If you want to find out what is possible, the key is the software, especially if you use a PC. Apple make it nice and easy to get hi fi lossless music providing you use itunes on a Mac. Itunes on a pc is no better than windows media player, bioth of which are no better than mp3 quality. There are third party programmes (I use J Rivers Media Centre 15) that can bypass any windows programmes that modify the signal but you will need an optical s/pdif output or a usb capable DAC. Macbooks have optical outs, as do the expensive Sonys. I have to be honest, I won't ever bother looking for a new source ever again, simply a DAC that can process the signal better, or higher res music files - currently have a few 24/192 tracks from HD tracks and they are stunning.