Can you plug a My Passport Ultra directly into a 272 and play files from it?

Will this work?
Could it damage the 272?
Will it sound ok?

I am assuming you mean plug it into the USB socket on the 272?

It won’t damage the 272 but it also won’t work. The USB socket will accept some USB memory sticks but not HDD-type memory. It also accepts iPhones etc, but there is no support for album art and navigation is very primitive, so it’s not a rewarding way to access more than a few albums.


yes, thanks David - I just tried it and it couldn’t find the music that’s on there in a file called music.

So to rip CDs I will need a NASand ripper software? Is there no use for the WD My Passport Ultra in storing music files?

It would need to be FAT32 formatted and there’s no guarantee that it would be able to properly power an HDD type drive.

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I’ve had a similar issue with someone who was hoping to do wondrous things with WD My Passport. Its intended to expand your existing storage such as PC/Laptop and/or for back up of existing storage. Reading the WD www I don’t see anything that indicates it can be used as a standalone data source
I use mine to back up NAS.

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Yes like Mike I was going to suggest you use it to back up your NAS when you get one.

In fact if you format it as FAT32 and a small (under 2TB) drive, there is no issues.
But it will be a bit slow to browse and navigation will be by folders only, that s the only limitations…

The new platform is much better at that!!!

I formatted the My Passport into ‘exfat’ format and it still would not play.
Gave an error message.
I then plugged in my old Sony USB pen drive that I use when rowing.
The 272 plays the MPEG-4 Audio (.m4a) files that are on that pen drive it as: “WMA 48.0kHz 128kb/s”.
Whereas the 272 plays the same track from Tidal in FLAC at 44.1kHz and 943 kb/s.
Does that mean that the 272 is playing Tidal files at slightly lower resolution, but much quicker clock speed?

I didn’t have that option - only EXFAT as the drive was bigger than 32MB.

You’ll need to format it to FAT32. Unfortunately most Windows OS won’t allow this but there are a number of free utilities that you can download to enable this easily. I did this just the other day to format a 256GB SD card to FAT32 for use in my Ponoplayer. I used EaseUS Partition Master which was free and simple to use. Many others available too.


Why bother with all this, the WD Passport is not the right tool for the job & the Naim streamers capability is such that they work, display & give so much more than is possible from a basic USB, even if you can get the thing to work.

So then I must buy a NAS?
There seem to be so many options out there…it is a hard to decide which one to get.

So if I rip my own CDs and also buy some hires files and store these 2 types of files on my WD My Passport Ultra, would they not play at the same or better SQ thru the 272 than files I download from Tidal?

Locally streamed files will generally sound better than streamed from Tidal when using the Naim App.
Running a Media Server like “Asset” on a NAS makes things so much easier though for playing and cataloguing.

Hi JimDog, yes lots of NAS to choose from but cut it down to what you need & its half a dozen.
If you are only storing CD rips & purchased downloads to play on your 272 & nothing else, plus that you do have a backup plan using something like a WD My Passport, then you can go for a one-bay.
The forum favourites are Synology & QNAP & the one-bay choices are:
Synology DS-118 or DS-119j, the 118 is more powerful, the 119j is more than capable.
QNAP TS-131P or TS-128A, 131 is middle range & 128 is entry level
So your choice is now down to 4.
You can go to 2-bay which will add some more security with mirror imaged HDD’s & other stuff. And that’s as far as you need to go, 2-bay is really all you need for audio replay, CPU & other performance options are greater with some 2-bay models, but they don’t sound any better.

All NAS units need to have HDD (disk drives) installed, these are extra, the forum favourite is WD ‘Red’

Additionally, although all NAS’s do come with basic UPnP media server software program, most forumites get one or other of Asset UPnP or Minimserver, both are a lot more advanced & nicer to use than are the basic’s.

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Assuming you can get it to work, the HR might sound better, the CD rips probably not, but YMMV

Mike - many thanks - that’s extremely helpful. I will get one of those.

As well as storing CD rips, there is one more thing I’m hankering after - which is finding a way to try to get some value out of the MQA part of my Tidal subscription.
It seems that one of the ways to do this would be to get Roon, which performs a software ‘first unfold’ of MQA. Is that correct? And would Roon work equally well with any of the NAS’s you mention - do the NAS and Roon need to interact somehow?
(Also Roon helps manage various libraries and integrate them with Tidal etc.)

You need to read the MQA & Roon threads on the forum. I don’t have much need as I’m all NAS or iRadio & don’t do much web streaming.
MQA is not something for NAS users & as such Naim have not bought into it yet. IMO MQA is only good for streaming & more especially so with mobile ( streaming.
Roon is something I might get into one day, but TBH I have more than one egg to hatch at the moment.

You can just use the Tidal desktop app to play MQA files. If you have a laptop you can put it near the HiFi, connect it with an optical cable to play it into the 272. Personally, I haven’t heard anything that would persuade me to bother with MQA so far, but try it for yourself and see if you think it merits further investment.
If you want to try Roon, I would suggest that again, you just run it on a computer you already own for the trial. If you like it, and buy a subscription, you can decide then whether you need/want to use dedicated hardware for it. However, this would affect your choice of NAS, as you would probably want to invest in something quite a bit more powerful than the models Mike suggested if you run Roon on it.

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