Never mind, it's spurred me on to finally do something about this situation. Since march I've been using my new iPad almost exclusively for the Internet and to be honest my PC has just become a glorified jukebox. So at the moment I have a huge collection of music sitting on three hard drives with no way to access it. What's the best and/or cheapest option for me that will allow me to access this music and play it back through my amp? I was thinking of getting one of those tiny desktop PC's which would presumably be quiet enough but I'm guessing the sound output options are limited. I've also toyed with the idea of going for a Mac Mini but the vast majority of my music files are in FLAC format so that won't really work. Or will it? If I could find a small form factor PC with an optical audio output then I could easily buy a stand-alone DAC. This would be good for my headphones and it would also allow me to pass through the audio to my amp.
It's all so confusing. Any suggestions?