Updating server/streamer

Bear with me on this one… I am looking to retire my faithful old HDX (2x500GB) to be replaced by one of the newer Naim streamers (probably an NDX2). I have copied all the music folders from the HDX to my Synology NAS. They contain the original ripped WAV files and CDDBinfo.txt, AMGinfo.xml, AMGreport.log and folder.jpg files. The file folder structure is:
Synology NAS
Artist 1
Artist 2
Artist 3
Etc, Etc…

I can read and play these on most media players I have tested (KODI, VLC, etc) across my network. If I use one of the new NAIM streamers, will it work OK from this source or will it have issues with metadata?

You will have issues. Get the HDX to convert the files to flac, and then copy them to the NAS. If you then load Asset or MinimServer on the NAS, it will work with a Naim streamer. Don’t forget that you also need to back up the files that are on the NAS, even if you have multiple discs set up in Raid.

That seems to be the general consensus, but why would a FLAC library behave any differently to a WAV library - that’s what I’m not getting.

Also, would the Synology Audio station software work as asset or minim (or any other software-of-the-day - everyone appears to have their favorite package).

Flac has embedded metadata. Naim WAV rips don’t. That’s why non-Naim servers have trouble. Synology Audio Station will work but has limited functionality. Asset, for example, only costs about £30 so the fee is little reason not to use it.

1 Like

OK, thanks. So, when I convert the files from WAV to FLAC on the HDX, it will somehow automatically embed the metadata into each FLAC file (song)? Does this come from the existing HDX database on the HDD in the unit or does it get it from the internet while it is converting? Again, sorry if these are dumb questions but I’m not terribly au fait with this new technology!

The metadata is what’s already in the little packet of stuff that sits alongside the WAV music files. The HDX takes it and stuffs it into the flac files. I don’t really understand it but it does work. Somehow.

Ah, OK, thanks - that makes sense.

I agree that you should convert your library to FLAC on the HDX before you move it. It may be possible to this to the files you have on your NAS, but only if they are in a designated music store (not music share) which can be edited on the HDX user interface.

It will be a fairly slow process, and perhaps worth doing in batches rather than all in one go just in case the process stalls. On the plus side, the reduced file size will make copying the files to a new drive faster.

Good advice. The NDX2 is on its way. Unfortunately, the HDX doesn’t appear to be worth much in trade or consignment these days… Old tech, I guess!

Just a couple of last minute questions:

  1. How do I convert in batches? it appears I can convert the artists/albums folders individually or the entire database at once but I don’t see any batch option(?)
  2. If I’m using a NAIM NDX2, because its NAIM, will it be able to read the WAV database I’ve copied to my NAS from the HDX as described above (ie is it only with non-NAIM streamers that the HDX format is an issue?)
    I’m going to convert the HDX database to FLAC anyway but just wondered about the WAV database on my NAS at present.

I did mine one genre at a time, as it was a convenient way to select a batch.

The NDX2 server input will be able to read the metadata on your HDX WAV rips if you put them on a USB drive connected directly to it.
It’s when you use non-Naim equipment that you’ll have metadata issues with Naim WAVs, so converting them to FLAC now is future proofing in case you later decide to use them elsewhere.

Thanks Chris. I had hoped the NDX2 would be able to recognize the metadata in the HDX WAV database, given they are both NAIM devices. So this would work from a USB drive plugged into the NDX2; how about from a NAS on the same local network as the NDX2? Just to keep all options open.

Looks like its going to take my HDX about 48 hours (!) to convert my 500+ CDs from WAV to FLAC! I’ll just leave it running in the background.

If you use a USB drive in the NDX2 it plays using a built in version of Naim’s UPnP server which can handle Naim WAVs.
If you move to a NAS running a non-Naim server such as Asset or Minimserver you will need to use the FLACs.

There seems no point in doing it in batches. I did 2,000 albums in one go and it was fine. As Chris has said, an NDX will not be able to use the WAV rips played from the NAS. It’s not the NDX that matters, it’s the upnp server software: the NDX just plays what it’s told to play.

Ah, OK (“By jove, I think he’s got it”!)

When I first tried to convert my Unitiserve WAV library it stalled a few times. Once when there was a very short power cut, again when I had to unplug it because of a thunderstorm, and once more for no apparent reason at all. Doing it in batches and checking that each one had completed before starting the next worked.

Follow up: Got up this morning and all of the HDX database had been converted from WAV to FLAC in about 24 hours. Took about 1/2 the time I thought it would. Strangely, everything except the very last CD I had ripped had been converted. I converted that one individually so now the entire database is in FLAC.

Now just waiting for the NDX2 to arrive!

Good to be able to put all that behind you! Now you’ll want to make a copy on a USB drive, as I presume you don’t have an external backup.

Actually, I have the HDX WAV and MP3 databases on my Synology NAS and I’m in the process of copying the FLAC database over to it. Do I lose anything at all by using a USB drive vs a NAS for album/song storage?

A USB drive connected to the NDX2 works well and sounds good, and any cheap drive will work. No need for a NAS. The disadvantage is that if you regularly add more music you will need to connect the drive to a computer, then reconnect it to the NDX2 and rescan it.