Yes playing music from a hard drive is something I haven't done much of, or streaming music for that matter, at least through my HT set up. So I noticed a lot of the guys using Foobar or JR Rivers, is there an advantage to these quality wise. And is there a better way to store my CD rips than a hard drive, as far as quality goes, or doesn't it matter?
I use DBPowerAmp to rip all my CD's into FLAC. I could never detect one bit of difference between WAV or FLAC ripped files and we shouldn't. Because FLAC is just like a ZIP file, once you unzip it you'll get all of the original data/music content. If someone can hear the difference, then it must be their PC configuration such Windows drivers, vs WASAPI, etc.
Plus, FLAC will retain all of the tagged info such as artist and song names, plus all of the associated album artwork for each song. Once you've ripped your entire library, you can back it up on any hard drive without worrying about bit perfect copying. I use Windows 8... and refuse to migrate to Mac, so I can't help anyone with Mac related questions.
I beleive it's a playback methods which may impact the sound quality. I know it sounds crazy, but I can definitely hear the differences between PC based FLAC decoding within the LMS server software and the FLAC decoding performed by SB Touch. Due to the proximity of my PC (75 feet away), I'm using Logitech's LMS to stream the LAN packets to SB Touch and don't have to deal with USB cables, ASync USB to SPDIF or other nonsense and also allows me to avoid messing around with Foobar or JR River in this situation.
At the end of the day, only you can tell which methods will sound best to you.