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To sort through the files on your Mac and select one to play, the all-Apple old-school AirPlay streaming method is to run iTunes (older Mac) or Music.app (newer MacOS), and run Apple’s “Remote” iOS app on an iPad or iPhone to view the library and control the Mac from your armchair. Or run Apple Music on the iOS device itself if you don’t have a personal library. A typical hi-res alternative is to buy a Roon subscription and run the controller on your Mac, both to serve up your own hi-res files or to shoot out Tidal HiFi. You can get the trial version of Roon just to look at its very nice diagnostic display of the bitrates it’s using in your setup!
Yes, AirPlay2 works through a wired network. Yes, AirPlay2 has a limitation on high-res: 48K/24-bit seems to be what is generally quoted, although in theory it should support 192K/24-bit. Apple is intentionally vague on what bitrate gets negotiated when you send a hi-res stream to the HomePod, but it appears that *everything* is resampled into AAC 256K. You won’t be able to tell the difference with that speaker anyway. See here: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/252848734 and here, for the fog: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/does-airplay-2-support-high-resolution-audio.4629/ . Fog dispelling attempt here: https://techobsessed.net/2021/06/apple-music-lossless-and-airplay-dont-work-like-you-think-they-should/
No, going wired versus wireless doesn’t increase the bit rates that are negotiated inside the AirPlay protocols. What it does do is overcome the inherent failings of multi-room AirPlay, where all the speakers are checked for lag time and given timing instructions along with the data. For me, in a residence where more than 4 rooms have speakers, and a moderately out-of-date Wi-Fi access point (Apple AirPort Extreme 5 gen) the bandwidth required and the inevitable dropouts from wireless hits in a crowded environment make multi-room playback unusable. Turning the volume dial on the top of a BeoSound 1 while playing to (e.g.) 2 BS1s and 2 HomePods is super slow to get back to the Mac. Two rooms, works perfect; three rooms, usually OK; four rooms periodic “traveling room” shifting dropouts and lags; 5 rooms forget it. But YMMV.