What is the best way to obtain digital output from iTunes to drive a digital-to-analog converter?
Options, with pros and cons, that I can think of include:
1. USB port from computer running iTunes
- Easiest way to get direct digital signal from the iTunes music while maintaining iTune library advantages
- Seems to mean I have to use the computer that has my iTunes library... but is there a way to make a second computer behave like an iPod, i.e., synch with my iTunes computer and play its music (otherwise I have to keep my DAC and my iTunes computer within cord's length of each other)
- And then how do I tell the computer to play its file into its USB port rather than its speakers?
2. iPod or iPhone with Lightening Connector
- This adds an element of portability (which is not useful unless the DAC is also portable) as well as smooth integration with iTunes library
- However, though the Lightening connector puts out the digital signal from the iPod music, it seems you cannot get to it... Apple connectors include their own DAC that converts the signal to an analog "Line Out" signal, right? And there is no USB output from a iPod or iPhone.
3. iPod or iPhone with (older) 30-pin Connector
- I vaguely recall that some manufacturers (e.g. CEntrance HiFi-M8?) offer the ability to read the digital signal from the 30-pin connector of older (gen 4) iPhones and iPods... right?
- Or do they just use the analog line out that is on the 30 pin connector (and that went away with the newer Lightening connector)?
Anyway, it seems both counterproductive and degrading of sound to rely on an Apple DAC, then do something or other to get it back into digital form just so an audiophile DAC can again convert it to analog.
Thanks for any insight!
Edited by ruthieandjohn - 6/11/14 at 6:53am