OLD LAPTOP TO NEW STREAMER?
Is there any point and, of course, a practical solution?
I have a old Intel Celeron laptop, currently using Window XP, which is not really up to doing anything worthwhile as a computer per se - just toooooo slow .....
Without spending any real money, is there a practical solution and any point to trying to convert the laptop into a dedicated streamer?
I am thinking along the lines of a simple, barebones, OS for the laptop, plus other software necessary to stream, allowing it to connect to music (mainly ALAC / apple lossless - with a smattering of 24/96 FLAC at the moment) stored on a NAS and feeding this from the laptop - either directly to the AV amp (Denon 2807) or via USB to the DAC (Beresford 7520) and on the the amp.
I have been playing with VLC, to stream via USB, which seems to handle pretty much all the common audio codecs / formats, but I really need to lighten up the load that the OS / XP is putting on the laptop - causing the laptop to be very slow To respond.
If the laptop is just acting as a streamer on the home network, is the a need to also run antivirus software (at the moment Sophos)?
Ultimately, it would be nice to be able to configure to laptop to also handle HD audio (as the Sonos ZP90 is limited to 16 bit), so that I can explore whether, for me, 24 bit audio has any audible difference / improvement over 16 bit.
Any input appreciated.