After reading and keeping up with most of the threads within this "Computer Audio" section of the forum I'm somewhat puzzled and here's what is puzzling me.
This is the Stereophile forum and one can safely assume that most of the people active on this forum care somewhat about getting good sound, if not the best sound possible, from their audio system. So what I don't understand is why people are insisting on using the USB output or any other kind of output from their computer as a front end for a stereo system. The reasons I say this are because 1) there appears to be problems with many of the outputs of a directly connected computer, e.g. jitter in the USB output, noise in a digital output or a less than bit perfect data stream regardless of the type of output and 2) many computers are somewhat noisy and as such should not located within a critical listening area.
Based on the above issues, I would say that the only way that computer audio can be incorporated into a high end audio system is through some type of media streaming device or system. By streaming the media one solves both of the issues outlined above - there is no jitter or other noise and the computer, with all it's noisy cooling fans, can be remotely located.
Now don't get me wrong, there is definitely much room for improvement in both types of computer based audio systems and I fully appreciate the efforts being made by many of my fellow forum members in trying to achieve the best sound possible from either type of system (streamed or "hard wired" - for lack of better term).