Some basic NAS questions

So I’m about to get a NAS to start implementing my Ultimate Streaming Solution™.

It seems like Synology’s only 1 bay model is the DS120j but remember hearing that an older model (118j I think) was quite underpowered. Does anyone know if this will be suitable for light use (occasional photo access, but mostly just music)?

Also, for drives to fit in it, is it worth paying extra for this “NAS-optimised” version, or should I save the £20 and get the regular HDD? I’ve no idea if the NAS version is just a marketing ploy or if genuinely useful.

Lastly, are NAS devices ok with being turned on and off? I’m trying to cut back on bills and don’t want to just leave it running all the time as realistically, I’m only going to be using it once or twice a week.

Thanks in advance :slight_smile:

Should be ok - depends on how many devices you want to stream to simultaneously.

Is a NAS the done thing now? I only used mine as i had over 10000 tracks ripped. Had i been starting again, i might have thought about one of the streaming services for my music

yes it will be optimised for a NAS. Wont be harmful to use a desktop PC one.

I never turn mine off… i dont want to wait for it to start up and be ready. Mine is now only used for Photos and my CCTV recording. For music i moved everything to a streaming device with an SSD.
One of these:

You can put all your music on there and it streams away happily to my network. I use my phone to control it. It’ll stream to anything it can find on the network - so my main system through a DAC, the UnitiQute in the Kitchen, my phone, the Marantz all in one in the bedroom, and the two smart TVs.

Once you acquire your NAS, how are you going to backup the data you put on it?

What is your streaming solution? Just music? What system?

A NAS is generally very low power and designed to be on all the time. You may well find yourself using it more than you think, so leave it on unless you’re going away.

Thanks. I do use Spotify but the difference in quality between that and CDs is noticeable (I’m not interested in Tidal/Qobuz) - so I want to rip and stream my CD collection, use Spotify as discovery and continue to buy any music I like as FLAC and stream that.

For the streaming device, I currently have a Chrome Audio. I’ll see how that sounds first before trying out a CA 851N/Aries Mini/Lumin D1, etc. It may make more sense to just copy the files to an HDD and plug it in to one of the other devices rather than use a NAS, but I may also want to use it for photos etc. too. so I’m happy to get a NAS. For backup, I was going to buy a separate external HDD.

Streaming solution is currently just my laptop/phone and a Chrome Audio plugged into my amp. I’ll primarily be streaming music but it’ll be good to stream photos/videos as well.

Re: the low power - ok thanks will leave it then.

Cool I like the Chromecast Audio. It has an optical out if you want to upgrade the sound as well.

For playing music you have a number of options. You can use Bubbleupnp, which uses DLNA. That’s quite a nice system where your can use your phone to control it easily.

My favourite is the Squeezebox server, which again you can control on your phone, and this integrates your Spotify favourites into your own library. This needs the server software to run on your NAS, so the very basic NAS devices can be a bit underpowered (but the vast majority are ok I think).

that’s what I use, it’s great.

If you use the Chromecast Audio, use the optical out into a DAC. The difference between the optical out into a DAC and the 3.5mm analogue out into an amp is night and day.

I use an App called Hifi Cast (the paid for version) to select the music on my NAS - it is very easy to use and so far has been very reliable.

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Thanks. Do these do a similar thing to MusicBee, which I’ve just downloaded, or are they different?

I’d totally forgotten about that! On the one hand, great, now I can just explore different DACs. On the other, I know I’ll want to try streamer+DAC units too and that adds more faff to determine if it’s worth getting a new streamer+DAC or just a DAC, or separate streamer and DAC units. An enjoyable faff but lots of box procurement ahead…

No. MusicBee is for tagging and organising - library management. And it will play back on the PC where it’s running. It can also rip CDs although I’ve never used it for such.

Maybe it does other stuff. The things the guys above are talking about are for getting the music off your NAS and onto whatever is going to play it back.

Great thanks (I’m actually about to start following the instructions you PM’d me ages ago for MB organising). Incidentally, would Bubbleupnp/LMS also work for an SSD plugged into a streamer?

I did? The age-related memory less is clearly getting pretty advanced.

which streamer. I don’t think LMS will, as it needs a NAS which can run the server software. Bubbleupnp might - it can act as a server on you phone and so long as it can see your device and its files on the network it should work

The streamer should come with something that allows you to control what it does. Bubble should work if the streamer is UPNP compliant.

Thanks both. Think I’ll try Bubbleupnp with my laptop and the Chromecast Audio as a first step before splashing out on a NAS/DAC/streamer.

Just buy an Innuos Zen Mini.

Storage, streamer and DAC all in one unit and saves fucking about with bulshitty NAS’ or raspberry Pi’s etc.

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IIRC, you upgraded from the Mini Mk3 to the full Mk3. What are the differences between them (and I saw there’s even a model above, the ZENith Mk3)? I couldn’t really tell from the product description, other than potentially more foo components.

Yep had a 1TB Mini and wanted more storage, luckily found an ex demo 3TB Zen for the same price as buying a new 3TB Mini.

Some differences with the USB interface and power supply between the Mini and Zen / Zenith etc but not enough to justify the cost or to be noticeable.

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Thanks. How do you find the in-built DAC by the way? If I’d want to upgrade the DAC any time soon, then it makes for quite an expensive storage and streaming solution (I don’t need the ripping functionality as I’m doing that myself now anyway).

+1 here on an Innous. I have a 4TB Zen which is a phenomenal device. I use Roon to control it via a Lumin D1into my DAC but have been experimenting with going directly from the Zen into the DAC via USB as the new control software and app is superb. I marginally prefer Roon’s interface but were I starting again I would probably save myself the cost of the streamer and the lifetime subs to Roon and just use the Innuos straight into the DAC. FWIW, I also have a NAS ful of photographs etc which I used to use for music purposes but much prefer the Innuos (and the Vortexbox it replaced). My NAS is 15 years old now though…

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We did this too. All quite simple.