Thanks for the info guys. Still trying to decide which platform/software I'm going with (all things being equal I would prefer linux but I'm concerned I would miss some of the streaming services).
Since LoveMachine asked... here's a diagram of what I am looking to do:
Basically I was really happy with the AVR for movies but for music it left me wanting (I had a great two-channel system for a long time - 20 years) so I got a nice integrated amp with an HT bypass (in that mode the gain is controlled by the IVR). Hopefully the diagram clearly answers what you were asking... I know it looks complicated... it is more complicated than I wanted but I think i'm satisfied with my choices/decisions. What would be ideal is if I could figure out how to get my Panasonic BD player to accept the MKV files (or something) but i've not had much luck with that.
I will do a separate post to ask about the software choices... it's nice to know that some of the packages have worked out this particular problem.