If memory serves me correctly, Steve from Empirical Audio said you don't want to exceed 15 feet of USB cable.
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I tried running wireless via I-Mac to Airport Express to Empirical Audio Pacecar to my DAC. Was not happy with the results and have since gotten out of computer audio.
Next time I try computer audio, I'll buy a Mac Mini direct to a DAC (MHDT Paradisea or comparable) via USB. I don't think you'll be happy with a long (>15 ft) cable or wireless to an airport express) unless sound quality is not important. Suggest you invest in a Mac Mini, a good, short USB cable and a USB capable DAC.
The problem with AirPort Express and AppleTV is that they both muck-up the data doing the conversions to ALAC and back as well as the mucking that Core Audio does.
I understand that much of this can be circumvented now using Amarra and a tool called "Airfoil". If you use Airfoil and select the internal speakers, the Amarra feed evidently goes directly to AirPort Express or Apple TV.
Bbopman: Two issues with AirPort Express and ATV:
1) ALAC is the only format transmitted
2) iTunes is the player
The sonic issues with ALAC cannot be avoided unless you use Transporter, Sonos, Squeezebox or Duet etc..
The sonic issues with iTunes can be avoided by using Amarra or Amarra Mini. See sonicstudio.com
If you have a truly resolving system, then you will hear the difference in these. If not, then you probably wont care.
I have been happy with iTunes Airport Express and ALAC. You need to know how to get all the settings correctly in order to preserve bit transparency (volume at max, no EQ etc.) Most people on Head-fi seem to agree that iTunes ALAC can be bit transparent when used carefully with the right settings.
I did direct comparisons between a CDP and Itunes both output optical to the Benchmark DAC1 - perhaps my tin ears or my unresolving system or perhaps there actually is no perceptible difference. (My interest is CD redbook lossless quality only - I have not experimented with higher resolution formats and I have also not tried to compress using AAC or MP3, which surely will degrade the sound)
That said, PC or MAC audio is a bit of a minefield - a pesky software bug which could perhaps creep into the next release of iTunes might make me feel different about this issue.
I have the same setup as Shadorne and also cannot hear the difference between Aiport Express and CDP (same Benchmark DAC1).
"Front Row" on Leopard doesn't work with Airport Express and that's what Airfoil is for. It can transfer Front Row/Itunes or any system sound to Airport Express (in the background).