Need help playing flac files from first HTPC build.


Nov 15, 2013
I'm putting together my first HTPC. And this is my first post.

I store my music in flac format, and use Winamp media player. My wife uses iTunes (not lossless).

I like the DacMagic Plus for an external converter and speaker amp because it appears to strike a good balance of quality & cost, and I have very tight space restrictions (so an AV receiver is not a good fit).

My question is this: To listen to my flac files, for my wife to listen to iTunes, and for us to watch blue-rays, can I simply run a cable from my HTPC to the DACMagic Plus, which would convert the signal and power my speakers? Or am I missing something? I recognize that a DAC does not handle the conversion of a digital format file to a digital signal, but isn't that what the audio software (e.g., Winamp) in my computer does?

I don't think I need a sound card, or do I?
I do plan to use an AMD A10-6700 Richland 3.7GHz, 65W; no video card, as I don't play games. But I understand that this CPU should be more than sufficient for a CD/DVD/blue-ray player. Is that right?
I haven't selected a motherboard yet or case or heat sink & fans, but will choose them to balance form factor, in/out ports, size, loudness, cost.
I will also have a TV tuner card.

Clearly, I'm still at the design stage, and still have a lot of learning to do. I appreciate your advice. Thanks.
The DacMagic Plus can be connected via USB 2.0 to your HTPC and will convert your digital flac files to analog so you can listen to them. Install the drivers from Cambridge Audio and you will be able to play high resolution (higher than CD) flac files. When you play Bluray discs you will have to make sure that you are outputting a 2 channel PCM signal for the Cambridge as it will not work with Dolby or DTS audio from movies. You might try J River Media Center as it should handle everything from one interface and offers many settings to improve sound quality.