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Mac or PC based alternative to Squeezebox

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Hello folks, I have a few questions about the state of music servers that I hope someone can answer.


I currently use a squeezebox 3 connected via spdif to a Grace headphone amp. I stream FLAC and am generally pretty happy as I listen mostly to classical music and the server along with some 3rd party plug-ins make for a very elegant solution. I want 24/96 capability however and I'm tired of waiting for their Touch model to come out (The Transporter is out of the question at the moment -- too $$)


My questions are:


1. I have a Presonous Firebox and a Apogee Duet -- both capable of sending 24/96 to the Grace. Is there software that will send out music via either of these interfaces without resampling? In otherwords, can the output be set by the source files? I'd like 16/44.1 files to output at 16/44.1 and I want 24/96 files to output at 24/96 -- sounds simple but I'm not sure its easy?


2. One of the features I've become accustomed to is the Ipeng remote features. If I ditch squeezebox/server are there other alternatives that would let me control/select music via an iphone remote app? I know Itunes + remote.app will do this, but I'm not about to convert my collection to ALAC and the hacks seem... well hacky!


Any suggestions? I suspect the best option is to wait for the Touch, but I wanted to cover all bases.




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iTunes, the Mac and Computer Audiophile script will get you there.


But first, you should be playing your 16/44.1 files at 24/44.1 if you want to use iTunes to control volume. If you use 16 bits, you end up losing some definition as the computer recalculates the appropriate signal to send to your DAC. With 24 bits (which is the default output on the Mac), there is no discernible loss.


Open the Audio MIDI utility, and select Firebox/Duet as your output device. Also select the sampling rate you'd like to use.


Here's the mildly annoying part. When you want to change the sampling rate, you will need to close out of iTunes, open the Audio MIDI utility and select the new rate, and re-open iTunes. Fortunately, Chris Connaker has crafted an Automator action which takes care of most of this -- just go to http://www.computeraudiophile.com/Semi-Automatic-Sample-Rate-Solution-CA-SampleRate.


As for controlling iTunes, Apple makes a pretty good Remote app for the iPhone. If you want more power, try the HippoRemote app.


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