Access a CD library on Naim Uniti Atom

Hi. I’m new to this, so I have no idea where or how to ask this question.

Very simply, I have a collection of ca. 1200 CDs, mainly of Classical and Jazz music. I’ve recently purchased a Naim Uniti Atom and I’d like to use it to listen to my CDs.
I there a simple step-by-step guide that I can use to set this up?

I have available several Windows PCs and a couple of 2TB SSD discs. (My whole CD collections is already on one of the SSDs in WAV format.) In the past, I’ve used EAC for ripping and MusicBrainz to get hold of Metadata and Album art, but I can only use it on the Naim through the USB input.

This must be something that lots of people have already done. I just don’t know where to look! Sorry for being so dumb.

Any guidance would be appreciated.


You should be able to plug the SSD disc into the back of the Atom and access the tracks - check the manual.

Manual doesn’t say much!
An alternative would be to run upnp server software like Asset or Minimserver on a PC. That would serve up your WAV files to the Atom.

That does work. But if having plugged it into the USB input, instead of selecting the USB input in the app you select the “Servers” input instead and then “Local Music”, you should see all of the music in a more user friendly way. But being WAV, you may not be able to see the album art.

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Hi GavinB
Thanks for the very quick responses.
I have plugged the SSD into the front USB port. This allows me to see my library, disc at a time with no playlist facility. WAV files don’t support much in the way of metadata, so this is the route I was trying to avoid. Is there another type of port (i.e. not USB) in the back - I can’t easily see it at the moment?
Now, MinimServer is the piece of advice I was looking for! Do I need to run everything through EAC and MusicBrainz again before adding MinimServer? I’m retired, so there might be time available!

Hello DavidHendon
Thanks for this heads up. I tried this some time ago without realising hoe successful I had been! You are right, WAV files don’t readily show up album art, but playlisting becomes possible. I reloaded some albums in FLAC and improved my metadata content - but, when I looked just now in Server mode (at your instigation), I’ve acquired a load of album art as well. Thanks.

There’s no need to do anything with your files to run something like Minimserver. Install it, then point it at your data. It’s really flexible and so can take a bit of time to configure just how you want it, but it’ll be up and running quickly.
There is a free trial version, not that the full version is expensive!

And I thank you for that. You’re right it is a more user friendly way.

To add to Gavin’s advice, undoubtedly the most satisfactory way to access music files is to run upnp server software like Minimserver or Access on the computer that the files are stored on. You can put them in a PC or Mac, but you can’t install and run the software on a USB disc.

The most recommended approach is to have a NAS sitting on your home network, put the music files and the server software on the NAS and then access it via the Servers input in the Naim app. The two brands of NAS that are most commonly recommended are QNAP and Synology.

You can also buy a ripper/server that sits on your network that does the same thing but in a very easy to get going way. Naim have their UnitiCore which some people like and some don’t, and Innuos make similar devices which some people prefer.

Anyway once you start to understand the vocabulary (!), you will find endless postings about all this. Have fun!

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If you go the nas route, which is what I’d recommend, I’d also use Asset as your upnp server software in preference to Minim, which is fiddly and needs add ins to do various things. I’d be inclined to convert all the files to flac before loading them onto a nas.

If you get certain Qnap models you can plug the SSD in the front and backup the nas to them.

As you are already adept at ripping with your PC, there seems little need for a Core, Innuos or other expensive dedicated ripper/server. Asset on a nas is very simply and sounds just as good in my experience.

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Hi Everyone
I didn’t realise there were so many kind and generous souls out there in the Naim-verse! (Could that be soles in the case of HungryHalibut?) Thanks one and all!

Can I now ask a bunch of very naive questions?

(1) I’ve got all these WAV files. Should I junk them and go right back to re-ripping all my CDs as FLACs? The WAVs have no associated metadata.

(2) Is there a way of converting WAVs to FLACs, so I don’t have to reread all those discs? The only one I’ve found is old faithful VLC, but that doesn’t help with metadata or art.

(3) Once I’ve FLAC-ed them do I then have to re-find that metadata and art. MusicBrainz is nowhere near as comprehensive (perhaps, as prehistoric) as freeDB). Windows Media Player still shows me the correct cover art for a 1980’s Mendelssohn disc.

(4) I have enough free capacity to dedicate an “always-on” Windows PC with its own SSD, to run a UPnP server. It has an in-built CD reader which is handy - I’m still in receipt on monthly CD clubs. Would this do in place of an NAS?

(5) Most of my CDs are classical. This means that there is not always a one-to-one relationship between Albums and Folders or Works/Movements/Tracks and Files. When I was doing my own thing (and no-one else had to understand it) this was OK, but a Server might find it a little more difficult.

MinimServer claims (and I have no experience one way or the other) that it takes account of this. Access seems more middle-of the-road in its range of application. When I have all that study time available while re-ripping the CDs, I might be able to find out how MinumServer works.

I’ll try to “understand the vocabulary” - you’ve no idea how well that sums up my problem, and come back.

Thanks again, IDiot

A computer will work in lieu of a NAS, but is likely to use more power. A nas can sleep, and only be woken when you open the Naim app.

As most of your music is classical, and you’ll want to search by orchestra, soloist, conductor etc, Minim is probably the way to go.

As for conversion, the only metadata editor I’m familiar with is dbpoweramp. It’s worth trying a couple of trials to see what they can do. If you have no metadata it may be close run thing between re-ripping in flac, which will populate the metadata and art, or converting and then fixing things.

In answer to 1&2:
You can convert WAV to FLAC but you’ll still need to look up the metadata, which some programs can do reasonably reliably I believe. You might find that re-ripping is less time consuming than re-tagging them all.
I use DBPoweramp on my Mac and I believe it is also available for Windows. Although DBPoweramp is a paid for app, it’s really not expensive and is very, very good. I find it good at tagging etc too.

3: Others may know better but, DBPoweramp works well for what I’ve tried with it.

4: Whilst an “always on” PC will work, an always on NAS drive would be my preference. It can be tucked away out of sight, anywhere with a network connection. It will likely use less power too. You can still rip using the PC but then copy the files onto the NAS drive.
Running Minim Music Server or Asset server on the NAS will present the music very nicely to your Atom.

5: Most classical music will be automatically tagged and arranged but not necessarily in the order or preference to suit you. Again, it’s mostly down to tagging your albums to suit how you like to find them. For example, often the “Artist” is the actual orchestra, so City Of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) may have played music written by Mozart, Schubert, Mozart etc.
I personally prefer to look for the music such as the artist being Beethoven, then look for 5th. I can then choose if I want to hear it performed by CBSO, or London Symphonic or whatever other version(s) I have of the piece.
It seems to be a very personal thing but I have on occasion spent literally hours searching for music that I know I have, only to find it filed away where I wouldn’t expect it to be.
I wish I had been more careful ripping my CD’s, taking note and looking at the metadata more closely to “fix” things as I ripped each CD.
Instead, I simply wished to get through ripping them as quickly as possible, sometimes not noticing the wrong artwork, or wrong / inconsistent tagging, (or not to my system of tagging) or even on occasion, the wrong artist / album / title tagged completely incorrectly.
My advice is to take your time.

If you enjoy streaming music as well from the likes of Qobuz or Tidal, then I suggest you take a look at Roon - it’s rather wonderful.

mp3tag is a great tag editor and despite the name will work with almost any file format. I find it great for bulk edits as it has a spreadsheet-like interface that makes navigating around very easy. It also has useful features like converting file names to tags and vice-versa and can also import tags from MusicBrainz and freedb. And best of all, it is free :slight_smile:

That sounds ideal. I knew there was something but couldn’t recall which it was.

One of the best features of mp3tag is that it can load a whole directory tree. For example, I have a memory stick with all my music in my car. It has a very rudimentary upnp server that doesn’t recognise artist sort tags so The Cure is under T rather than C. Mp3tag lets me load up the top level The Cure folder with all the album sub folders. Select all the tracks and change the Artist tag to Cure, The and boom every album is tagged just like that. Doing that with dbPoweramp editor would be a pain.

I have The Cure with metadata set as The Cure, but Asset sorts it out so that the albums appear under C. I guess it’s how you want to do it. MP3 tag sounds ideal for converting WAV to flac and populating metadata from file names. I wonder how well that would work for classical, where ‘tracks’ can be somewhat complicated, and the file name may not be anything like the full name of the piece.

mp3tag doesn’t convert formats, it is just for tag editing. dbpoweramp batch converter is still my tool of choice for format conversion., e.g. when I want to convert to mp3 to put on the memory stick in the car.
like you I have Asset on a NAS for use at home with the Naim system and it sensibly lists The Cure under C rather than T. The other major annoyance with the upnp in the car is that it doesn’t recognise the disc number tag so if I have a double CD album it will play disc 1 track one followed by disc 2 track 1 and so on and again mp3tag makes fixing that easy for the car as in the track number field hitting Enter takes you to the next track number field below whereas in dbpoweramp you need to use the mouse to click on the ‘next’ arrow and then mouse again to click in the track number field

If you want to create playlists etc and view albums by Artist/title etc then you would have to set one of your SSD’s as a music store through settings in the app. It would re format the drive ,so save your stuff elsewhere, then copy it back.