A friend of mine asked me over the weekend if I could tell him how to put together an inexpensive, high performance, audio server. He has a large CD collection. This information is only a suggestion, and there are many other ways to do the same thing....
What you need. The simple list:
Computer running Win10 (notebook or tablet)
SD card or ext hard drive for music
USB to SPDIF conv
The rest is just DAC, amps, speakers.
Well, I also recommend wifi in your house and have your phone on the wifi too, so you can get an app (JRemote) for your phone to control the audio system from your chair. You can also use an old iPad or even iPod touch for that if you don't like using your phone.
You can use any PC to rip your CDs to any storage device, preferably the one you'll place in the audio computer. Plus, with an external USB connected CD/DVD drive, you can use the audio computer itself for this and then even use the external CD drive to play discs. I recommend setting up media player to rip CDs losslessly automatically when a disc is inserted and to eject when done. This way, you can leave a stack of CDs by the computer and just feed it a new disc when you pass by. Before you know it, you will have ripped all of them. To play a disc from the drive, you'll need to turn off the auto-rip.
You can configure JRiver to output any rate/type for a given file rate/type. So you can convert DSD to high res PCM. You can also upsample 44.1/16 from your ripped CDs. From what I have read, you can rip SACDs, too, but some other SW might be required. JRiver has a large support base for information about such things.
There's also SW out there to "fix up" existing music libraries, eliminating duplicates, leaving only the highest quality version, and even "shazaming" files to properly name the files and folders. I'll try to find the name of that (there are a few programs for this).
Thanks for reading this. Comments and suggestions welcome (: