Reply to "Dipping toes into the NAS (world) with no clue and getting rid of the CD player"

Huge posted:

I recently installed an ND5 XS and a Synology 216j on someone else's network.

I plugged in the Synology, connected the Ethernet cable and turned it on.  After a minute or so I ran the Synology disk on her laptop: it found the NAS, I made sure it loaded the Media Server, and it sorted it all out for us.  I ripped some files from the laptop to the local disk,  I setup a network share from the laptop to the pre-defined 'Music' shared folder on the NAS then copied the files to the NAS.

Then I connected the ND5 XS via WiFi (as a physical connection wasn't possible until a little work is done on the house), and getting a reliable WiFi connection was the most tricky part of the whole process.  We then loaded the Naim app on her 'phone.

When we had the WiFi connection sorted, the ripped files played fine.  It was that simple.

when I started with streaming, at which time I has a network but no NAS, and only other source was CD. I already had a bunch of files on a computer hard drive, being rips of LPs that I had burnt to CD a couple of years earlier. I, too, bought an ND5XS (ex-dem), and a cheap NAS (Zyxel NSA325, cost something like £60 without drives).I did have a spare ‘switch’ (junction box) with which I linked NDxXS, NAS, and main router/internet access point. Copied some music files from my computer to the NAS, connected ND5XS to preamp, loaded the Naim control app on an iPad, and hey presto, it worked! And sounded as good as my failed CD, as far as memory of sound could tell.

Leaving aside the noise from the NAS that I mentioned in a previous post, the network seemed fine, however occasionally there were odd glitches (I don’t now remember what), that required me to go into the NAS’s media serving software, which was something called Twonky. I dedn’t like Twonky(and apparently I’m not alone), and soon installed an alternative that was available free, Logitech Media Server. That worked a treat - and no more glitches with the NAS.

The ND5XS is indeed a good place to start with streaming, particularly if you don’t plan to upgrade that side of it in the near future. It takes music from a NAS or other networked store, and feeds it to your amplifier. It also allows you to stream from a few online sources (confined to Tidal and Spotify IIRC), and from internet radio stations. There may be as good sounding, or even better sounding, systems available for the same money, but those of which I am aware are rather more techy-oriented, requiring more knowledge to set up and a willingness to play about a bit to get it right. If that is for you, then there are people on the forum who can assist, and indeed other forums specialising. When I came to upgrade my ND5XS, I did find an alternative that improved the quality of sound more than the power supply route, at that point replacing the ND5XS and NAS. Again, much on the forum about things like this if/when it may be of interest.

Unfortunately, I think an ND5XS alone even secondhand is somewhat above budget, without adding in the cost of a NAS. Secondhand prices might drop a bit when Naim’s updated streamer range is released, anticipated later this year, so it might make sense to hold back a bit - though that need not preclude getting the NAS now, playing through your computer and existing DAC, with the limitations that may impose.

incidentally, ND5XS with both Twonky and Logitech Media Server on te NAS happily found my music that was stored in a library-like file structure, effectively using that structure to browse. That lulled me into a false sense of security with metadata - all my LP rips had none at all, and there was nothing highlighting any oddities in downloads or ripped CDs. But some music handling software relies wholly on the metadata, and when I changed my system and ended up with something that does just that, I had no end of problems, and it is still a hassle now, several years later, because I simply don’t have the time to go through hundreds of albums adding metadata and hunting out inconsistencies. That is my reason for my earlier cautionary post about metadata.