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Today, you don't need a soundcard. All the good DACs take USB input. But, make sure it's a good USB 
setup -- jitter-rejection, full 96/24 capability, etc. I think USB2 and later can do higher sampling 
rates, too. The key thing is jitter rejection with USB.

The Benchmark DAC/Pre series all have USB inputs now. There are now dozens of players in this space.

As far as getting your CDs into the hard drive, three recommendations from one who is early in the 
same process you are undertaking:

1. dbPowerAmp is a good, reliable, fast ripper. I suggest rip to FLAC because it includes tag info 
like MP3 and works in all the higher-end streaming players (and my lower-end but awesome Logitech 
Squeezebox Touch, from which I feed SPDIF to my Benchmark DAC/Pre in the living room). If you want 
to go all-Apple, then use iTunes but rip to Apple Lossless Format (Apple continues to stubbornly 
refuse to support FLAC in their iTunes/iPod stuff). dbPowerAmp is also a many-format 
converter/transcoder. It uses AccurateRip technology, so non-obscure CDs can be ripped with some 
quality assurance.

2. I really like foobar2000 as a player, at least for Windows. The more I use this, the more 
confident I am that it's not mangling the bits. Its interface is not quite on par with iTunes, but 
it's pretty damn good.

3. once you've gone through the effort of doing all that ripping -- KEEP YOUR HARD DRIVE BACKED UP, 
MULTIPLE TIMES. A single-unit RAID won't do it, in my opinion. I recommend external backups, and if 
you get really serious you'll want off-site external backup. Richard Hess has much information and 
many opinions from hard learned lessons on this topic.

Oh, also ...

4. DON'T TOSS YOUR CDS. Keep them organized and safe. When it comes to computers and hard drives , 
you never know ...

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Paul Stamler" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, February 11, 2013 2:04 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Audio on computers


> On 2/11/2013 12:13 AM, Shai Drori wrote:
>> Hi Everyone
>> Its was a lot of fun to read all the posts about speakers polarity and
>> other stuff that reminded me of a lot of things I did in my youth (like
>> building speaker cabinets), and all this from a comment about
>> audiophools. But now I have a serious question to ask the forum's
>> wisdom. For years I have wanted to get all my cd's on a computer and
>> hook it up to the stereo system. It will take less space (about a 1000
>> cd's ), and be easy to find, etc. Add to that the great downloads
>> available today at usually more than fair prices make the whole thing
>> look like a win win. So, my question is this, what equipment (computer,
>> receiver, integrated amp, DAC) do you use? What do you think give the
>> best sound, or maybe the best bang for the buck, or the largest set of
>> features. I feel it's time for me to move forward and get some new gear
>> in my aging system. Do not be shy (that's my job), do drop names,
>> models, links, programs, rippers. I have a feeling I will learn more
>> here than surfing the net after surgery.
>> Cheers
>> Shai
>>
> I'm still using an internal soundcard, a CardDeluxe from Digital Audio Lab(s?).I believe these are 
> now discontinued, but they show up pretty frequently on e-bay, which is where I got mine. The 
> newer internal cards from Lynx are reputed to be even better.
>
> The next step up is an external DAC, and the best one I've heard myself is from Benchmark. There 
> are fancier ones out there, but I haven't heard them.
>
> Peace,
> Paul
>