These days I listen more to mp3 files than CDs. Either with my iPod (using the custom in-ear monitors I wear when we perform LIVE because the earbuds that come with the iPod are pretty bad) or with a laptop (I use an older G3 PowerBook because they run cooler and it very rarely needs to use its cooling fan) that is connected to my stereo via a “Quattro” digital-analog converter by M-Audio which is connected to the USB port of the computer. Attached to the FireWire port is a 40GB harddrive (a drive that does not need a cooling fan) that holds about 6,000 songs (I encode mp3 files at 192kbps or VBR with a minimum of 160kbps). The best fun is putting playlists together…this morning I made a playlist with Satie and Mompou solo piano music that I am enjoying right now. There are better D/A converters out there, but at under $300 the Quattro sounds quite impressive. It certainly sounds so much better than the computers built-in sound!