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Buying First NAS For Music Storage - Your Recommendation?


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As the title says, I am about to buy my first NAS to be used to store the FLAC files of my large CD collection, as well as interface with the Auralic Aries that I will also soon be ordering. I'm looking for something affordable, reliable, quiet, and which will perform well. In terms of size, smaller is better.

 

I was all set to purchase the new version of the Synology DS414 Slim, as I loved the size, and Chris mentioned it. However, there seems to be a question about the reliability of the 2.5 inch drives, and also, the largest size available is 1TB (and my cd collection of 3000 might be a tight fit). I am now considering the Synology DS214 Play, but am not sure if that's the ideal choice, as I know almost nothing about NAS units. And is it better, in any meaningful way, then the standard DS214, which is cheaper? I've been looking at Synology as a brand, because of many positive comments, and the fact that the units come with Minimserver already installed, which I will need for use with the Aries.

 

I would appreciate any suggestions, recommendations or perspectives you can offer on my best options. My budget is around $500.00 for the NAS and two hard drives (Western Digital Red series). Thanks for your assistance.

 

JC

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A couple of thoughts:

 

In deciding on a NAS you first need to estimate your long-term storage requirements - a typical recommendation would be to triple the size currently required for your music library (assuming you are not storing anything else). Then you need to consider what type of RAID you want to use - the Synology 'default' typically requires 25% of your total storage.

Secondly you need to consider how much processing you are likely to require the NAS to support. MinimServer is not a heavy load but if you use its transcoding options you may need to consider one of the '+' models which have better processors and more memory.

 

I've not looked at the current Synology line-up but you may find that, given the above considerations, your current budget is insufficient and you'll need to save a little longer! I used a library on a USB-connected hard disc until I could afford a NAS - I now use this disk as a backup for the NAS.

 

I'd strongly recommend Synology after using a 412+ for 9 months without any problems.

 

Hope this helps.

 

David

ALAC iTunes library on Synology DS412+ running MinimServer with Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 tablet running BubbleUPnP for control >

Hi-Fi 1: Airport Extreme bridge > Netgear switch > TP-Link optical isolation > dCS Network Bridge AND PS Audio PerfectWave Transport > PS Audio DirectStream DAC with Bridge Mk.II > Primare A60 > Harbeth SHL5plus Anniversary Edition .

Hi-Fi 2: Sonore Rendu > Chord Hugo DAC/preamp > LFD integrated > Harbeth P3ESRs and > Sennheiser HD800

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A couple of thoughts:

 

In deciding on a NAS you first need to estimate your long-term storage requirements - a typical recommendation would be to triple the size currently required for your music library (assuming you are not storing anything else). Then you need to consider what type of RAID you want to use - the Synology 'default' typically requires 25% of your total storage.

Secondly you need to consider how much processing you are likely to require the NAS to support. MinimServer is not a heavy load but if you use its transcoding options you may need to consider one of the '+' models which have better processors and more memory.

 

I've not looked at the current Synology line-up but you may find that, given the above considerations, your current budget is insufficient and you'll need to save a little longer! I used a library on a USB-connected hard disc until I could afford a NAS - I now use this disk as a backup for the NAS.

 

I'd strongly recommend Synology after using a 412+ for 9 months without any problems.

 

Hope this helps.

 

David

 

I just bought the Synology 412+ with 16TB (12TB usable at RAID5) yesterday from BH Photo Video. My old WDShareSpace was just about tapped out (down to less than 100gb available), so it was time. Cost was a quite a bit over your budget, but there may be other Synology models that fall more in your price range.

 

I agree with the guidance of 3x what you currently have - I currently have 3TB almost full and don't want to replace this thing every year or two! I estimate this will last me about 5 years.

John Walker - IT Executive

Headphone - MacMini running Roon Server > Netgear Orbi > Blue Jeans Cable Ethernet > mRendu Roon endpoint > Topping D90 > Topping A90 > Dan Clark Aeon 2 Closed / Focal Elegia

Home Theater - Mac Mini running Roon Server / AppleTV > Blue Jeans Cable HDMI > Denon X3700h > Anthem Amp for front channels > Revel F208-based 5.2.4 Atmos speaker system

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Thanks very much for the suggestions. I appreciate the perspective. However, while, in many cases, planning on three times what you currently have for ultimate storage would certainly be wise, I need to be realistic. Its taken me literally 20 years to amass my 3000 cd collection. I add, at most, 2-3 cd's a month these days, given the lack of new music worth bothering with. And quite a few of those are remasters/reissues that replace older cd's, so I think my long term storage needs are probably only perhaps a third more than currently.

 

I'm still having trouble finding clear information on how many cd's, in flac, will fit on one TB, so its difficult to estimate things.

 

 

JC

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A couple of thoughts:

 

In deciding on a NAS you first need to estimate your long-term storage requirements - a typical recommendation would be to triple the size currently required for your music library (assuming you are not storing anything else). Then you need to consider what type of RAID you want to use - the Synology 'default' typically requires 25% of your total storage.

Secondly you need to consider how much processing you are likely to require the NAS to support. MinimServer is not a heavy load but if you use its transcoding options you may need to consider one of the '+' models which have better processors and more memory.

 

I've not looked at the current Synology line-up but you may find that, given the above considerations, your current budget is insufficient and you'll need to save a little longer! I used a library on a USB-connected hard disc until I could afford a NAS - I now use this disk as a backup for the NAS.

 

I'd strongly recommend Synology after using a 412+ for 9 months without any problems.

 

Hope this helps.

 

David

 

David,

 

If I understand correctly, for RAID "the Synology 'default' typically requires 25% of your total storage.", it's expecting four hard drives to run RAID optimally? And does this change to 50% with their 2 drive units?

 

Again, my apologies for my lack of knowledge about NAS units and RAID, in general. These may well be stupid questions. Just trying to understand.

 

JC

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Thanks very much for the suggestions. I appreciate the perspective. However, while, in many cases, planning on three times what you currently have for ultimate storage would certainly be wise, I need to be realistic. Its taken me literally 20 years to amass my 3000 cd collection. I add, at most, 2-3 cd's a month these days, given the lack of new music worth bothering with. And quite a few of those are remasters/reissues that replace older cd's, so I think my long term storage needs are probably only perhaps a third more than currently.

 

I'm still having trouble finding clear information on how many cd's, in flac, will fit on one TB, so its difficult to estimate things.

 

 

JC

 

JC, if you're only ripping CDs to FLACs, that's about 300-400Mb / hr, depending on the compression ratio you use, the complexity of the music, etc. So you you'd get about 3 albums per Gb, or about 3,000 albums per Tb.

 

The calculation changes dramatically when you have a mix. For example, I currently have a total of ~4,500 albums in ~1.2T, but I have a large number of MP3s bought from Amazon before I saw the "lossless light" ;) I only have 450 lossless / high resolution albums, but they take up 575G by themselves!

John Walker - IT Executive

Headphone - MacMini running Roon Server > Netgear Orbi > Blue Jeans Cable Ethernet > mRendu Roon endpoint > Topping D90 > Topping A90 > Dan Clark Aeon 2 Closed / Focal Elegia

Home Theater - Mac Mini running Roon Server / AppleTV > Blue Jeans Cable HDMI > Denon X3700h > Anthem Amp for front channels > Revel F208-based 5.2.4 Atmos speaker system

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David,

 

If I understand correctly, for RAID "the Synology 'default' typically requires 25% of your total storage.", it's expecting four hard drives to run RAID optimally? And does this change to 50% with their 2 drive units?

 

Again, my apologies for my lack of knowledge about NAS units and RAID, in general. These may well be stupid questions. Just trying to understand.

 

JC

 

RAID5 (my recommendation for a simple NAS) reserves one drive for data redundancy (i.e., it saves recovery information across all available drives to allow for the failure of *one* of the group at any one time). So if you only have two drives, you have to reserve space to lose that one drive (so only 50% of the total space is available for use). With four drives, you get 75% of the total space available for use, etc.

John Walker - IT Executive

Headphone - MacMini running Roon Server > Netgear Orbi > Blue Jeans Cable Ethernet > mRendu Roon endpoint > Topping D90 > Topping A90 > Dan Clark Aeon 2 Closed / Focal Elegia

Home Theater - Mac Mini running Roon Server / AppleTV > Blue Jeans Cable HDMI > Denon X3700h > Anthem Amp for front channels > Revel F208-based 5.2.4 Atmos speaker system

Link to comment
Thanks very much for the suggestions. I appreciate the perspective. However, while, in many cases, planning on three times what you currently have for ultimate storage would certainly be wise, I need to be realistic. Its taken me literally 20 years to amass my 3000 cd collection. I add, at most, 2-3 cd's a month these days, given the lack of new music worth bothering with. And quite a few of those are remasters/reissues that replace older cd's, so I think my long term storage needs are probably only perhaps a third more than currently.

 

I'm still having trouble finding clear information on how many cd's, in flac, will fit on one TB, so its difficult to estimate things.

 

 

JC

 

You also have to consider whether you will be downloading hi res files in the future. They are huge. A DSD album can easily consume 2GB or more, as can a 24/192 PCM album. Regarding FLAC, you will find different figures, but generally they will be about 40 to 50% of the size of wav files (CD). I burned my 500 or so CDs in uncompressed format and they consume about 365GB. My hi res files have added another 175GB. I went with a Synology DS 213 NAS with 2 x 2TB drives in a RAID configuration.

 

In FLAC, my CD collection would presumably have taken about 150 to 180 GB. Multiplying that figure by 6 for 3000 CDs and you can see that they would take all and more of a 1TB drive. So, your entry point should be at least 2 x 2TB drives if you go with a two drive RAID configuration. Many, if not most people, would suggest 3TB rather than 2TB, especially if you plan to download hi res files in the future.

 

It's important to remember that RAID provides redundancy in case one drive fails, but it does not provide backup. With a two drive RAID configuration, for example, the same data is written to both drives at the same time. If you accidentally delete some files, they will be deleted from both drives, i.e. no backup of those files. So, you need an additional external drive on which to back up your music library. It's also possible to have a failure of the NAS that affects both drives at the same time. Therefore, even with a RAID configuration, external backup is a necessity and not a luxury. However, it provides you with two levels of security.

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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Thanks for the continuing expertise and recommendations. Though the further we go, the more expensive this is getting, it would seem. I'm in a somewhat limited position, unfortunately, given that my department was just recently designated for outsourcing. Because of my specific background, I'm being retained for a "maximum" of 12 months to allow for a successful transition. Following that, I will be essentially forced into early retirement.

 

This NAS, and the related digital front end I am putting together not only has to be as budget limited as possible, but also without meaningful performance and reliability concessions. I also need long term reliability, so that it will last me a fair number of years. I am beginning to think my best option may now be Synology DS214play and two 3gb drives. Your thoughts? (the 412+ is simply out of reach, in terms of cost)

 

JC

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Considered this: QNAP HS-210 Silent & Fanless NAS | AudioStream

 

Designed for WD "Red" Drives, so you have no problem with reliability issues. Can hold more than enough capacity for you

 

Product Page: QNAP Systems, Inc. - Network Attached Storage (NAS)

 

Or something like the Synology 213j, which can hold 2 X 5TB drives, which would seem to be enough for you.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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I am beginning to think my best option may now be Synology DS214play and two 3gb drives. Your thoughts? (the 412+ is simply out of reach, in terms of cost)

 

IMO, if you go the Synology route, the DS214Play with 2 x 3TB drives would be more than adequate for your purposes. You don't need the expense or power of a DS412+. I'm not familiar with the QNAP HS-210, but it's something you should probably look into as well.

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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I'm also trying to decide between the DS414 Slim and the DS214 Play. I'm mostly interested in using the NAS for music, although I will house pictures and some videos that I have taken with my digital camera. I like the small footprint of the DS414 Slim but am wondering if the added features of the DS214 Play make it a better choice. I have a small music collection. Thanks for your suggestions!

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I'm also trying to decide between the DS414 Slim and the DS214 Play. I'm mostly interested in using the NAS for music, although I will house pictures and some videos that I have taken with my digital camera. I like the small footprint of the DS414 Slim but am wondering if the added features of the DS214 Play make it a better choice. I have a small music collection. Thanks for your suggestions!

 

The 214 play has dual core atom processor which has more options for after market media server software.

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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  • 3 months later...
Thanks for the continuing expertise and recommendations. Though the further we go, the more expensive this is getting, it would seem. I'm in a somewhat limited position, unfortunately, given that my department was just recently designated for outsourcing. Because of my specific background, I'm being retained for a "maximum" of 12 months to allow for a successful transition. Following that, I will be essentially forced into early retirement.

 

This NAS, and the related digital front end I am putting together not only has to be as budget limited as possible, but also without meaningful performance and reliability concessions. I also need long term reliability, so that it will last me a fair number of years. I am beginning to think my best option may now be Synology DS214play and two 3gb drives. Your thoughts? (the 412+ is simply out of reach, in terms of cost)

 

JC

 

Its hard to make recommendations without knowing the real objectives, constraints etc. and also what you have laying around. You can always repurpose an old PC into a perfectly good NAS using free but outstanding software RAID.

 

A commercial "NAS" is really just a relatively cheap Atom machine running a variant of Linux or BSD. You pay for form factor and convenience.

Custom room treatments for headphone users.

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Update: The QNAP HS-210 supports direct connection of USB DACs. Just about all audio formats are supported, WAV, AIFF, FLAC, M4A, APE, MP3, OGG, to AU except DSD. Dang.

 

More here.

 

Yeah but then its just a pretty pathetic headless desktop. The point of a "NAS" is that its sitting somewhere out of earshot.

Custom room treatments for headphone users.

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Update: The QNAP HS-210 supports direct connection of USB DACs. Just about all audio formats are supported, WAV, AIFF, FLAC, M4A, APE, MP3, OGG, to AU except DSD. Dang.

 

More here.

 

This is quite interesting! This would actually be a very minimized system. I was just about to start a thread considering this but maybe it's the right place to ask about it here:

 

Has anyone tried a direct connection from NAS to USB-DAC or USB-SPDIF-converter? Can it compete in SQ compared to dedicated music PCs or Macs using audio players such as Amarra, Audirvana, HQplayer or JRMC?

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  • 3 months later...

I will also be implementing a NAS for the first time. My brother in law is a lead network engineer for a major corporation. He is advising me only to purchase a NAS with four drive capacity (he said 3 would work, but I don't think those are generally available). According to what he is telling me, I should be running raid 5, and with three drives, or more drives, I could effectively back things up commpletely. With two, I apparently cant. Four drive NAS units are all quite expensive. Any recommendations that would save me some money here?

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I will also be implementing a NAS for the first time. My brother in law is a lead network engineer for a major corporation. He is advising me only to purchase a NAS with four drive capacity (he said 3 would work, but I don't think those are generally available). According to what he is telling me, I should be running raid 5, and with three drives, or more drives, I could effectively back things up commpletely. With two, I apparently cant. Four drive NAS units are all quite expensive. Any recommendations that would save me some money here?

 

I think Raid 5 is overkill for home audio applications because I don't think you really need the extra performance/speed that striping provides. Also, you should also have an offsite backup in case your house burns down or is broken into.

 

I went with two 4TB drives in a mirrored configuration in a two bay Synology NAS that I back up to two raw 4TB drives using an OWC Voyager "toaster". This gives me one backup in the NAS and multiple external backups.

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley
Through the middle of my skull

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