Ripping to WAV - Uniti Star

I am about to start ripping CDs using a new Uniti Star, c/w an external HDD hanging out the back. I understand that the “best” format to use is WAV, but I have heard that metadata support with WAV is “limited”. Is this still the case, and if so how much of a problem is it?

Also, will the resulting database be useable by other hardware & software in the future should I switch hardware, or is the Naim software / system / methodology going to limit my options in future?

TIA (from a NAIM newbie)

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I would suggest that you rip a few CDs in both FLAC and WAV, and compare them. The general consensus with older Naim streamers is that WAV sounds slightly better, but you may not hear a difference. FLAC does have advantages in smaller file size. Also, if you later use the rips on non-Naim devices, you may find that they cannot read the metadata in WAV, but with FLAC you should be OK.

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There is no problem whatsoever with WAV metadata. WAVEform (.wav) is an original Microsoft/IBM uncompressed lossless audio file container format. The original specification published in 1991 defined an INFO List Chunk that can contain information about the file such as Title, Artist & Genre & I edit WAV without any problems whatsoever.

However the problem is in the way Naim rip to WAV, they do it differently from the ‘norm’, I believe they carry the metadata in a separate container & although it will play without problems on a Naim player, it will not play on another brand.

To use a Naim WAV rip it will have to be converted in a Naim machine to FLAC where the metadata is formatted normally. From that FLAC file & in another device it can be converted back to the ‘normal’ WAV format - or any other audio codec.

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Just to be clear, it will play fine on another brand but the metadata will not be available without going through a conversion routine.

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Thanks all; I’ll try both WAV & FLAC, but seeing as my Naim equipment isn’t top top end anyway, I will probably settle for FLAC for future-proofing.

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Saving to FLAC and transcoding to WAV when listening gives the best of both worlds.


I don’t think you can do tgat on a Star?

I don’t know if the Star can save to FLAC but I assumed from the OP’s question that it could.The transcoding would need to be done by Asset or whatever upnp server is used when listening, rather than in the Star itself (the theory being that sending transcoded WAV to the Star is less of a load on the Star’s processor than sending FLAC to the Star - thus the slight improvement in sound quality).

From the Naim FAQ … “The Uniti Star is set to rip to uncompressed WAV by default. We believe this gives the best Sound Quality. However, FLAC can be chosen which results in a smaller file size and a larger amount of files can be stored on an equivalent sized drive.”

My setup will be a one box system - just the Star - so I think to keep things simple I will probably just stick with FLAC - having done a side-by-side test with WAV first.

I will be using KEF R5 speakers, so none of this is high end; I preferred the sound of some Focal Arias, but sadly they failed the “wife test” ! :cold_sweat:

The OP has a USB drive in the Star, so it will be using its own server. The old Naim servers can transcode FLAC to WAV, but I believe the new one can’t.

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I’m sure Chris is right about this. Certainly the Core won’t transcode on playback and I believe the Star and Core share a lot of code.

I stand corrected - the Star really is a one box system!

I discovered that importing Naim UnitiServe/Core rips into Innuos boxes that the track length is rubbish. May be a format that the Innuos Logitech Media Server doesn’t understand.

The music can be played and Innuos creates its own metadata. You only notice the progress indicator is rubbish and wraps.



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