Advice needed - NAS, music servers, iTunes etc.

admin_exported

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About 6 months ago I took the plunge and bought a NAS - the Synology ds211j - to go with my hifi, especially the new DAC I had recently acquired. The outcome of this has not been all that I hoped, possibly due to a lack of adequate research on my part. I used to use iTunes to listen to music on my laptop and thought that I would still be able to do so using the NAS, only controlling it with an iPad. Sadly this isn't the case, you have to use an audio programme that comes with the NAS...and then you lose a lot of the important metadata, most frustratingly the playlists.

In order to keep this post as brief as possible, my main question is: does anyone know a vaguely audiophile solution where I can keep iTunes as the music server and keep using the NAS as storage? I'm not averse to buying one of these music streamer jobbies, if that will help.

Thanks chaps.
 
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Anonymous

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Thanks for that. I'm not sure that thread will help, but I'll check out simple audio. Being quite a simple bloke myself it takes a while to get my head round these things. Cheers mate.
 
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Anonymous

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Just read that Simple Audio review on this very website. Although it looks great, it doesn't do what I want - you have to download their own software/app which will then enable you to control the audio playback via laptop/iPad/iPod. Thanks but no thanks!
 

professorhat

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Dec 28, 2007
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Unfortunately, the only way to stream direct from iTunes (e.g. using the Remote app) is to have an instance of iTunes running and this therefore means having your PC / Mac switched on. You can of course store all your music on the NAS and have iTunes use this instead of the local drive, but you can't get away with streaming this without having the PC / Mac switched on and iTunes running.

The only way round this is to use an alternative solution e.g. the AudioStation software built into the Synology or something like the Sonos system.
 

donnerbono

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Jul 20, 2012
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Like the link above I think. My set up is:

- Itunes on laptop with location of files pointing to Synlogy NAS (I just copied across and then it picked up from the new folder)

- Stream to my hifi from my laptop (which is playing music from the NAS). I use Airfoil software (£15), but you could use Airport Express, or probably many other things.

The only PITA is that iTunes prefers stuff stored locally so if laptop loses connection to NAS it points back to a local drive. And, it all seems a bit convulted.. but it works. I'm thinking whether Squeebox Touch would by tidier, but this moves away from your playlists etc.
 

hammill

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Mar 20, 2008
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donnerbono said:
Like the link above I think. My set up is:

- Itunes on laptop with location of files pointing to Synlogy NAS (I just copied across and then it picked up from the new folder)

- Stream to my hifi from my laptop (which is playing music from the NAS). I use Airfoil software (£15), but you could use Airport Express, or probably many other things.

The only PITA is that iTunes prefers stuff stored locally so if laptop loses connection to NAS it points back to a local drive. And, it all seems a bit convulted.. but it works. I'm thinking whether Squeebox Touch would by tidier, but this moves away from your playlists etc.
The media server that is used with the touch can import playlists if that is any help.
 

donnerbono

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Jul 20, 2012
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hammill said:
donnerbono said:
The only PITA is that iTunes prefers stuff stored locally so if laptop loses connection to NAS it points back to a local drive. And, it all seems a bit convulted.. but it works. I'm thinking whether Squeebox Touch would by tidier, but this moves away from your playlists etc.
The media server that is used with the touch can import playlists if that is any help.
Slight thread hijack, but what would be disadvantage to OP, or indeed myself, for using Squeezebox against iTunes? Does it do play counts? Do the "apps" provide all the basic functionality of an iTunes library so you can run it from your PC
 
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Anonymous

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hammill said:
donnerbono said:
Like the link above I think. My set up is:

- Itunes on laptop with location of files pointing to Synlogy NAS (I just copied across and then it picked up from the new folder)

- Stream to my hifi from my laptop (which is playing music from the NAS). I use Airfoil software (£15), but you could use Airport Express, or probably many other things.

The only PITA is that iTunes prefers stuff stored locally so if laptop loses connection to NAS it points back to a local drive. And, it all seems a bit convulted.. but it works. I'm thinking whether Squeebox Touch would by tidier, but this moves away from your playlists etc.
The media server that is used with the touch can import playlists if that is any help.
That's one way around it I suppose - but you've got to leave your laptop running, or at least boot it up each time you want to listen to music. I was looking for a 'purer' solution involving no laptop!
 
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Anonymous

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professorhat said:
Unfortunately, the only way to stream direct from iTunes (e.g. using the Remote app) is to have an instance of iTunes running and this therefore means having your PC / Mac switched on. You can of course store all your music on the NAS and have iTunes use this instead of the local drive, but you can't get away with streaming this without having the PC / Mac switched on and iTunes running.

The only way round this is to use an alternative solution e.g. the AudioStation software built into the Synology or something like the Sonos system.
Hey, thanks for that reply - it was very clear! You mention an alternative solution, which I'm happy to consider... would it help if I bought an Airport Express? I.e. could I then keep the laptop turned off but still output music to my DAC/amp and control it using iTunes? From what you said, I'm guessing not, but thought it worth an ask :) Just out of interest, how come you can't have an instance of iTunes running on the NAS??
 

professorhat

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2007
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Hi there - you're right, Airport Express wouldn't help I'm afraid - this will just stream from iTunes so again, you need iTunes running on the PC / Mac again. No idea why Apple haven't chosen to develop a "NAS friendly iTunes" version, but basically they haven't. iTunes server allows you to easily share libraries to running instances of iTunes, but it doesn't replace that core functionaility which only runs on a PC or Mac.

The alternative solutions are essentially ones which don't use iTunes. That doesn't mean you can't use iTunes to organise your library, but you need to store the music on the NAS and you just have to use something else to actually stream it. Sonos and the Logitech Squeezebox are examples of these, but require you to buy extra devices - I'm pretty sure both will import your playlists from iTunes. The AudioStation application that you've discovered is one that you already have (so no extra money required) - the downside as you've discovered is you have to set up your playlists again.
 

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