Should Stereophile review more or fewer computer audio products?

As evidenced by the response to last week's vote, audiophiles are increasingly turning to their computers as a source of music. Should <I>Stereophile</I> review more or fewer computer audio products?

Should <I>Stereophile</I> review more or fewer computer audio products?
Way more!
58% (377 votes)
A bit more
29% (190 votes)
Keep it the same
5% (32 votes)
A little less
3% (19 votes)
A lot less
6% (37 votes)
Total votes: 655

Mark Bradshaw's picture

It's the future! Don't become obsolete!

Kerem Icelli's picture

You can't ignore the future, can you? Don't know how it is in the USA, but here in Germany there are even some dedicated magazines for computer audio. Network-solutions (LAN/WLAN technologies), storage and playback devices, software for file-tagging, decoding/encoding and playback of music-data, etc. Everything regarding computer audio is among the interests of these mags. I could even imagine a separate, dedicated sister to Stereophile for computer audio. Like Home Theater. While discovering new frontiers and increasing circulation, you could then keep Stereophile the way it is and avoid annoying its conservative readers. A separate mag for computer audio, done in the Stereophile-way would simply be great! Set your course towards the future!

Simon's picture

As long as the focus on quality is maintained, it isn't an issue.

N.K.'s picture

I use SAV Technologies-MCS-Core Media Control System via optical out to my Bryston DAC. All files are in uncompressed WAV or FLAC.

Nick's picture

I see the convenience of computer music servers and what they offer in terms of musical selection. But as someone who works in the IT field, I find the usage of laptops for music delivery to be an uninteresting topic.

William Kimbell's picture

I'd appreciate entry-level items. The reasons why and the how tos.

DL2's picture

Way more is the way to go. We need to keep up with the new developments in music reproduction. And computer audio has already shown its potential. But note that this needs to be developed...

Daniel Emerson's picture

A bit more would be welcome. Judging by some of the responses on last week's vote, there are plenty of readers who already use their computers as part of their system. I'm not saying you should feel obliged to include computer audio all the time. Just aim to review products that either offer a whole new experience of the technology (like Sooloos, for instance) or those that are designed with an eye to audio quality as the #1 priority.

Nick L.'s picture

It seems like the natural progression, especially since there is more high-resolution material every day.

C.  King, Thousand Oaks, CA's picture

Keep it the same, but keep it real. I recently read something in the newspaper about a global economic downturn.

Steven's picture

I'd like to see three or four issues per year dedicated to "computer audio" for two reasons: explaining and discussing the options for playing high-resolution audio files and explaining and discussing distributed music systems (ie, ripping, storage, wireless transmission, D/A, etc). Potentially the best of both worlds: better sound and better access. I think JA has been way out in front on these topics.

Alexander Stephan's picture

This next "best sound forever" is no fun at all to manage and handle.

Michael Ryan's picture

Don't suppose I will ever use a transport after loading all the music into a server; it sounds better and is much more convenient!

KRB's picture

Computers are already being used in music systems, therefore more is better in this case.

Cazz's picture

I want to buy a music server. Help me buy one under $2k.

Hector Hugh Munro's picture

It's the future.

C.  Healthgut, M.D., F.A.C.S.'s picture

Cease and desist, lest I shall allow my pending renewal to lapse.

FR's picture

I believe that is the future and is still "uncharted" waters.

alan m.  kafton's picture

Way more since there will be more. This type of playback will become even more "the norm" over the next few years, with solid-state playback and memory taking hold. No moving parts equals far better sound.

Philippe C's picture

Make a great detour across the Internet hi-rez music sites that really deserve it. This means those which have native 24/96 (or better) downloads to sell, not only in classical music, but in every kind of music.

Jared Beebe's picture

I use a music server at home for most of my music and a laptop with a headphone amp and headphones for most of my field work (usually far from civilization).'s picture

2011 will be a banner year for computer audio and high-resolution files. I think you will need to review more because there will be much more out there.

Louis P.'s picture

As I work in IT, the last thing I want to do is spend my leisure time doing the same stuff I do for a living. But I do recognize that some people feel the exact opposite, and prefer to leverage their expertise towards audio. So my preference is for integrated solutions such as those from Sooloos, Olive, Linn, etc, that minimize geeky activity. The wild card is hi-rez audio, which has to be stored on a hard drive. And I am also looking forward to the day when I can play any 44.1/16 or higher content just by accessing it with an iPod Touch or similar device.

Mike N.'s picture

It's where the future is!

Nodaker's picture

As much as all the audiophools hate it, computer audio featuring music servers is the future.

Eric's picture

Unfortunately, CD is the past and there will be no future for a DRM-less record.

Michael Lowe's picture

I am a subscriber. Don't keep it so basic with computer audio. Please review the more high-end computer audio: Lynx or RME sound cards, Jriver, computer-based DSP, solid-state hard drives, etc. Most of your readers probably don't yet know that they can produce better audio with the right computer than any CD player available, other than SACD.

Crazy ED's picture

Once ya' use a computer to sort out the tunes, you will never go back. Though I prefer more cost-effective ways to do this, so please consider us of the small wallet crowd when writing these articles. Thanx, a bunch kiddies!

hifi-fan-89's picture

It would be great, if I could read much more about computer audio products! I am highly interested in finding the best way to connect the PC to my stereo amplifier and A/V receiver. So I would be happy to hear more about it.

Rajeev Singh's picture

I own Creative Audigy ZX pro and planning to upgrade to Creative X-Fi. I searched the site, but could not find any advice.