UPnP vs Airplay

Go easy on me guys as I’m very new to streaming. Ok, so I have the ND5 XS2. I downloaded Asset onto my Mac. I then configured Asset by allocating my iTunes music library to it so I could stream my iTunes through my HiFi. So far so good…no problems at all. I then noticed that I could also play my iTunes through my ND5 XS2 by simply selecting that ‘ND5 XS2’ in the speaker options on my Mac which I think is just using Airplay? So am I right in thinking that I didn’t really need the UPnP Asset to access my iTunes? Or is there some benefit in allocating my iTunes music folder in Asset? From a sound quality aspect, is there any difference using Asset or Airplay?

I guess in order to use the Naim app, I need to have Asset installed otherwise I’m limited to having to be near my Mac to play music through the streamer using Airplay? Have I answered my own question?

Hope I’ve explained this clearly and not missed any vital information?

Thanks guys.

Airplay is limited to CD quality, 16 bits and 44.1 kHz. UPnP can serve hi-res files to the streamer with the Naim app.

When using the Naim app, it is all under Naim’s control and you can be sure that they did everything possible to achieve the best sound quality on your streamer. Using AirPlay, not everything might be. I don’t know about AirPlay, but the Naim software director confirmed on the forum that the processing load on the streamer is higher with Chromecast than using the Naim app (because it is an inefficient implementation by Google that they have to use), which might have an effect on sound quality.

You are right, with UPnP the Naim app only instructs the streamer what to play and is not involved otherwise. It is sufficient if it is on the same local network. With AirPlay, your Mac sends the bitstream. So the distance to streamer may matter depending on your living situation.

Any effect of all of this on the sound quality is up to your system and ears.
On the other hand you may have better convenience in iTunes.

So yes, you did not need Asset, but it may still be a good idea. At least, you have everything set up with not too much effort and can evaluate your options.

If you’re happy with iTunes it’s not necessary to use Asset - either will be fine except that iTunes can’t handle HiRes material. You can use the Apple Remote app on an iPhone to control it rather than having to sit in fromt of your Mac. Or you can copy the music to a USB drive and control it with the Naim app if you don’t want to run Asset on a computer on your network.

Thank you so much

Thanks. I didn’t know there was such a thing as an Apple Remote that can control my iTunes library on my Mac? My Mac is 8 years old and still has iTunes as opposed to the latest incarnation that is on the newer Macs if that’s relevant?

Yes, I know that iTunes cannot handle HiRes which is why I’m in the process of ripping my CDs to a portable hard drive in Flac format to get the best quality. My music in iTunes is only imported at 320kbps in order to save space on my Mac. I have 2000 CDs so it’s quite an arduous task.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply.

Yes it can, up to 24/96. And you can rip compact disc in lossless aiff format natively within itunes itself, just change the import resolution. The max resolution for CD is 16/44 which isnt hires.
Its the airplay protocol that doesn’t support hires ie higher than cd resolution. If your collection is only CD 16/44 then airplay is fine.

Hi. Ok…thanks for clarifying that. As I say, my problem is I don’t have the capacity to import CDs using aiff on my Mac. All my CDs were gradually imported at 320kbps way before I bought the Naim streamer. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

The Apple Remote app has been around for years, and was developed for iTunes so I presume it still works with it. Or I would guess that your Mac can run Apple Music and you can use that instead of iTunes.

Alternatively get a copy of DBpoweramp and use that for ripping. It’s a very good bit of software which most people prefer to iTunes, and is from the same developer as Asset.

Sounds like you’d benefit from re-ripping them in a lossless format!

Yes. As I said I’m ripping them to a hard drive in flac. Thanks

I think it’s called iTunes Remote now, but basically does the same job.

My first “streaming” setup many years ago involved iTunes on a headless MacMini, sitting on the rack, feeding an NDAC and controlled by the Remote app. Interesting where that led to!


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