NAS Drive vs Streaming

Around 7 years ago, I ripped all my CDs to flac on a Synology NAS a drive. I now supplement my listening with a subscription to Tidal and enjoy listening to a much wider range of music.

I’m now under pressure from my SO to dispose of my CD collection now that only listen to Tidal or the ripped collection. It took a considerable amount of time to rip my entire CD collection. In comparing the ripped CD collection to Tidal, I often wonder if there was any advantage to ripping my collection.

I know there are a number of those on this forum who have ripped their collection. Am I missing something as Tidal (or an equivalent service) obviates the need for ripping CDs and NAS drives?

The only exception that I can see is that there may be a small number of occasions where I MIGHT have a better original recording than the version that appears on the streaming service.

I rarely buy CDs or downloads these days, but I keep my local music library in part for those occasions when reliable internet access is unavailable. The option to buy and store music that’s unavailable on Qobuz is potentially useful, but in practice I hardly ever find the need for this.


The streaming services may change their content in the future so there is no guarantee that a particular album will always be available. Your local copy (rip) will be there whenever you need it.

I personally use Qobuz and my rips. I particularly listen to the SACD rips as Qobuz may have a different version. Same for some older albums where I prefer the original mix rather than the remixed versions available on Qobuz.


Is this due to the physical space the collection needs? You can use special archival booklets where the plastic cases are no longer needed. The discs and booklets/covers themselves are preserved. Technically in the uk if you no longer have the cd you have to delete the rip.
It’s true I hardly ever play an actual cd as it’s ripped or on qobuz but my collection only fills one bookcase.

This kind of thing:


I’ve two flight cases of CDs under the bed stored pretty much like this. Covers I didn’t want were recycled. Booklets etc. were retained and are sorted in filing boxes under/at the back of one sofa where they can be retrieved at a moments notice. Interestingly I rarely have the desire. Prefer listening to music.

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I’m in the same position as the OP with my CDs ripped to a Synology NAS and a Tidal subscription. I’d say I only play NAS rips at most 5% of the time, for rarities that aren’t on Tidal. I don’t notice any SQ differences between the two media. My CDs are in the loft gathering dust. I use a memory stick with FLAC rips in the car (CDs in the car always used to migrate to the footwell with its associated mixture of gravel and mud).

I have a very large collection of CD’s and don’t have the time or patience to rip them.
I have used Tidal Hi-Res (MQA and now FLAC) for the last 4 years and its never failed and I’ve never lost my internet service so Tidal is always available.
I’m not going to bother to rip my CD’s and will thus skip the NAS/Hard Drive Storage etc and just stick with Tidal streaming as their library is extensive and I’ve never not found an album I’ve looked for.
My original streamer, a NAD C658 sounded better playing CD’s into its DAC that streaming Tidal of the same album (although the Master may have been different) and I found the same with Pure Audio Blu Ray Hi-Res discs which sounded better more often than not than Tidal Hi-Res versions.
When I upgraded my streamer to a Lumin P1 the gap between playing CD’s and BluRay’s into its DAC compared to streaming Tidal was significantly reduced and now not really very much difference between the two mediums sound quality wise at all, which was the objective of getting a better streamer.
I’ve read many posts on here where people are now just streaming Qobuz or Tidal and not bothering too much now with their locally stored music, so I’ll save myself all the time, hassle and expense in ripping, storing and playing locally. and just stick with Tidal.
I still use my CD player and you can still buy very good CD players so no problem if you still wish to play a CD which is really not too much trouble either.

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I still have my CD collection, they’re stored out of the way where they can’t get damaged. Not hard to do.

Never, ever, get rid of your CD collection.

  • What is available on streaming services changes over time. Albums are being withdrawn ( by the label or artist )
  • New remasters and high res versions of an album appear, and as a rule, the dynamics of your CD recording and the way the music breaths and feels alive is far better on your CD version

You will regret it if you dispose of your CD collection. Take my word for it, I’m recollecting….


As you have all your CDs ripped, there isn’t really a need to keep them, but just make sure you have good backups of the NAS. A large CD collection can occupy an awful lot of wall space and it’s good to be able to reclaim it.

I ripped all mine to a Unitiserve and kept them. But now, with a decent FTTP connection I rarely use it and play from Tidal, except on the rare occasions when they don’t have the music I want to hear…

You should be aware that most of the streaming companies either modify the streamed content or require specific specification for the masters that may differ from a CD and/ or vinyl master.
In other words the sound of an album from a streaming service may differ in loudness and/dynamic compression compared to a CD or vinyl. This has been discussed on another thread recently with links to how specific streaming services can modify the sound.
I have ripped most of my CDs

You never know with these streaming services. 10 years from now subscription costs may well go through the roof and become unaffordable. You would be glad you kept your CD/NAS hardware and hard copy.

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I kind of doubt streaming costs will go through the roof in the future, but you never know… however I feel it’s better to consider a streaming service like a radio station that takes on demand requests, however if you really like an album it is probably better to own the media it can come on; either file download, CD or vinyl.


I also internet stream and rip, but I like my local version for the following reasons:

  • My own created MP3’s, e.g. downloaded Tenor versions of songs that I might need for Choir
  • I still buy the odd CD or Flacs for upcoming artists from Bandcamp, as this gives them a lot more of the proceeds than Tidal, plus these artists dont always put all their tracks on Tidal
  • I extract USB copies of my Music from NAS to be used in the car, and in the Kitchen Radio player (also serves as a backup)

I’ve also scanned in a lot of CD covers/leaflets for CD that I particularly find useful - e.g. for lyrics, or for favourite artists. BTW you can often get these from

I also keep my physical CD’s for legal reasons

Yes, to echo GadgetMan, there is a legal issue, which may never affect you practically, but is there. You are permitted to copy any recordings that you own for your personal use, so once you dispose of your CDs, your rips are no longer legitimate. For that reason and the others given here I would never actually get rid of my CDs even if they were all ripped.

just follow the Tidal threads that popped up over the weekend - unforeseen updates by Tidal have caught Naim (and everyone else for that matter) off guard so some of us are back to streaming CDs until it’s fixed…

Do remember that CDs whilst long lasting can (and sometimes do) deteriorate. I have therefore ripped my CD collection to my NAS. I keep the rips (and backups) for the reasons given above.

Actually you are not even allowed to do that under UK legislation, where even just making a copy of a CD without permission from the rights holder is illegal. Not that the recording industry has the means to enforce this, and with the rise of streaming subscription services it’s becoming increasingly irrelevant.

That used to be the case but the law is now less restricted:
‘So you cannot make copies of CDs for your friends, copy CDs borrowed from friends, or copy videos illegally downloaded from file-sharing websites. The law allows you to make personal copies to any device that you own, or a personal online storage medium, such as a private cloud.’

Taken fom Government website: