Hi, bought my Uniti Atom a couple of months ago. Delighted with the purchase and streaming Qobuz through it. I have a large CD collection. Should I rip to a streamer or just use Qobuz? If ripping is a good idea what can people recommend?
If you go down the CD Ripper route and you use dbpoweramps software (which includes AccurateRip) to rip then within reason it doesn’t matter what CD ripper you use.
“AccurateRip consists of an online database of other users ripping results, by comparing your CD rip (a small CRC of the track data) to theirs it can be known with almost certainty that the rip was free from errors”.
Qobuz is great until your broadband service disappears……for a few weeks…been there. Plenty of search opportunities on the naim community for cd rippers etc,
Innuos Zen Mini mk3. It’s both a ripper, a server and a streamer and a CD player. I have configured mine to to also act as a Roon end point - just a simple click of a mouse. So my other devices stream from it, and it also acts as a player They have just brought out an SSD version with an even quieter noise floor. It’s a similar size footprint to the Atom. It will also work as a streamer as well as a server. Build quality is good. It has an excellent user interface and is Roon ready. You can add a power supply if you want to improve playback. You can even add a matching USB re-clocker. So lots of upgrade options if you feel the need.
Of course, a perfect match is the Naim Uniti Core. It too has good build quality. It too can act as a ripper, streamer and a server and a CD player. And pride of ownership is always strong with Naim. A nice touch is that the Core is user serviceable - you simply plop a hard drive into it yourself and 'job’s a good 'un.
A lot of if’s and buts though. I haven’t looked at you profile (can’t remember how right now), but do you have Roon? Do you have any NAS drives in your network? Will you connect the ripper into a Broadband router/hub? Are you very new to all this?
Not meaning to sound patronising @KevT by the way . I just don’t want to tell you ‘how to suck eggs’ if you already know all this stuff…
Hi, I’ve just returned to “proper” hifi now my budget allows. I’ve only ever had a CD, turntable, amp set up before so need a heads up on the new tech. Space is a premium in our new property hence I can’t find room for the CDs. A ripper seems to be an option rather than rely on streaming alone (plus T/T for my LPs). The Uniti Core looks great but is expensive.
Good options mentioned above. You could start by ripping with dbpoweramp software and copy to an SSD that you plug into the USB of your Atom. This will cost you a few bucks and you will have access to your rips via the Naim app and be able to play your files even if your network or internet is unavailable. You may not need anything more than this.
Roon was also mentioned and is a great solution as well. I use that myself. You could look at the costs and effort to host Roon in your house and try it out. You need a dedicated computer as a Roon core for that though. But that will combine your local ripped files and your Qobuz (and/or Tidal) subscription very nicely into one music database.
If you have a CD collection, it really makes sense to rip them all to a NAS.
101% agree with AndyP re dBpoweramp, the best ripping package bar none & it does stuff you didn’t even realise.
Install dBpoweramp on your laptop & away you go, you don’t really need any specialist ripping box.
Forum NAS favourites are Synology & QNAP.
The NAS’s come with there own UPnP software, but better specialist UPnP software packages are advisable.
Forum favourites are either Asset or Minimserver, Minimserver has more features suitable for more complex classical collections, Asset is good for basic classical collections plus everything else, rock, folk, jazz & anything.
Added advantage is whatever CD storage you have will be gone, the room floor or wall space it takes up, plus the dust collection, is all gone.
It all fits into the NAS, a box the size of a large handbag.
Agree with all of the above.
I use on a Mac ripping to FLAC to a Synology NAS. You don’t need anything high-spec for a music server. Until recently I was running a 10 year old DS212j perfectly well. I replaced it with a 3 year old used DS218 purely since I bought new hard drives (for resilience) and it was easier to copy everything over than migrate.
A single-bay would be fine if you maintain an additional copy of your rips elsewhere (always a good idea); although I have a mirrored configuration on my NAS. I run Asset from the Synology although the Synology has its own music server software which works fine also.
Just use Qobuz.
I have a Nas full of music. Since I started streaming via Qobuz, I don’t use it.
I have an HDX full of rippped CDs, only occasionally need to access it, no need!
I think this partly depends on how much of your CD collection you can find on Qobuz. I’d take a random sample of your CDs and see which of them are on Qobuz. If all or most are, you can probably manage only with Qobuz. If you find several missing, it’s perhaps worth investing in a NAS and ripping at least some of your CDs.
FWIW I listen to both locally stored music and Qobuz. I’d guess it’s around 50/50. I do find it much easier to search for what I want in my local collection than on Qobuz, but I have been careful with the tagging of my music.
When I started streaming in 2017, I purchased a NAS which was Synology 8TB DS716+II 2-Bay. I ripped my CD’s over a four month time frame and added any new additions as I went along. It also has any hi-res albums that I downloaded. At the beginning I started using Tidal and then switched to Qobuz when it became available since they offered HiRes quality. I would say I use Qobuz greater than ninety-five percent of the time but do occasionally listen to albums via the NAS.
It is a great back up for all my music. I have the majority of my CD collection stored in plastic storage boxes in a closet except for about a hundred or so on a shelf that I grab for use in my car when doing a road trip.
For the cost and convenience of playing music either from Qobuz or the NAS, streaming works for very well for me. For ripping CD’s I use dBpoweramp Music Converter CD Ripper software.
That’s the conclusion I’m coming to. I suppose it’s a sentimental attachment to the CDs that’s stopping me. The CDs are in storage at the moment after we moved house so when I get them out again I’ll do a sample of them to see what’s on Qobuz or not. I’m guessing not many will be unavailable.
I use an app called squeezer. It has neat feature that allows the user to search for an artist on a local drive (Nas in my case), then hit a button named ‘on Qobuz’. It then searches Qobuz for that artist.
Hello @KevT. Yes the Naim Core is pricey. But then again so too is the Zen Mini @ £1049 for the 1 tb version. But the Zen and the Core et-al, are great if you want a computer free, hassle free turnkey solution with audio grade components that looks great and sits pretty on the rack, or on a shelf in another room. They are simply fit and forget devices that pretty much look after themselves. They take up very little room and feel very well made - like a piece of hi-fi. There’s much more to say about these devices but I’ll stop here.
@Mike-B, @AndyP, @Sinewave, @seakayaker, are all bang on. You can buy a cheap NAS and your ripping software of choice and you’re away. Or you can just use a computer. A dealer once told me that it’s very wearing on your cd rom drive, so best t o use a cheap USB cd drive and use that for ripping from. And when that get’s tired, but another one for £25 rather than thrashing your computer drive ripping thousands of disks. And @Kryptos is bang on the money when he says that a simple USB drive avec dbPoweramp may suffice…
So lots of ways to do this. Maybe try @Kryptos’ idea first. The thing is, don’t write off CD’s. They still sound amazing. Especially through a good CD player - better than ripped versions on a hard disk (that’s a conversation for another time). So I’ve kept ripped all my disks and now Roon has integrated them into my Qobus and Tidal reservoir. Roon now takes account of all my cd’s and it’s metadata engine throws up more stuff that I like. It’s brilliant. But…when I want a treat? Yes, I reach for a CD and play it through from start to finish. And then there’s that whole looking after the artist argument and purchasing that track you like on Qobuz or Tidal through The Band Camp retailer.
Anyway, I’m losing my thread here. What am I trying to say? I guess if it was me, I’d buy a cheap Roon silent fan free NUC @ £600, rather than the Roon Nucleus. I’d subscribe to Roon. I’d rip all my disks (to a NAS or Hard disk server like the Core) and let Roon do it’s magic. And then I’d somehow try and find space for all my CD’s somewhere. Mine have been shoehorned into the landing of our small terrace house. For me, it was a belt and braces fit and forget approach with the lovely Innuos Mini which’d look beautiful next to your lovely Atom. I think I’m rambling now…I’ll stop here…hope the sis of some help…
Very grateful for the advice on the best way forward which I’m very inclined to follow. I’m conscious of the aesthetics of a plug and forget solution like Core (lovely to own) and the Zen and also the “palaver” of having to go via a PC when wanting to play something. I think I’ll go and talk to a dealer about both of those and if possible for demo of Roon which I’ve experienced in the flesh.
To my mind the Zen Mini and Core are in a completely different league in terms of value. The Core is a beautifully engineered product, as you might expect from Naim, but it has an incredibly limited feature set.
The Zen by comparison is a much more versatile ripper/UPnP server and music store. It is also a full blown streamer that can run Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify, internet radio etc. It can run Roon, without the need for a separate Roon Core which you would need with the Naim Core.
Qubuz is great but how do you know your favourite artists are going to stay on the platform in the future? How do you play music if your network is down? As you have guessed I value physical media.
I always buy CD’s and rip them using a Zen Mini Mk3, a great bit of kit and a bargain at the price, mine feeds my Linn streamer and I am very happy with the sound quality.
Not heard of Squeezer. Might investigate, thanks for the heads up.
I think one genre where local streaming has a clear search advantage is classical, of which I have a lot. I use Minimserver and this offers a very useful feature for albums/downloads which contain say a couple of symphonies and an overture. If I want to listen to just one of those symphonies, I can open the album in the control app and it will display the two symphonies. With just one click I can set one of them playing and it will stop at the end of the last movement. Of course I could do that by creating a playlist (effectively what Minim does in the background) but it takes time which I’d rather spend listening. Or I could sit with the iPad at hand, finger poised ready to stop it going on to the next track after the finale. But that distracts from involvement in what is often the climax of the piece.