The delivery of digital music is slowly transforming from disc based to being file based. Many consumers are digitizing their CD collection and storing them as digital files and playing them back through a music streamer like the Squeezebox Touch. The range of music that are available for purchase as a download online are increasing by the day with online sources like HDtracks, iTunes and most recently SuperHiRez by Acoustic Sounds.
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announced last week that it will join manufacturers, retailers, music labels and artists in offering expanded support for and promotion of high-resolution audio (HRA). CEA is exploring various initiatives and plans to leverage opportunities to promote HRA at the 2014 International CES. With these latest developments, we will see a gradual demise of CD and standard resolution audio. Streaming music will be a whole new industry and soon overtake physical CDs in popularity.
Most receivers purchased in the last 2 years already support media streaming. Not only are compressed music files supported such as MP3, WMA, and AAC but also high resolution files such as FLAC, WAV, AIFF, Apple Lossless and even DSD, Sony’s leading format which have become an underground sensation in the computer audio community.
Depending on the receiver model, all you need is a PC running Windows with Windows Media Player installed or DLNA-compatible media servers. For quick access you can store music files on a USB thumb drive and play back from there. You can be sure as digital music streaming becomes more popular, manufacturers will see the opportunity to incorporate more such functions into the modern AV receiver.