out music and build play lists without having to look at the computer monitor, then you should decide which software package you will use as a media server then see what remotes they support. Some media servers have iPod Touch and iPhone applications that are useful for such. The netbook laptop solution that Music Vault is using is applicable to any solution as long as you have a wireless network set up in your home. You can install Free VNC Server on the music server and use the netbook to remotely control the server via Free VNC viewer.

You can also rig up a computer to be controlled by the Squeezebox Duet remote controller, but this solution does not allow high resolution playback. I am running something called Music Player Daemon as a music server, which does allow high resolution playback, and I use an iPod touch to choose music and control playback. However, MPD runs under Linux and requires a fair amount of Linux experience to configure properly.

An excellent all-in-one Windows software package that allows secure ripping, a good user interface, and high resolution playback is J River Media Center.