NAS drive set up for a numpty

Please go easy on me, i’m new to this side of audio.

I am about to buy a Qnap ts251+ plus drives, and will be using dbpoweramp and Asset upnp. Having done searches for information, what I am becoming aware of is the need for good file structure and tagging. Can’t seem to find what constitutes good file structure and tagging though.

In simple terms, what should I be doing to create a trouble free experience?

I have about 1000 cds to rip, fairly eclectic tastes, not much in the way of classical (about 50 cds) and a number of magazine cover compilation cds. I will also be buying a fair amount of hi res downloads in time to come.

Cheers in advance!

Graeme thats’s the set-up I use and it works really well. On the old forum I posted a YouTube clip on the set procedure for the QNAP there’s a guy that takes you through right from opening up the box - had me up and running in about 30 mins. Try a search on YouTube something like QNAP TS251+ set up or you might be luckily and find something here in the archive section.

The other thing you might want to consider is a back up regime.

There are much better people on the forum to advise on file structure etc but do post if you have any problems with the set-up.


I had a discussion about Qnap and backups last week on this forum

No need to worry about a file structure. The media player/server will sort everything out.

I create a folder. Name it the date it was created.
Rip approx 30 albums into it.

Create another folder. Name it the date it was created.
Rip approx 30 albums into it.

Create another folder. Name it the date it was created.
Rip approx 30 albums into it.

Create another folder. Name it the date it was created.
Rip approx 30 albums into it.

And so on.

Makes backing up a lot easier. I only backup the latest folder.

I use Qnaps NetBak replicator to backup to a HD in a PC and an external USB HD. The music is actually ripped on the PC, then backed up to the NAS for streaming.


Graeme…it’s a little dated now but there’s some great background information on the whole ripping methodology and related topics.

One thing I would pay great attention to is metadata, get it right from the start. It can help greatly later on when you are browsing your music. The metadata is important in relation to the browse trees in Asset.

You have some good tools e.g. QNAP, Asset and dBPoweramp.


That sounds like hard work, I rip/download straight into the NAS, the folders are either by artist names or by album name if multiple artists or by composer if classical.
The back up is incremental, it scans the whole library & adds anything new or changed to the existing backup file. If its just new albums, it takes about 5 minutes


I use the same QNAP NAS/Asset?dBPoweramp approach and I agree with earleir comments about file structure, but I’d definitely experiment with the metadata before finalising on workflow for 1000 CD’s - that’s what will determine what you see in the app/streamer window when you come to play music.

I scan my CD’s into my PC then transfer them to the NAS (as I use the PC as a back up) - if you try this to start with you can play with the metadata and get used to what you want to do a bit more easily than scanning straight to the NAS initially and then using the NAS interface.

When you rip into dBPoweramp, after initially reading the CD it will open a box showing all the info - at the bottom left is a box with three (vertical) options - highlight the one that says Meta and you will see how all the different “tags” are described.

This is where structure comes in…how do you want to search for your CD’s when you try to play them? In many cases the CD already has useful tags but not always. Classical can be an issue - do you want to find Beethoven or Solti? Are the track titles sensible and do you care? Compilations can be all over the place, especially the “magazine” cover CDs you mentioned.

Personally I opted for a very easy approach and just make sure I can always find something via the Artist and Album Artist boxes - if the tags for these boxes look sensible great, if not change it to how you want to search. I then check Genre (hundreds of detailed options here - I’ve lost albums that were stored You can use the whole range of metadata tags of course and search in many different ways if you think that’s helpful - I’d just say get as close as you can to the structure of metadata you want from day 1.

Do a few choosing a variety of music styles - load them on the NAS and see how they come through on your streamer - I think the only way is to experiment and change things as you discover what you really want…after that your workflow for ripping CD’s should be a bit more productive.

Hope that’s not teaching you to suck eggs - but it’s the area I wasted most time on when I first ripped to my NAS.

1 Like

Thanks for the replies folks, some useful information there. I ripped a few cds to my computer for practice, and things are largely as you all describe them. One thing that perplexes me though is the order in which artists are sorted, ie, by first name. I looked more carefully and noticed the “artist sort” tag, and saw that is was correct - last name, first name. But on the Naim app via asset they had been sorted as first name, last name. Annoying! I can manually correct this but surely it should be done as I rip. Anyone else found this?

I think you will find the first name first works best in a browsing search, it just seems the right way to do it. Obviously band names work best that way, Pink Floyd, Asset’s ‘Smart’ sort option browses as ‘Beatles, The’.

My method does save time in some ways. Because I rip to the same folder (until there are approx 30 albums in it), DB poweramp is always set to rip into that folder. I don’t need to create/browse to a specific folder, I put a CD in the drive and press rip.

To copy the ripped files from the PC to the NAS, I open NetBak replicator and press start backup (about 10 seconds). Again, NetBak replicator is automatically set to back up latest folder on the PC to NAS. (IE it backs up the same folder until I create another one and select that as back up folder). It doesn’t need to scan the whole library, just one folder.

I wouldn’t worry how they are sorted on the PC/NAS, as long as the Naim app is sorting them correctly, that’s all that matters.

I find the Naim app/asset works fine with music files randomly scattered about the Qnap nas, as does the logitec server/sbt/qnap.

With the SBT, I have option to sort by first or last name, not sure if it’s possible with the Naim app.

Hi again Fatcat, well your way is unique thats for sure. But I just don’t see what it does & why you need to do it that way.
When I first ripped my CD’s I just ripped straight into the NAS & dBpoweramp sorted the rest, all same band/artist names into there own folders, it even sorted out most of the spelling differences. (OK the classical albums needed extra work)
Nowadays as I down’t rip that many CD’s I treat them the same as downloads & rip to my laptop. After a quick check of metadata type stuff, I drop them into the NAS’s Music file, it finds & drops into the correct name/artist folder automatically or if a new artist/band thats a new folder.
Asset UPnP automatically scans (reindexes) the library. I press Hyper Back Up & off it goes doing its thing for a few minutes, I’ve nothing else to do, make a coffee & listen to the new music.

Interesting discussion - I don’t find Asset great for searching for the album I want to play. So I rip to my computer and then copy the files to the relevant folder on my NAS; on my NAS I have several folders: classical, folk, Irish, klezmer and modern (these can be whatever you like). I do this because i choose what I want to listen to according to my mood, so searching via these folders helps me narrow down the choice. This folder system may be as simple or complex as you desire …

I can’t agree that one Camphue, its brilliant, provided you know how to use & set the browse tree.
I browse (find) by artist/band name or album name or in the case of classical by composer. From those I can also search for tracks by artist or find same tracks by different artists; it really does everything & I’m hard pressed to find something it can’t do . I rarely go beyond that, but if I do have folder view set as a primary search & that gives me a view of the folder tree as seen in Windows File Explorer.

I’m getting the impression that file structure is very much a personal preference thing, so I need to think about how I want to find my music in future.

@Mike-B after reading your reply I looked for folder view, and was very reassured to see it. Thanks for that.

I imagine most of the time I will simply scroll through the artist list, and then by album. I take it that dbpoweramp will take care of the tagging for that?!

Thank you all for your input, I am starting to get an idea of how I can handle file structure and tagging. Just need to sort out automatic last name, first name tagging from dbpoweramp.


Just to give you a feel for the power of metadata and tagging I’ve provided a few examples from my own personal use, apologies if you already understand this…

Both my wife and I use the Naim app and have our own musical preferences. I tag all rips with either her name or mine (or both). I use the “composer” tag for this as I wouldn’t normally use this myself but you could use another tag element. I configure Asset so that when either of us launches the app we can click on the relevant name(composer) and only see the albums that are of interest.

I tag all my rips and downloads with a quality marker, is it lossy, lossless, high def, SACD etc. I can then view all rips from the Naim app based on quality.

I also tag with label…Mobile Fidelity, Analogue Productions etc etc…you get the gist.

This one may be a bit over the top but I also tag my rips with a DR rating, so again can see rips based on DR.

You have lots of options, just have a think about it a bit before you rip a 1000 CDs!!

Once you have the tags you can adjust Asset to give you the views you want in the Naim app.

Thanks @Jack, what you say makes sense. I have ripped about 20 cds to my hard drive to have a play with tagging. It seems to be a bit of a minefield at the moment but I am getting the hang of its power as you say. Also getting the beginnings of a file structure. Seems like a lot of hard work, but from what I read on here already, it will save a lot of heartache later. Perseverance!!


Reading the few posts so far, it’s obvious there’s more ways to skin a cat. Maybe it’s down to technical competence of the user, Jack is obviously very competent, whereas I’m at the other end of the scale.:thinking:

But, I’ve streamed from a Qnap to SBT for 5 or 6 years without a problem.

Never edited a tag, wouldn’t know where to start.

Not interested in metadata.

File structure, No.

Browsing trees, Only when I’m out for a walk.

Scheduled backup – No.

Raid - Definitely no.

Updating firmware on NAS – It’s working fine as it is.

If I want album cover art, I copy an image from the internet when I’m ripping

Hi again Fatcat, sorry but I get the feeling you think I’m being a bit argumentative. If that’s the case I apologise as that was far from my intention. There’s more than one way to skin a cat (pun intended) whatever works for you, nuff said.

Mike. No I wasn’t thinking that at all.
I’m just trying to say, it’s possible to stream from a NAS without having any in-depth knowledge.

1 Like