thanks, this is a big help!
I've been mostly happy using my Windows Media archive for streaming music to different systems in my house:
(a) living room system- Denon AVR-2112CI receiver, Oppo BDP-103 player
(b) theater room system- Marantz AV8801 pre-pro, Parasound A51 Halo amp, Oppo BDP-105 player, Sony SCD-XA5400ES player
(c) bedroom system- Oppo BDP-93 player, NAD C163 2ch pre-amp, NAD C272 amp
I stream using Oppo universal players in each system (as shown above). I can also stream from the Denon receiver in the living room. Also can stream from Marantz AV8801 in theater room. Each system can playback, or read, FLAC files. I have yet to even experience playing-back a FLAC file, so I'm very eager to experiment.
I'm using Windows 7 Pro PC set-up. Also have Windows 8 machine. My current Windows Media archive is stored on a 2TB WD "MyBookLive", has functioned beautifull so far.
The majority of my Win Media archive are 128kbps, with some at 192kbps, which represent nearly 800 RedBook CD's. Recently I've been purchasing albums from iTunes (maybe 31), these files are anywhere from 262kbps to 295kbps, and are merged into the Win Media archive (approx. 35GB total).