I have looked at the Rio Central and thought that this unit is really cool.
A component that I can add to my stereo rack and it will play and make MP3 files. Probably would have bought one on an impulse if not for the $1500 price tag.
Then, looking at what it actually does, why not just get an iMac to do the same thing.
What both do:
1) Rip CDs and encode to MP3 files
2) Stores MP3 files and plays them with playlists and other fancy stuff
1) iMac does not fit with other stereo components and unit is larger than RioCentral
1) Much cheaper, can pick up a used iMac for easily <$500
2) Screen is much larger
3) SW is obviously upgradely and better
My vision is to get rid of my stereo system as it exists now (receiver, CD player, cassette player, old turntable) and just get an MP3 player of some sort and hook the player up to powered speakers or to a simple amp and speakers. Nothing fancy. Am I missing something.
Is the sound quality from the RioCentral or the iMac dependent on the sound card inside these units and can I tell the difference, meaning should I care.
Any thoughts or comments appreciated.