iPod to DAC Connection

I was disappointed that the fourth generation iPod announced this week did not have a digital output so that it could be hooked up to an DAC. I think it could provide near audiophile caliber output if you used the best AIFF or Apple Loseless processing options and a digital output. Now, I'm wondering if it is possible to have a digital output for it by somehow hooking up a cable to the iPod itself or the dock that would be Firewire or USB 2.0 at the iPod/dock end and S/PDIF at the other end to plug into a DAC. Anyone know if this is possible? Does such a cable exist, or maybe the digital bits coming out of a Firewire output are different from those going through a coaxial data cable? Any insights would be appreciated.
This does not answer your question, but are you aware of the report in TAS a time or two ago that described a system at CES that Dave Wilson set up to show off his speakers and to also show that speakers were by far the most important component in the audio chain--and the source he used was an IPOD, I believe connected directly to a power amp, but analogue connection at any rate? He compared it to a system with other non-Wilson speakers which had a Krell digital front end. And Robert Harley reports, and seems to include himself in the group of listeners, that the Wilson system blew away the other...My only point ( a long one) is that maybe the iPod as a source (without an outboard DAC) is pretty good. (Maybe you could try this and report what you find).
Budrew: I'm sure you are right about the size of the market, but that is true about most of audiophile equipment, so I'm hoping that if it can be done some company will be willing to sell such a cable. I wonder what you'd see if you cut open a Firewire cable and an S/PDIF cable? Samething inside? I know Apple provides an accessory cable that is Firewire and one end and splits into two USB connectors on the other end, so maybe this idea is feasible.

Tarsando: I recall that TAS article (couldn't lay my hads on it right now though), but I'm guessing that Wilson used the mini to RCA stereo cable connection that you can get now with the iPod (hooks up through the dock). I think the iPod could sound quite a bit better if you could hook it up through a DAC. John Atkinson said in his tests of the iPod on p. 141 of the 10/03 issue of Stereophile that its measured behavior is "better than many CD players" and that is when the internal DAC was being used. I'd love to hear it playing uncompressed AIFF files through a really good DAC.
you may want to try getting sound card for your pc run
optical to your dac use itunes site as your jukebox and
you have as much storage as your pc alots better sollution than ipod anyway i tried hooking ipod through analogue input sounded like crap
check out the apple's airport express. It has a digital out and can also play Internet radio which isn't possible on an iPod. I'm running a toslink out to a sharp digital receiver. the sound out of the box wasn't great but it is improving nicely after 24 hours.


"Enjoy your iTunes music library in virtually any room of your house. Share a single broadband Internet connection and USB printer without inconvenient and obtrusive cables. Create an instant wireless network on the go. Extend the range of your current wireless network. How many devices do you need to do all this? Just one."

Presenting AirPort Express.

I'm not really sure what a digital output would do for most iPod users. In order to get AIFF files or even high bit rate AAC files onto the iPod you have to rip them first unto a computer and then transfer them to the iPod. It's actually fair easier and more flexible to run a digital output directly from the computer to an external D/A and bypass the iPod entirely. A digital output on the iPod would only appeal to those people who transport their iPod from system to system where each system has digital inputs.