First foray into streaming

Having been a Naim enthusiast for 30 years (CDI, 52, 135, IBL) I am considering entering the streaming arena via a Unitiqute 2 for our TV room. Would this be a good first step along the streaming journey? I’ve read recent threads on USB playback - how is audio captured and transferred to the memory stick? Many thanks for your guidance.

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Hi @Grabradgate it might help to give us an idea on what type of computer do you have (Mac/Windows) and what your computer skills are like?

To keep it simple:
2 options,

  1. rip your cd collection on a computer, saving them as flac files. Transfer the flac files to a usb stick. Put that in the unitiqute and use the Naim app or remote control to navigate through the files and play them.

  2. Same as above except you use dlna software to serve the files across your network. You now need to get your uq2 wired to your router (WiFi is possible but in my experience with a uq2 wired is definitely better, I had dropouts with WiFi).

With both options above, the latter model uq2 supports Tidal so if your uq2 is connected to your network, you can additionally stream from Tidal. (Pay a monthly subscription for access to the Tidal library).

We can get into more specifics about software for your pc later.

Thanks - I use MacBook Air, iPad and iphone with a fair degree of competence.

What’s your wired / WiFi network like? Do you have any nas storage already?

Great bit of kit, but of course it doesn’t have a CD drive, although you can pick up a USB CD drive fairly cheaply. Secondly, unless you selected a large drive when you brought it, the MBAir wont have a lot of space. How many CD’s do you have, and how much space is on your drive? You need about 300MB per CD. Options here would be an external drive, or possible spend a bit more and get a NAS drive which can then double up as a Time Machine drive for backups. The NAS drive can then also have the UPnP/DLNA software which can then stream to your UQ2

Thanks - we’re on 35mbs fibre. However, router is remote from potential Unitiqute location preventing wired connection. Wi-fi is generally good for streaming TV .
Not sure what you mean by ‘nas storage’. I do have a stand-alone hard disc drive that I used to use for file back-up.

I dont use one, but lots of people on this forum do, and can advise in more detail if needed. But basically it’s a black box that allows you plug in 1 or more empty disk drives, and contains a small computer which has a nice friendly interface. It basically allows any computer on your local network to connect to those Drives as if they were on your computer. You would then just rip your CD’s straight to that drive

You would ideally locate the NAS drive near your router with a hard wired network connection.

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The other benefit of a nas (network attached storage) is that essentially they are a computer and disk storage. That means you can run other software on them, over and above simple file access. Most allow you to run a media server, so you wouldnt need to have your main computer running 24/7 so you can access your music whenever you want. If you are ok switching on your mac whenever you want to listen to music, then you dont need additional hardware.

I found streaming higher than cd quality to fail over wifi with my uq2. I had to wire it. If you are limited to wifi for practical reasons, and lets face it, running ethernet cables through the fabric of a house can be a fiddle, then your wifi might be fine. Our house is constructed with dense concrete block for internal walls that seems to attenuate wifi signals with ease, going wired was really the only way, plus we are in a bungalow which made it easier to run cables through the loft and drop them to the room below.

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An example of what you can do:
Install jriver media center on your mac. There are other similar software packages, this one I am familiar with, it works well, is stable, and is not expensive. This software can rip your cd collection, add all the metadata and cd covers, and you can set up a dlna server than can send your music wherever you want.
The uq2 will then “see” the music on your mac and play it over wifi. The naim app will also function with the dlna server that jriver makes.

How big is your CD collection? If not to big, you can always play it on a USB stick.

My advice would be:

  1. Performance of the older Naim streamers over WiFi can be poor. You may well need to add a nearby WAP if you really can’t run an Ethernet cable.
  2. The USB port is OK for connecting a USB stick with a small amount of music on it, or for an iPhone, but that’s about it. If you have music stored on a HDD you really need it connected to your network with a UPnP server running.

I’m a month or so into UQ1 ownership. To be honest I bought it based on little to no research! Off an auction site, no service history. Been ecstatic with it. It runs the TV via a pair of Neat Iotas. I struggled a little to get streamed content onto it, the UQ1 I have is original, so no native Tidal support for example. I’m now running Tidal via bubble upnp [16/44 only supported], and have a Plex server on a Mac mini for ripped content.

In hindsight, and only marginally as I acquired the UQ1 pretty reasonably, I’d have gone UQ2 - as I think it supports Tidal easier, but no regrets. I will almost certainly have my UQ1 serviced at some point, screen is just starting to fade, and I’m sure it’s on original caps. But neither are urgent, loving it in the meantime!

We’re on 30Mb fibre, 3 wireless nodes (Linksys velops) in the house all hardwired, but the Mac mini and UQ1 both connected wirelessly, no problems whatsoever [edited to add: standard 16 bit/44khz]

And you’ll be able to upgrade the streaming boards to allow you to use Tidal. Get the screen done at this point too.

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Yep, that’s definitely in the plan, very happy with it in the meantime :slight_smile: The screen is really only just going, and I have it set off to slow its demise

Thanks to all for your helpful responses. There’s lot more to successful streaming than I could possibly have imagined. I’ll need to think carefully before investing in a network player.

We are of course giving you the best routes you should be looking at, but there are shorter steps you can take to get you started. I note you didn’t answer the question on how many CD’s you have. Also would be useful to know if you have ripped all your music into iTunes, as you could simply install UPnP SW on your MBAir, and start streaming. You may not get the best quality, but it’s a very good start. Then you can plan out further options from there once you realise you like the idea (which you probably will)

Remember there is plenty of help on here to take you through the stages in detail

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Thank you for your supportive and encouraging response. I find the terminology somewhat confusing but a few google searches have helped to clear the fog!
Sorry, I guess I have around 250 CDs but listen regularly to no more than 100. I think I may have an old (2009) DELL PC with in-built CD drive - would this be a suitable platform for ripping my music into iTunes?

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Yes should be fine. If you use itunes make sure it is set to use lossless aiff format, you can then convert later into wav or flac, if necessary.

I would just rip to WAV and be done with it, certainly for a small-ish library, especially if it’s to be used with USB sticks on a 1st gen streamer.