Is Naim's Metadata cataloguing the best rationale to forgo ND555

For sometime I’ve planned to replace my beloved CDS3/555 PS with ND555/2X555PS, believing there was better listening world. The transplant of digital data from CD to Uniti Core was imagined as straightforward as iTunes, but it seems Naim denied the logic of iPod and past 18 years of consumer electronics.
Naim’s “streaming staff” will not answer questions, provide accessible, logical, coherent steps that will allow ripping of CDs that result in knowing the named composers, conductor, orchestra and key performers. I can do all of that easily on iTunes, why not Metadata? I would gladly enter this information if the system allowed, I have given up trying.
The Uniti Core may make perfect copies, Naim’s words not mine, but the ripper is otherwise mindfield of foibles. It freezes with no apararent option to unfreeze other than eventuality of time. I’ve had overlays on my home screen, where one music file lays over Metadata home page and cannot be removed. The absence of simple, non- time consuming gymnastics to acquire album covers makes me wonder who at Naim lacks the courage to go to Cupertino and throw themselves at Tim Cook’s feet and beg for help.
If anyone has ideas and tools to add same information we do with iTunes, or that’s found on any CD, please advise.
I will not acquire ND555, etc, until I can easily identify and enter information that until now has been taken for granted.

You don’t need to use the Core to run an ND555. I rip on a PC usinfpg dbPowerAmp, my rips stored on two Synology NASes, using a fairly simple metadata scheme. These serve my ND555, Nova and Qbs. This gives you the choice of at least 3 server apps (Synology, Minim and Asset) which allow you to use sophisticated tags if you require. The ND555 is happy to work from the tags it gets from the server.
I’d divorce the ND555 and Core in your mind, one does not require the other.


Eoink, I did not know that ND555 allowed other schemes and you don’t use Uniti Core. You store your data on computer, or backup hard drive? Is there service charge for these apps, not that it would influence my decision to use them.
Thank you for your advisement.

The Unity Core is but one of many options available to you and the ND555. Network devices with hard drives and a server app in them are numerous.

Many users rip their CD’s on their computers and edit the metadata to their liking. They then transfer the files to the Network Attached Storage (NAS) which runs a server displaying the available music to the ND555.

Some use devices similar to the Core that rip and tag the music but allow you better control of the metadata as compared to the Core.

Others will be along I’m sure to give you more specific info, @Eoink gave you some tips already.

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Streamers and transports as the ND555 are pure data sinks, they do not know anything about metadata.

Also the Naim app (or, for that, any other control point like the Bubble UPnP app for Android or Linn Kazoo for Android and iOS) is not aware of the content of your music collection: it simply displays the files and the metadata that are made available by the UPnP/DLNA server.

If you have a music collection that contains classical music, you typically want to browse it by Composer, Conductor, perhaps Ensemble (Orchestra, Choir, Quartet, etc.), Performers, etc.

I also use tags that allow me to query a specific Work (for instance, to show all versions of Mahler’s “Sinfonie Nr. 7 in e-Moll (1904-1905)”) and musical era (baroque, classical, romantic, contemporary, medieval, etc.). If you are interested in opera, you might need some more tags.

In these cases, MinimServer 2 is your first choice. Forget the Naim server which is running on UnitiServe and UnitiCore devices: it is a very simplistic software that was designed more than 10 years ago and that provides practically no support for classical music. It is also very bad supported and maintained.

You can run MinimServer 2 on Synology, QNAP, Windows, Linux, Mac and Melco but not on Naim devices. I run MinimServer since years on a Raspberry Pi which is wired to my router. It is a very stable solution, runs 7/24 in the background and makes available my classical music collection to the whole household.

If you like the Naim Core as a box, you could always use it as a passive storage solution and have the data stored on the Core be served by MinimServer. At this point, however, I would rather buy a Melco or, as mentioned above, just a (non intrusive and very inconspicuous) Raspberry Pi 4.

By the way: MinimServer 2 supports transcoding .FLAC files to .WAV. Thus, you do not need to store your music collection in .WAV.

I think you have come up with a strong argument to forego the Core rather than the ND555. If you want a proprietary ripper, maybe look at Innuos, or there are plenty of NAS drives on which you can run a UPnP server of your choice such as Asset.
At the end of the day, the Core runs just another UPnP server, which Naim have inexplicably hobbled with very limited functionality in terms of metadata handling. Otherwise, it conforms to the UPnP protocol which all such devices use.

The other option which I would recommend you try out is Roon.


I don’t have a ND555 (I wish!) but when I got my 272, I purchased a QNAP NAS and ripped all my mostly classical CDs to it. We are a Mac household and for ripping I use dBpoweramp. This goes online to find metadata and does a reasonable job, but I always edit the metadata myself, in part to ensure a consistent metadata scheme. For this editing, I use a program called Metadatics. For serving the music from my NAS to my streamers I use MinimServer which is designed very much with classical music in mind. I am very happy with the result but it is important not to underestimate the time required to do the job well. For me it was a project which kept me happy during the first winter after I retired.

Now it is all done, I find streaming from the NAS has practical advantages over playing CDs. For example, I have a CD of Vaughan Williams’ London symphony and remember once being unable to find it even though I had my CDs organised alphabetically by composer. Eventually I remembered that there was a piece by Butterworth on the same CD, so the disc was amongst the Bs rather than the Vs. With streaming I simply search by composer and up pops the VW work and I can play either the symphony or the whole disc.

I wouldn’t go back to CDs and my CD5XS has been sitting unused for ages now.



The good news is here that there are plenty of folks around to help. I live in your time zone – happy to get on zoom for a chat about it, etc.

If you want a music library at home, to stream from within your home, you do need to (1) rip your cd’s and/or buy lossless downloads, (2) have a way to edit the metadata as it often does not appear perfectly after ripping and/or purchase, (3) have hardware to store the files, which also runs a server app to serve them, (4) have that server on the same home network as your Naim player, and (4) a connection, wired or wi fi, from your Naim player to your home network.

As for the metadata issues themselves, I agree with @ChrisSU that incorporating Roon into your system (relevant to item 3 above) definitely will simplify it. Roon does maintain its own metadata database, and it has to be a relatively obscure album for Roon not to recognize it. And even if Roon doesn’t recognize it, you can edit the info within Roon.

You can buy Roon server hardware, with an internal drive big enough to store your library. That does simplify things, again.

Happy to help.


I’d like to thank everyone for their enlightening if disconcerting and disappointing responses. Until now I’ve been very pleased with my Naim acquisitions and operated under the assumption Naim worked out the quandaries and all I had to do was layout some money and plug in the gear. I’m music lover and neither audiophile nor techophile. I am retired with no shortage of time and while I’ve ripped about quarter of my collection, I can accept this reality and start from scratch.
Few questions:
I own new Uniti Core and QNAP with two drivers, can I use either in new program?
Apparently setting up storage system is different knowledge set than hooking up audio system, its obvious, but never occured to me. I presently live in Maryland and if anyone can direct me that would be appreciated. I believe AV Options in Chicago was previously doing something and they were known for “deep” knowledge about Naim gear.
I will follow up on the appreciated feedback and try to track down the software.
If anyone wishes to reach me via email, please do so. If you are unable to let me know and I will try and flatten the curve to allow that to happen.
Further thoughts are most appreciated.

Again, happy to get on zoom with you to discuss. Unfortunately the Naim forum doesn’t really facilitate direct connections among users. Our email addresses are not visible I do believe. But if you want, reach out to our host and he can provide you with my email address, which is the address I use here.

I understand your frustrations. It’s not unreasonable to expect the Uniti Core to “just work” the way you want it to. Actually, it does “just work,” but we all have our own vision of “the way we want it to.” Not unreasonable to want the metadata to be right, and to be able to easily find and fix the album art. It also begs having a good run through with the dealer about what it does and doesn’t do BEFORE purchase, but that is water over the damn now.

The QNAP nas absolutely can be used to create a new storage unit for your library, and as a server. But if anything there will be more ‘techhy’ play with it, to install the right music server on it, etc.

If I were advising you BEFORE you’d spent the money, I’d advise buying an Innuos ripper/server. Much the same basic functions as the Uniti Core, but it’s also a Roon server. You could have ripped your cd’s on it, and used Roon’s built in server to manage the metadata and images and serve the music to a Naim Roon-ready player (NDX2, ND555, ND5XS2).

Frankly, ditching what you have and starting afresh with something like the Innuos might not be a bad idea.

NBDF, I looked at Mimim World and Cried. They actually understand classical music. Thank you.

Bart, I would like to be in touch with you. Do I have to give permission to someone who manages in Forum Heaven?
Regarding Innuos ripper/server, is there one that you recommend?
I think your correct that the best way is to accept reality, cut my losses and move on, its easy to confuse money with reality.
Regarding Roon, if using it with 555 which one should I seek out?
Then I will have to get audio-tech guidance.

JM, I agree your suggestion that I should look to see if there’s way to integrate Uniti Core and Roon.

I use ND555 and Melco - in part to be able to use non-propitiatory music formats and just have some more flexibility. Essentially the Melco in my use operates just like a NAS drive and I have other back-up NAS also that can be addressed by the ND555 via Ethernet.
As people have said above - the ND555 is very flexible and you can choose to use whatever you want with it in lots of different ways.


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If you flag the posting from Bart that suggests getting in touch, then our forum moderator @Richard.Dane will make it happen in a way that protects your and his identities.



DB, thank you for your reply.
Are you using ripper other than computer and is there a specific Melco?
DB, you’ve followed Naim for long time, I’ve found your comments/thoughts to be repeatedly confirmed, is Naim aware of their failure to provide software that will allow cataloguing of classical music? If so are they working on it?

Fallstaff, as David suggests, if you want to get in touch with another member, and provided it’s not to do with anything that breaches forum rules, then flag this post and then you can message me to ask to have your contact email sent to another member.

I can only tell you what I decided to do to suit me and give my reasons.
I use the Melco CD Ripper.

When I transited from CD-only replay to Streaming I wanted an easy (for me) process to rip my CD collection into a generic industry format.

Since I’d decided on the Melco due to the nice interaction in my system it has with the ND555 then since the Melco allows you to plug-in any old inexpensive USB commercial DVD drive and it will automate the Rip and Artwork process for you - that is the way I went. I had a demo of Rip via Melco vs same CD rip via computer using DP PowerAmp using exactly the same commercial portable plug-in DVD USB drive - I watched my Dealer do it and we put both files onto the Melco and played them through their top Naim system - the Melco rip was clearly better and it was a not subtle thing.
Then we tried ripping the same CD with the just arrived in the shop - unboxed new as I watched - Melco Ripper - I was hoping no difference - but it was better again.

…in the end I got the Melco ripper and did all my collection over many weeks that way - it is done now and I plug-in the Melco Ripper to rip CDs as and when required.

I wanted to do this once and the process to be as mindless as possible to make it less of a chore - and if there were (inexplicable) SQ differences made in the rip then I wanted the best I could get. That is why I did what I did - I respect others do this differently and have other views on all this so it is just what I did and why - from actually auditioning it all.


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