NAS Intermission

Setting up for the practicum part of our NAS Series is going to take some time. Here's what's on-hand, in-house and ready to go in the Streamer/Network Player department:
T+A MP 1260 R DAC / Network-Client
Pioneer Elite N-50 Network Audio Player
Musical Fidelity M1CLiC Universal Music Controller
Logitech Squeezebox Touch
Yes they all do the same things but obviously can't agree on what that's called. And here's what's happening in the NAS neighborhood:
Western Digital My Book Live (2TB)
Seagate BlackArmor NAS (2TB)
Synology DiskStation DS212 (in transit)
There's also a LaCie d2 Quadra Hard Disk (1TB w/eSATA 3Gb/s | USB 2.0 | FireWire 400 & 800) which is not a NAS but it'll be in the mix as well. I'm using a Netgear N600 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router WNDR3700 as well as an Apple Time Capsule. Everything is wired and terminated with Category 5e Ethernet.

I've been plugging and playing, burning and transposing and I also have to admit I have not avoided using Expletives (where O where has my meta data gone and why O why would you offer iTunes Server and not support AIFF?) but I have relied on and rallied with Dale's Pale Ale to stay the course.

If you've always wondered something about NAS but were afraid to ask, now's your opportunity. Shoot me an email!

Michael Lavorgna's picture

& it has always worked fine.

Yes, I'll be talking about a USB drive (the LaCie) attached to the "Share" port on the N600.

When discussing the various music streaming devices will you outlining the differences between UPNP, DLNA and server based (e.g. Squeezebox) devices? Also will you be looking at the different types of software needed to operate these devices and manage one's digital music library?

The plan at present is to handle these streaming devices as separate reviews as well as extrapolate the information that seems to have a more universal application and include this in the NAS Series. It's obviously a piece (and a growing piece at that) of the overall NAS puzzle but you can certainly use a NAS with a computer and without relying on any Media Server (UPnP/DLNA) applications.

I agree, it’s a lot to bite off so I may break down the series into more pieces. For example the whole issue of ripping and file formats is certainly enmeshed in this topic especially if you intend to use a Streamer/Network Player.

kana813's picture

I also use a Netgear N600 router with a 1TB Seagate Goflex hard drive connected to it's USB port.

The router is connected via Cat 5e to the Bridge input on my PSAudio PWD MK II. Playback is control by the PSAudio eLyric app on my iPad.

Works perfectly.

Vincent Kars's picture

If you really want to test all you mentioned above you are in for a herculean task.

File formats supported is certainly an issue.Just an example Squeeze plays WMAL when the server is Win but not when the server is Linux.

Likewise tagging. Not only what tags are supported in the interface but also how.

Just an example; in JRiver and album is an album if Album title and Album Artist are the same. When using DLNA it  is often Album Title and Contributing Artist.

However this are problems we can solve ourselves as there are pretty good tools to convert or to do tagging.

 One we cannot solved ourselves is gapless playback (except of course to convert to single file/cue sheet, brrr). The lack of gapless playback is very annoying if we talk live albums or classical music. As far as I know it is not part of the DLAN standard.This is a feature I would like you to test.


Maybe you better split.

NAS is about how to incorporate a Linux box in your home network.

How to make shares, etc.

Streaming is about the differences between various protocols.

  • Airplay
  • Proprietary: Squeeze, Sonos
Michael Lavorgna's picture

I like your idea of the split.

agentsmittie's picture

I have been through various options with NAS, Firewire and USB drives.  iTunes has a very annoying habit of defaulting to its own music folder when it misses the drive, and with NAS drives it often does not find it on first go and merrily screws up the library database. 

With directly connected Firewire or USB drive this rarely happens provided the drive is always turned on, but the caveat is you should have a drive that goes to sleep when the computer is off, and wakes up when the computer turns on.  Which leads to another twist, drives that are supposed to auto sleep and wake often develop a habit of never going to sleep.

Another major caveat to look at is accessing NAS drives from Mac.  I have 2 Macs and both of them have major speed problem access most NAS drives with thousands of folders,  I tried diferent tweaks and none of them work.  None of my Windows PCs have that problem.  Bottom line is you have to find a NAS drive that is Mac friendly.

And that is just some of the major caveats about computer audio and drive access that are potential show stoppers for people trying to get into computer audio.  I sense this is a major undertaking that might as well be developed into an ongoing project.  May be a forum dedicated to this may help?

Michael Lavorgna's picture

And I like the idea of a forum dedicated to NAS.

The issue of the size of a Music Library and at what point will it stress a typical setup is very important and dependent on a bunch of variables, too many for one person to try to duplicate. This is just one topic where a forum would lend itself to having people share their specifics so that others can benefit from their experience.