Originally Posted by glangford
In my opinion not much. Before the Oppo I used to plug a thumb drive into a Denon 3311ci. My current receiver an Anthem MRX-520 doesn't do music via USB so I use the Oppo. You say, 'like yours'. I don't have one (A DAP), I use an Oppo udp-203 or a Oppo bdp-95 as a DAP. Both blu ray players. I could use a hard drive if I chose to. Guys plug NAS into the 203's rear 3.0 usb port for ripped movie playback. Almost any usb input will accept a small self powered or powered hard drive. Some may have size limitations, but a terabyte or two is easily accommodated by anything. The nice thing about an app based player is not having to cut the TV on to make a selection. Even with the Denon, I could navigate folders in its little two line display without having to cut on a display.
You never mentioned your receiver. Surely it will accept RCA or toslink connections. I'm still looking to find a player that play from the usb input, allow me to navigate a usb drive from an IOS app and spin discs (particularly SACD, which aren't easily ripped). My search has got me to one player, the technics SL-G700, at 2999. A bit steep, and hard to find player. I've considered settling on the marantz ND8006 which does everything I want except SACD. I'd then send my collection of SACD off to be ripped. I only have about 30, and don't buy them anymore opting instead for digital hi-rez downloads or just plain CDs. So for me the ND8006 is an option. But every time I think I've made a decision, I decide the Oppo is enough.
I wouldn't rule out continuing to use an apple computer and airplay if your receiver is airplay capable. You can partition a mac and run linux I believe on it and also run IOS for iTunes when you desire.
Sorry, If I'm unable to totally answer your questions. It's just that DAPs don't get a lot of air time here on AVS forum. There is a thread on a Sony DAP in the two channel subform. I've read some of the thread before as I wondered if that had any advantages over what I was doing. Seems that player had some firmware bugs, that I'm not sure ever got worked out. I would say the majority of people either spin discs, use usb file playback from thumb or attached hard drive, or use some type of networking, either airplay or some other type networking capability such as DLNA, media server on a computer, or SMB/NFS client file sharing. I'm not a computer wiz so I've opted for simple USB playback. The Oppo does all these, but the Sony players I've mentioned do those too as well, but look at those manuals. Almost all modern 4k blu ray players do DLNA. Panasonic, Sony, and Oppo. Some of the cheaper ones I doubt it. All of those do playback from USB. The pioneer is a bit more limited, not having wifi, but it will play back files from a network as well, ethernet connection required. Lastly a lot of folks now are using tidal, quboz, or similar service, so you might want a player that could do that. The marantz and technics I mentioned have that, some of the BD players do as well. You'll have to scour manuals to figure that aspect out, it never interested me.
Again, sorry, if I"m not totally able to answer your questions.
On the contrary, that was an excellent response, and especially for me who knows nothing about digital audio players.
I'm auditioning a new Yamaha Aventage RX-A780. Unfortunately, the USB port doesn't recognize USB thumb drives (and Crutchfield is sending me a replacement). The port is located on the front of the AV receiver, so I wouldn't want to leave a cable in it full time, anyway. The User Manual (I think) led me to the generic term of "digital audio player," which I didn't understand and they don't explain, and thus my question.
AirPlay and other networking schemes may be possible later but not right now, and BlueTooth, which is possible, lacks quality. The problem I have with networking is that the AVR and the control device, iPhone, Mac, or Linux, would have to be on the same network, and that's a big security no-no. I put all of my Internet of Things (IoT) devices on a separate VLAN (Virtual LAN) with no cross-talk between the LAN we use for our computers and those with IoT devices.
After I've decided on the AVR configuration I may acquire a gently-used cell phone as a control device and assign it permanently to the IoT network - it'll be WiFi-only and won't require a phone plan. And yes, the AVR accepts both RCA and Toslink; I may build my first Raspberry Pi project (with a thumb drive storage) and RCA connection as something that I can leave permanently attached in order to spare the AVR's only USB port for firmware updates. RPi will also require the IoT-only cell phone, or, possibly, a monitor as a screen - don't know yet.
Again, thanks - yours was a fine description of the limitations of AV-playback world. I appreciate it.