Music file folders - HQ, MQ & LQ

My local “collection” of music files has lived on various devices over time, most recently an HDD connected to a Uniti Star and on a Synology NAS.

It is organised within three folders

  • HQ (one Peter Gabriel album downloaded from his site directly - FLAC files mostly ~100MB each)
  • MQ (my Uniti Star ripped CDs - FLAC files mostly ~30MB each)
  • LQ (remnants of a former life within iTunes - m4a files)

Does anyone know recognise these folder or know where they came from? I don’t think I set them up manually.

As an aside, I have just ripped my first post-Unit Star CD using dbPowerAmp (using “FLAC, no compression”), and the tracks are between 45-75MB each, so quite a lot larger than those ripped through the Star.


The LQ, MQ and HQ were used by the UnitiServe and HDX, so maybe the Star uses them too. The Dbpoweramp files are bigger because you are ripping without compression. It’s fine to use compression. I use the standard level 5. They sound just as good but are much smaller.

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Big fan here of dBPower amp too. Although i was in denial for a while, id not use anything else now.
All cds ripped via this to my nas. Tried different .flac compressions and now stick with the default too.

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Perfect - many thanks. Will change to the default 5 compression.

As HH says, the HQ, MQ and LQ folders are how Naim arranges the sub-folders within the Music folder. The same arrangement is used on current servers like UnitiCore and the Uniti streamers used in server mode.

But the HQ folder is never used and shouldn’t have anything in it. Downloads and other high resolution music should be in the Downloads folder which sits next to the Music folder in the STAR.

The MQ folder is where Naim rips from CDs are kept.

The LQ folder was used in the early servers as a place to keep MP3 versions of the rips in the MQ folder. The old servers could automatically transcode a CD rip into MP3 and put the MP3 into the LQ folder, leaving the original rip in WAV or FLAC in the MQ folder.

So that is what it’s all about. If it works for you then I should leave it all alone. But if you want to tidy it up, then the above is how it should be done.

Incidentally I suggest you rip into FLAC rather than WAV as this makes the rip easier to repurpose or move. And normally you would want to adopt some sort of standard arrangement for your music files. One very commonly used way is within Music/MQ or Downloads as appropriate you have a folder for artist and within that a sub-folder for each album. Any other arrangement will work. But having a standardised way of doing it will help you if and when one of your albums doesn’t behave as you expect and you are trying to work out why.

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