How do I get started with Digital Storage and Playback?

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madaboutlawns
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How do I get started with Digital Storage and Playback?

Postby madaboutlawns » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:04 am

Hi All,

When I was setting up my system, a lot of people suggested that I store digital music on a drive.
I use Tidal Hi-res and only use around 20 - 30 albums regularly and have 300 or so tracks in a playlist.

The advice is now starting to hit home that it can be a cost effective option to buy the music and tracks and store them locally.
It seems like I'm paying Tidal to listen to the same tracks over and over again.
I still like Tidal and think they are doing a great job.

So, where do I start?
What is the difference between high quality and low quality storage, if any?
If I own a 24bit album, will it sound the same or different on different storage drives?

Any help or advice will be gratefully received and faithfully applied
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Re: How do I get started with Digital Storage and Playback?

Postby zippy » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:36 am

"If I own a 24bit album, will it sound the same or different on different storage drives?

I think you may be opening a can of worms here, but as an 'audiophile' and long time IT technician, my opinion is that it will sound exactly the same.

What is the difference between high quality and low quality storage

Not sure what you consider high or low quality storage - the only difference as far as I'm concerned is that a cheap setup is more likely to break down than a decent one.

Do you have a desktop PC ? If so there's no need to buy a NAS (if that's what you were thinking) the PC can do it all.
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Re: How do I get started with Digital Storage and Playback?

Postby beckphotonik » Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:15 am

From someone who has taken the NAS route, I have found little difference between computer grade NAS solutions. Personally I own a Melco and that definitely IS different from the likes of Synology & QNAP etc. but is a very high cost option especially for a small music library. My personal recommendation is to obtain a low cost NAS and install MinimServer (check for compatibility) and take it from there. I cannot comment much on the PC/Mac route as I have only tried a Mac with Audirvana which worked fine but I still preferred the NAS solution.

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Re: How do I get started with Digital Storage and Playback?

Postby phlppip » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:16 am

I started off using an external hard drive directly into the Stream usb input, but over time needed to change this to a NAS due to speed of reading the index, I now have a Synology 218play which is very good indeed, just make sure you have enough storage I would say double at least of what you think you will need.

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Re: How do I get started with Digital Storage and Playback?

Postby Joe » Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:09 pm

Your options are basically:

a) Use a computer connected to the network with media server software.
b) Plug a HDD in and transfer files manually.
c) Store your music on a NAS.
d) Buy a streamer with inbuilt storage.
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Re: How do I get started with Digital Storage and Playback?

Postby clive197 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:43 pm

I would recommend you buy a NAS. If you use a laptop or main computer for storing and listening to your music you will need to leave it on permanently, as starting up each time will be a faff. A NAS is available permantly but has to be connected to a home network or your router if your using wi-fi.
Another way which may work for you with the small amount of music files needed is a USB drive, say 500Mb. You can plug that directly into the streamer.
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Re: How do I get started with Digital Storage and Playback?

Postby beckphotonik » Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:32 pm

clive197 wrote:A NAS is available permantly but has to be connected to a home network or your router if your using wi-fi.


Be careful using WiFi to connect a NAS to your Stream X. A direct wired connection is always best, using WiFi to make the connection can be problematic for hi res files.

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Re: How do I get started with Digital Storage and Playback?

Postby madaboutlawns » Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:03 pm

Thank you all for the help.

I didn't realise that I already own a nas, I have network drive from western digital.

I haven't used it for ages, it's not even plugged in, I had it for back up for family photos but found that I used usb sticks instead because they were simpler to use.

So, for a start that won't cost me anything, I'll dig it out and set it up. If I can get that working, I'll start to understand how it works and then upgrade it later on.

Thanks for all the help, I thought it was going to be a lot more complicated.
Essentially it sounds like I all that's needed is storage that can communicate with the streamer.

Where is the best place to get the files?
Do I need to put any software on the drive, or just put the files on it - maybe in a folder?

I'll let you know how it goes, or ask for more help.
Thanks again
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Re: How do I get started with Digital Storage and Playback?

Postby beckphotonik » Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:56 pm

madaboutlawns wrote:Do I need to put any software on the drive, or just put the files on it - maybe in a folder?


You need a music server on the drive. Your WD may have one already there but if not then I would recommend MinimServer as long as there is a version available for your WD NAS.

Where you get music from, very much depends on what style of music you like. You may also need to tag the music tracks so that you can select them easily. There are a number of tagging apps out there for both PC & Mac.

Getting your music from a NAS is a whole new world if you are used to vinyl or CDs, bewildering at first but really a lot of fun.

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Re: How do I get started with Digital Storage and Playback?

Postby madaboutlawns » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:00 pm

Looking forward to having a play with it, found the drive just looking for the power lead.
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Re: How do I get started with Digital Storage and Playback?

Postby madaboutlawns » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:14 am

It seems to be broken, I'll have to pop out and get another one at the weekend.
Seems like my first experience with a broken nas drive.
Cyrus Dac xp Sig, Stram x2 Sig, PSX-r2
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2x Mono 300x Sig
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Re: How do I get started with Digital Storage and Playback?

Postby madaboutlawns » Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:49 pm

I'm confused and need help again.

My NAS drive seems to be broken.
I don't really want to buy another one (just yet,) as the price of 24bit music is putting me off a little, circa £25 per album.

I pay for TIDAL masters but as I understand the stream x sig with TIDAL built in only plays 16 bit files.
If I stream on my PC, I think I can get 24bit.

So, how do I stream from my desktop to my streamer? Can it be done over a network or does it have to be via USB?

I think I might be going round in circles here but I'm now considering buying all my music mainly on vinyl. Because then I have the best of both worlds. Then if I want to digitise it, store it on a drive or nas, or external hdd.

How do I do this?

Thank you all again
Cyrus Dac xp Sig, Stram x2 Sig, PSX-r2
Cyrus phono Sig, Psx-r2
2x Mono 300x Sig
Michell Gyrodec, RB600 arm + Goldring 1042
Dali Opticon 8
Power Supply, 9 250w DC solar panels into bank of 10 batteries then inverter to A/C

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Re: How do I get started with Digital Storage and Playback?

Postby zippy » Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:11 pm

madaboutlawns wrote:I'm confused and need help again.

My NAS drive seems to be broken.
I don't really want to buy another one (just yet,) as the price of 24bit music is putting me off a little, circa £25 per album.

I pay for TIDAL masters but as I understand the stream x sig with TIDAL built in only plays 16 bit files.
If I stream on my PC, I think I can get 24bit.

So, how do I stream from my desktop to my streamer? Can it be done over a network or does it have to be via USB?

I think I might be going round in circles here but I'm now considering buying all my music mainly on vinyl. Because then I have the best of both worlds. Then if I want to digitise it, store it on a drive or nas, or external hdd.

How do I do this?

Thank you all again


Here's what I do.

You need to install media server software on the PC. Windows has its own but I wouldn't use that - I use 'Asset UPnP' which is fine.
With that running you can plug your StreamX into the network - wifi if you must, but ethernet cable preferred.
Finally you need some control software loaded onto an Android or Ios device. Again you can use the Cyrus Cadence software but I find Bubble UPnP much better.
This all assumes that you have music files somewhere on your PC, you will need to go into Asset configuration and tell it where the files are located.

...and by the way I don't think that the StreamX is limited to 16 bits on Tidal, but I may be wrong as I don't use it..
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Re: How do I get started with Digital Storage and Playback?

Postby Joe » Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:16 pm

Fully "unfolding" Tidal Masters requires an MQA compatible DAC. Don't worry about it, MQA is *ll*cks. If you want a high res streaming service you need Qobuz Sublime I believe.

Don't get hung up on "high res" though. Bitrate is meaningless if the mastering is poor. Often an earlier CD mastering will sound better. Do your research before purchasing.
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Re: How do I get started with Digital Storage and Playback?

Postby Czechchris » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:42 pm

If it is ofany help at all, I have my music (flac files) on a 2tb hard drive connected to my raspberry pi with hifiberry hat, into my dac (spdif) and thus to my preamp. I use JRiver music centre installed on my pi.
You could just as easily have JRiver on your pc and your files on a hdd connected thereto and connect to your hifi. I used to use an old laptop purely for this purpose connecting to my dac via usb.
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