Connecting a CD transport to a PC

So this might sound absurd, because it certainly is, but I recently came to an epiphany that my NAS which hosts nearly all of my archived CDs in FLAC, was done so using a pretty cheapo sata drive dvd-rw reader. Which made me wonder, if one could take a more refined or accurate player/transport and have it interface with a PC. Though it might be troublesome as I am uncertain if Windows will recognize it outside of a USB or SATA connection. Perhaps a separate component DAC could bridge the two? If anyone has some insight to how the two might interact with one another it would be greatly appreciated.

TLDR: Can a PC recognize a CD player over optical/toslink?

Schiit is working on a CD transport…

It won’t “recognize” anything as Toslink (the optical version of SPDIF) never gets to know its neighbour. They just send their data off and hope for the best, so to speak.

You would need a soundcard or audio interface (hooked up via USB/Thunderbolt/FireWire/Ethernet) to turn that optical signal into something useable. With most consumer-devices you would then have to run a program like Audacity to record it or Voicemeeter to loop it back to a DAC.

To me, this is a stupid amount of work for no benefit. You could argue your glorified CD-Player is better than my Sata-BluRay Drive. To which I say: My CD rips bit-perfect in less than 10 minutes.

Another thing to keep in mind while shopping arround: A lot of professional devices have optical inputs that look like Toslink, they are ADAT though, which is incompatible with Toslink.

TL;DR: It is possible. I just don’t see any reason to do it.

You’re absolutely right, that would be a stupid amount of run around for a solution with very little, if any benefit. I just recall there being lots of complex features and functions within EAC that often depend on the type of drive you’re using.
With that said, these likely have little to no impact on the drives capability of making a perfect data copy of a cd, and I was over thinking the accuracy/efficiency of it all. I appreciate the perspective.