Sorry if this question has been raised before, had a browse of previous posts but couldn’t see an obvious answer…
I stream Qobuz Sublime to my NDX 2, superb.
I also own a Muso Gen 1 at another location, I stream Qobuz via MConnect lite UPnP, it’s a free app on iOS devices, at least.
If MConnect can be released as a free app and there is an option of UPnP in the Naim app, what is to stop Naim adding a UPnP streaming platform gateway for Qobuz into the Naim app, the same as MConnect?
Appreciate there’s a cost involved in doing that and perhaps will limit sales of newer generation devices, but when I see all the disgruntlement of Muso 1/QB 1/NDS/272 owners surely it would have been a better way forward?
If Qobuz support on 1st gen streamers was simple Naim would have done it. Getting Tidal to work reliably on then took a huge amount of effort and resources, and it was quite a rocky road with many users plagued by dropouts due largely to the very small buffer which was never intended to support internet streaming services.
Even if Naim were prepared to go through all that again, and on a discontinued range that was no longer in production, the fact that much Qobuz material is 24 bit would have made it much more prone to dropouts than even Tidal ever was.
As for adding a software workaround to run on third party hardware, there are already options to do that with BubbleUPnP server, Mconnect, LMS and Roon. Do we really need another?
I understand your points @ChrisSU , however I believe Naim implemented Tidal Connect which I’d assume was more complex than a UPnP stream. The Naim app recognises a UPnP stream, either from a local UPnP server on a PC or NAS, also from MConnect or Bubble. The Naim app displays the track playing and with MConnect you can actually skip tracks via the Naim app. MConnect is not perfect itself but it displays Qobuz in its browser, enables search and play via UPnP and as the Naim app can already control the stream to a degree, and MConnect have implemented in a free app (I don’t know what their development cost was but assume it was not huge if they can give it away) I don’t think it would be that difficult for Naim to implement. Your point on spend on old technology is valid, but Naim have a huge user population with old technology and their confidence to move to newer technology can be influenced by how they are looked after by the brand.
I’d like to see a response from Naim on this, their focus was clearly on the best possible implementation of streaming from the Gen 1 cards, ie Tidal Connect, but a UPnP bridge that recognises Qobuz as a UPnP server like MConnect should be far easier?
There is support for Spotify Connect on legacy streamers (at least on the 272)?
Personally I think the Naim app is a bit flaky and prefer using 3rd party apps (such as Bubble) for streaming to my 272.
Also, just as I dislike the idea of apps being inbuilt into smart televisions, where after a period of time the apps become unsupported, my preference would be that streaming hardware just provide the tools to decode the audio and the software was an external app.
One final thing is that I never understood why such a small buffer was used in something like the 272. Did Naim just skimp on spending another few pounds/dollars on using something better (which would be (in my mind) ridiculous for something they were charging several thousand pounds for), or was this the height of technology at the time?
The small buffer was fine for local streaming which was what the 1st gen streamers were designed for, but it can struggle to cope with the latency in web streaming and the 2nd gen streamers were a complete redesign intended to cope with this. Spotify, and then Tidal was added to the old streamers as demand increased, but it was always a challenge due to the limitations of the old streaming board.
It’s perhaps unfortunate that the 272 arrived after all this, giving the impression that it had been designed to support internet streaming services rather than running a platform that shoehorned it into hardware that wasn’t quite up to the job.
Actually, I think the focus when developing the original platform was on streaming locally stored music. That was certainly how I used my 272. It worked very well at that job and continued to do an excellent job until I moved on.
Maybe because it’s impossible , technically speaking, to add a sort of Mconnect app inside the Naim app?
What I don’t understand is why so many people are buying additional hardware as Primare, Sonore….to their old streamers in order to have Qobuz. They could just use Mconnect and I doubt the sound quality will be inferior.
I guess they only place to do this in the old-platform Naim environment, would be on the UnitiServe. You couldn’t implement a reasonable UPnP server or bridge directly in the Naim app, as that’s really just a control point. And there is nowhere near enough memory or processing chops on the original boards to put it into a 272, Qute, or whatever. The architecture just doesn’t lend itself to this kind of approach, and Naim hasn’t released any other sort of bridge-style or other “bolt on” applications, preferring instead a more tightly integrated approach.
That’s kind of how I see it, from the OP question perspective, at least: it’s exactly the sort of post hoc situation best suited to third party or open source solutions (of which there are now several to choose from).
Edit to add: I think it remains a curious decision to remove the online-streaming connectivity (including iRadio that was available in the UServe) from the UCore. And that would be a great place to build and deploy bridge-style services for direct digital connection to original Uniti (or other brand) DACs … most definitely including the Roon end-point capability, and possibly / probably Airplay2, etc.
I don’t think however this needs a full blown UPnP server, MConnect is not that. The Naim app runs UPnP now, it can connect to a server on a PC or NAS and display all the album/track etc. information. That’s all MConnect is doing with Qobuz, Qobuz must be acting as the server?
My basic question is if it was not technically possible to do and for what reason, or was it just overlooked? I trust Naim to know their capabilities, but sometimes a simple alternative can be overlooked in favour of a more complex and complete implementation.
The snag is that Tidal / Quobuz (and Roon for that matter) servers are not UPnP servers, and they have their own API development offerings for making the interactions. So they need Tidal / Qobuz / Roon endpoints to talk to, in exactly the same server / client model that UPnP has… but with the notable difference being that UPnP clients - and the first generation Naim streamers in particular - don’t “speak” Qobuz. That’s where “bridges” come in: they act as endpoints for upstream services (like Qobuz), and as, for example, UPnP servers for downstream clients (like Naim).
This is the fundamental value proposition of Conversedigital, the company that writes MConnect. It’s not in the same space as Naim… Perhaps they could license the technology, but there isn’t really a development budget to add new features onto the first generation streaming platform especially now that the second gen Uniti devices are several years old.
I think that’s the real reason it isn’t happening: not that it’s impossible, just that it isn’t a business decision Naim is willing to make for a non-current product line.
It won’t happen soon . I will never involve a pc in my music listening time.
But I believe your experience.
As for WAV vs FLAC, it was the case when I had the Unitserve. The WAV sounded a bit better vs Flac. But now, with the Melco used as Nas, I prefer AIFF , and a bit Flac vs Wav. ( with Nds, prehistorical streamer ).
Understand the sentiments, but isn’t your Melco (or any NAS) essentially a repackaged computer? I use a headless Mac Mini as a server. It’s hidden well away from the Naim gear & controlled with an iPad – which is also, er… a computer
At the moment our digital chain has a NAS, streamer, DAC and preamp all of which include various processors and custom code. So all computers!
I guess the difference between these hifi devices (excluding NAS) and a spare PC is that their construction and PSUs are all designed/optimised to limit electrical noise and provide isolation where possible.
The OP was asking why Qobuz functionality in the MConnect (or BubbleUPnP) Apps could not be included (as software) in the Naim App. The Qobuz functionality in these apps is only a small part of what they do so expanding the Naim App to include it should not be a big deal size-wise.
All the talk of servers/bridges/PCs etc. is irrelevant. The Wav/Flac issue is a fault in 1st gen streamers, well aired, and also irrelevant to this question. Naim have explained that for technical reasons they cannot include it in the firmware (software in disguise) but that is not what was being suggested.
If I had a 1st gen streamer/MuSo (and I don’t for these reasons) I would be mad as hell.
As it is in software it must absolutely be possible to do it.
So the ultimate question is whether Naim want to do it?
It is a very good question!
Many Gen 1 owners are mad as hell as you say, any search on the forum supports that. Many are making do with workarounds.
Not everyone has pockets deep enough to upgrade at every change, Naim should remember their legacy customers will all be looking at new releases and wondering if they invest further, or will it only go the same way again as technology moves on. To me, and I am all digital now with an NDX 2 and a Muso 1, staying with an analogue front end may have been a better long term strategy! And as I and many others may consider that, it won’t be Naim as few will be in the Solstice league.
Well I do have QB1 and I’m not mad as hell. Why should I be? It still does everything it did when I bought it and does it just as well. In fact, now I have an Atom, it does more: I can listen to Qobuz via multi room from the Atom. Works a treat.