Originally Posted by deacongreg
Music servers, I - pods, downloading, are the wave of the future, like it or not.
I completely agree that music servers, portable media players (e.g. iPod) and downloading are the wave of the future. But I don't see how that can be a bad thing. There is no technical obstacle to delivery of audio content equivalent to studio master quality over the internet. The data rates for home broadband connections are steadily increasing (maybe we'll eventually catch up to the rest of the world) and mass storage prices are plummeting. The part that I feel is sorely lacking is that last step of rendering those bits into sweet music in the home. The only way I know of to play back 24-bit/192kHz 5.1 content (stored on a hard drive) with something approaching audiophile quality is with a high-end media center PC. I am eager for an A/V receiver/processor vendor to offer a device that includes network connectivity, high-quality data paths for all six channels (at least a 24-bit data path and sample rates up to 192kHz) and a user interface that allows easy selection of content with display of album art and other meta data. While several A/V receivers/processors have been recently introduced that include network connectivity, they limit their support for streamed audio to compressed formats or, at best, CD quality.