Nova, Synology nas, metadata

I have copied hundreds of my classical cds to a Synology nas. I use XLD dowloader. I have also downloaded flacs from Linn music and other music sites. Some of the dowloads have cover artwork that appears on the display of my Nova, but most don’t. I do ask it to download the metadata. Where am I going wrong? Cds from Naxos always display the covers, Linn downloads never.
Is it the Nova or the Synology? Is the an idiots guide?
I am an old man in my 70s, so please be gentle with me!

Hi Rosco,

Not all “metadata” are created equal.

There are two options for dealing with album art. First, you can put the image file in the same folder as the music files. Name it folder.jpg Second, you can use a metadata editor to embed the artwork (image) in the music files themselves. Or better yet do both. If you use a Mac, a program called Metadatics is a nice simple metadata editor that will do this for you.

I believe that it’s neither the Nova nor the Synology, but rather, the lack of proper artwork embedding.

I agree with Bart, its simply errors in the metadata.
(I too have Synology NAS)
As for Linn not including cover art, that has never been so in my experience, they are one of the better vendors, it makes me wonder what is going on.

What media server (UPnP) are you using on the Synology & have you run a rescan. But for whatever reason cover art is freely available on www, don’t load it named as “folder.jpg” it needs to be a .jpg file named ‘folder’.

What are you using to edit metadata ??
I don’t know XLD so can’t comment on what to do with it.
I use dBpoweramp on my Windows laptop for ripping CD’s, & download to it from the www vendors before uploading to the Synology.
If (if) the metadata has errors I use the excellent Mp3Tag (open source) software, its easy to learn & use & its editing functions are 2nd to none. I suggest to get a copy & learn how to use it, once thats done metadata editing is a breeeze

Thanks for the reply Bart. I tried putting the cover art in the file as folder.jpeg for 1 download, and it did not work. I will try the other way.

I am just not sure whether the display on the Nova wants embedded artwork vs. folder.jpg in the folder, or whether it matters.

Are you working with .flac files?

Also, which media server “package” are you running on the Synology nas? If you still have issues, you should consider using Asset server or MinimServer, which you can purchase inexpensively online and easily install on your nas.

Thanks Mike. Will try what you say.

I used to use XLD (back when I had a mac) and it’s a great bit of free software but it never did that good a job of the tagging. I used to use a separate bit of software to sort out the tags and album art. I think it was Tag or Tag Editor or something like that? In any case, there is plenty of decent free software to do the tagging and embed the album art in your files. I don’t use a mac these days so I’m not that clued up as to what the best is at the moment.

As a Windows user I rip with dbpower amp and make sure the album art is embedded in the files. Then I usually save the art as “folder.jpg” in each album subfolder. I currently run minim which I don’t think needs the album art separately, it’s just force of habit from when I used to run Twonky on and old Netgear NAS that needed that art saving separately!

Hope you get it sorted.


Dbpoweramp is very good. Once installed on your computer it’s just a case of highlighting the files, right clicking and choosing the edit metadata option. I don’t have any folder.jpg at all, but embed album art in the files. If you are editing a whole album you can highlight all the tracks and do them in one go - I expect you know this. It’s a bit of a laborious job but quite satisfying. The trick is, I’d suggest, to get the metadata ‘just so’ while the album is still on your computer, and then copy it to the nas. Tidy metadata is happy metadata!

This is an important part of the process. Don’t put the new music on the nas until the metadata is just so! Otherwise, it gets indexed by the server in the wrong state, and may not be re-indexed thereafter - at least not quickly. (If you do end up having to edit files that already are on the nas, force a re-index (re-scan) when you’re done.)

… better to copy them onto the computer & edit there. Then when happy, replace the NAS file with the good copy

Any particular reason for that, Mike? I have always made any metadata edits to files in their final destination rather than moving them onto a computer, and I’ve never had a problem doing it that way, but perhaps I am missing something.

Hi Chris, risk avoidance, old habits, mandatory process from a previous life, that’s all,
Basically it’s make a copy & work on that, not the master copy.

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Hi Bart
I think I am being thick!
I bought the Metadatics programme you recommended and read the instructions.
I copied one of the pieces of music from my Synology (?) and found the artwork. It loaded ino the wee box at the bottom left.
I selected ‘save’ and…nothing!
I wonder if I could bother you again?

Im happy to help. My suggestion:

1 Copy the music files from your Synology to your computer hard drive
2 Delete the music files from your Synology
3 Tell the Synology music server to re-scan the music library
4 Edit the metadata with those files on your computer. Open the files with Metadatics, select all the files, add the artwork to each track (file), and save.
5 Using the Naim app, browse your music and confirm that the album is gone. Refresh the Naim app first.
6 Move the music files back to the Synology
7 Tell the Synology music server to re-scan
8 At this point it SHOULD all be right!

Thanks Bart
I am beginning to think this is beyond me and I am wasting your time!
I chose an album (flac) and copied it from the Synology to a file on my mac hard disc. It is 200 MB and took 40 minutes!
I then copied it to Metadatics and added the artwork and saved. I deleted the file from the Synology aand refreshed the app.
I can’t get it to save back to the Synology.
At this rate of progress it is going to take me weeks onlyto get pretty pictures!

Something seriously wrong with that Rosco. 200MB should take a minute depending on how you are doing it & if wireless your router capabilities. Suggest you get that sorted before anything else,

You are right Mike-B!
My problem is that my mac is upstairs in the study and my Nova is 10 metres away in the lounge! I need it that way so my lounge is big enough for my Quad Electrostatic speakers.
On the advice of an ‘expert’ I used a powerline to connect the nas to the mac.
This obviously does not work. I lugged the Synology upstairs and plugged directly into the mac and it was a dream! The file that yesterday took 50 minutes to dowload took 5 secs.
I live in the Scottish Highlands so my mains supply is crap. I used Russ Andrews mains cleaners to clean the supply. Maybe that stops the powerlines working properly? I will ask Russ Andrews.
By the way, the Metadatics works brilliantly.
I will work on the connections.
Oh bliss!
Thank you and to the others, particularly Bart.

Ethernet over mains power wiring is a very poor solution and often gives a shed load of problems; it also won’t work through ‘mains conditioners’ (at least if the mains conditioners are any good at all).

Mains conditioners of any sort are usually not recommended for use with Naim audio equipment as they ‘soften’ the sound and can frequently make the music sound lifeless and dull. They may be a necessary evil when the mains supply is extremely bad, but it’s very rare in this country for the mains supply to be that bad.

I was interested in your comments. I probably agree re powerlines and their unreliability.
If you think that electricity supplies in this country are ok, then you have never lived in the Scottish Highlands!
We have regular powecuts, major, lasting for days, and minor, for a few seconds. We also have large surges when the local windfarms and hydro schemes switch on and off.
A friend who has a meter to measure it tells me that the amount of interference and fluctuations in voltage is considerable!
I sent your comments to Russ Andrews ltd, who said "That’s rather a sweeping statement to say any type of mains conditioners is no good. Yes, I’d disagree with that comment as a company whose been making mains conditioners for over 35 years.

However, as with everything in this life, there are good and bad designs of filter, so we believe that if it’s not done correctly that it can have a negative effect on sound quality.

There are basically two different designs for filters.

The first is an inline filter. An inline filter interrupts the flow of electricity, with power go in one side and coming out the other. The benefit of course is clean, noise free electricity (subject to how well it has been designed). The downside is an increase in mains impedance because you’re putting something ‘in the way’. Keeping mains impedance as low as possible is critical in getting the best performance from your hifi. Impedance primarily effects the dynamic range of your hifi. High impedance squashes the dynamic range, sucking the life of the music away, which is why there is a reputation for filters to make the music sound worse, rather than better.

The second design is a parallel filter. A parallel filter sits alongside the electricity supply and so doesn’t interrupt the flow of electricity, ensuring there is no increase in mains impedance, but all the benefits of a filter that removes mains borne noise. ALL Russ Andrews filter are this design.

Of course, unless you actually know what filter design is being used and the differences between them, they tend to get lumped together and people assume a filter is a filter, so if they’ve had a negative experience with one, it’s probably the wrong design"

@Rosco , a couple of comments about design of mains conditioners…

1 Yes I do understand, I’ve designed and built audio amplifiers!
2 I didn’t say any type of mains conditioners were no good. I specifically referred to mains conditioners with Naim electronics. I have found that using capacitors as an HF DM clamp (and more generically, anything that can present a low impedance tuned circuit in combination with the toroidal transformer) is particularly detrimental to the sound of Naim amps. From my experiments, the impedance effect of of CM and DM chokes in series with the amp’s mains supply, whilst still detrimental, is however much less detrimental than the effect of DM capacitors.

On the other hand, I and others have found that using series capacitative ‘DC blockers’ (with overload bypass diodes) can actually have a positively beneficial effect on the sound of the system.