Ripping CDs and playback advice

Hi I would like some advice on ripping CDs and playback. Currently I have a Nova and 250DR and use both Tidal streaming and CD playback via an older Meridian Transport. I have good wifi in the house and rely on this rather than ethernet for Tidal as it would take some effort to install the latter in my house. I have started to rip CDs to lossless level 5 (default) Flac using dBpoweramp on my iMac. The files go automatically into the Music Folder on the iMac and have the correct titles in alphabetical order. I have not worked out how to set up a Nas drive and probably don’t want to go down this route because of the added complexity of ethernet cable choices, switches etc so I am proposing to load the ripped files on to a USB drive and plug it into the Nova.

My questions are:

1 Is the choice of flash drive important or do they all perform the same?

2 Would a portable hard drive be better than one or more flash drives?

3 Is USB 2.0 ok or should I go for USB 3.0?

4 Would music from a USB drive sound noticeably worse than from a Nap drive, switch and ethernet cable?

5 If I join Roon and install the core software on my iMac will it automatically find and include the music files which I have ripped to the iMac?

Finally, do dedicated rippers such as those from Melco and Innous deliver a higher quality music file to the streamer (Nova) or is it more about convenience? Long term I hope to move up to an NDX2 or ND5XS2 and I assume they play a big part in maximising the sound extracted from music files

Thanks for looking and hopefully giving advice as I have been unable to fully find out the answers

Hi, I have had no problem using any old cheap USB stick, or a cheap WD USB HDD in my Atom. Whether or not a more revealing system would show shortcomings compared to any other server, I can’t say, as my older NDX doesn’t work this way.
Roon cannot access music on a drive attached to a Naim streamer, so you would have to use the drive elsewhere on your network.
You will find a wide variety of opinions here on the merits of various proprietary servers, NAS/servers etc. My own experience is that they all sound pretty similar, with only subtle differences in sound quality.

Hi Chris
Thanks for your speedy and helpful reply. The original rips will remain on the iMac (unless I go down the Nas route) so I assume Roon could access them there

Yes, Roon can be given access to multiple music libraries, including any on a Mac or NAS.

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