USB Input and Metadata…

Is there any technical reason why album metadata can’t be displayed when using the USB input? I really like the hassle-free, responsive nature of the USB input on my ND5 XS + Naim app, but I miss having the album artwork and notes…

The simple answer to this is that it was never designed to do that and it seems extremely unlikely that anyone is going to rewrite the firmware on this legacy unit now, even if there was spare capacity in the product to store the revised firmware, which in itself is extremely unlikely.

You can solve the problem by having a upnp server like Asset on a NAS, and accessing the files with full artwork and booklets if those are available, over your home network.

Thing is, I’ve never had any success with UPnP, even hardwired: it wasn’t working at all: ‘Connecting, Please Wait’ / ‘Can’t Play, Skipped Track’ cycle, then it was working fine for a while, now it’s decided it doesn’t want to play 24-96 files whereas, via the USB input, everything just works…

Hi TimD, you need to get your UPnP play sorted, its just so easy and what everyone uses for local streaming from NAS or similar storeage.
From the info you’ve given its not possible to advise whats not working
What is your NAS or other storage devise
What UPnP software
How are they all wired together
What is your control point & what app

Mike-B – ND5 is hardwired to TP-Link Router. Music Library resides on a Mac mini in the iTunes library. Mac mini is running Minim Server and is also hardwired to the router. Mac mini and iPhone (for Naim App) are both connected to the router’s wi-fi. Can’t see what I’m missing here…

At the moment, things have been working fine for the last few days (it’s decided that it wants to play 24-96s again, now), but I don’t know how long before it goes tits-up again…

Hey Tim, I suspect this is Mac related but I’m no expert.
I’ve tried A few times with Apple stuff on either my own NAS & Win PC or on others setups.
My problems seemed to be with iTunes originated music, I’ve never succeded in getting it working 100%.
I now avoid anything Apple, ALAC etc., I’m exclusively FLAC up to 192/24 & DSD64.

Mike-B – I’m not going to shell out on a NAS just yet, but I made a change to the setup today: I’ve got a TP-Link mesh system in addition to the TP-Link router, so I put a Cisco Ethernet switch into the mesh node that’s connected directly to the router, and connected the ND5 and Mac Mini directly to the Cisco switch.

Now, everything seems to be working… (having the iPhone and Mac Mini on the same wi-fi network as everything else in the house is a plus)… fingers crossed.

Is it my imagination, or does it sound better connected to the Cisco switch…?

Good to read you seem to have it sorted.
Sorry if I mislead you about the Mac stuff, I didn’t mean to imply that’s it’s the cause, just that’s it’s done strange stuff to me.

Re the sound difference with the Cisco switch.
A lot of myth & legends around switches, not forgetting the fairy stories.
I’ve found some sound changes with switches, I suspect it’s something to do with the better switches have more quality & care in the switch set itself & it’s associated circuitry, compared to a basic wireless router.

Yeah, I think this perceived sq change is sometimes your brain rewarding you for the work you’ve put in… I’ve seen some of those English Electric switches… crazy!!!

The Cisco switch is quite a high-end one: costs around £80 new (8 ports), but I got it off eBay, £19 delivered…!!!

The Cisco switches that first became popular here are the Catalyst models. These are commercial grade managed switches which cost hundreds, although it’s very easy to find cheap used ones on ebay.
Some of us found a subtle improvement in sound quality when connecting 1st gen streamers to these switches. It was @Simon-in-Suffolk who first noticed it, and he even used his IT skills to investigate the reason for it, although this seemed to be largely ignored by most who seem to obsess over a somewhat nebulous concept of isolation as the benefit of any networking component.

For what it’s worth I found several of these Catalyst switches to provide a small sound quality benefit. I also had a Cisco 100 series switch which seemed to have no such effect, and a 300 which sounded bloody awful.


Chris, thanks for the summary.

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I’ve just ordered an eight-port Catalyst (Gigabit for my video through Apple TV) with an internal power supply (I remember someone saying the internal PS was better than a wall-wart, which my current Cisco router has) for twenty-two quid, so we’ll see…

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