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best storage/delivery search


scraps@midnight
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need some help with the next step.

 

i have been struggling over the past few weeks to come up with the best solution for storing and delivering music. i have started this whole thing as an experiment last year but now do not even play discs anymore. i have invested a bunch of time and money over the years and have a pretty nice system. at present, i use a logitech transporter digital out to a berkeley alpha dac so i am limited as far as players go. i began by ripping and storing on my laptop but have since filled it so i have begun to play with different nas boxes. i tried a readynas duo and found it to be quirky and underpowered for squeezebox server. i question whether the nas should run the player but i also question if there should be 2 wireless streams which is the case with the player on my laptop. i am a pc person so not interested in a mac. at present i have music (flac) on a seagate blackarmor nas 110 and the player on my vista laptop. i did briefly look at some of the servers that can run lynx but they are pretty expensive for now. i do not have the experience to build one, maybe with a specific recipe but not sure.

 

i guess i am wondering what some of you more experienced and more tech savvy guys would recommend or would you recommend staying with the seagate/laptop setup. i have gotten this far so i would really like to tighten this piece up. sound quality is my main interest.

 

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Interesting one this! I always felt that my Duet sounded better over the wireless connection but my Transporter sounds better over a hardwired connection - so that's how I run it. Details on how to achieve a crossover network between your laptop and the Transporter are in the manual and on the Logitech FAQ pages. I did this because I wanted to avoid the NAS route. The way I looked at it was if I wanted to stream stuff all over the house then a NAS made sense, but I only want the listening room facility, so a NAS is way overkill.

 

So, with the Transporter set up on a crossover network, all the files can be stored locally to my Netbook. I run a 8 way, powered, Belkin hub into the Netbook and attach hub-powered drives to this. Current fave drive is the Iomega Prestige 320gb Portable Hard Drive - very cool, very quiet and metal cased. To aggregate the drives in Squeezecentre (SC), just put a short cut to each drive into the root of the drive your Library is pointed to - SC will do the rest.

 

To me, this setup has the advantage of being nicely contained, easy to backup (I use large noisy external drives for that!) and eliminates the wireless network for all but the Remote. It can be a PITA setting up the crossover network, but I thought it sounded better that way! If you're happier sticking with your wireless setup, then my suggestion would be a powered hub with small, quiet, portable drives. The only issue is staying on top of your backup regime, which can be automated nicely on a NAS. But I still think that NAS drives are massive overkill for what you are trying to achieve, unless you really need the central storage.

 

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interesting. i do not understand why the readynas duo sounds different than the seagate nas. it baffles me and really is confusing the heck out of me! in theory, they should sound the same it should be a matter of preference. i need to make a decision soon because i have to return one of them! your suggestions seem more complicated than these nas options and really about the same cost. you think there is a sonic benefit to wiring it direct vs to a router? will this sound different from these nas setups?

 

anybody else have thoughts or experience with these issues?

 

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Absolutely - couldn't agree more! I gave up worrying about it a long time ago - if you think it sounds better then go with it and to hell with logic! :)

 

If you've not tried the Transporter hard-wired, I do recommend that you give it a go. If you prefer it then it may help to inform your choices. There's no need to bother with the cossover stuff, just hard-wire it to your router and see what you think.

 

If you decide to go with a NAS then I would definitely go with one of the recommended ones - that way you can always install Squeezeserver on to it at a later date, if you want to have a play. A good place to look for ideas about what to get is Ripcaster. There's a lot of good gen on the site and if they sell a pre-configured NAS then that's as good a guarantee as you're going to get, that the NAS will be up to the job!

 

Good hunting!

 

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