UnitiServ and flacc metadata

Hello all, hope someone can help,

I cannot find any definitive answers to the following questions on tagging metadata and hope some of you can help.
I have a UnitiServ with well over 1000 albums ripped on it; I have a NAS that I use for backup and also store all my downloaded music here (100 or so albums).

I have actioned the flacc conversion on my UnitiServ and that has successfully completed encoding all my ripped albums; BTW converting to flacc is an attempt to prepare for the future with non-proprietary fully tagged files rather than relying on the Naim Db with wav files.

I access my music collection using the Naim desktop application on Windows and the NServ app on my iPhone.

Prior to conversion to flacc I had edited some metadata using these tools.

Q1 - does the flacc encoding store the Naim Db information into the flacc tags, including any user edits?

Q2 - if I edit the metadata using either the desktop or IOS app, are these edits only for the Naim Db or are they reflected by updating the tags in the flacc files?

Q3 - If I use a tag editor to edit the flacc file tags (either in the UnitiServ or the NAS) can this ever be reflected in the Naim Db (when viewed through Nserv)?

Q4 - I see there is a “rebuild database” option in the Naim desktop application but nowhere does it seem to document what this does and I am loathe to try it until I have some definitive info; for example, does it attempt to download all the metadata again from online sources; or dies it populate the Db from the flacc file metadata (which is what I want)?

I hope someone can clarify these queries so that I can start a comprehensive retagging of my collection.

thanks in anticipation,

PS - still to figure out how I find out when someone has posted a reply (wonder if there will be an email like the old forum) so there may be some time before I find them again :slight_smile:

Regarding Q4 I can answer that. What it does is rebuild the database in the Unitiserve, but only using the metadata that is already in the Unitiserve. So no doenloading of new data from online sources!


1 Like

Hi Allan

Yes to Q1
Yes to Q2
Yes to Q3

All the best

You should never edit Unitiserve CD rips by any third party metadata editor, nor should you try to alter the files and folders using a computer. Doing this breaks the database and is very likely to cause problems. So only use N-Serve or the DTC for this.
If the contents of your NAS is created by the Unitiserve backup facility, again, do not edit it.
Do you have a copy of the Unitiserve manual? It’s not a very entertaining read, but it does contain quite a bit of useful information on these matters.

Thanks for the replies.

Chris, I have a copy of the Unitiserve manual and have noted the warnings about not changing the rips but took this to mean the file/folder structure and Naim Db, there nothing about tagging within a flacc file or how the Naim Db is related to such tags.

I tried using MP3Tag to change a genre for a ripped album but it says that the file is not writeable which seems reasonable and makes the question moot anyway.

So onwards and upwards, could be messy :smiley:

Hi Alan, polite mention if I may, its FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec)
FLACC is a medical pain assessment scale (Face, Legs, Activity, Cry, Consolability)

1 Like

Just to clarify one thing with regards to my response to Allan’s Question 3:

FLAC metadata can be edited.

If you plan on using the UnitiServe the editing must be done within the nServe App.
Files should never be altered outside of the UnitiServe environment.

Howeve if you plan to use the FLAC files with a different UPnP server, then editing externally is OK.

Mike - thanks, had just found this out for myself prior to your post - how embarrassing :frowning:It is because, being totally blind, I am reliant on my screen reader to speak words, etc and had just assumed it had 2 ‘c’ at the end … I reviewd each character and then found it had only 1 !

So here is where I am now …

Used NServ to edit metadata which does seem to be updated within the tags of the FLAC file as I confirmed by inspecting with MP3Tag.
Unfortunately there is no bulk way of doing this and the tags are only limited to artist and genre. I do recall (Ithink) some posts where mention is made of using the DTC to update tags but I cannot find this anywhere … either it doesn’t exist or is not accessible.
Very limiting but not too bad in my case since I am currently primarily concerned only with Genre.

For files on my NAS it is slightly more problematic since any changes have to be reflected in the US internal database and then pushed out to the NServe app and DTC; my experience here is that this can either take rather a long time or not happen at all … difficult to judge since it is out of my control. The manual does state that the US will periodically apply detected changes but … ?

I use MP3Tag to adjust tags in my FLAC files on the NAS; I have also renamed some folders and converted some wav downloads to FLAC using FooBar2000…
I use the DTC to manually rescan the network share and this does appear to have worked, although again a time lag, and only for 1 test so far.

I am now considering moving all my NAS files into the downloads folder of the US and using the NAS only for backup; I didn’t do this initially since I was concerned about disk space but seems I have plenty space for my 2000 or so albums.


Alan, I’m not sure if you use iOS devices, but I find it by far the easiest way to edit metadata, using the N-Serve app. There is no bulk editing facility, but you can create new genres, and change the genre of a ripped CD, very easily. There is also N-Serve for OSX, but on Windows, it has to be either the desktop client, or the ‘browser interface’.

Hi Chris,

Interesting … yes I do use the NServe app on an iPhone … I have not found any feature to add new tags, when I edit an album all I get are options to change cover, title, artist and genre !

Can you give me a clue where I might go to find these other tags?


… Ignore the above … I misread (or misheard) Chris’s post … yes I can add and edit the genres fine, its just a bind to have to do it for each album individually.

Sorry for the mistake - I “heard” tag instead of genre when I was reading your post … the brain is a very funny thing ain’t it :smiley:

Allan, big respect to you for doing all this stuff with a screen reader-speaker.

1 Like

Well the rescan doesn’t seem to work for all changes … can’t figure out what and why … I do wish Naim would publish details of just how their internal music database is updated and with what and when :frowning:

I have found that, after changing metadata on my NAS network share, I have to use the DTC to rebuild the database. This function is available in the tools tag under system functions. The dialogue that appears implies that this doesn’t actually rebuild the Db at that time but rather sends a request to the US that is only actioned when the US is restarted … so have to shut it down and then restart. It also deletes playlists so you have to restore these from backup (another button click on the DTC).

Panic … this gave me a real fright as, on starting the US, the solid green logo suddenly started blinking fairly rapidly … whew … it settled down to solid green after some minutes (quite a few actually!). I infer that this is the US being busy rebuilding its Db.

… so the saga continues …

In the past I found new albums or edits very slow to become visible in the Naim app, and/or the N-Serve app. I never did get to the bottom of this, and now it seems to be much better for me.
One thing I have found is that it’s slower if you store in FLAC as the Unitiserve takes a bit of time to do this. If you rip several albums at a time, it converts them one at a time. I think it’s best to wait until this process is complete before applying any edits.

Just a PS to this thread. I use the Uniti Core and unlike the UnitiServe, the Core does not have a feature for converting from WAV to FLAC. I wanted to take my obsessively Naim edited WAV files + metadata to Roon for a trial and to flag Roon to use my metadata. That turned out to be impossible because though Naim records the WAV file in a standard way, it does not record the metadata in a standard way. I was told I’d have to rip all my CDs over again to the FLAC format (ouch!). At this unhappy moment I was informed about a software product called SongKong that can extract the metadata from Naim generated WAV files. The output is WAV and the metadata is packaged with it in ID3 format, which as I understand it, is the standard for mp3 music files. That makes the SongKong output file portable, or universally recognized, almost anywhere. I am about to try this out.

My feeling - which I can’t really substantiate - is that best practice to add new material, especially downloads, or to edit, when the Unitiserve is in ‘online’ mode, rather than, ‘pending’, ‘scanning’ or ‘updating’, as shown by n-Serve.

Hi echolane,

Good luck with that, I haven’t used SongKong myself.
I am dubious about the conversion of the Naim Db tags into ID3 … it is certainly possible since the wave format is actually RIFF and does allow many different kinds of “chunks” to be embedded within it. However it is not the embedding of the tags inside the wav file that will be the issue but rather whether your replay software actually knows about these tags and can interpret them. Might be a first step towards finally encoding into flac though.

There are a number of wav to flac conversion tools out there … I have downloaded the flacc library and use FooBar2000 to navigate to the wav folders and convert them (i.e. Foobar acts as the front-end for file selection and then invokes the flac conversion tool).

Good luck again and let us know how you get on,

I was told by someone at the US Naim distributor that Naim intends to add WAV to FLAC conversion to the Uniti Core at some point. I could really use this because my UnitiServe died recently, just as I was looking into best practices to future-proof my music library but before I had done the conversion. I was surprised to find my new Uniti Core does not have this function. I hope Naim adds it soon!

I would appreciate that too. But I’d really rather they conform to the way SongKong has chosen to do WAV files. That would make Naim’s WAV file universally understood rather than its present form which can’t be taken anywhere. Maybe I’m being wrong-headed, but I prefer WAV. I don’t like the idea of compressing the music file.

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.