I have no experience with such products. From what I've read, the ART (Applied Research & Technology) DIO (Digital In/Out) is highly regarded, however seems to be a hassle to use.
Capable upto 24bit/96Khz (switchable)
S/PDIF (digital) Coaxial in and out
¼" phono (analog) outputhttp://www.artroch.com/products_detail.asp?PRODUCTID=75HDCD
There is no software playback of HDCD. For HDCD support, there needs to be a HDCD decoder
chip on an onboard/external DAC that can handle 20bit
data streams.CD-ROM Drive
Any decent 4x or higher rate CD-ROM drive is fine for digital audio extraction when using good software like EAC. Matsu****a/Pansonic OEM drives are affordable and work great for this. I'd say that the Kenwood TrueX (SCSI or IDE) and Plextor UltraPlex (SCSI) drives are the best for DAE.
The ideal drive would have digital audio output
because it's not sensible to use a CD-ROM drives analog audio output as most of them come with cruddy 12bit DACs and probably have noise problems. If you want to use your CD-ROM drive as a source, S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface) connection to a high quality sound card is essential to either use the onboard DAC of your soundcard or send it out to a reciever or external DAC. Also, must have superb stability (jitter-free), low seek time and low cpu usage, and have the extremely low error rate.
Here are some of these "ideal" ones:
ASUS 34X Max CD-S340 (34X IDE)
Panasonic CR-588-B (32X IDE)
Philips 32X-Max PCA323CD (32X IDE)
Sony CDU-711 (32X IDE)
Notice how they are all ATAPI based drives, I don't know of any SCSI CD-ROM drives that support digital output, however some have native support for digital audio extraction through the SCSI bus, like the Panasonic CD-508-B and Plextor UltraPlex 40Xmax.
It is a good idea to have only one drive per IDE/SCSI channel to prevent any bandwidth issues (performance).PC Speakers
I personally would never buy multimedia speakers. Any audiophile should know why to avoid such things.
If you really want to get a speaker system (home theater I assume, if you just want stereo, your choices open up a lot) for the computer, but can't spend more than $1000, I'd recommend the Infinity HTS-20 provided you have a soundcard with digital out and Dolby Digital/DTS capable reciever. Or you can take a step higher and go with Infinity Entra System which goes for $1,149 @ crutchfield.com (I've only purchased Infinity Reference car speakers from them)
If you are super low on budget ($200), my best friend, who's a freshman @ University of Miami, has the Logitech Z-560 and he absolutely loves it (he listens to a lot of electronica and rap, some classical). I won't comment on the sound, lol.
I don't like the Klipsch ProMedia system if that's what's on your mind.