Why a digital media player instead of a dedicated computer?

I’ve been trying for some time now to better understand the value of adding a digital media player to one’s system. This is of interest to me because I listen to music entirely from high-resolution digital files. I keep reading glowing reviews of digital players like the Bryston BDP-2 but I must be missing something, because if you have a computer and a good piece of software I fail to see what the media player adds to the equation. But if there is some kind of advantage to be had, I’d like to know!

I currently store all my high-resolution music files on an external hard drive, which I then connect to a dedicated Macbook Pro running Audirvana Plus. The Macbook outputs the files to an external DAC via USB, then on to my preamp and the rest of my system. I’ve been very satisfied with this arrangement, and it can handle almost any type of file I throw at it, from 16/44.4 to DSD 5.6.

Other than being able to control the playback wirelessly, what would be the advantages, if any, of using a digital media player instead of a dedicated laptop? Is there any sonic improvement to be had over my current arrangement? Or is this simply a matter of convenience and not having to tie up a computer in my music system?


Showing 1 response by asvjerry

I'm sticking to a 'puter, but planning to return to a dedicated one.  I've a Cooler Master low-profile case that can hold a micro ATX board, 2 CD drives if I opt for that, and has enough space for a pair of terabyte drives.  The plan is to have it do nothing But a media hub for music files and the cards and programs for it to accomplish that and some other activities that a media server can't do.
I set about doing that with it some 15 yrs. ago, but 'real life concerns' interrupted the project.  There's more and better now to accomplish that project.  And everything runs faster now, which only makes what can be done now possible.  That wasn't the case, not so long ago...