I am looking for the best way to play MP3’s on my home theater system. I have an HK AVR8000 that will decode MP3 inputted digitally. I am encoding all my MP3’s with Lame at high VBR rates. I would like to minimize any conversions required and use the DAC’s in my receiver to convert to analog. I am confused how and when the MP3 format is converted and how to input MP3’s into my receiver if I wanted to. Here is my confusion with the various options. I will input into my receiver using a SPDIF TOSLink or Coaxial input. I believe that SDPIF only supports passing PCM, DD or AC3. So in any of the options below, I am not sure how I would get a native MP3 CODEC in to my receiver. I believe both options below will decode the MP3 format and convert to PCM before they send it on to my receiver. So here are the options I am looking at and some more questions. Option 1: Buy an Audiotron and use the SDPIF output in to my receiver. This may be the easiest. The reviews I have seen on the Audiotron indicate that the audio stage is of low quality. I believe that by using the SPDIF output I will avoid using the audio stage. Option 2: Use a soundcard with an SPDIF output and connect directly to my receiver. So my questions in this area is does the soundcard quality matter, or is it just passing a native digital signal? And again, how do I get MP3 out, versus the DD, AC3 or PCM? Any recommendations on a soundcard? Anyway, any recommendations and clarification, corrections to my thoughts would be appreciated.