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Offline Chuck

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NAS storage for audio files?
« on: December 07, 2015, 09:18:11 AM »
Can someone point me to an inexpensive NAS (2 - 3TB) that I can use to store my audio files on for playback? I figure this time of year there may be a good sale somewhere that would allow me to get a good price on one.

What I have now is an external drive connected to the desktop computer. So, whenever I want to play music I have to turn the computer on so that drive is up and accessible on the network. My understanding is that if I use a NAS I don't need the desktop to be up and running. Is that right? As long as the NAS is running I should be good to go. Please correct me if my understanding is wrong. Thanks in advance.
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

Microphones: (2) Microtech Gefell M300, (2) AKG C 480 B comb-ULS/ CK 61/ CK 63, (2) CAD GXL1200 (cardioid and sub-cardioid capsule & electronics mod), (2) Audix M1290-o, (2) Micro capsule active cables w/ Naiant PFA's, (2) Naiant MSH-1O, (2) Naiant AKG Active cables, (2) Church CA-11 (cardioid), (2) CAD C9, (1) Nady SCM-1000 (mod)
Pre-amps: Naiant littlekit v2.0, BM2p+ Edirol UA-5, Church STC-9000
Recorders: Tascam DR-680, iRiver iHP-120 (Rockboxed & RTC mod), Denon DTR-80p

Recordings on the LMA: http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/ChuckM
Recording website & blog: http://www.timebetweenthenotes.com

Offline buckster

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2015, 12:14:54 PM »
I was looking into NAS about two years ago, but never delved deep enough to pull the trigger on anything.  You are correct, the NAS unit connects to the router so it is independent of any PC or laptop on your network.  I was looking at inexpensive units from ZyXEL.  They were "diskless" units that you would need to buy the (NAS) hard drives separately.  I'm sure anyone who has a NAS can no doubt offer more than my limited input here.   

Offline aaronji

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2015, 01:29:28 PM »
I have been using a Synology DiskStation for several years.  It seems to work quite well, serving audio files to my stereo, and also doing scheduled backups of my computer's hard drive.  At the time, many considered this to be the best option available, but that may no longer be the case (I haven't kept up since I bought the Synology)...

Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2015, 01:48:21 PM »
I have been using a Synology DiskStation for several years.  It seems to work quite well, serving audio files to my stereo, and also doing scheduled backups of my computer's hard drive.  At the time, many considered this to be the best option available, but that may no longer be the case (I haven't kept up since I bought the Synology)...
I second Synology as a brand. my buddy in Colorado uses a Diskstation DS1511Plus one for his storage, masters and processed. then he has invited me onboard and I can access it to D/L or upload anytime.
Oddly enough I was just assisting a co-worker with her choice for a Networked External drive (only for media sharing, not what we do) and I noticed the Buffalos and Synologies are still the most prevalent options.
She is headed toward a WD My Cloud because she doesn't what to spend what a Synology or Buffalo typically costs.
Synology my buddy has: http://www.amazon.com/Synology-Station-Diskless-Attached-DS1515/dp/B00PTGQJL4/ref=sr_1_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1449513949&sr=1-1&refinements=p_89%3ASynology
WD my coworker is buying: http://www.amazon.com/Mirror-Personal-Network-Attached-Storage/dp/B00ITI05CS/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1449512890&sr=8-8&keywords=wd+my+cloud+dual
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Offline Gordon

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2015, 10:23:33 PM »
look into qnap as well.
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Offline rigpimp

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2015, 10:43:38 PM »
I have a 5-bay QNAP.  There are TONS of features that I will never use but I have 11+TB of goodies on there.  Check out the QNAP TS-431. or 451.  Just keep in mind that when it says "diskless" it means that it comes WITHOUT any hard drives in it.
Mics: Schoeps MK5 G MP, Schoeps CCM 4 Lg MP, Schoeps MK8 MP, nBob cables > PFA, KCY 250/5 > PFA
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Offline kuba e

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2015, 04:54:04 AM »
I have WD book live. I am using it together with Pinnacle Soundbrige. SoundBridge is connected to the radio and communicates directly with NAS via WiFi. So there is no need to turn on computer when playing music from the NAS. The NAS should have feature for media streaming, e.g.  iTunes or Twonky server (WD book has it).

Soundbridge is no longer produced. Perhaps it is possible to replace it with another product, maybe smart phone. Or maybe some new radios itself can connect to iTunes or Twonky server via WiFi.

Offline dnsacks

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2015, 09:16:54 AM »
I have a 5 bay synology ds1511+ too and am a VERY happy customer.  An important point with a NAS (if you're planning to use it for centralized storage) is its transfer speed/throughput.  My older netgear readynas was SLOW (maxed at around 10mB/second -- a lot slower than a usb2 interface external drive).  My Synology is around 10x as fast -- provides throughput that's similar to a connected usb3 drive.

While I suspect that a 5bay drive is overkill for the OP, synology's software seems to be consistent across its range.  I'd look at a 2 bay unit and pick up a pair of wd red drives to fill it (run these in Raid 1 mode for full redundancy).  Looks like they're up to 6tb drives now, so that would provide a LOT of storage.


Offline Fatah Ruark (aka MIKE B)

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2015, 09:47:14 AM »
Good thread Chuck! I've been thinking of doing this for a long time, but I'm not 100% sure what to get.

I want to:

1. Have all of my data (minus off site backups) in one box.
2. Have all of that data automatically duplicated (on site backup)
3. The ability to stream music from the NAS to my home stereo. Also video to my TV.
4. Run torrents off the device (at some point I'd like to have all of my recordings available all the time). I'd be fine running another computer with access to the NAS.

I see that the QNAP TS-431 already sends video and surround audio via the HDMI port. That will work great for movies and a few surround albums I have that I'd send to my home theater reciever.

One concern/question I have is:

Can you plug in a USB audio device to these? I'd like to use something like the AudioQuest Dragonfly to send the highest quality audio to my stereo.
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Offline dnsacks

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2015, 11:01:15 AM »
Good thread Chuck! I've been thinking of doing this for a long time, but I'm not 100% sure what to get.

I want to:

1. Have all of my data (minus off site backups) in one box.
2. Have all of that data automatically duplicated (on site backup)
3. The ability to stream music from the NAS to my home stereo. Also video to my TV.
4. Run torrents off the device (at some point I'd like to have all of my recordings available all the time). I'd be fine running another computer with access to the NAS.

I see that the QNAP TS-431 already sends video and surround audio via the HDMI port. That will work great for movies and a few surround albums I have that I'd send to my home theater reciever.

One concern/question I have is:

Can you plug in a USB audio device to these? I'd like to use something like the AudioQuest Dragonfly to send the highest quality audio to my stereo.

Not sure I'd want the noise/vibration inherent in a NAS (or a PC for that matter) in my listening area.  While my synology is rather quiet, it does (as do all other NAS' i've seen) utilize a cooling fan and the hdds make some noise/vibration too.  You might be better off looking at an appletv box, etc. as a conduit into your listening room/stereo.  As for a USB audio device, I doubt this would work -- while NAS' run various versions of linux, they're generally custom installs that have configurability locked down.  Another option, if you're looking more for a media server, would be to consider an intel NUC (VERY small footprint SSD-based pc with hdmi and usb3 interface that runs practically silently and with minimal power consumption) in conjunction with a NAS for file storage --

A favorite feature of my synology is the ease in which I can share any portion of its contents over the internet.  From giving specific people login/password access to portions of (or the entire) directory structure, to providing url access to individual files or directories, it makes sharing pretty painless.  I haven't tried its torrent functionality, but hear it's pretty robust in that area too.

Also, as for duplicate onsite backup, are you looking for raid redundancy (1-1 redundancy with raid 1, or 1 disk fault tolerance with raid 5), or something more?


Offline Fatah Ruark (aka MIKE B)

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2015, 11:12:58 AM »
^ Good point.

I guess I can just run the USB DAC out of something like a Raspberry Pi and let that live next to the stereo. That would solve  the problem of the NAS working with the DAC.

The noise from the NAS, while a concern, is something I'd likely have to deal with. I wonder how much heat the NAS generates. Could I put it inside a cabinet to help keep the noise down? I tried to run my PC inside a under desk cabinet...that did not work out so well, but only when really doing heavy work like editing/processing video.

I'd still have to have the NAS near the TV and all of that lives together in my house.
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||| MICS:  Beyer CK930 ~ Nevaton MCE400 ~ Countryman B3 |||
||| CABLES: Kind Kables |||
||| PREAMPS: Naiant Tinybox | Naiant Littlebox | Naiant IPA | Church BB |||
||| DECKS: Sound Devices MixPre-6 | Sony M10 |||
||| PLAYBACK: Outlaw Audio RR2150 > Epos ELS8 |||
||| PHOTO: Sony a6000 | Sony 16-50 | Sony 55-210 | Rokinon 14mm | Rokinon 8mm |||
|||Concerts History || LMA Recordings || Live YouTube Channel|||

Offline aaronji

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2015, 11:35:43 AM »
^ I drilled a hole in the wall between the office (where the computer lives) and the living room (where the playback lives) and ran an ethernet cable through it.  I can't hear the Synology at all from the living room.  It's pretty quiet, generally, but does get kind of warm.  I would be hesitant to restrict air flow around it too much.

As dnsacks mentioned, a great feature of these things is the ease of sharing and external access.  I bought a URL for ten bucks a year and can access (or grant access to) all of my music from anywhere I can connect.  Not just music, of course...

Offline Chuck

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2015, 11:44:45 AM »
The whole thing started for me when I just wanted to stream any/all of my music & videos to all of the various devices I have at home... AppleTV2, Roku, iPod Touch, Android phone etc... without having to have a computer running somewhere. Now, I realize I can listen to all my music from anywhere even away from home I have a wi-fi connection. I ended up finding a Seagate 3TB Personal Cloud storage NAS for less than $100 new on eBay. I've been doing a bunch of reading. It will require some tweaking, but I think this will work for me.
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Microphones: (2) Microtech Gefell M300, (2) AKG C 480 B comb-ULS/ CK 61/ CK 63, (2) CAD GXL1200 (cardioid and sub-cardioid capsule & electronics mod), (2) Audix M1290-o, (2) Micro capsule active cables w/ Naiant PFA's, (2) Naiant MSH-1O, (2) Naiant AKG Active cables, (2) Church CA-11 (cardioid), (2) CAD C9, (1) Nady SCM-1000 (mod)
Pre-amps: Naiant littlekit v2.0, BM2p+ Edirol UA-5, Church STC-9000
Recorders: Tascam DR-680, iRiver iHP-120 (Rockboxed & RTC mod), Denon DTR-80p

Recordings on the LMA: http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/ChuckM
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Offline rigpimp

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2015, 04:39:56 PM »
With my NAS, as with any NETWORK attached storage device, you can not only access it from the internet, but from within your intranet.  If your stereo (or HDTV) is connected to your network then you can stream music and HD video wirelessly with a cariety of apps like Subsonic, Plex, etc.  I do both.  QNAP has two of their own phone apps that I primarily use, Qfile (remote audio and video playback, including transcoding on the fly) and Qmanager (system tools for restart, reboot, etc).  As long as I have a cell phone signal I can watch and listen to anything that is on my NAS at home.  My box contains 5 x 4TB HGST NAS drives in RAID 6.  [Theoretically] With double-parity I can lose two drives and still not lose any data although I have all of my masters backed up in three other places.

One thing to keep in mind about all-in-one boxes like Synology and QNAP is they each use a proprietary OS in their system so no pulling out drives and thinking your gonna read them elsewhere. 

You may also want to considering cooking your own with FreeNAS.  You can get parts pretty cheap and then upgrade as needed.
Mics: Schoeps MK5 G MP, Schoeps CCM 4 Lg MP, Schoeps MK8 MP, nBob cables > PFA, KCY 250/5 > PFA
Pre/A>D/P48: Sonosax SX/M2, Sonosax SX/M2-LS, E.A.A. PSP-2, Naiant Tinybox, Neumann BS48i-2 (for sale)
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Offline spyder9

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2015, 07:25:11 PM »
Another QNAP fan here.  I use a TS-231 and l love it.  The cadillac is the TS-X51 series.  Celeron processor onboard.  Footprint the size of a toaster.  Amazing tech growth over the years in these things.....

https://www.qnap.com/i/useng/product/items_by_series.php?CA=3

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2015, 09:24:11 PM »
^ Good point.

I guess I can just run the USB DAC out of something like a Raspberry Pi and let that live next to the stereo. That would solve  the problem of the NAS working with the DAC.

The noise from the NAS, while a concern, is something I'd likely have to deal with. I wonder how much heat the NAS generates. Could I put it inside a cabinet to help keep the noise down? I tried to run my PC inside a under desk cabinet...that did not work out so well, but only when really doing heavy work like editing/processing video.

I'd still have to have the NAS near the TV and all of that lives together in my house.

Just build a real HTPC, Mike.  You can do it on the cheap.  I3 is the way to go, if you're not a gamer.  Just invest in a good power-sipping video card and you're golden.  I keep my NAS on the other side of the house attached via ethernet to my router.  Everything pumps through my Marantz receiver.  If I want something quick and easy (a house party), my Samsung TV recognizes Twonky from my NAS and can stream, therefore no need to turn on the HTPC.  Tons of options. 

Offline Gordon

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2015, 12:32:47 PM »
I have a windows home server box I built a few years ago that does all this.  sits in the closet (everything is hard wired), host music to my various squeezeboxes, host video's to my fire tv with Kodi, runs torrents etc etc.  when the time comes I plan to change to a NAS.  Just saw where qnap is no longer supporting the squeezbox software though.
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Offline kindms

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2015, 07:26:18 AM »
With my NAS, as with any NETWORK attached storage device, you can not only access it from the internet, but from within your intranet.  If your stereo (or HDTV) is connected to your network then you can stream music and HD video wirelessly with a cariety of apps like Subsonic, Plex, etc.  I do both.  QNAP has two of their own phone apps that I primarily use, Qfile (remote audio and video playback, including transcoding on the fly) and Qmanager (system tools for restart, reboot, etc).  As long as I have a cell phone signal I can watch and listen to anything that is on my NAS at home.  My box contains 5 x 4TB HGST NAS drives in RAID 6.  [Theoretically] With double-parity I can lose two drives and still not lose any data although I have all of my masters backed up in three other places.

One thing to keep in mind about all-in-one boxes like Synology and QNAP is they each use a proprietary OS in their system so no pulling out drives and thinking your gonna read them elsewhere. 

You may also want to considering cooking your own with FreeNAS.  You can get parts pretty cheap and then upgrade as needed.

last time i used any of the synology stuff im pretty sure they were using a BSD or linux flavor and running standard formating on the drives but I could be mistaken

there are also several ope source options for building your own if you have a spare computer lying around. Freenas being one of them
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Offline dyneq

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2016, 03:07:54 PM »
Bumping this thread because I want to replace an old D-Link DNS-323 that is sloooow. Does anyone have any updates on their experiences?

I don't need to transcode or stream video, just want it to store/stream FLAC & MP3 audio and photos and be a stable, power-sipping box with decent read/write performance, so I'm not sure if I should spend the extra $ for an Intel processor.

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2016, 08:57:15 PM »
Stay away from Buffalo.  I recently got a synology unit and am happy with it.

Offline rigpimp

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2016, 06:09:00 PM »
Bumping this thread because I want to replace an old D-Link DNS-323 that is sloooow. Does anyone have any updates on their experiences?

I don't need to transcode or stream video, just want it to store/stream FLAC & MP3 audio and photos and be a stable, power-sipping box with decent read/write performance, so I'm not sure if I should spend the extra $ for an Intel processor.

2-bay: http://www.frys.com/product/8664700
4-bay for an extra $100: http://www.frys.com/product/8664710

These are both diskless, but looky here, $109/ea for 4TB HGST's:  http://www.frys.com/product/6943757?clickid=w15yVWXaZ3SfU92TFZUsgRzFUkSz4IQhxytbwM0

Have fun!
Mics: Schoeps MK5 G MP, Schoeps CCM 4 Lg MP, Schoeps MK8 MP, nBob cables > PFA, KCY 250/5 > PFA
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Offline Chuck

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2016, 01:46:51 PM »
I'm actually very happy with my Seagate 3TB Personal Cloud storage NAS. It does what I need it to do (music to most any device in my house) plus I can access all my music from any internet connected device away from home. All for <$100.
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

Microphones: (2) Microtech Gefell M300, (2) AKG C 480 B comb-ULS/ CK 61/ CK 63, (2) CAD GXL1200 (cardioid and sub-cardioid capsule & electronics mod), (2) Audix M1290-o, (2) Micro capsule active cables w/ Naiant PFA's, (2) Naiant MSH-1O, (2) Naiant AKG Active cables, (2) Church CA-11 (cardioid), (2) CAD C9, (1) Nady SCM-1000 (mod)
Pre-amps: Naiant littlekit v2.0, BM2p+ Edirol UA-5, Church STC-9000
Recorders: Tascam DR-680, iRiver iHP-120 (Rockboxed & RTC mod), Denon DTR-80p

Recordings on the LMA: http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/ChuckM
Recording website & blog: http://www.timebetweenthenotes.com

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2016, 06:39:49 PM »
Chuck...can you share the software/playback hardware side of your setup...as it relates to playing your live recording collection?

I've read about lots of issues with NAS & iTunes and wonder if you are using something else...then what hardware is at the AV amp.
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Offline Chuck

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2016, 08:11:42 PM »
Chuck...can you share the software/playback hardware side of your setup...as it relates to playing your live recording collection?

I've read about lots of issues with NAS & iTunes and wonder if you are using something else...then what hardware is at the AV amp.

I'm sure this will be primitive by many standards, but...

Seagate 3TB Personal Cloud storage NAS - connected to my Comcast wireless router
All my files are FLACs stored in the shared directory on the NAS
 
I have an old Gateway laptop (LAN and wireless connected) with no e-mail or other crap on it to slow it down or make noises, alerts etc... I use for playback in my main listening room. I ran a long HDMI cable from it to my Yamaha RX-V379 receiver (HTML input). I use MusicBee software to play the files on the laptop. I really like the MusicBee software. I also love having a big screen (on the laptop that I can also project onto my flat screen) as the visual interface. It just makes me happy and works great. I can also stream Archive.org recordings on the laptop when I want to. I still can't believe the Archive.org player doesn't do gapless playback. If it did, I'd use that WAY more.

In my man cave I have a desktop computer and I use MusicBee software to play the FLACs on an analog Cambridge Audio amp from the computer's upgraded sound card.

I also use an old Motorola Moto G phone (no SIM card etc...) I have to play music in other rooms. I use an app called BubbleUPnP to wirelessly access the FLACs on the NAS on the phone and play them out through the headphone jack. The BubbleUPnP app is clunky, but it works OK for my purposes.

I only use iTunes to transfer MP3 files (on another shared network drive) onto a couple of iPod Touch devices I have. One for the car and one for use when I take long walks. I have not been able to integrate iTunes into my regular playback and I'm fine with that. :)
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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #24 on: February 10, 2016, 08:43:50 AM »
Thank you!
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Offline Todd R

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2016, 05:46:24 PM »
I'm actually very happy with my Seagate 3TB Personal Cloud storage NAS. It does what I need it to do (music to most any device in my house) plus I can access all my music from any internet connected device away from home. All for <$100.

Been forever since I've posted on ts.com, esp outside of the CO Crue thread, but slow day at work and I just came across this.

Wish I had seen this a couple months ago which would have helped me find things quicker, but like Chuck I got the Seagate Personal Cloud 3TB.  I had beers with Phil R recently and he went a similar route, but went with the WD My Cloud. 

I'm using Plex (for NAS) which is basically free to stream/organize music.  Plex has NAS software for a number of drive brands including the Personal Cloud, My Cloud and Synology and Buffalo drives.

The critical piece I finally found to replace my aging Squeezeboxes is the relatively new Google Chromecast Audio.  I totally love it.  Basically the same I guess as a regular Chromecast and many people might prefer that, but the Chromecast Audio doesn't need a TV for an interface.  You can stream/cast to it using a pc/mac, android phone or iOS iphone or ipad.  Lots of apps work with it, including Plex as well as spotify, rhaposody, etc. 

No need for having the TV running to manage your audio, control directly with your phone or tablet.  Guess I'm the opposite of Chuck, but I hate having to manage my music playback through a TV -- just don't like having to have a TV on so I can listen to music.

Among the good things about the Chromecast Audio is that it has bit perfect digital (optical) output (or analog out via 1/8" mini), and you can buy multiple units to support multi-room audio. It supports 24/44 or 24/48 flacs bit perfect (with upsampling to 88 or 96), and can also play mp3's, 16bit wavs, etc.  $35 each too, so way cheaper than Sonos. 

I'm using mine with a Musical Fidelity DAC into my playback system.  Beyond using Spotify, I've got the music collection on the Seagate Personal Cloud in the AV closet attached to my DLink router.  The drive has the Plex server software on it, so I can play the music on the NAS via wifi (intranet) on my macbook or ipad via the Plex app, or I can play it on my main stereo via the Chromecast Audio.  Use my ipad or iphone as a control interface, play the music off the Personal Cloud NAS, and cast it to the Chromecast, and feed it to the MF DAC so I've got good digital>analog conversion.  Excellent playback quality and flexibility, and the Chromecast Audio has way more support for 3rd party apps than the dated squeezebox.

Right now I've got only one Chromecast Audio to feed my upstairs playback system or the multi-room whole home audio system (both amps in my AV closet).  I'll probably get a second one for the downstairs playback systems as well, maybe get a third for the office playback.
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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2016, 06:02:18 PM »
Now I have some research and maybe a purchase or two to make. I tried PLEX years ago and abandoned it. I may have to give it another look! I'll look into it, but I don't quite understand how the PLEX software works on the NAS. I didn't know that was possible.
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Microphones: (2) Microtech Gefell M300, (2) AKG C 480 B comb-ULS/ CK 61/ CK 63, (2) CAD GXL1200 (cardioid and sub-cardioid capsule & electronics mod), (2) Audix M1290-o, (2) Micro capsule active cables w/ Naiant PFA's, (2) Naiant MSH-1O, (2) Naiant AKG Active cables, (2) Church CA-11 (cardioid), (2) CAD C9, (1) Nady SCM-1000 (mod)
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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #27 on: February 12, 2016, 09:17:45 AM »
Is Plex Gapless? I recall it was if I hooked the outputs of the laptop and ran native on the Laptop...If I ran thru a browser and cast to the Chromcast (TV no Audio only version) It was not gapless.

I've since given up on Plex. It was clunky on managing the meta data as I recall too....fought with it for the last time September 2015.
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Offline philR

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #28 on: February 12, 2016, 10:17:57 AM »
Guess I'll chime in too. As Todd said I went with the WD my cloud ex2. Love the thing. I tried running PLEX directly on the NAS but it choked with the metadata. So I moved the PLEX server to an old desktop and it points to the NAS. That way the desktop handles all the transcoding.

My main purpose was to have access to my full media library remotely, and PLEX does that wonderfully. I've got the PLEX app on my iPad and iPhone and can use that to stream remotely. Also when I'm at home I can use my chrome cast on my tv to stream from the iOS app to the tv.

Overall I'm very happy with the setup.

Edit: I should also add the only reason I went the PLEX route is because the native WD app that you can use to stream NAS content only handles MP3 and MP4 media files. That's about 1% of my total library so I had to find another way.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2016, 10:23:34 AM by philR »
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Offline Brian Skalinder

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #29 on: February 14, 2016, 01:45:41 AM »
Ooooo...glad I found this thread.  I've been trying to find a replacement for my aging Squeezeboxes and to date had only found unnecessarily expensive packages that included speakers (or more) that I do not need.  Looks like Chromecast Audio may just be the ticket.  And I'm also revisiting NAS, which I've put off for some time now.  Thanks, all for the discussion and info on your setups!
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Offline morst

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #30 on: February 17, 2016, 10:29:06 PM »
...looky here, $109/ea for 4TB HGST's:  http://www.frys.com/product/6943757?clickid=w15yVWXaZ3SfU92TFZUsgRzFUkSz4IQhxytbwM0


That's not the HGST NAS drive, that's just their regular 4TB drive. You want the NAS version if you're doing NAS, as it's made to run all the time, and not go to sleep in the middle of a RAID array.
http://www.hgst.com/products/hard-drives/nas-desktop-drive-kit
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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #31 on: February 18, 2016, 12:37:02 PM »
...looky here, $109/ea for 4TB HGST's:  http://www.frys.com/product/6943757?clickid=w15yVWXaZ3SfU92TFZUsgRzFUkSz4IQhxytbwM0


That's not the HGST NAS drive, that's just their regular 4TB drive. You want the NAS version if you're doing NAS, as it's made to run all the time, and not go to sleep in the middle of a RAID array.
http://www.hgst.com/products/hard-drives/nas-desktop-drive-kit

Simply untrue.  I have had 5 of those 32MB/5400rpm drives in my QNAP-TS569L running RAID 6 for a couple of years now.  They run 24/7 and have never had a hiccup.  The HGST drives, NAS flavor or not, are leaps and bounds more reliable than the Seagate/WD economy models.  Mine don't sleep or head park.

Backblaze uses 10's of 1000's of drives in there data centers and the image below represents there most recent report of drive failures they see.

https://www.backblaze.com/blog/hard-drive-reliability-q4-2015/

https://www.backblaze.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/2015-drive-failures-barchart.jpg
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Offline georgeh

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #32 on: February 24, 2016, 05:51:58 PM »
I went with Drobo 5N, (westgate red (I'm pretty sure these hd's) )
I lucked out and got it %40 off xmas time, because someone pointed out ....Fox....yes fox news.....had a discount!!!
gapless has to be down via the cell app, odd and unfortunate but the only way I could get it to play gapless. I ran ethernet cable to oppo is how I use it for playing music on home system. LOVE the Oppo 105d
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Offline georgeh

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #33 on: February 24, 2016, 05:53:38 PM »
Personally, for the time, I store all 24flac on Drobo NAS, may go back and add more formats, for the time, felt this was best storage.
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Offline morst

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #34 on: February 29, 2016, 01:40:16 AM »
Oh? Then why do they make an NAS version with different stats than they regular deskstar? https://www.hgst.com/products/hard-drives

That's not the HGST NAS drive, that's just their regular 4TB drive. You want the NAS version if you're doing NAS, as it's made to run all the time, and not go to sleep in the middle of a RAID array.
http://www.hgst.com/products/hard-drives/nas-desktop-drive-kit

Simply untrue.  I have had 5 of those 32MB/5400rpm drives in my QNAP-TS569L running RAID 6 for a couple of years now.  They run 24/7 and have never had a hiccup.  The HGST drives, NAS flavor or not, are leaps and bounds more reliable than the Seagate/WD economy models.  Mine don't sleep or head park.


I am afraid that "simply untrue" does not convince me, nor do your links which do not address the difference between NAS drives and those made without that designation. Your links only address the difference between manufacturers, not specific models.
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Offline Sebastian

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #35 on: February 29, 2016, 04:01:40 PM »

I am afraid that "simply untrue" does not convince me, nor do your links which do not address the difference between NAS drives and those made without that designation. Your links only address the difference between manufacturers, not specific models.


Most NAS drives have a 3-year warranty and that's the biggest difference vs. regular (desktop grade) drives. If you're using multiple drives in a mirrored RAID configuration (which I highly recommend for a NAS used to store critical data), it shouldn't make much of a difference as long as you replace a faulty drive right away. Both are consumer grade hard drives and *will* fail sooner than later.

I always use regular drives and replace them every 2-3 years (although not all at the same time). Because newer drives are usually bigger than older drives, my NAS continually grows.

Oh, and I'm using a cheap $100 4x hard disk enclosure that's connected to a Banana Pi (like a Raspberry Pi on steroids) via eSATA. Total cost is roughly $150 including the Banana Pi, power supply and cables. And I get to use the ZFS file system on Linux which is a good thing because ZFS has been designed with a priority on data integrity.

Also, I keep backups of my most critical data (pictures, videos, scans of important documents, my own recordings) on separate hard disks off-site.
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Offline dyneq

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #36 on: March 05, 2016, 11:32:02 AM »
Sounds like a nice setup. Could you share some details? Like case, OS, etc? Have you measured power usage?

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #37 on: March 06, 2016, 02:22:36 AM »
Sounds like a nice setup. Could you share some details? Like case, OS, etc? Have you measured power usage?

That's the drive enclosure I use. The web page is in German but the pictures should give you an idea.

http://www.fantec.de/en/products/storage-devices/hard-drive-cases/35-inch-hard-drive-cases/produkt/details/artikel/1695_fantec_qb_35us3_6g/

It's a dumb enclosure for 4 SATA drives that has a USB 3.0 and SATA port on the back. That SATA port is connected to the Banana Pi:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banana_Pi

Banana Pi is a single-board computer that runs Ubuntu Linux off a SD card. It has an ethernet port that I use to connect it to my local LAN. I realize this thing is probably not very consumer-friendly as it requires a bit of knowledge of the Linux operating system (e.g. you have to compile the kernel modules for the SATA port's multiplier feature yourself). But I do that for work, so that's not a big deal for me.

I currently have two mirrored sets of hard disks in the enclosure (2x 4TB and 2x 2TB). The mirroring is done on the file system level (ZFS does that natively) and the ZFS volumes are available to my local LAN through AFP and CIFS shares).

I haven't measured power usage, but I can do that the next time I shut it down. ;)
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Offline dyneq

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #38 on: March 07, 2016, 05:15:38 PM »
Thanks for the details. Which distro are you using? I haven't built a custom kernel since about 1999!

The ZFS looks very interesting. I also saw that there is a similar GPL checksum + CoW effort called Btrfs that has been integrated in to the kernel since 2009.

While researching, I've read that you need at least 4-8GB of ECC RAM. Are you finding that performance is not an issue with 1GB? Are you at all concerned about using non-ECC RAM?

Offline johnw

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #39 on: November 11, 2016, 02:04:38 PM »
I'm interested in setting up a NAS. Trying to decide between Synology and Qnap. This would mostly be for streaming music. I think I want to go with Synology as the GUI seems easier to use. Not sure if I need to splurge on the play or + models. I think I want a 4 disc model. Any suggestions or advise appreciated.
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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #40 on: November 11, 2016, 03:11:47 PM »
I'm interested in setting up a NAS. Trying to decide between Synology and Qnap. This would mostly be for streaming music. I think I want to go with Synology as the GUI seems easier to use. Not sure if I need to splurge on the play or + models. I think I want a 4 disc model. Any suggestions or advise appreciated.

I have the QNAP TS-569L Turbo which is a 5-bay with expandable RAM and an ATOM CPU.  It's GUI is pretty easy to follow and using the QFile app I can stream music wherever I want.  Watch over at Slickdeals.com to find a good deal on a 4-day of either flavor.  I think that Newegg has the TS-451 with four 3TB Reds for $695 right now.

Since my 20TB is in RAID 6 I ran out of room after only a couple of years.  I am more interested in building a full blown array from scratch now.  I really don't need GUIs, bloatapps I will never use, and lots of bells and whistles these days.
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Offline johnw

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #41 on: November 11, 2016, 04:51:26 PM »
Thanks. My goal is to get the 2.5TB of phish flacs I've collected into a Plex server that I can use with Sonos to defeat the 65k track limit. I've read that Plex is harder to use with Qnap and that was partly my reason for favoring Synology. I'll look into the NAS you suggested though.
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Offline dnsacks

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #42 on: November 11, 2016, 04:53:42 PM »
happy synology user -- went with their 5 bay model and have subsequently added another 5bay expansion chassis to it -- using 3tb wd red drives.  Have had 2 drive failures so far (over around 6 years?) and system worked as advertised (received email notification of failure after receiving prior notifications regarding issues with drive and redundancy restored without data loss, etc.  Use a # of their apps too -- REALLY like the ability to share files/directories/etc. with friends.

It's not perfect, but does a nice job for me

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #43 on: November 11, 2016, 04:55:42 PM »
Avoid Buffalo products.  Their stuff fails and they DO NOT stand behind their products.  Happy with my Synology NAS.

Offline rigpimp

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #44 on: November 11, 2016, 05:02:52 PM »
Thanks. My goal is to get the 2.5TB of phish flacs I've collected into a Plex server that I can use with Sonos to defeat the 65k track limit. I've read that Plex is harder to use with Qnap and that was partly my reason for favoring Synology. I'll look into the NAS you suggested though.

I do have problems running Plex on my QNAP to stream video.  I have not tried to use it to catalog my audio for that reason. 
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Offline rigpimp

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #45 on: December 09, 2016, 03:13:50 PM »
5bay for $400.  Not sure how well plex runs on it but you could check on

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZQ05TGE
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Offline cjc1103

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #46 on: January 18, 2017, 03:40:54 PM »
I thought I'd throw in a pitch for building your own NAS using an old PC, and FreeNAS (or it's successor, NAS4Free). They are the only NAS software built on FreeBSD which allows you to use the ZFS filesystem (you can also use native FreeBSD to get ZFS, but you's better be a Unix command line wizard). ZFS is a very reliable file system, it maintain checksums on each bit. Most other filesystems just verify the data they are writing to the disk, but do not know if the data on the disk has become corrupted.

My NAS is an older Athlon II 3Ghz system with 8GB RAM, and using six 4GB drives. I boot NAS4Free from a Compact Flash card attached to a CF reader on an add-in PCIExpress SATA card, this leaves all six SATA ports on the board available for data drives. The drives are configured in two sets of three mirrored drives, all in one ZFS volume, so I have the capability of losing at least two drives without losing data. I use the most reliable drives I can find, at the moment according to Backblaze's data are Hitachi (HGST) drives. The NAS easily handles 100MB/sec transfers over Gigabit Ethernet, with the CPU utilization never exceeding 25%. The only problem with any roll your own NAS (and low end commercial NAS's as well) is they use non-ECC RAM, so you could potentially corrupt your data as it is cached in memory while copying it. This is pretty rare, but the bigger files get and the more data you have, the greater the risk of corruption. The only solution is to buy server grade hardware that will support ECC (Error Correcting Code) RAM, which can correct a single erroneous bit in a computer word with error correction circuitry. This is usually expensive stuff, but AsRock now makes some good high end workstation boards for about $200 that can use ECC memory, and ECC is a lot easier and cheaper to buy these days.

Having said all that, I work with computers for a living, most people will just buy an off the shelf two drive NAS and be done with it. Not a bad option at all, just make sure you set up the drives for mirroring so you will not lose data if a drive fails.
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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #47 on: February 01, 2017, 01:10:25 PM »
OK, it is time for a serious reality check on my end.  I have a 20TB NAS (5 x 4TB) running in RAID 6 and I am out of space.  (I wont go into how many external drives I have) 

While I love the GUI and convenience of the QNAP it is really obvious that I need something much larger, possibly rackmounted.  I am open-minded to ZFS FreeNAS and have the ability to make it happen.

Anyone have any tips on cases?  I'm thinking 12 bays or more at this point.
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Offline Sebastian

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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #48 on: February 01, 2017, 01:21:55 PM »
I recently started transferring large portions of my critical data (masters, photos, financial data) to cloud storage, namely French hosting company OVH. They're offering 1 GB of object storage for 0.01 EUR/month at 100% file durability (this means they pretty much guarantee never to lose any data). Transfer bandwidth of the data from them back to you costs extra. I have set up regular jobs that backup data from my NAS to the cloud.

However, be aware that object storage is not something like your regular network-mounted file system. In fact, it's no file system at all. Files are transferred using a HTTP REST protocol and you need special programs for that.

I'd never use such a service exclusively, but I find this to be a convenient method for cheap off-site backups.
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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #49 on: February 01, 2017, 01:46:29 PM »
Here's a reality check: do you need all that data on spinning drives all the time?

I burn things to plastic (currently BD-R single layer) for static backup. I use two different brands and burn doubles.

OK, it is time for a serious reality check on my end.  I have a 20TB NAS (5 x 4TB) running in RAID 6 and I am out of space. 
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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #50 on: February 01, 2017, 02:10:07 PM »
This is everything, masters, music festival archives, photos, PC backup jobs, movies, everything.  Not only do I need access it but clients, etc. 

I do have some secure online backup but mostly to the tune of about 1TB that I use regularly, mostly for sharing masters.  As I move to recording more from 4 track 24/96 to 6 or 8 track 24/96 the demand of space for masters will increase substantially.

Morst, I am not a fan of optical discs at all.  While I know that hdd's fail as well it is easier to run RAID and then duplicate/triplicate.  Drives can be swapped and rebuilt.  I cannot rebuild a delaminated optical disc.  I've seen the bubbles and will probably have a dream about them now.  I stored on CDR and DVDR sucessfully (for the most part) and would like to move away from that direction.

After doing about an hour of reading I am thinking that a rackmounted solution may be over my head to build DIY.
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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #51 on: February 01, 2017, 04:07:31 PM »
What about an expansion bay like the UX-500P?
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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #52 on: February 01, 2017, 04:42:59 PM »
What about an expansion bay like the UX-500P?

Unfortunately, my TS-569L is not supported by the expansion modules.
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Re: NAS storage for audio files?
« Reply #53 on: February 01, 2017, 06:24:16 PM »
This is everything, masters, music festival archives, photos, PC backup jobs, movies, everything.  Not only do I need access it but clients, etc. 
So it's more a question of availability, than simply storage, as such...
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