Avoiding two music file libraries

Hello folks, before I started any kind of proper streaming I used an iPod with with all music in iTunes on an iMac. I have continued to add to this library with about 900 albums and I’m beginning to buy hi Rez files as well now, previously everything was ripped from my CD’s.

As I’m thinking a separate NAS is now the way forward, how to I avoid duplicating the iTunes/Music library which I will still want for iPod etc.?

I have been scratching my head for while about this, so any advice/experiences appreciated.

Assuming that you are using a Naim streamer of some sort, it will be viewing your music library through a UPnP server of some sort. If you have two copies of your library, you only need to get your server to access one of them, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

Hi Chris, Thanks for reply. yes using 272/555 and Minimserver. I have this set up and working and That side of things is ok. I suppose what I’m getting at is if I go to external nas I didn’t think iTunes/ now Music would work or be the best for SQ, so I may end up with a different library for streamer and iPod which I’m trying to avoid.


You could use a separate NAS to back up your iTunes library. Run Minimserver on that and just point it at the backup folder for the streamer.

Chris, brilliant that sounds like a plan thanks. I didn’t know enough about how this sort of thing works to come up with that option.

Your iTunes library does not necessarily need to be stored on the same computer that runs iTunes. So you could, if you prefer, move it to the NAS. You should still have at least one backup copy, though, so an automatic backup from computer to NAS makes sense to me.
I guess you will also need to consider what will happen when Apple discontinue/stop supporting iTunes, which is on the cards. I presume iPod users have a plan for this?

Or ditch the ipod and buy a Fiio music player. It will play anything FLAC, WAV, ALAC etc and up to 24 bit 192khz and the storage is expandable up to 512MB Micro SD cards on the later players. Far better sounding than an ipod too!


Syncing your music is as simple as copying the files you want on the player from the NAS to the player in whatever format you choose. I use a now discontinued Fiio X3 Mk2 and it’s superb with good headphones or into a Bose Soundlink speaker for hotel room use - in fact I’m in Venice using mine now.


There are indeed plenty of portable players these days that offer an alternative to the iPod. I’ve been very happy with my Sony player too, but I’m sure there will be a hard core of iPod users out there who want to keep them working.

Thanks for replies chaps. For info iTunes has already gone with the introduction of “Music” which is much the same but with TV and movies stripped out, this was in OS Catalina that was just released. I’m generally quite happy with iPods and such like so I want a solution that retains this aspect, at least for now.

I think next step is to get a nas and load minimserver and go from there. At least it is a relief to know I don’t need to start ripping everything again!

I still have 2 libraries, one in iTunes for portable music, and one for the home hi fi.

The iTunes library hasn’t really been updated in several years. It gives me music to play on my phone when I travel, but again, and boringly, I’ve not updated it in a few years. Adding music to it requires me to convert my flac music to a format that iTunes will import. I’m generally too lazy to feel like doing that.

Bart, that is partly what I’m hoping to avoid ending up with. I do occasionally convert the odd flac download for iTunes using audacity which isn’t too bad, but would be a big job for a large number of albums. I like Chris’s suggestion that a nas can mirror the iTunes library, that way it is available when the computer is off (I assume/hope) which is the main reason for me doing this.

Having said that, I’m happily listening to CD’s at the moment. Great to have so many choices!

You can keep the copy of your iTunes library in the same format as the original if it makes things easier, i.e. ALAC, AIFF or AAC. The Naim streamer will have no problem with them. You can even set Minimserver to transcode them to WAV on playback, which many believe sounds better on Naim streamers.

You really do need to have your home hi fi music library in hi fi shape, meaning lossless. Is your iTunes library of cd’s you ripped yourself in a lossless format? If not, that in and of itself is a problem.

I’m quite sure that software can batch convert. I believe that dbPoweramp, which I own, could do a bunch of flac to mp3 conversions at once for me and create a new lossy library for me for iTunes. I just havent gotten 'round to it.

As I have always been of the Hi Fi persuasion the whole library is already lossless👍

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Does anyone still actually use an iPod?

There must still be loads of them in circulation given how long they were in production. My wife has one in her car, and the OP clearly uses one. Do you have a problem with them?

I have a ton of them, but never use them. I either stream Tidal through my phone or use a USB stick in the car. I have no problem with them, but the advent of streaming and lots of storage on phones means that they’re possibly getting less relevant.

I can understand people not needing an iPod if you have a good iPhone, but my iPhone is work supplied and locked down to a degree so I can’t put music on it. So an iPod is very useful for me and I use it a lot when I go a walk.

I maintain two libraries: iTunes on a PC (all Apple loseless for ipods for the cars) and FLAC on a NAS for the Naim systems.

For new purchases this means I rip them twice, but it really doesn’t take much time.

The dbpoweramp folks do a bulk conversion tool that would convert your itunes files into FLAC should you wish to split into two libraries.

Gavin, thanks for your input. I can see that once you have two libraries adding to them as you go along isn’t too bad, it was just the thought of ripping over 800 CD’s and artwork that I was trying to avoid. I didn’t realise there was software that could do bulk conversion, so this makes it all sound a lot more appealing. I’m glad I asked for advice.