Is the NAS dead for audio?

Clearly not, but I’m struggling to justify hi-fi usage, admittedly I have a naff WD NAS.

I buy a lot of digital downloads, but find ripping CDs a chore.

Maintaining an up to date local library on a NAS with backups is again a chore I’d rather not have to deal with but comes with the territory to some extent.

Why am I asking? I can’t actually remember when I last streamed from the NAS.

I use Roon/Audirvana/iTunes and generally stream content I’ve bought.

The biggest hurdle with a NAS to my mind is accurate metadata, and it’s why I’m so p’d off with Roon for dropping Qobuz purchases in My Qobuz as Roon and Audirvana (and presumably others I’ve not tried) simply listed purchased ‘albums’ to play without any nonsense with over-detailed metadata causing numerous entries when viewing a DLNA server’s content. I bought an ‘album’ but when I browse the NAS I see half a dozen artists and works for classical - no, no ,no - fine for the purist perhaps but I just want to sadly play that ‘compilation’ (hateful phrase).

Ho hum…

As you say, you have a naff nas. A decent one with Asset or MinimServer won’t have the same issues.

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Not so sure HH, I use Asset too, maybe my current assessment is that my system is at the other end of the room and I’m typing away, playing music via the Mac Mini, if there was no computer I’d be sticking on LPs or perusing local/remote content via the Naim app/other on a phone, but it’s so easy to control playback via the Mac.

I don’t use my Nas for the music chain at all these days. It’s used for backups and video storage streaming for Plex. I have asset and BubbleUpnP on it for streaming music away from home. My music is located on a usb ssd attached to my dedicated silent Roon server in the rack which as it’s running their os is more a dedicated device than a computer. Works great and all other devices are free to do what they do best, it’s on 24/7 and I never ever need to touch it.

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Personally I would never rely on online streaming, for a whole host of reasons: I want the music I like available whenever I want to play, in perpetuity, - i.e. not relying on being able to afford a subscription in 5, 10, 20 years time in retirement. Not relying on any provider’s commitment to stocking the music I like (assuming indeed I can find one with everything I want in the first place). Not relying on their business surviving (or if not the interruption and hassle of maybe finding another with all the music I want. Not suffering outages, whether caused by the provider’s system or the internet. Not mattering whether where I choose to live has good enough internet connection. And ensuring that the sound quality is as good as I can reasonably achieve.

SO for me, a home store is essential. Could be Mac Mini as now, running Audirvana, could be Melco, Innuos etc, or could be NAS with a streamer - though the ethernet threads are good examples as to why avoiding the music streaming across a network may be best.

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I have no trouble at all. I download an album, check the metadata with an editor just to be sure all’s well and generally conforming to the rest of my library, move it to my nas, and that’s that. Whether I want to use the Naim app and Asset or Minimserver, or Roon, it’s all the same. Can serve it up either way from the nas.

NB - I dont use online streaming services at all; maybe in the future???

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I have no Nas. But Melco and before Unitserve. Back ups on a pc and memory sticks.

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Hi CG,

For a couple of years I used a slient server with my wav music files located on 500GB USB drives powered using LPSUs via POE. When I switched to the Linn Klimax I found I couldn’t tell any difference between this and serving the files as flac from my Synology NAS, go figure!

M

Not sure being silent makes a difference to SQ apart from it makes less physical noise.Which is the reason I got one this time. Not sure it made any difference to the fan one I had before as that also was running Roons OS and I think that’s been more beneficial than the LPSU or fanless.

After I built a NUC for Roon ROCK with an internal 1TB SSD for storage, I moved all my CD rips and high-res FLAC files from my old QNAP used for UPnP to the NUC.

One advantage is it’s much simpler, since I wasn’t using the NAS for anything else. The second advantage is that by shutting down my old QNAP NAS it’s one less thing to monitor and patch for security holes and other issues. The NUC sits on a shelf next to my Fraim and is attached to the same switch as my NDX2.

So in this regard, NAS is dead for me.

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Testing Melco now and owning an Innous …imho NAS is not dead, especially NAS for audio is awesome :sunglasses:.

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Not everyone has broadband speeds that support streaming, even if they wished to.

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Well since technology including broadband access technology has improved and there doesn’t need to be a difference in SQ on where the media is sourced (unlike a few years ago) I find I am using my NAS less and less for music.
Increasingly albums, including more popular back releases, are available 24 bit streamed and they are preferable to my ripped 16 bit CDs.
Yes I have some rarities that I can’t stream from the internet on my NAS, and these days that is what I only use it for… everything else is from the cloud, and I have virtualised by music library… it’s been so liberating and enjoyed so much new, interesting music,…

In a way this mirrors what tends to happen more and more in the commercial / public sector world too… use secure cloud for everything you can, and your exceptions, or your high security assets you store and run locally.

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and one has to consider the day when your broadband dies for some reason. I would consider our household quite independent of the internet. I mean, if/when it dies (and it did for a week a couple of months ago) our lives continue with hardly a blip. The only thing we noticed was a lack of iptv but it really wasn’t that much of a chore to go 100% terrestrial telly. We don’t use the internet to play music, or control our heating, plus the other countless ‘uses’ people make of the internet and ‘apps’ on their phones. However we would have certainly noticed if we couldn’t play the hifi for a week!

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Hi CG,

The thing which has surprised me is the lack of consistency. HH has banged on for years about the NAS and flac being the way to go, and for most of that time I disagreed with him; in my current system he is quiet correct. Does that mean that if I was to commit a greater wodge of cash to an even more expensive server it would make no difference? Only one way to know, but I am happy where I am; and I think the £2k on my current unused dedicated server is quiet enough.

Well where I live, my broadband dying is just as likely as my electricity supply dying, and yes it happens from time to time (the batteries in the village broadband cab only last for so long)… but without electricity I can’t enjoy my Naim. I don’t currently use a generator…
At least with my broadband contract I get 4G backup if my access is failed for any length of tine.

to be fair our electricity, on balance, dies more often than our internet! :wink: We have overhead powerlines and the mains dies several times in a year… this is why I have a UPS for the router etc… However the mains may sometimes go off for a few hours but if it’s going to be longer then the electricity board truck in some generators - this happened a couple of years ago and we were on generators for a month! Okay the broadband dies less often but when it does it can often be for a week or more. Case in point is ours dropping recently for a week. The reason was an admin cockup wih the isp but for some stupid reason that meant TWO visits by the engineer who just sat around and drank tea and had a kit kat. The problem was the ISP who sent a message to openreach to terminate our service. To get it back it had to go as a new install with a weeks lead time!

I’d thought I’d add the internet also died for a few days a couple of weeks ago. In this case it was the router and it was down for 4 or 5 days. 2 days swapping various items out from stock I ‘borrowed’ from work to diagnose the issue (cables, switches, router) and then 2 days waiting for the new router to arrive once I’d pin pointed the fault. In fact, if I hadn’t had the ability to borrow items from work for swapping then it would have taken a lot longer to fix. I’m thinking the average home user would have been out of action for quite a bit longer.

‘Banged on’ indeed! What a cheek. But yes, you’re right. Once I discovered that my Nas sounded better than my then UnitiServe I was convinced. Maybe a £10,000 Melco or a special Melco ripper that does exactly the same thing as my Sony laptop appeals to some - something pretty and expensive to place on the rack - but not to me. My little Qnap lives in the corner of the dining room out of sight and out of mind.

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NAS is not dead & neither is it dying. Streaming may be the new kid on the block & some choose to go that way, it might be the growth in NAS for audio has reached its peak, but it isn’t & won’t be dead for many a year ahead.
I might go to streaming again one day, didn’t see the point or the price before. So its NAS for me, my music is “my” music & the hi-res is genuine hi-res & DSD, some are very specific recordings, some is stuff that I’ve edited & remastered for myself. NAS might move over one day, but not for me.

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Well… I beg to differ, streaming is hardly new, I started perhaps with many who were interested back then in home audio ‘computer’ technology…in the late 90s, albeit primitively compared to to today’s standards… it was an interesting time 20 years ago… the foundations were being laid in ‘tech’ consumer land for what many now take for granted.

However I suspect most of those with NAS on this forum today use it as a local streaming server source…
So the real debate perhaps is the balance between local home streaming and cloud streaming… and I suspect we will increasingly see for most, that the balance will shift to cloud streaming… and the local stream source will be used for rarities, obscurities, treasured gems and home recordings… so yes a NAS may well be used but will probably be smaller and cheaper and consume less power compared to the behemoths that were coming fashionable just a few years ago…

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