Originally Posted by dknightd
I have a computer on, and usually running iTunes, so I also use it as my "NAS".
You are going to have something on somewhere if you want to serve files
(a NAS is basically a computer that only has one job - serve files)
I've never played with a usb drive directly connected to a receiver.
It might work, but would be inconvenient to add content to.
I use a mac based system. It is in a nearby room with direct connection
to my main system. I have and airport express and atv hooked up to
my secondary system. The express does only CD standard 44.1/16,
the apple TV does only 48/16 (so everything has to get resampled).
I've never done an abx compare of the two devices - but doubt I could
tell the difference (I already had the express for audio and wireless
network expansion - added the atv so I could do video) Both cost
about the same - choose express if you need analog out, or optical out,
or wireless network point (I use it to provide internet to my receiver).
Pick atv if you want to do video.
Can control the system from ipod, iphone, ipad, or another mac.
Works for me since I already had that other stuff anyway.
I like having the computer/drives in another room - can't hear them.
So simple would be Mac, express or atv, your existing ipod touch for control.
If you want a receiver, consider getting one you can also control with your ipod.
I'm sure there any many ways to slice and dice this - simple depends
in part on what you are used to . . .