How can I stream music to my old stereo?

Lynn from Torrance, CA

Episode 1398 (1:05:17)

Chromecast Audio

Lynn wants to get a new laptop to use for streaming music to her home stereo. What's the best setup for her, Intel or AMD? Leo says either will do. The real issue is that since Lynn is going to be converting analog to digital, she needs a good DAC. She'll want something that's all digital, so she should avoid connecting through the headphone jack. Bluetooth is solid option. Google has Chromecast Audio, which is supported by Spotify and Pandora too.

The Chromecast is $35 and will take the digital signal and stream it directly into her stereo's HDMI jack. Or she could use an optical input. If she doesn't have that, because the stereo is too old, then she's stuck with using analog. In that case, she can use a USB digital to analog converter that will do a better job. But at the end of the day, MP3s aren't really going to take advantage of the increased sound quality. So in that case, she should just connect it via her headphone jack and be done with it.