How To Setup Network/PC Streaming to Home Audio

Brand New to all of this, so forgive me in advance if I fumble/bobble a bit. I have done some advance research (such as how I have learned of PSAudio and the “Ask Paul” YouTube segments :).

  1. Looking to get into streaming from pc to my home audio stereo system. I currently use iTunes to manage my music library on my home pc in my office. I have about 5,000 cd’s/album’s ripped in almost all ALAC format. I like iTunes from a software library management software standpoint, for me it does a nice job. However, my research indicates it is not the best mechanism for “Higher End Audio Playback” (as I know a lot of people are not big fans of iTunes). For PC/Home office listening I have a usb hooked up to a mobile DAC to a pair of active speakers. It’s fine for office listening, but also want to distribute the music to my home audio center in my living room.

  2. Do I incorporate a media streamer / usb source to DAC to Amp/Receiver? In turn, begining to stream from my PC to the media streamer (i.e. my windows 10 pc to an allo digione player to a schiit modi 3 dac to Denon Receiver (as just one small example).

In turn, is there a way to keep iTunes and just use different audio player software (i.e. Roon using iTunes Playlists while keeping the mgmt in iTunes as I have read?), or do I have to outright convert to (Roon or JRiver or Foobar or Volumio) or do they or something else offer a better player without converting?

So, looking for software and hardware types (not necessarily brands, just ways to do this) recommendations and guidance from the experts. I appreciate the help and already becoming a big fan of PSAudio.

Thank you in advance.


If you want to stay within the Apple/iTunes world, the easiest way to stream is to buy a couple of used Airport Express’s on Ebay. iTunes will stream to them lossless CD quality. You can have the DAC inside the AE convert to analog out, or the AE can simply act as a pass-thru via its digital toslink-output to a DAC of your choice. This sounds fantastic and is fully compatible with all Apple Airplay capable devices.

The next step up would be to add Roon to the mix. It has much better library management capabilities than iTunes, and it can stream to AE’s along with a whole slew of other end-points. It can also import playlists from iTunes. This is what I did about 18 months ago and I find myself using iTunes only to download music from the iTunes Store. Roon can view my iTunes library, along with other places where I have music, and stream to wherever I want. Note, Roon does not mess with your iTunes data - you simply tell Roon the location of your iTunes music and it indexes it and watches for changes.

Welcome, sjf99!

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I will keep this very brief: ROON… #you_re_welcome :hugs:

I will keep this briefer: SPOTIFY…

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Without the hastag mine is shorter… #oops_asking_for_trouble :joy:

Thank You pbphoto, you have given me several different options to consider and look at very helpful. I appreciate it.

Thank You Elk

ronaldwanders ??? I was just looking for some constructive help, it is my first time here and my first time to psaudio. Unfortunately my inquiry responses turned into who can come up with the “shortest reply” to my question(s) with snarky hashtags. It’s disappointing I was hoping it would be different here.

I am so sorry you have that experience with me @sjf99. Next time I will try to behave. Happy Easter…

I would be happy to help, but know little of Apple products and do not stream music. Pbphoto’s suggestions look good. My hope is others will come along soon with other useful help.

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If you’re looking to keep iTunes as your music manager and have good sound to boot (the two aren’t mutually compatible), then the best way to do that is with a program called Bit Perfect. The problem for you is that Bit Perfect only works with a Mac.

The second choice would be to forget iTunes and go with Audirvana which will work with a PC. There you can get great sound and use an interface that’s easily as good as iTunes.

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Thank you Elk

Thank you Paul. I will check it out.

You might like Roon, which works with libraries such as yours. Also, check out JRiver Media Center. Both will integrate with your iTunes library and files on your PC. Unfortunately, there really is no shortcut to setting a system up. Spend some time on the product’s sites and user forums to get the general picture. Also, the Audiophile Style (f/k/a Computer Audiophile) site has a pinned primmer on the subject which lays out the basics and is very informative. Good Luck.

Thank you scotte1

I have been very happy with Sonos as a home audio network that can simultaneously provide music in any room in the house. Like you, I got used to iTunes and have content purchased through iTunes as well as a number of CDs stored in ALAC files. Sonos also works with Spotify, Apple Music, and other music streaming services, which greatly expands access to diverse content. The main drawback of Sonos is that it is limited to standard CD resolution and cannot play higher resolution audio files at full resolution. I currently have a Sonos Connect box to use the Sonos network with my main 2-channel system in my living room and my home theater system in my basement. In addition, I have Sonos speakers that work independently in my family room, study, bathroom, and basement exercise room.

The Sonos box I use for my my 2-channel system has a built-in DAC, but I bypass it to send a digital signal via coax to my SGCD. By doing this, I am using the Sonos network only to distribute music in digital form throughout the house while depending on the Stellar gear to do the conversion to analog and send it on to my M700 amps. In rooms with Sonos speakers, the speakers take care of the D-A conversion using internal DACs.

I love the flexibility of the Sonos system - especially when linked to Apple Music or Spotify. The only serious drawback is if you feel you must have the capability to play files with higher-than-CD resolution. Just another option for you to consider.

Thank you SDL, very informative, appreciate it

Your welcome. Here is the article I was thinking about: “Complete Guide” to Computer Autio

Its a bit dated, but I hope this helps.


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PS @sjf99: A great Roon primer: “How Roon Works”


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