Hi all. Bit of a noobie nieve question so forgive me! I’ve an old but totally satisfactory Olives kit. I also have a USB powered hard drive with nearly 3k albums on it - each album is in an individual folder (labelled Arist - Title). If I were to put an NDX into my system would I be able to plug my hard drive into it and play albums? What app would I use to select etc (Naim App)? Any alternative but not more expensive suggestions? Thanks in advance.
You would need to copy the files to a Network Attached Store or NAS.
A steamer like the NDX will search your network for UPnP servers. So ideally, you need to run a server such as Asset or Minimserver on a computer or NAS that is connected to your network. Attach your USB drive to that device, or use its internal storage.
Does the NDX not have a USB input? The NDX2 does. I have connected a hard drive with ripped albums directly to my NDX2 and control playback via the Naim app. The SQ is very good.
The old models do have USB ports, but with more limited functionality. They were developed back when it was common to connect an iPhone via USB, and they will do this, as well as playing from USB memory sticks, but they do not have Server mode like the new streamers.
It almost certainly won’t be able to handle a large library, and even small ones have only a rather primitive folder/list view. So really he needs network storage and a UPnP server.
But the Naim app has a better interface than the USB straight. I have mine connected to the back USB on my NDX2 and have renamed the input along the lines of ‘USB SSD’. I select this rather than the standard USB ‘button’ on the app and this gives me the full app interface rather than the primitive one that you describe (which I get with the standard USB ‘button’).
Yes, if the OP has an extensive library then it may not work. Might be worth trying a drive with reduced content just to see.
Obviously for full access/flexibility he will need a UPNP as you describe.
That’s because the new streamers have a built in UPnP server, which reads the metadata and displays artwork to give you a better browsing experience. The old models do not have this, so require you to run a server elsewhere on your network.
Ah, thanks @ChrisSU, I had forgotten about that - appreciate the clarification.
Thanks everyone who’ve offered advise. Perhaps I need to add a bit more info. At the moment my hard drive containing 2.5 albums (and it will grow!) is connected to my laptop. I use an application called JRiver to manage and play my library. This gets to my pre-amp byway of a cable. The thoughts behind using an NDX were to cut out the use of my laptop for playing and to remove the cable connection. From what’s been said so far this isn’t as straightforward as I had hoped. Further advice is helpful. Thanks in advance.
The NDX will need a network connection, not a direct connection to your computer. Ideally a wired Ethernet connection, as WiFi is not always reliable.
The new Naim streamers (NDX2, ND5XS2, Nova etc.) will play from a directly attached USB drive. You still need the Network connection for the control app, internet radio etc. Using local USB storage is cheaper and easier to set up than a NAS/server, but that’s what most people use.
Doesn’t that depend on the computer. If it’s a Mac with a digital output, that would play through the NDX?
Well yes, if you really wanted to, and the computer had a Toslink output, but why would you buy a streamer just to use its built in DAC? In that case I would just buy an NDAC, Hugo or whatever DAC you prefer.
As designed, the NDX is intended to stream (play) over an ethernet or wireless connection from a local server that’s either a NAS or similar, and over the same ethernet.wireless for web streaming. The control for this is intended to use the Naim app on an iOS or Android tablet or smartphone.
That’s about it, it can be done other ways but all are either klunky, not as simple & probably not getting the best out of the NDX.
My advise is to use it as intended
I think I might have misunderstood the OP. If the files are on a USB drive, simply connect the drive to the laptop and run a uPnP programme to stream to the NDX.
That was my initial suggestion, but the point is that as he wants to avoid using the laptop, some other form of network storage is required, not just a USB drive.
Thats as I understand it
Still my advice.
Or for about the price of a secondhand legacy NDX one could get a new ND5-XS2, attach the USB drive with the library, and use the build-in server mode to stream the files via the Naim app. Boom. Done.