That was a really long post. I thought I'd add my thoughts and experience.
"There are many disadvantages of using computers as your mains source of music entertainment too. Here are some that I can think of:"
"They take longer to load up (vs Traditional seperates)"
*Macbook pro takes 15 seconds or less (i don't know exactly and frankly don't care because it's so fast you won't give it a second thought.)
"The fans on computers are noisy (especially laptops). This obviously is a major drawback if you're anally obsessive about maximizing sound quality!!"
*Not on the mac I own. The macbook pro is a laptop. It's very hard to hear the fan noise at all.
Laptops may not last that long given heavy usage (3-5 years on average maybe?),therefore, whole music collection etc in more danger of being lost unless you back up. (and lets face it, many don't, at least not regularly)
*You have a point here. Especially harddrives need replacing every few years. Taking in account the low price of harddrives and the relative ease of backing up, it's not a big deal for me.
Constant maintenance needed (quite easy, maybe, but ripping in lossless etc etc takes time, and time nowadays, is short).
*No registry or virus maintenance needed. Ripping lossless takes time once- I just let the computer rip a new cd every now and then, while I do something else-making a cup of tea for instance. This comment suggests to me you haven't really bothered to go beyond mp3s. Sounds to me like someone's experience trying to upload tunes from a cd to an mp3player using a windows machine running itunes. This is a drag and in no way as rewarding as lossless played through a good hifi.
Family computers are for family access = potential catastrophe in terms of organization of music, deletions, addition of files, and what the hell is Kate Bush doing on my computer moments).
* Use external hardrives for music or apple tv. Then there simply is no problem. Cheaper too.
Staring at a screen all the time when playing music may give you an epileptic fit (if you're predisposed so). At the very least it takes away from the focus of your aural sense i.e listening!!
*Could be problematic if you're sensitive to it. If you are, I will certainly advice against using a computer or maybe even a big screen tv. If you do have a tv and find no real problems watching, then you will certainly not be affected by an itunes/front row screen dsiplayed by a apple tv or mac mini connected to it. There no fast movement, just an uncluttered screen displaying 4 items on a black background.
Lots of computers today are ugly and not as desirable as Hifi seperates, and that includes Apple. The last place I want a computer is next to me when listening.
*I'd trade the looks from many hifi component for a mac mini or macbook any day! Clean design that nicely fits in. Not so easy with hifi components- although, to your credit, I must say the Primares are one of the best looking ones.
People that aren't too bothered about high quality music reproduction will most likely use itunes etc through inexpensive pc/mac speakers.
*Kind of a generalization, isn't it? I don't. Maybe many do, but then again apparently many buyers still use the crappy headphones supplied with their ipod.
Itunes isn't that bad and neither are computers for good quality music production. I know it's hard to believe. I was there too not too long ago.
If the OP above posts that to his best efforts he can't hear any difference between an expensive cd-transport and a cheap wifi transmitter, doesn't that tell you it's mainly the quality of the DAC that determines the outcome?
Hi Solomon1.Thanks for the reply. All fair points, definitely. (I replied in new thread). Just to say, what I said is probably just down to my own experiences of computer audio on windows, and that i'm probably just too biased towards my current hifi setup! Take your point about Macs and will investigate further down the line (It'll take some effort though, if only because i'm lazy!! You know the Ipod headphones thing? Every person I know uses them- even I bought some seinheisser px 200 for 25 quid !