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Brad Smith
2005-11-07, 13:30
I've been researching a home theatre audio solution for all of my CDs over the past several weeks, and a friend recommended the Squeezebox (and especially with the new version just being released). I am a big Mac user, iPod user, etc., and wanted to get some opinions on a couple things.

First of all, the SB3 versus AirTunes (iTunes over an AirPort Express). I own an AirPort express and have used it to stream my AAC files to my home theatre speakers via a Denon 1905 receiver. Overall, good quality, but there's been one problem... I can finally hear the difference with my new speakers between CD-quality and the AAC-quality files. So that brings me to the following questions:

1) Assuming lossless source media (FLAC for SB3 and Apple Lossless for AirTunes), is there a quality difference between the two? (Assume that I am connected via a standard optical cable from the SB3 and from the mini/TOSLink optical cable from the AirPort Express.)

2) AirTunes has the benefit of direct integration with iTunes, while the interface and capabilities of the SB3 are a bit more clunky (yet the addition of the screen and remote is a plus). Any thoughts on this issue?

3) I've read that there are some issues with slow performance on Mac OS X for the Slim Server. Anyone else experience this?

4) Finally, is there an easy way to handle the integration of iTunes and the Slim Server so that playlists, smart or otherwise, remain fully synced for both the FLAC library and the MP3/AAC library for the iPod?

Many of these issues I have researched through searches, but haven't found the answers I am looking for. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks and best regards,
Brad