Digital Music (High Quality)
I have spent about a week in man hours over the last two months trialling and testing various high end digital music solutions for one reason or another.
By digital music I mean computer based music played via a hi-fi or listened to on proper headphones at home (or other fixed location) not on the move or in the car etc. Like we used to with LPs.
By high end I mean 320kbps mp3s or lossless eg FLAC / ALAC etc not crappy mp3s downloaded illegally.
UPnP/DLNA remains full of flaws. Absolutely rubbish playlist management. I must have tried two dozen apps. Very few devices that properly support gapless playback if any. No real standard and no likelihood of there ever being one.
Apple too tied to iTunes with codec limitations on AirPlay - max 44.1khz/16bit. Seriously broken by Apple Music.
Sonos. Control is good but it isn't really high end sound wise. It's mostly MP3 support.
On MP3s. Perceived wisdom suggests that only about 10% of people can tell the difference between a 320kbps MP3 and a CD or FLAC. As the encoding rate falls the higher the %. ie. 256 Kbps MP3s can be detected by more than 10% of people. 128kbps even more etc.
I still can't find anything that comes close to my Squeezebox environment. Yes Logitech have ceased production but a Raspberry Pi with an onboard DAC can handle 192khz/24bit FLACs with no issue whatsoever. I accept its a bit Geeky but isn't that the nature of Hi Fi anyway?
I accept that a good UPnP/DLNA receiver can output at 192/24 but it's the control that lets it down. My squeezeboxen can output HD files, gaplessly if required and has brilliant playlist management apps.
Is there anything out there that can compete on all fronts?