Thank you for your precise and relevant post. Based on your explanation I understand that there is in fact no direct alternative to the Airport. However, I dont want an Airport as it only has a cheapo audio output. And you don't want it for understandable tech-political reasons. Without the Airport, the only solution is a combination of a DAC and a Wifi transmission system such as the one from AudioEngineering to which you where linking (oddly, the more integrated things become, the more clutter you are going to need...). But the idea of attach antennas to your PC is of course not very attractive. And I don't want my costly DAC to be integrated with fast-changing technlogy such as WIFI. Therefore, what I am going to do is to buy a high quality DAC (http://www.musicalfidelity.com/products/vSeries/v-dacii/) and using it to connect my laptop to my stereao by USB (cable) when I want to listen to music. The laptop I control with a remote app on my smartphone (this works: http://remoteless.no/). Later on, when an actual alternative to the airport becomes available (which it will - at least here in the EU - as Apple's practice breaches competition law. The EU Commission will be on their backs very soon) I will be able to plug that into the DAC and: mission completed.Final note: avoid any Bluetooth-based solution. Bluetooth compresses everything
It might be too late. But a Raspberry Pi is what you need.
Ive just transferred all my cd collection to a lacie 2tb la cinema nas i stream the music through my existing system via my ipod touch/pure 20i dock using the withU app from the itunes store. This is a great set up esp as i was initially looking to purchase the sonos the app costs a mere £1.99! Sound quality is great imo esp as i saved all my cds at 320 kbps also displays artwork and playback functions similar to itunes player. Definitely recommend this .