Neophyte: new in CD Rip + stream -> UNITISERVE 2TB

Dear All,
For some time now, in evaluating an upgrade of my cd player, I am also thinking of making the big leap, abandoning the cdplayer and moving on to ripping the cd to listen to them only in the files version.
Premise: I only listen to my CD collection and I don’t care about Hi-Res, tidal, spotify, etc …
Having the opportunity to buy a 2015 s/h UnitiServe 2TB, I have some questions (perhaps stupid for some of you) that I would like to ask about it:

  1. in order to perform the ripping, can I connect it to my computer (macbook) to manage it, or do I necessarily have to use it standalone with a keyboard and a screen directly connected to it?
  2. Once the cds have been ripped, with all the meta data and information, can I use the uniserve to listen to the files WITHOUT being connected to internet? Or must the internet connection always be active? I do not have a fixed connection at home and I would like to understand if once I have entered everything in the unitiserve (music and metadata) I can easily use it without internet …
  3. Can the CD files (with metadata) contained in the unitiserve be used to insert them into a portable player (for example, Sony Walkman), or are they incompatible with each other?
  4. In order to execute the back-up, is it sufficient to buy an external hard disk to manage by connecting both the unitiserve and the hard disk to my computer?
  5. I know that I can listen to both a cd and the files by simply connecting the unitiserve to a dac and controlling it through the Naim App (via iphone ipad (and computer as well?) ). If, on the other hand, I connect the unitiserve to a streamer (Naim NDX2 or other brands), I manage the inserted cd and/or the files through the streamer (and its remote/App etc…), right?

I apologize for the length of the questions, maybe I have other questions, but I believe that for the moment these above may be enough to get an idea about it.

If you do not want or can answer me, but you know how and where to have all the useful clarifications for a neophyte, I would be grateful.

Thank you so much in advance for the help,
David

Hi, to answer your questions, more or less…

  1. You can access the Unitiserve via the N-Serve app on your Mac or on an iPhone.

  2. You don’t need an internet connection, but you do need a local network over which the N-Serve app communicates with the Unitiserve.

  3. Yes, you can use the CD rips on other devices. I use them on a Sony portable player and in my car. You should save the rips in FLAC, not WAV, otherwise non-Naim devices may not be able to read the metadata.

  4. The Unitiserve has a very good automatic backup, but it only works over your network to a NAS. The only alternative if you don’t want to do this is to use your computer to manually copy the files to another drive. This is much the same as the way you would transfer any other file, to your Walkman, for example.

  5. Naim streamers use the Naim app. The Unitiserve uses the N-Serve app to control play from its SPDIF output into a DAC.

Adding to what Chris says, all of which I agree with, you never normally need to connect a keyboard or a screen to a Unitiserve.

Best

David

Dear Chris and David,
thank you for the quick reply!
If I decide to take this leap, since my intention is only to listen to my ripped CD collection and nothing else, is it still advisable to have a complete streamer like the NDX2 or would it be excessive and “oversized” for my use?

Good though the NDX2 is, I think you would get much better value for money buying a DAC. You might get a used NDAC and a PSU upgrade for the same price, or a Chord DAC for less, for example.