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Audio moving from physical media to computer playback

Audio: moving from physical media to computer playback

Why computer playback?

Have you found yourself recently purchasing much of your music online in downloadable formats instead of CD or vinyl? Why is this happening? If ones’ listening room front end is a turntable, then ones’ listening options are limited by the vinyl catalogue available. Such is increasingly becoming the case with CD also, as many releases are now occurring only in downloadable format, with no physical media available anywhere. If you are the proud owner of a good sound-system, with a good enough ear to notice the sonic limitations inherent to a lot of the distributed music systems on the market (which are designed specifically for playback of downloadable / streamable content), do you find yourself currently listening to your downloaded music and your physical media through different playback systems, or burning your computer catalogue to CD for playback on your existing sound system? Instead of all that palava, wouldn’t you rather play music from the music library on your computer directly into your existing soundsystem? Computer playback provides a solution which should meet your needs.  This article suggests a couple of ways by which you can do this.

Even if one is fastidious about ‘old-school’ sound reproduction, this is still attainable via computer playback: With the recent introduction of hi-res ‘master quality’ downloads, the conceptual space between ‘audiophile’ and ‘downloader’ is closing considerably as sound quality becomes less and less colored by the processing of source material into downloadable audio files. The article describes means whereby your computer will interface with your existing audio playback equipment. Thus putting you in a situation where the output stage of your signal chain remains unchanged. So if you have a nice valve rig in your listening room, you’ll still be using your nice valve rig, it’s only the front end signal source that has changed. This way you get the best of both worlds.