Yes, it does that as well as stream internet radio as well.
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That's exactly how we have ours set up. The external hard drive is down the hall from the listening room. The Squeezebox is connected to our DAC, and we can adjust the volume or select songs with either the Squeezebox remote, or on the computer down the hall. There are two versions of the Squeezebox, so just be sure and get the one that is capable of going wireless.
In ideal conditions, I do perfer AES, and SpIDF over optical.
This is not the case with the SB3.
The wall wart power supply, tosses huge amount of noise in theAc curcuit that feed your entire system, which in turn can have serious negative impact on system performance. This is why I mentioned to use a Linear power supply. I say Toslink, because to prevent a conductive niose issue. Since the SB3 does not have a common ground that can help reduce the HF niose, Toslink will prevent the niose from contaminating your whole system. Users have found disconnectiont the SB3 from power and from thier system, totally, yields much better performance, while playing another source, such as optical disc extraction. please note, this is dependent on how revealing a person system is, and other factors, such as our hearing.
A power supply upgrade is considered the first mod to do to upgrade a SB2 or 3.
There are three approaches to this:
A linear power supply from an electronics supply house like Mouser (very inexpensive, check the Squeezebox Forums)
A battery power supply plus other mods from RedWine Audio
A custom built power supply plus other mods from Bolder Cable
I have experience with the Bolder and RedWine mods and the results are excellent - you will find many pleased testimonials here and on Asylum
Thanks for the explanation, I went back and re tested the piece on my reference system, but still find a bit more digital 'hash' from the toslink, FWIW, my system is pretty nice (Meridian 861 v4.2, Proceed HPA amps, Canton Vento speakers) and I definitely prefer the coaxial, some of this could be related to my cheesey toslink cable verses my decent coaxial cable as well.....some just to my own preference and system synergy.
The Squeezebox is a thing of beauty, the access to your music server is great, I enjoy having all the songs at my finger tip, I can never listen to a whole CD when using it..
Do connect it to a DAC, anyway as much as I love my Squeezebox it is not audiophile quality, but it is close and pretty enjoyable!!