Audio manipulation? No need. Just a bit more or less of gain suffices (more output voltage in milivolts).
I'm also very picky with sound and it should not affect quality unless you use too much gain just like a preamp would do. Besides most mediaplayers and media hard disks like iomega, popcorn... do have a volume setting of some kind, just like cable and DVB boxes.
It is a must if you use a proyector for instance.
That would be okay with the analog outs, but it's not possible to simply add millivolts in the digital space.
It's not a big deal if they implement this as long as there is a way to get a clean signal level; as it were. Maybe at the 100 percent mark? Or maybe people prefer it at the 50 percent mark and then boost after that?
It's not a horrible idea, as long as there is no audio degredation, but it depends a bit on the hardware mixers. Some designs necessitate an extra chip. I was just trying to keep some bastardized algorithm from being used just because they felt the need to keep up with the other players' feature set.
I don't know, maybe people here wouldn't mind the trade off?