Playing Uniti Core music on new NAD CS1 Streaming Endpoint

Hi y’all. Everything in the main Naim/Bryston/PMC system is working fine. I currently use a Naim Uniti Core with 2TB SSD as a resource for my Naim ND5 XS2 streamer controlled by the Naim/Focal app on iOS. All good there.

I have just bought a NAD CS1 Streaming Endpoint for my son to add streaming to his ‘traditional’ hi-fi. There are no problems streaming music from services like Spotify/Apple Music on iPhone or from iTunes on his PC, etc.

For info, the new NAD CS1 doesn’t come with a dedicated app (relying on 3rd party streaming apps from the likes of Spotify and Tidal to keep things simple and costs down) and it isn’t part of NAD’s closed shop Bluesound architecture. The CS1 is, however, DNLA/UPNP enabled.

So… finally getting to the point… Is there an app for iOS and Windows to enable me to stream music from the Uniti Core to the CS1? I believe I might need a control point (??). Common sense tells me it is entirely feasible. However, I’m not techy enough to know how, simply.

It isn’t a dealbreaker but it would be nice to be able to use the resources on the Uniti Core to feed the NAD CS1.

NAD support copped out, stating that I should seek support from Naim (no surprise there, just the normal finger pointing). Any ideas folks?

An example of this is jriver media centre plus jremote (the latter being the app). However can a 3rd party upnp server read files located on a drive inside the core? I think the drive is accessible via smb1 so if you can map it in windows and view the files, then yes the upnp software can serve it to the nad as an endpoint. However the metadata might be missing as that’s held in a proprietary format inside the core and separate from the files themselves.

@davidhendon is probably the most knowledgeable in this area.

So the nad is in shops now? How does it sound?

The Core is a DLNA/UPnP compliant music server, so in principle any compliant streamer should be able to access it. They normally find each other over your network without needing any configuration, and they certainly shouldn’t need third party software in order to work, although this may be an option if all else fails.
In the absence of a control app, how do NAD say you should access a UPnP server?

I think your confidence in my knowledge is probably over-stated! But a couple of things I can comment.

First of all the Core does present itself to the home network as a remote hard disc. You can access it using SMB2 or 3. You don’t need SMB1 (which you do need for Unitiserve/HDX). So it’s easy to read the file system remotely. The rips are held in a Music/MQ folder which is locked, so you can read but not write to it (the downloads folder on the other hand isn’t locked so you can write as well as read).

If you save the rips in FLAC then it should be ok to read the metadata, but as Robert says, if the rips are saved in WAV then the metadata is stored separately and it would be difficult to extricate yourself from that unless you convert them with a metadata editor, like in particular specifically the version of Song Kong for Melco. This is covered by someone who knows more about this than me in the recently added Core item in the FAQ. This is @Lownote ’s actual post.

As to what app one might use, I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to that, but there are people here using all sorts of things, so a bit of searching in the forum will probably give some ideas.

Hi and thanks to @robert_h, @ChrisSU and @davidhendon, your inputs are very much appreciated and thanks for taking the effort to respond. I bow to all your superior knowledge and experience.

Music on the Uniti Core is stored in FLAC, so metadata shouldn’t be a problem. My jaded ears cannot distinguish between WAV and FLAC (and there is academic evidence to suggest that the vast majority of people can’t), so I can sit back and enjoy the music, rather than fret over the barely discernible technical differences.

From my understanding, the Uniti Core should appear as a network server via DNLA/UPnP, which the NAD is compliant with (excuse the poor Inglish!). The conundrum I’m facing is that NAD/Bluesound doesn’t have a control app (yet) to allow the Naim (basically a NAS) and the NAD endpoint to communicate, despite the protocols being in place to do so.

The NAD has just shipped the CS1 to the UK and we got one of the first batch, having been on pre-order for 3 months! We got it for it’s simplicity and pureness of approach. It’s a bit early to say how it sounds but I’ll update as this post progresses. NAD obviously thought ahead about being able to access music via DNLA/UPnP (the compliance process delayed its shipping) but haven’t followed that though to being able to tell me how to do it!!! The ‘normal’ mode of operation is reliant on 3rd party apps from Spotify et al, which is just fine. I woke up in the middle of one night with that niggling question about how the server → endpoint arrangement might be enabled.

To keep things simple, I think I’m looking for something equivalent to the Naim/Focal app that sits between the Uniti Core and my ND5 XS2, to work between the Uniti Core and the NAD CS1. Both are DNLA/UPnP devices, so I would have thought that something must exist somewhere. NB. I’m not interested in video/photo streaming, just music. As these great little pieces of kit become commonplace, I think others will seek the same solution, so hopefully, our discussion might help others in due course. Here’s hoping…

The only control app for the core is the Naim one. But another upnp server software should be able to run alongside and serve the nad. Just on another computer not the core, but accessing the files on the core via samba shares.

The Naim app doesn’t sit between your Core and your ND5 XS2. If you have both connected to your network, then the Naim app gets a menu of music from the Core and tells the Core which music to send to the ND5 XS2. The Core can send multiple streams at the same time, so if your NAD is connected to your network. It should be possible to use another app that can tell the Core to send music to the NAD.

So what app is that? You could try something like MConnect, but there are numerous upnp apps in the Apple App Store. I don’t know about the Google Play Store but it’s likely there are going to be equivalents for Android there.

There will be other people here who have experience of doing this, so I suggest hang on for a bit and see who responds.

Found this, don’t know if true:

I’ve just loaded the linn kazoo app (which is about to be retired apparently) and it can see these in my house so maybe it can see a core as well.

I couldn’t get any further that that, it couldn’t see any playback devices.

The MConnect app can see my upnp play devices, including my Samsung TV that I had forgotten was DNLA certified.

And it does successfully tell the Core to serve music to upnp players, including for instance my NAC-N 272 which I tried (and then had to explain to my wife why The Repair Shop she was watching suddenly had a string quartet instead of the narrator)!

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Wow. Thanks guys. Very interesting. Thanks also for the clarification - apologies for my naivety - I’m just getting into the dark realms of streaming. Thanks @davidhendon for a great explanation of how the Naim approach works, very informative. I like to learn new stuff.

I use the Naim/Focal app for my system. My son’s hi-fi doesn’t have Naim gear but it is fine for his needs. So, for his purposes, the Uniti Core would be a DNLA/UPnP server for his NAD CS1 (sounds very impressive so far for what it is and what it does). I had looked at MConnect and a few other apps on iOS. I wanted to ask the question first to see if there was a ‘no brainer’ solution, rather than download lots of random apps that may or may not work effectively. I don’t want to ruin my son’s confidence starting of streaming by jumping to-and-fro. He’s getting to grips with the basics at the moment, so it would be great to say, ‘here y’a are, sorted!’.

I’ve also gone back to the NAD Support Crew to see if they come up with anything sensible. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, any/all suggestions are greatly appreciated. Many brains are better than one - and definitely better than mine!

Just tried the MConnect iOS app. It discovers the Uniti Core on the network but when trying to access storage, it comes up with “Please connect the MCONNECT compatible device to your network”. It is, so I assume that, while it is able to see the Core, it can’t access its contents. Sigh. Next!

It can play from my UnitiCore. I just did so as I mentioned in an edit to my earlier post.

So it’s probably a network or settings issue, which can be solved!

Mconnect player lite seems to work between jriver media centre and a qb. It can also use my ndx2 and unitiqute.

Plus with David’s screen shots above this seems to be the best option most like to work.

Not used a NAD to playback from my Core, but occasionally use my Yamaha AV amp to do so. I can either pull it up on the TV screen with the AV amp remote control, or use the Yamaha App, which looks like this

its a little bit clunky to use, as i can either browse by Album title as shown, or select an artist, and it just shows a long list of all the tracks for the artist, not a list of the artists albums.

So yes, you can use the core to feed other vendor stuff, just maybe not that user friendly.

Actually I vaguely remember reading somewhere that MConnect Lite works with Naim, but MConnect HD doesn’t. And it is MConnectLite I tried.

The absence of advertising on @Tonykins screenshot suggests to me he may have bought the HD version!

Genius. Thanks @davidhendon and @kwhitmarsh. That proves it works. I thought it must. My initial problem was that I downloaded MConnect Control. I searched again and downloaded the Lite version of MConnect Player and… lo and behold… sorted! The full version - £5.99 - removes limitations and ads so, now I can demonstrate that it works, I can get it for my son to complete the installation. I may get it as well, so I can cast from the server to other endpoints. As we say in Cornwall… Ideal. Thank you SO much everyone, especially @davidhendon for finding a solution so effectively and quickly, much appreciated. T

P.S. For info, no Windows PC version. Never mind. Can’t have everything!

Thanks @jmtennapel. I think the results are in. MConnect it is, at least for us. Thanks again everyone.

Just a quick update for anyone still interested in this thread.

NAD CS1 streamer endpoint - so far, this is great in my son’s ‘budget’ hi-fi. It is no-frills, tiny and sounds very good for what it is - an ND555 it isn’t! - so it is fit for purpose in context. NAD customer services was not particularly helpful, unlike the Naim Community.

Naim Uniti Core - no problems there. It still works just fine.
Naim ND5 XS2 - fantastic streamer. I’m not sure I could justify going up a step from here for now.

MConnect iOS App - The now-fully-paid-for version is used to stream music on the Uniti Core to the NAD CS1 and only works inconsistently, operating as expected sometimes and, sadly, often not. When it doesn’t, the app won’t respond to commands, meaning that the only solution is to kill the thread and restart the app until it does work, which may take several attempts. I don’t know if there is a ‘best’ order in which to ‘Browse’ music on the Uniti Core and ‘Play To’ the CS1 - I wouldn’t have thought so. Incidentally, it seems to work OK with my Naim ND5 XS2/Uniti Core. One might put the app’s intermittent behaviour down to the fact that NAD are still in the process of full accreditation for DNLA/UPnP. Once that accreditation is secured, perhaps a NAD firmware update for the CS1 will resolve the hanging app issue… maybe. It may be the app itself hanging, I simply can’t tell. Also, while I am here, I concur with other users’ comments that the MConnect app doesn’t always show all devices on the network, so discovery seems a bit erratic. For now, we’ll persevere until things can be resolved in due course.

Apple Music (plus >80k songs in my iTunes library) - Quite happy with the service up to CD quality via Airplay. I’m sure they’ll eventually enable hi-def - the problem being that existing devices almost definitely will not like an ‘Airplay 3’!!!

Once all the wrinkles are ironed out, I may get additional NAD CS1s around the house, ideal for background music, rather than acute listening.

I hope this updated feedback might be of interest. Enjoy the summer everyone.

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