Uniti Core App - What do you do with music you’ve ripped and you will never want to play again

I have around 700 titles on the SSD in my Naim Uniti Core. I’m listening now to a live recording I ripped that is in really terrible sound. I’m 99.9% sure I’ll never want to listen to it again, yet I hesitate to delete it because I can’t figure out how to document what I’ve done. I don’t want to repeat my error and buy it again, for example.

I had only a couple of ideas:

  1. Delete it and enter the title on a spreadsheet dedicated to discarded music.
  2. Insert a special character (pound sign?) in front of the title to force it to sort last with others marked similarly.

Any other ideas?

I’ve always tried to have my collection on the Uniti Core (or a NAS) mirroring my actual collection.This means that if I keep the CD somewhere stored, I also have the digital files on my Core without any remarks. If I for some reason got rid of the album, e.g. sold it, I simply delete the files from the Uniti Core …

Many regards,
Michel

Just archive it off somewhere. A Backup drive, Cloud etc just in case you wish to revisit it.
Storage is cheap these days.

I tend to avoid “Live” recordings if possible as the sound quality isn’t always great.

I take it your not using Roon anymore? As you can hide any track or album in Roon or Ban it. Or you could add a Roon tag to it to highlight it. None of this though would role through to any non Roon endpoints.

X
The idea of keeping the physical and digital collections equal mirrors my thinking and it’s my main impediment to outright deletion.

I’m going to play around with keeping an Excel list of “Candidates for Deletion”. If I ever need the storage space, or if it ultimately irritates me to keep seeing them on the display, then out they will go.

I like the Roon features mentioned. Haven’t been using Roon lately because I haven’t sorted some issues. Will eventually get back to Roon.

Ideally, I wish the app had a feature to store notes about each title. It would be useful for this purpose, but for other things as well. For example, mine would contain text or links to reviews, whether mine or others, or links to a libretto, but it could be anything I might find interesting to review while listening.

On my dedicated music server I would just move the albums that I do not want the UPnP server to index to a directory that the UPnP server does not scan. No need to implement complicated solutions. But I have no idea how this can be done on the Core. Most so-called music servers come with very limited interfaces and support for data management and the Core is probably no exception.

I think Janet’s original suggestion of adding a special character at the beginning of the album name is probably about all you could do on the Core for rips. With downloads then storing them in a “not-scanned” directory as you propose would work, but it couldn’t be on the internal music store/share. Another possibility though would be to copy the files of a rip to the special “not-scanned” share and then delete that rip from the music store using the album delete function in the app.

But sometimes a written (or spreadsheet file) list of unloved albums to be avoided another time might be best, depending how one acquires music…

1 Like

Recognizing a “Notes” tag is a feature of the UPnP server, not of the control app. Filling in values for a “Notes” tag (or for a “Reviews” tag or whatever tag you find useful to describe your music data) can be done with any tag editor.

Many rather bad software designs arise because of the fact that users want to do everything with a single tool. What speaks against using a metadata editor to edit the medata associated with a music collection and a control point to control replay?

Managing a music collection and playback music are finally two very different kinds of activity!

It is actually very easy to store notes about each title, for instance in a “Notes” tag. Every decent metadata editor supports user specific tags.

But the problem is that many UPnP servers, including the one running on the Uniti Core, do not support user specific tags. They just ignore everything beyond the standard “Artist”, “Genre”, “Composer”, “Album”, “Conductor”, etc. Most disappointing!

It is worth noticing that MinimServer, a UPnP server conceived to support, among others, classical music, honours whatever tag you put into the “indexTags” list.

This can be “Notes”, “Ensemble”, “Work”, “Reviews”, opera specific tags or whatever you find useful to index your music collection. Thus, if you use MinimServer (and a decent tag editor) you can easily achieve what you are aiming at, mo matter which control app you actually use.

S[quote=“nbpf, post:8, topic:1960”]
But the problem is that many UPnP servers, including the one running on the Uniti Core, do not support user specific tags. They just ignore everything beyond the standard “Artist”, “Genre”, “Composer”, “Album”, “Conductor”, etc. Most disappointing!

It is worth noticing that MinimServer, a UPnP server conceived to support, among others, classical music, honours whatever tag you put into the “indexTags” list.

This can be “Notes”, “Ensemble”, “Work”, “Reviews”, opera specific tags or whatever you find useful to index your music collection. Thus, if you use MinimServer (and a decent tag editor) you can easily achieve what you are aiming at, mo matter which control app you actually use.
[/quote]

I will repeat your comment about the limitations of the Uniti Core in making use of tags or additional fields: Most disappointing!!

I’m still a relative novice to streaming. The Unit Core was my introduction and my experience with Roon too minimal to call upon. So I am not yet aware that one could use different features of different apps to fill in some limitations.

Would you mind taking a few minutes to explain how I could make use of MinimServer to serve my wishes to annotate? I can imagine initiating a stream using the Uniti Core and then turning to MinimServer to read notes, or whatever. But the main issue would be how to keep them synchronized. How do you manage that?

I’ve even considered whether to use a dual code in front of the title. The first character (any symbol would work) would indicate the music file is exiled. The second character could be an alphabetical or numeric character that signifies why the record was exiled.

That’s probably unnecessarily complicated, but I could start with a single character. What I like is that it is so easily reversible and I wouldn’t have to leave the app to use it.

By why shouldn’t the Uniti Core and it’s app become more sophisticated ?? Why doesn’t it allow tags?

First of all you have to be able to access your music files from a networked laptop or desktop computer.

I do not know where your music files are stored (likely on the Core but perhaps also on a NAS or on a DAS?) but being able to access them is obviously a mandatory condition for being able to edit their metadata.

Second, you need edit the metadata of your music files with a metadata editor that supports adding custom tags. I use ExFalso (https://quodlibet.readthedocs.io/en/latest/guide/commands/exfalso.html) but there are more popular tools for OS X, Windows, etc. A very popular one is dBpoweramp.

Fire up one such editors, pick an album that you would like to mark as a candidate for deletion, add a “To be deleted” tag to the usual “Artist”, “Album”, “Genre”, etc. tags. For this album, set the value of “To be deleted” to “true” and save.

Finally, you need to install, configure and run MinimServer on a networked device that can see your (edited) music files. For this, you can find comprehensive and detailed instructions at https://minimserver.com/.

Ideally, one would like to install and run MinimServer on the Core. Unfortunatly the Core is a closed system and one cannot do so. For testing if MinimServer fits your needs, you can first install it on a laptop or desktop computer. I have one MinimServer instance running on my laptop. I never use it for actually serving music to my renderers but it is handy for testing purpuses.

If you feel comfortable with MinimServer, you can later installed it on a low-power, headless device that is dedicated to serving music. To this end, Raspberry Pi and NUC devices are ideal choices but a few commercial music servers do actually support MinimServer. I think Bryston does but perhaps also Melco.

I’ll try now to answer the second of your questions: “But the main issue would be how to keep them synchronized. How do you manage that?”.

  1. No matter whether I rip a CD (this is something that I haven’t done recently) or I buy downloads (typically from Hyperion or PrestoClassical), the files first land on my laptop computer.

  2. There (on my laptop computer) do all the metadata editing and file renaming that is necessary before I include the new files into the (backup, replay, long-term storage) copies of my music collection.

  3. Once I am done with the metadata editing and renaming, I run a rsync script. This adds the new files to my backup, replay and lon-term storage copies of my music collection. After this step, all my copies (at home, in my office, etc.) include the new files and are all synchronized.

  4. Finally (and, again, on my laptop) I press the “Rescan” button in the MinimServer icons in the task bar. These are made available by MinimWatch. Pressing the reascan button makes MinimServer rescan the (just updated) music libraries.

As you see, it is a very simple and straightforward workflow. At the end of step 4) all MinimServer instances see consistent updated data sets. Rescanning takes 3-5 seconds on a 600GB collection.

Unfortunately, many so-called music server support this workflow very poorly or do not support it at all. The Naim Core is no exception in this respect, unfortunately.

Allegedly, commercial music servers are designed to make streaming music easy for computer illiterates. I do not how near they actually get to this achievement. But what I do know is that most such servers makes it difficult (or even impossible) for computer literate users to apply standard tools for data management and file transfer and synchronization. This is the major reason why I do not actually use any commercial music server.

Perhaps it’s needless to say, but you can’t edit in any regard, with any software, rips that are in the Music Store of your Core wherever it is, except with the Naim app. You can edit files in Music Shares (which includes the downloads folder of the Core’s Music Store.)

We know that nbpf doesn’t like this because he has told us so at least 100 times. But Naim have made their design choices and it’s up to us buyers whether to go along with those or to sell on our Cores and do it all another way.

Best

David

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Absolutely right David, I had forgotten to mention this other oddness of the Core! But at least downloads that have been stored on the Core and .flac rips can be edited with proper metadata editing tools. Another good reason not to rip to .wav with the Core, I believe.

No! You can’t edit FLAC rips if they are stored in the Core’s music store. It doesn’t matter whether it’s FLAC or WAV, Naim only lets you edit rips with the Naim app. The only way to do it would be to copy the files from the music store to the downloads folder and then delete the original rip using the app.
Best

David

Thanks for the precisation, I was under the wrong impression that rips to .flac would land in the downloads folder and thus be editable with third party tools!

Thus, my suggestion to the OP for adding notes tags to his metadata is to 1) rip in .flac and then 2) move the rips to the downloads folder where metadata of both rips and of downloaded files can be edited with proper tagging tools.

This is also a good policy for avoiding the metadata of rips to be stored in Naim’s proprietary database which still has no export functionality to standard .flac, .wav or .aif formats with embedded metadata.

Yes but for precision (!), you can’t move rips in a Core. They are locked for a start and if you defeat that then you will probably break the indexing. Naim emphasises that you should not mess with the rips in the music store.

The only way to do it is to copy the rip into the downloads folder and use the Naim app to delete the original rip from where it still is in the music store. Then you can use a metadata editor on the files which are now in the downloads folder.
Best

David

Thanks nbpf and David for the enlightening discussion, and particular thanks to nbpf for the step by step instructions to use MinimServer and synch files.

As it happens, I just today received a hard drive with 1.5 terabytes of music files in AIFF format that I will need to edit and pass to my Core’s Downloads file. A new acquaintance has generously provided me with 192/24 digital copies of a majority of the considerable LPs in my collection!

I will definitely need a non-Naim editor, so I especially appreciate learning about MinimServer and will look into it and almost certainly dbpoweramp too to see which one I’m most comfortable with using.

I dread the editing process because I will have to sit at my desktop instead of lounge comfortably anywhere with my iPad and the easy to use Naim app. There are almost 300 titles on the file and almost are are multi-disc two, three and sometimes four disc albums so I estimate I will need to edit over 700-800 individual entries.

The thought doubles my frustration that editing in the native Core app is limited to files ripped by the Core (not to mention its limited palette of fields to use and the absence of tagging). I would think Naim would want to avoid forcing its customers to turn to non-Naim applications and be quick to provide updates and enhancements to its software.

Which begs the question, why can’t the Core’s app be enhanced? Or better yet, why hasn’t it been enhanced? The best companies make improvements to keep their customers happy and loyal.

Janet

There are questions that only Naim could (and, most likely will not) answer, all we can do is speculating.

That said, the Core’s software system is an almost one-to-one port of the old software system of the UnitiServe to a new Linux-based computing platform.

It is not clear to me which goals Naim have been pursuing with the new Uniti Core but, for whatever reasons, they have decided to stay with the old software design and even to drop a few important functionalities.

Perhaps this was not a bad decision because many users actually seem to be quite happy with the UnityServe software design. But it is a matter of fact that both the UPnP server and the software support for metadata editing are inadequate for classical music.

When the device came out and its limitations became clear, it was argued (in the old forum) that only a very small percentage of Naim users are actually classical music collectors. Less than 5% if I remember correctly.

Thus, it is conceivable that Naim have consciously decided to ignore the needs of a minority of potential customers. It is also conceivable that software is simply not a stronghold of Naim. At least for the Core, they have been very much struggling with providing bug fixes, let apart substantial enhancements.

I am also not sure whether there are commercial manufacturers of music servers that are doing significantly better than Naim in this respect, although a few Naim users seem to be very happy with InnuOS systems.

But software like MinimServer or MPD are miles ahead and this is really a pity: when Naim announced that they would move to a Linux-based platform, I hoped that they would take the most advanced software available for the platform and integrate it with the best audio hardware. For whatever reason, they have decided to do it another way.

My suggestion would be to start with 10-30 albums and come up with a tentative set of tags that fits your needs. For classical music in general I mainly use

“Composer”, “Work”, “Conductor”, “Ensemble”, “Artist”, “Form” and “Era”

but for specific genres like opera, further refinements could be meaningful. It very much depends on your way of thinking of your music library. You will likely need a “Notes” tag for your notes.

In envisaging the tags that I was going to use, I found it useful to think in terms of “shelves” where I would ideally put multiple copies of my CDs if I could afford enough space and multiple copies.

Once you are through with 10-30 albums and a first tentative tagging scheme, just use it for a couple of days. You will need something like MinimServer to be able to see your tags in the Naim app.

After a few days of usage, you will readily realize which tags you use most when browsing and searching your music and which ones are perhaps superfuous. For instance, I tend to search a lot according to

Composer > Work > Album

but I also like to be able to sort my music according to “Form”. This tag is filled in with values like “piano concerto”, “symphony”, “berceuse”, “ouverture” to classify different forms of music.

I also have introduced tags that are inspired by the reviews of the Gramophone magazine. Thus, for instance, I have a “Gramophone’s top 10 string quartets” tag, a “Gramophone’s top 10 piano concertos” tag, etc. With these tags I can easily focus on a musical form (like for instance “string quartet”) and take a short trip to the most relevant compositions and the best recordings of this form.

Take your time to find a set of tags that really works well for you. The process of mass tagging a whole collection is done much more easily once you know precisely what you want to achieve.

Tagging does not need to be a pain and, for me, it was actually a great pleasure and a way of learning more about composers, conductors, their life and the historical context in which they were writing or making music. But a good sofa, a laptop and some coffee can be very helpful indeed!

I once had an argument on the forum with the much-missed former Naim support guru about this very point. I asserted that it would be trivial for Naim to allow editing of the downloads folder but he was having none of it and argued strongly, and I thought, somewhat bad-temperly that I was wrong, it would be very difficult to do because they had no way of knowing or controlling what might get put into the downloads folder. And so they would be having to cover all possibilities which would need a huge amount of design work.

Anyway this clearly showed that it wasn’t just an oversight by Naim nor was it something they would do anything about anytime soon.

Best

David