I am awaiting the arrival of a Unitiserve that I recently purchased. My intended use for it is to rip CDs to produce hi quality wav files that I will move to and play on another music player on my network. I have read the manual, and it appears that wav files may be copied into the Unitiserve as with any other drive on the network, and there is an illustration showing Windows Explorer to that effect. I’m hoping/expecting that the wav files produced on the Unitiserve may be copied out in the same fashion. But then, a shred of doubt is injected when I found this note in the manual:
“Important: Files should never be added to or deleted from
Music Stores via an alternative computer operating system.”
I don’t know how to interpret that. It sounds contradictory to the manual’s illustration of files being added to the unitiserve via the network. If anyone can shed light on this issue, I’d be greatly appreciative. Thanks. – David
You can move or copy files into the Downloads folder in the Unitiserve with no problem. You are not allowed to alter or delete CD rips except using one of Naim’s apps.
You can also copy rips made by the Unitiserve and save them elsewhere. But the way the Unitiserve saves metadata may make those WAVs effectively useless.
I must say the Unitiserve is well past its use by date and I hope you didn’t pay too much for it?
Thanks David. I paid a minimal amount- I understand it is a legacy product. I guess we’ll have to see about the usability of the wav files.
I’d advise you to rip to Flac. Doing this means you can use the files on other servers. If you rip to WAV you’ll find a jumble of tracks that are not in albums and it will be a real challenge to sort them out. You may like to try using dBpoweramp to rip to flac. If you really want WAV, Asset can transcode on the fly.
What is this other player? Most network players support UPnP, in which case they will be able to play music stored on a UPnP server, which includes a Unitiserve. So you wouldn’t need to move the files to another storage device.
Thanks. I’ve done a little more surfing/research, and it jibes with your comment. My whole library is in flac, so that’s the way I’ll rip in unitiserve. I use dbpoweramp to make sure files that I download are fully uncompressed, and will maintain that tradition with unitiserve rips. Contra Naim’s comment in the manual, I’ve never heard any difference in sound quality between an uncompressed flac file and a wav. I’ve also read that flac has built in error correction, to maintain the integrity of the data over time. Fwiw.
Chris, I have a Grimm Mu1 player, and all of the playback happens from its 2 tb internal SSD. I also have a synology nas , which I use for backing up my library (Which is also stored in the cloud on iDrive). I tried streaming from the NAS, and it did not sound as good as playing from the local drive. I think your suggestion is a great one, But I will have to be convinced that it sounds better than the SSD inside the Mu1. Thanks! David
In that case you will almost certainly need to rip to FLAC if you use a Unitiserve. WAV files will work fine, but on most non-Naim systems the metadata in a Naim WAV rip cannot be read, so you get a basic folder view with no artwork.
If the MU1 exposes its internal drive over your network you could designate it as the music folder to which Unitiserve rips are saved, but more likely you would just copy the albums after ripping.
Which upnp software did you use on the Synology? I only ask because I once had a UnitiServe, and when I compared it to running MinimServer on the Synology I used for backup, the Synology sounded a bit better. If you’ve not tried, it would be worth putting a trial version of Asset on the Synology, so you might not need the Serve at all. It’s very much past its sell by date.
The other thing I’d add is that there is no value in ripping to uncompressed flac. The standard level 5 compression sounds exactly the same and the files are so much smaller.
Did you mean uncompressed, or lossless?
Chris, I meant uncompressed. FLAC has a number of levels of compression (10 I think), and all of them are lossless. My preference has always been to store the files completely uncompressed. The theory is that the less you ask your playback computer to do during playback – except streaming the data to your DAC – the better off you are in terms of sound quality. Keep in mind that the playback computer has to remove any compression during playback. I freely admit this theory may be bunk – as Hungry Halibut noted earlier, level 5 compression sounds the same. OTOH, old audiofool habits (mine, at least) die hard, and server/disk space is no longer that expensive, so I see little to lose by storing them uncompressed. – David
Hungry Halibut, thanks for your thoughts. I don’t use the Synology as a server – only for backup storage. I did try streaming from it once – the files were simply part of the Roon network library, with an Antipodes K50 as the server/player. It was an experiment to see how the sound quality was vs. files played back from the K50’s internal SSD. It wan’t night and day, but I recall that the local files clearly sounded better.
You and David Hendon have noted how ancient thd unitiserver is, so I thought clarify what I’m doing with it, and why. Until a few weeks ago, I ripped CDs on a Plextor drive nestled in a 14-year-old Windows box, with trusty old DBpoweramp useful not only for ripping, but cleaning up metadata for both CDs and downloads. But that box produced a “blue screen of death” that wiped out one of my HDDs and its data. I managed to revive the thing by rebooting Windows from a DVD, but at the ripe old age of 71, I decided I had enough of that OS and all its c__p.
Thus, I type this on a shiny new iMac M3, which, as you are no doubt aware, has no optical media drives it its wafer thin, all-in-one design. In case you haven’t checked lately, there aren’t really a lot of options for external drives, at least for those that an audiophile might find acceptable. I did try an external Asus drive for the mac, for about $50. I compared files ripped on it (using the mac version of dbpoweramp) with ones ripped on the same CD with Windows /Plextor setup. DB poweramp dutifully showed those as 100% correct in Accuraterip. I’m sure the bits-are-bits folks will get a good laugh out of this, but that’s their problem. The files weren’t earbleed awful at all, but they clearly sounded dry and flat compared with the Windows/Plextor rips.
Which brings me to Naim. I don’t have to go on at length with this crowd about how they do everything in their builds in the name of sound quality, including the ripping function. As long as files it produces can be extracted (which led me to this thread!) I expect to be a happy camper. If they end up no bettter than the Asus rips, I will have egg on my face and out a few hundred $. But it’s worth the bet, IMHO. I will report back.
The additional workload is in compression, not decompression at playback, so there is no downside to using a higher compression level other than that is takes a bit more time after ripping or conversion. Having said that I don’t bother with the highest compression level as it really doesn’t save that much more space.
Any effects would be further mitigated by using a DAC which is separate from the front end digital electronics, which I think is how your Grimm system works, although I’m not familiar with it.
Anyway, compression levels are a moot point on a Unitiserve, as there is no option to choose different levels. The choice is simply WAV or FLAC.
Whilst your failing 14 year old pc is a bummer replacing it with something of similar vintage is questionable. There are a myriad options for ripping cds.
My iMac had no optical drive, so I use a Nolyth drive that cost about £35. Most of my new music comes as downloads, but for the occasional rip it works well and the sound quality is excellent. It will be interesting to see how you get on with the Serve.
If you have any interest in getting over your grief, Paul McGowan of PS Audio has a good 5 minute take on Youtube discussing potential issues with playback of compressed files. Spoiler alert: It’s exactly what I was suggesting. As you no doubt are aware, you can’t attach links here. But if you Google “McGowan uncompressed” it will turn up. Cheers.
Fair enough. Do you have any suggestions?
A usb CD drive and some sort of ripping programme should do it.