What have you learned?

I have had many DAC,s and more computers then I remember. I have had every kind from Dell to HP and even Mac and every type like laptop or tabletop. Well...I have a Digital Music Server with 500gb made by NETGEAR and Pacific Valve & Electric Company. Any way it does sound better than most but..Lately in the past 6 months or more I have come to realize that my new laptop HP sounds better with 1 tera and 10 gig RAM and beats audio. I have no idea if the "beats audio" is anything at all but I do know it says on the box best audio qaulity ever from computer. Gimicks? Yes,No? Ok so the midrange is the biggest difference more life like from the HP laptop.And I tried VERY VERY hard to like the music server! I want to love it! It really is too cool with all the radio and video on the internet and it can control your house if your house is automated like lights, A/C, and so on. So if anyone out there had a music server and found they preferred their laptop let me know reasoning or why you do. Im learning from your expiriences and my mistakes.
do music servers send as high quality a signal as cds ripped into your computer do? most radio stations on line don,t send a real high quality feed as far as i know.
Music servers are new technology and it will probably be a few years before things get sorted out. If the HP sounds better to you, I would use the HP. You can probably get most of the functions of the server installed on your HP.

What model of HP are you using?
The problem with integrated music servers is:

1) they have to select or write the ripping code and CODEC
2) they have to select or write the playback sofware
3) they have to select low-jitter clocks and implement a low-jitter circuit to output S/PDIF digital
4) they have to avoid poor audio stack kernels on Mac or PC
5) they have to use SSD and lots of DRAM and minimize other applications running on the computer

Unless they use the latest technology and make the optimum decisions on all of these, you will usually get a result that is less than what can be achieved with Amarra and a modified Mac Mini like the Mach2music.com or even a stock Mac Mini. I know because I have added reclockers to these servers. Probably one of the best of these is Qsonix. They have gone the extra distance to rip accurately and use a good playback software.

IMO, servers like this are convenient for those that never touch computers. If you can make your way around a computer, then definitely try a dedicated computer for audio.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Thanks so much! I have done away with the server and I am just using a laptop now and I like this better than the server and I have more features on my laptop. Thanks guys!
Oh its a custom ordered Dv7 pavillion with too many bells and not enough whistles! LOL! should have got a Mac but oh well!
yes I burn cd,s to the server via an external drive that came with the server or I can burn from computer to the server but either way is disapointing.