Prepping a drive for Core Music Store

I’ve acquired a Uniti Core, and I notice that in preparing a drive to be used as a store, it will format the drive. I have a QNAP NAS where my pre-Core rips are stored. My question is this: If I let Core format the NAS drive, can I then put it back into use as a NAS drive, but this time having the Core-compatible folders on it, in addition to whatever else I decide to put on there - including my pre-Core rips?

No you don’t want to do that. It’s almost certainly not going to work the way you want, including that when you want to rip a new CD the Core can’t do it until the drive is back where it expects the Music Store to be.

There are lots of ways to do things, but buying a new drive or even better a SSD for the Core is probably the way to go.

Thanks David. I’m definitely installing an internal drive. My question is about using my NAS for backup storage of my ripped content. The Core instructions say this about creating a backup: “If this is the first time you are backing up onto the chosen device you will need to format the storage device. Touch Yes.” I certainly don’t want to wipe my existing NAS drive that way, so are they implying that the ONLY way to use a NAS is to have a dedicated drive for it? Or even a dedicated NAS? That would be odd.

Is anybody out there using their NAS as storage for Core? Did you have to format your NAS drive like it says?

It seems to me that if the Core found my NAS drive with the required folders on it - just like I can do using Windows Explorer on my PC - then the Core shouldn’t really care what else is on that NAS drive outside of those folders. If that’s true, then I can use the remaining capacity on my 16TB Raid 1 NAS for other (current) purposes. Backing up my NAS, formatting the drive, and rebuilding the RAID will be a total pain. I’m hoping there’s a simpler way to backup up to a NAS.

I don’t use a NAS to back up my Core, so I can’t speak from personal experience. But I believe that in the case where the backup destination is a folder on a NAS, the Core doesn’t ask to format the NAS, for the same reasons you give.

If you are in UK you could phone Naim support and ask them to confirm. You can also email them, but some people wait weeks or longer for a reply to emails, so phoning is probably the way to go.

Or you could just try it, but say no to formatting the NAS backup destination drive. You can always cancel out of the backup if you don’t like where it’s headed!

Well, how about that. I did as you suggested David, and tried making a new backup, selecting an existing NAS folder called NaimBackup, and sure enough, it did NOT ask me to format the drive. It’s now merrily transferring away as I type. That said, I happened to have three folders on my NAS (NaimBackup, NaimRips, and NaimDownloads) that I vaguely recall creating a couple of years ago when I tried to do something else - cannot remember what that was - so that’s perhaps why it went so smoothly. But I’m glad those Naim folders were there because those three folders are the only ones that Core recognizes as having some storage capacity. The other folders listed show Zero capacity. But so far, so good!

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Very good! Let us know how it turns out please. I suspect a lot of people read a thread like this but never post to it.

It’s the difference between a “Store” and a “Share.”

A Store, where the device will store files it rips, must be formatted specifically for the device. And that formatting would have rendered it unusable by the nas hardware. Thus the advice to use just an external SSD, etc.

A Share is just a folder on a drive that the device can “see” and use as a source of music. But not one it can rip cd’s to.

Anyway that’s the Naim nomenclature.

FYI, my backup to the NAS folder was successful, and the Core now sees that drive as a selectable backup target. I suspect that the precise naming of the folder and making it a shared folder on my NAS was key.

Interestingly, the Core drive that I backed up had both WAV and FLAC rips. and the NAS NaimBackup folder has two subfolders - Music>MQ with all the WAV files, and Downloads with all the FLAC files.

@Bart, thanks, that’s helpful. I need to study the subject more. I would have pulled the instructions to create those three specifically-named NAS folders from somewhere in the Naim support system, so I’ll try to find that again and review it with a refreshed understanding. Even if I cannot rip to a NAS folder called NaimRips, I have plenty of local space on the Core, so all is well. It’s just curiosity at this point. However, I would like to play from the NAS NaimDownloads folder, because I have a ton of FLAC on the NAS.

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As far as I recall, the name of the folder isn’t important at all, at least as far as the Naim devices are concerned!

That’s no problem. You just make that a “Music Share” in the Core setup.

If you want to rip to the NAS then you have to make that the active “Music Store” and make your internal drive a “Music Share”. Again this is all done in the Core setup under “Manage Music”.

Here’s an update on my plan to sort out the messy drive that’s in my Core. (I bought it used and it came with a drive and some content.)

But first. . . a huge thanks to the knowledgeable contributors on this forum. I am massively disappointed by the content of Naim’s support documentation for this product, so thank goodness for this forum. I’ve been researching the old content here and I see people like @DavidHendon answering the same questions 100 times. Thank you VERY MUCH for your dedication and patience.

I have spent some time reading this forum, then experimenting to learn about editing and moving content to and from my Core’s internal SSD, so I think I now have a good idea what will work and what the repercussions of certain actions will be - except for the Core SSD formatting and content importing, which I have not yet done. I decided on that radical step after the Core would not delete albums, even though it accepted all the commands to do so.

I have copied the Downloads folder of the NaimBackup folder on my NAS to a working folder, where I will do all the repair surgery - organizing albums under the artist, removing albums I don’t want, editing the ID Tags using MP3Tag. When that is complete, I will have the desired content for my Core SSD sitting on my NAS organized under the two folders: Downloads and Music/MQ, the latter being the repository for Naim rips.

At that point I plan to start from scratch on the Core by formatting the SSD, importing those two folders from my NAS, and rebuilding the Core database. That should give me a nice clean baseline on the Core SSD. Then I will begin ripping my own CD collection using the Core’s CD ripping function.

If any alarm bells go off regarding that last paragraph, I’m all ears!

This bit gives me some concerns because telling the Core to rebuild a database that it doesn’t know anything about is not how the Core should be used.

What you are supposed to do is to let the Core create the downloads and Music/MQ folders which it does when it formats the SSD, thus occurring when you define the SSD as a Music Store in the Core Manage Music menu under settings. Then you can do whatever you want with the downloads folder. For example you can proceed as you suggest and do all the editing using whatever metadata editor in a PC or you can do all the same operations directly on the downloads folder of the Core, in situ as it were. The Core will automatically index anything in the downloads folder. You don’t have to tell it to reindex.

But editing things in the Music/MQ other than using the Naim app is a no-no. Naim tell you not to do that and if you do then the results are unpredictable.

If you have files in a Music/MQ folder already, for example because those files were on the Core when you bought it, then the proper way to do it would be to put those files on a USB drive, or you could probably do it with them on a PC/Mac, or a NAS, and then Import them to the Core using the Import function in the Core Manage Music menu. The Core may put them into its new Music/MQ folder or it may put them into the downloads folder. That will depend how sure it is that they were properly ripped on a Naim server. Once again, when you import files like that, wherever the Core puts them, it will index automatically. You don’t need to tell it to do it.

And then after all of that, you can rip CDs with the Core and they will go into Music/MQ and you can add downloads or other music files to the downloads folder using a PC or by Importing them. And the indexing will be automatic again.

Thanks David. Indeed I have been keeping the original Downloads content separate from the Music\MQ content, and not editing the MQ content, precisely so that I could add them back appropriately as you point out, so it’s all good there so far. It’s good to know that formatting the Core SSD will create the Download and Music\MQ folders, albeit empty. One step I had missed was the need to go back and assign the Core SSD as a store. I’ll keep you posted.

Assign it as a Music Store not a Music Share…:disguised_face:

Another question (as I’m painfully editing a truck-load of albums) . . . Will the Core automatically retrieve the album art for imported Downloads folder content? I don’t think it will, but I’d feel silly having spent days doing something that the Core could do while I sleep.

If metadata on downloads needs to be edited you will need to run a metadata editor on a computer to do it. Ideally you should do this when you download so that you save the correct version to the Core, but you can make edits later too if necessary.

I’m using MP3Tag so it’s not all that painful vs having no tool, but there’s a lot of albums needing cover art. Any tips to automate that process across multiple albums would be appreciated.

No. The Core doesn’t do anything to the metadata (or image) of downloads.

There are two ways to do the image in downloads. One is to add the image to the file metadata with an editor. I think this has to be to each file, ie every track.

Or you can add the image to the folder that contains the music files for that album. That’s one copy of the image. It has to be a jpg, no larger than 1000x1000 (well slightly more than that but I always forget what so use 1000x1000 myself) and renamed as folder.jpg

Ah! That would explain why folders having a file called cover.jpg don’t appear with cover art. It’s only those with folder.jpg files, or images embedded in the tag metadata, that do. I learn a little more every day. Thanks again.

If you will forgive me, I’d like to offer a small tip.

When you find out how to do something (such as you did with the folder.jpg files) make a note of what you did & how you did it.

I learnt quite a lot when I first had my Core, three & a half years ago which made doing anything with it quite simple. I then went a long time doing nothing further than ripping new CDs & when I had to do anything that had taken me a while to figure out originally, I found that I had forgotten what I did to make it work & had to re-learn all over again! Very frustrating.

A few quick notes made avoids falling into this trap.

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