I just purchased my first pair of decent speakers and have rediscovered my CD collection (~200 CDs).
As a result, I'm thinking it would be a whole lot easier to rip my CDs to my computer, create playlists, etc., and run those through my AVR (as much fun as it is to flip through all my CDs, and even kind of cool putting them in the CD tray, just not very convenient). Yes, I realize everyone's been doing this for like 15 years.
I have a couple of (assuming) very basic questions:
I ripped the first CD using WMP on Windows 8.1. I set the options to WMA (lossless). Is that the "ideal" approach? Or, should I be using something else (Exact Audio Copy or Media Monkey?) that would allow me to rip to FLAC and then playback through something like foobar?
Will a DAC (something like the Musical Fidelity V90-DAC) give me significant improvement in the quality of the music as it is played through the AVR and speakers?
General "how does it work" question: When I select my computer as my Media Server from my AVR to play the ripped music, does WMP play the music back (stream it), through the soundcard, and then that goes over the Cat5 cable to the AVR, which then plays the music? Or does it not go through the sound card at all? Or neither? Just trying to understand the connectivity/signal path from my computer to the receiver.
Dell XPS 8700 SE (3 TB hard drive; 2 TB USB external drive); Windows 8.1; Creative Sound Blaster Recon3D PCIe
Marantz SR 5006 AVR
Parasound 275 Amp
Monitor Audio Silver 6 speakers
The computer and receiver are on the home network (ethernet).Thanks in advance.