UnitiQute and USB limitations

Posted by: blag on 27 December 2018

Hi.

I have lent my UnitiQute system to a friend who has no computer. The source he's using is a 64GB USB stick, which is pretty full of tracks, whereas when the UQ was here with me it was connected via the home network with TIDAL, iRadio, and a NAS as sources. I have not used this little box with a USB stick previously, but on his router-only (no modem/internet) home network, he has some problems.

He is controlling the UnitiQute via the naim app on android. The UnitiQute is using the latest firmware etc., and the app is the latest version.

These limitations seem to be as follows:

  1. Despite track titles containing a numeric prefix i.e 001xxxxx; 002xxxx etc. etc. the tracks play in the wrong order because they are played alphabetically by the filename. From the NAS back at home, the tracks pay in title order, hence correctly!!
  2. There doesn't seem to be any album art, and there doesn't seem to be any means of selecting how the contents are displayed in the naim app. By this I mean that there doesn't seem to be an option to display the contents 'by folder', 'by artist' etc.
  3. It doesn't seem possible to select additional folders/tracks to play after the current folder/track via the app.
  4. Similarly, I don't see a way of creating playlists.

My questions are:

  1. Are the above fundamental limitations of using a USB stick as the source?
  2. Is there any workaround for any of these limitations?

Thanks in advance!!

Posted on: 28 December 2018 by Richard Dane

When playing back locally on a stick, what you describe above are the limitations of local USB playback on a streamer without a server.  To have what you want, you would need to plug the USB into some kind of server , whether internal (as in the new Unitis) or plugged into one that's external.  It one particular area where the new Unitis - Atom, Star and Nova - are a big advance over the old ones.

Posted on: 28 December 2018 by ChrisSU

I can think of a few workaround solutions, but unfortunately they all require the use of either an iPhone, iPad, computer or NAS, or an internet connection. With none of those, I think youíre stuck!

Posted on: 28 December 2018 by alan33

Does your friend's router have a USB port for external storage? Many modern home router / wifi access points do (eg Asus, LinkSys, etc.). If so, it may also have a UPnP server (again, this is extremely common nowadays)... in which case, he could simply move the memory key from the Qute to the router, turn on its UPnP server, and have a complete intranet-only experience similar to what you enjoyed at your place. The "file folder view" is definitely not as nice to use as the "metadata driven" server solution.... and to check out those differences using what he has at home already, a quick look at the router capabilities is really an easy and worthwhile option. 

Regards, alan

Posted on: 28 December 2018 by blag
ChrisSU posted:

I can think of a few workaround solutions, but unfortunately they all require the use of either an iPhone, iPad, computer or NAS, or an internet connection. With none of those, I think youíre stuck!

Thanks for the reply. My friend is not tech-savvy, but I am, and of course I have access to a computer. If any of the suggestions that you might be able to share with me involve manipulation of the files, I can undertake these on Giuliano's behalf.

I have heard that an app called 'DriveSort' might be of use, but I feel that it might only be of limited use to assist with getting the tracks to play in the correct order from the USB stick. The other problems I listed previously seem to be more intractable.

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by blag
alan33 posted:

Does your friend's router have a USB port for external storage? Many modern home router / wifi access points do (eg Asus, LinkSys, etc.). If so, it may also have a UPnP server (again, this is extremely common nowadays)... in which case, he could simply move the memory key from the Qute to the router, turn on its UPnP server, and have a complete intranet-only experience similar to what you enjoyed at your place. The "file folder view" is definitely not as nice to use as the "metadata driven" server solution.... and to check out those differences using what he has at home already, a quick look at the router capabilities is really an easy and worthwhile option. 

Regards, alan

Alan

Thanks for the reply. I bought the least-expensive router for Giuliano, because he was struggling to access the music via the remote. Giuliano is not tech-savvy, and I thought that the router might resolve the problems for him.

I have done some (not much) research via a well-known international online mega-retailer, but I am confused. I didn't find any that specifically refer to an in-built UPnP server, although different makes seem to have proprietary names for their USB 'port' e.g. 'Shareport'; 'Readyshare'

I can return the original router which does not have a USB port and I have identified an alternative from the same source. This is the Netgear WNDR3400. Without wishing to take too much of your time (https://www.netgear.com/home/p...0.aspx#tab-techspecs), do you think that this would be suitable?

TIA, Mike

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by Bart
blag posted:
alan33 posted:

Does your friend's router have a USB port for external storage? Many modern home router / wifi access points do (eg Asus, LinkSys, etc.). If so, it may also have a UPnP server (again, this is extremely common nowadays)... in which case, he could simply move the memory key from the Qute to the router, turn on its UPnP server, and have a complete intranet-only experience similar to what you enjoyed at your place. The "file folder view" is definitely not as nice to use as the "metadata driven" server solution.... and to check out those differences using what he has at home already, a quick look at the router capabilities is really an easy and worthwhile option. 

Regards, alan

Alan

Thanks for the reply. I bought the least-expensive router for Giuliano, because he was struggling to access the music via the remote. Giuliano is not tech-savvy, and I thought that the router might resolve the problems for him.

I have done some (not much) research via a well-known international online mega-retailer, but I am confused. I didn't find any that specifically refer to an in-built UPnP server, although different makes seem to have proprietary names for their USB 'port' e.g. 'Shareport'; 'Readyshare'

I can return the original router which does not have a USB port and I have identified an alternative from the same source. This is the Netgear WNDR3400. Without wishing to take too much of your time (https://www.netgear.com/home/p...0.aspx#tab-techspecs), do you think that this would be suitable?

TIA, Mike

It appears that a Netgear router with ReadyShare is supposed to do what he needs:

Available on many NETGEAR routers, ReadySHARE USB lets you plug in even more capabilities and convenient features through your routerís USB port. These include USB storage you can wirelessly access at home, free software to easily backup your PC or Mac, wirelessly printing from any PC or Mac and the ability to play, view, listen to, and share your videos, photos, and music on DNLA connected TVs, game consoles, or media players.

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by blag
Bart posted:
blag posted:
alan33 posted:

Does your friend's router have a USB port for external storage? Many modern home router / wifi access points do (eg Asus, LinkSys, etc.). If so, it may also have a UPnP server (again, this is extremely common nowadays)... in which case, he could simply move the memory key from the Qute to the router, turn on its UPnP server, and have a complete intranet-only experience similar to what you enjoyed at your place. The "file folder view" is definitely not as nice to use as the "metadata driven" server solution.... and to check out those differences using what he has at home already, a quick look at the router capabilities is really an easy and worthwhile option. 

Regards, alan

Alan

Thanks for the reply. I bought the least-expensive router for Giuliano, because he was struggling to access the music via the remote. Giuliano is not tech-savvy, and I thought that the router might resolve the problems for him.

I have done some (not much) research via a well-known international online mega-retailer, but I am confused. I didn't find any that specifically refer to an in-built UPnP server, although different makes seem to have proprietary names for their USB 'port' e.g. 'Shareport'; 'Readyshare'

I can return the original router which does not have a USB port and I have identified an alternative from the same source. This is the Netgear WNDR3400. Without wishing to take too much of your time (https://www.netgear.com/home/p...0.aspx#tab-techspecs), do you think that this would be suitable?

TIA, Mike

It appears that a Netgear router with ReadyShare is supposed to do what he needs:

Available on many NETGEAR routers, ReadySHARE USB lets you plug in even more capabilities and convenient features through your routerís USB port. These include USB storage you can wirelessly access at home, free software to easily backup your PC or Mac, wirelessly printing from any PC or Mac and the ability to play, view, listen to, and share your videos, photos, and music on DNLA connected TVs, game consoles, or media players.

Perfect.

You have been very kind. Many t hanks for confirming what I thought.

Now I'll order it!!!

Posted on: 08 January 2019 by blag

I thought I'd take the opportunity to update you.

The router (Netgear WNDR3400) arrived on Monday - delayed due to heavy snowfall late last week.

I can create the shared folders on the USB drives connected to the router, but - so far - the UnitiQute doesn't see the folder. I've been at it for hours and I am beginning to think it will never happen!! Amongst other things, this model doesn't seem (from the internal and external software) to be able to act as a Media Server, because none of these options appear!! (Furthermore this feature isn't listed on the packaging!!)

I contacted Netgear yesterday evening to see if they could help, but so far they have only sent the automated acknowledgment...

Any ideas would be most welcome...

Mike

Posted on: 08 January 2019 by alan33

Sad news and bad luck, Blag! Maybe third time will be the charm for your friend? I poked around and itís hard to find a super cheap older style router with modest wifi that also has a USB port and a UPnP/DLNA server. Lowest priced one I could spot with okay reviews was the Asus RT-N12+ Pro (way under $50 and rated in the ďtop routers below $50 on lifewire, fwiw). Maybe you can find a DLink (I couldnít spot one under $100) or a TP Link (beware as lower priced models have USB but lack DLNA)... but if youíre willing to give it one more shot, youíre nearly there! Best wishes and better luck with the next (final!) order.

(I hesitate to add this, as I suppose youíd have installed one if you had one, but these are the kinds of things people have lying around after an upgrade, so it might also be worth checking out swap meets, pals at work, or online want ad places?)

Regards alan

ps - the Qute canít see files on external or network drives, youíre right... only media streamed from a DLNA server (pointed at an available directory, such as the USB stick) and accessed via the UPnP streaming input. You need both the USB and the media server; bad luck that the DLink has only the USB.

Posted on: 09 January 2019 by blag
alan33 posted:

Sad news and bad luck, Blag! Maybe third time will be the charm for your friend? I poked around and itís hard to find a super cheap older style router with modest wifi that also has a USB port and a UPnP/DLNA server. Lowest priced one I could spot with okay reviews was the Asus RT-N12+ Pro (way under $50 and rated in the ďtop routers below $50 on lifewire, fwiw). Maybe you can find a DLink (I couldnít spot one under $100) or a TP Link (beware as lower priced models have USB but lack DLNA)... but if youíre willing to give it one more shot, youíre nearly there! Best wishes and better luck with the next (final!) order.

(I hesitate to add this, as I suppose youíd have installed one if you had one, but these are the kinds of things people have lying around after an upgrade, so it might also be worth checking out swap meets, pals at work, or online want ad places?)

Regards alan

ps - the Qute canít see files on external or network drives, youíre right... only media streamed from a DLNA server (pointed at an available directory, such as the USB stick) and accessed via the UPnP streaming input. You need both the USB and the media server; bad luck that the DLink has only the USB.

Hi

Alan33, many thanks for your helpful reply.

I cannot find the Asus RT-N12 Pro anywhere online locally (Italy), so I've searched further.

I'm in the sticks, so don't know of many people/places from where I might pick up something like this second-hand.

 

I find the terminology used by manufacturers confusing/unhelpful, but do you think that the NETGEAR  AC1200 will do what I want? I can get this for little more than I paid for the WDNR3400.

Mike

Posted on: 09 January 2019 by alan33

Hi Mike -

i really cant advise you on the Netgear AC1200, as there seem to be several models (eg R6200, R6300, and an extender EA6200) that are all different in features and price. I didnít find anything consistent or easy to understand about their product numbering, so you should be very careful: the ACxx00 label tells you how fast the wifi access can go (aggregated over both 2 and 5 GHz bands); lower numbers were available earliest, are cheapest, but therefore have spotty feature completeness as firmware revisions arenít always available (and NETGEAR seems to release new models rather than updating firmware). If that is your brand of choice, you should read carefully - it has to have UPnP and not just USB file sharing. The R6300 might be okay; the R6200 will not; the EA6200 has a UPnP server, but I canít tell if it is also a basic router and DHCP server (ie if it can be used standalone to create the simple tiny network your friend needs).

I looked on amazon Italy and neither of the low priced Asus models are fit for purpose; the one with USB only has file or print sharing... not enough.

It may not be possible to find a new retail model under 50Ä that does this... how is the budget? Once you get close to or above 100Ä, you are seeing newer models and fuller feature sets. In this case, although the wifi throughput is largely irrelevant (it will only be for the iPhone running the naim app; the Qute will be plugged in), the newer units will have better processors and memory... which in turn means richer features like UPnP.

This just turned into a ďreal friends help, but canít do miraclesĒ job, I think! Still, even jumping up to 150Ä for a decent router, itís probably the lowest cost and technically simple path to basic streaming from a modestly sized local library solution. 

As a gateway device, claiming to give good routing, good wifi, and the beginnings of NAS style services from a single box and external storage, you could look at the (relatively new) Synology RT1900AC routers... probably at or above the upper end for price, but youíd be buying reasonable performance and convenience. I have a Synology NAS, but not their router.m, so no direct experience... 

Regards alan

 

Posted on: 09 January 2019 by blag
alan33 posted:

Hi Mike -

i really cant advise you on the Netgear AC1200, as there seem to be several models (eg R6200, R6300, and an extender EA6200) that are all different in features and price. I didnít find anything consistent or easy to understand about their product numbering, so you should be very careful: the ACxx00 label tells you how fast the wifi access can go (aggregated over both 2 and 5 GHz bands); lower numbers were available earliest, are cheapest, but therefore have spotty feature completeness as firmware revisions arenít always available (and NETGEAR seems to release new models rather than updating firmware). If that is your brand of choice, you should read carefully - it has to have UPnP and not just USB file sharing. The R6300 might be okay; the R6200 will not; the EA6200 has a UPnP server, but I canít tell if it is also a basic router and DHCP server (ie if it can be used standalone to create the simple tiny network your friend needs).

I looked on amazon Italy and neither of the low priced Asus models are fit for purpose; the one with USB only has file or print sharing... not enough.

It may not be possible to find a new retail model under 50Ä that does this... how is the budget? Once you get close to or above 100Ä, you are seeing newer models and fuller feature sets. In this case, although the wifi throughput is largely irrelevant (it will only be for the iPhone running the naim app; the Qute will be plugged in), the newer units will have better processors and memory... which in turn means richer features like UPnP.

This just turned into a ďreal friends help, but canít do miraclesĒ job, I think! Still, even jumping up to 150Ä for a decent router, itís probably the lowest cost and technically simple path to basic streaming from a modestly sized local library solution. 

As a gateway device, claiming to give good routing, good wifi, and the beginnings of NAS style services from a single box and external storage, you could look at the (relatively new) Synology RT1900AC routers... probably at or above the upper end for price, but youíd be buying reasonable performance and convenience. I have a Synology NAS, but not their router.m, so no direct experience... 

Regards alan

 

Alan

Again, many thanks.

The model I have found is the R6220, and I tried posting a link to the model I found, but I failed!! So, here it is in longhand....  https://www.amazon.it/Connessi...words=netgear+ac1200

The Netgear page for this model is here https://www.netgear.com/home/p...i-routers/R6220.aspx 

There is reconditioned model available via Prime for just Euros 36.60, which is very realistic. I have no preference for the manufacturer, but finding my way through all the terminology that each different manufacturer uses is just a bit too much for me. And doing an online search for router with Media Server or UpNP doesn't seem to get me very far!!!

Am I right in thinking that DLNA is the same as/equivalent to UpNP?

I note your recommendation for the Synology, but the price here is just a bit too rich for me. In fact if I were going to spend that much I would go straight for a Synology NAS with just one disk.

Mike

Posted on: 09 January 2019 by alan33

Hi Mike -

As mentioned (but buried in my long reply), the R6220 is not going to work for this. 

You may indeed be better off going for the cheapest router and a second device for streaming server: my solution was a minimal approach as you said you wanted the minimum possible hardware, and did not want to consider a NAS. Since you donít already have the router with the USB port and the UPNP server capabilities on hand, it may be best to let that go... I suggested it only because people donít always know they have what they need already, but your friend doesnít!

Going beyond the router-only approach (or even identifying an appropriate box to implement this idea) takes a little extra effort. How best to do this depends on your interest and skill level, as well as price! A Raspberry Pi is very cheap, could plug into the router (any one with a switch), and enable you to mount discs and serve UPnP / DLNA audio to the Qute; Simon-in-Suffolk really endorses and enjoys this method. Even adding the Netgear EA6200 to a (non-wifi?!) router would work to add this capability, but price should determine your choice at that point. Of course a cheap and cheerful 1-disc NAS on the internal network (you will always need at least a basic router) is what others proposed and is likely the better long term approach... but the new Synology box is aiming to position itself in this exact ďintermediate price / intermediate performance / lots of servicesĒ space, and thatís why I mentioned it.

And yes, UPNP servers and DLNA services are related and sort of interchangeable... but you should read the label to be sure that whatever you buy actually does what you want, since the older and cheaper boxes on your radar might have UPnP to mount a pen drive and act as a backup or print server, but not be capable to run an audio streaming server. 

Sorry if this isnít any more clear or helpful 

Regards alan

Posted on: 09 January 2019 by blag
alan33 posted:

Hi Mike -

As mentioned (but buried in my long reply), the R6220 is not going to work for this. 

You may indeed be better off going for the cheapest router and a second device for streaming server: my solution was a minimal approach as you said you wanted the minimum possible hardware, and did not want to consider a NAS. Since you donít already have the router with the USB port and the UPNP server capabilities on hand, it may be best to let that go... I suggested it only because people donít always know they have what they need already, but your friend doesnít!

Going beyond the router-only approach (or even identifying an appropriate box to implement this idea) takes a little extra effort. How best to do this depends on your interest and skill level, as well as price! A Raspberry Pi is very cheap, could plug into the router (any one with a switch), and enable you to mount discs and serve UPnP / DLNA audio to the Qute; Simon-in-Suffolk really endorses and enjoys this method. Even adding the Netgear EA6200 to a (non-wifi?!) router would work to add this capability, but price should determine your choice at that point. Of course a cheap and cheerful 1-disc NAS on the internal network (you will always need at least a basic router) is what others proposed and is likely the better long term approach... but the new Synology box is aiming to position itself in this exact ďintermediate price / intermediate performance / lots of servicesĒ space, and thatís why I mentioned it.

And yes, UPNP servers and DLNA services are related and sort of interchangeable... but you should read the label to be sure that whatever you buy actually does what you want, since the older and cheaper boxes on your radar might have UPnP to mount a pen drive and act as a backup or print server, but not be capable to run an audio streaming server. 

Sorry if this isnít any more clear or helpful 

Regards alan

Hi

Thanks, again alan!!!

Without wishing to take up more of your time. Stupid statement that, because the very act of reading this consumes time!!

I'm financing all this for a friend, hence my desire to keep the costs as low as possible. For me, I would manage with the remote only, but Giuliano and Grazia (to whom I lent the UQ) are even less tech-savvy than I am!! Thus access to tracks via the naim app on their smartphone is their preference because despite repeated attempts to demonstrate how to get at tracks via the remote they haven't yet mastered this.

In some ways I am beginning to regret this act of generosity on my part, because a 'dependency' seems to be building up, but if you can't help a friend....

I suppose I could buy a new NAS for me, and pass on the one I have here to them for them to install their own collection of music, but the cost is now escalating. Of course I would keep the basic router.

Netgear finally came back to me and I have taken the opportunity to define exactly what i want to achieve, and have enquired of them whether the R6220 will work. I did this prior to receiving your reply.

Mike

Posted on: 09 January 2019 by David Stewart

Having read this thread I think Alan probably has the best solution with the Raspberry Pi. It's very simple, small,  quiet and uses little power. It has the benefit that once you set it up for him it will require no further attention. You can buy a kit very cheaply, install the supplied Raspbian o/s, install MinimServer (free), plug in your USB stick and it will serve up the music on demand, controlled by Naim app on his phone.

I've had one with a 128GB stick (storing about 300 CDs) as a server to our SuperUniti for over two years and it's been excellent, so much so that i can't really see the need to invest in a more expensive NAS. Best of luck anyway, whatever solution you go for.

David

 

Posted on: 09 January 2019 by alan33

Dear Mike -

I hear you, and encourage you to keep the satisfaction of helping a friend at top-of-mind (even when it turns out that you are in a bit deeper than you thought)! Itís very generous of you, and indeed you should be happy as well as your friends.

Maybe you could help them step back: the file-view available in the Naim app on their phone for the local USB content is already a step ahead of the navigation by the IR remote and Qute screen. Mission accomplished... but thatís where you were with the original post.

The desired refinement was to have navigation improved by accessing metadata, for which you need a UPnP server and (local) network streaming. If you had been more fortunate, a router mounted USB key would have done it for you... but no such luck. You now have to choose how, or maybe whether, to proceed.

Given your self assessment as having low tech skills, the cheapest path of adding an RPi raises the question of whether you think you and your friend could follow some simple online tutorials to buy the Pi, download and copy the operating system suitable to run a UPnP server, then point it at a USB drive and launch the server. Really this is not as hard to do as it is to describe, and there is a ton of help available online and here on the forum... you might even have fun as you learn and succeed.

Given the financial constraints, factoring in your own time line for upgrading your NAS is very appropriate. Itís clear that your old system will find a happy home when it is no longer needed at your place. That solution, longer term, will really work well.

I donít have a magic answer, unfortunately. If you could source a (used) Asus RT-N66 it should be less than 50Ä and it will work out of the box. If you could source a Raspberry Pi, it would also cost less than 50Ä and it would take a weekend or two (or an hour or two if you had help), and would work with some assembly required. If you pull the trigger on your own NAS upgrade and gift your existing one to your friend, it will work in a minute or two. 

My best for success and fun and friendship. 

Regards alan

Posted on: 09 January 2019 by blag
alan33 posted:

Dear Mike -

I hear you, and encourage you to keep the satisfaction of helping a friend at top-of-mind (even when it turns out that you are in a bit deeper than you thought)! Itís very generous of you, and indeed you should be happy as well as your friends.

Maybe you could help them step back: the file-view available in the Naim app on their phone for the local USB content is already a step ahead of the navigation by the IR remote and Qute screen. Mission accomplished... but thatís where you were with the original post.

The desired refinement was to have navigation improved by accessing metadata, for which you need a UPnP server and (local) network streaming. If you had been more fortunate, a router mounted USB key would have done it for you... but no such luck. You now have to choose how, or maybe whether, to proceed.

Given your self assessment as having low tech skills, the cheapest path of adding an RPi raises the question of whether you think you and your friend could follow some simple online tutorials to buy the Pi, download and copy the operating system suitable to run a UPnP server, then point it at a USB drive and launch the server. Really this is not as hard to do as it is to describe, and there is a ton of help available online and here on the forum... you might even have fun as you learn and succeed.

Given the financial constraints, factoring in your own time line for upgrading your NAS is very appropriate. Itís clear that your old system will find a happy home when it is no longer needed at your place. That solution, longer term, will really work well.

I donít have a magic answer, unfortunately. If you could source a (used) Asus RT-N66 it should be less than 50Ä and it will work out of the box. If you could source a Raspberry Pi, it would also cost less than 50Ä and it would take a weekend or two (or an hour or two if you had help), and would work with some assembly required. If you pull the trigger on your own NAS upgrade and gift your existing one to your friend, it will work in a minute or two. 

My best for success and fun and friendship. 

Regards alan

Hi alan

I understand all you say. Despite my ignorance in this specific arena, I am not without technical skills - it is just that I am in unfamiliar territory when it comes to routers, usb and servers. But we all have to start somewhere.

I am tempted to give the Raspberry Pi solution a try. the fact that others are using this to do exactly what i want gives me much reassurance, and having taken two false steps already, i don't want to continue on this slippery path.

I have asked a few questions of David Stewart, who responded shortly before your latest responses. if you feel that you can add further insight on my dialogue with him, I'd be most grateful if you could be so kind as to add your thoughts.

Mike

Posted on: 09 January 2019 by blag
David Stewart posted:

Having read this thread I think Alan probably has the best solution with the Raspberry Pi. It's very simple, small,  quiet and uses little power. It has the benefit that once you set it up for him it will require no further attention. You can buy a kit very cheaply, install the supplied Raspbian o/s, install MinimServer (free), plug in your USB stick and it will serve up the music on demand, controlled by Naim app on his phone.

I've had one with a 128GB stick (storing about 300 CDs) as a server to our SuperUniti for over two years and it's been excellent, so much so that i can't really see the need to invest in a more expensive NAS. Best of luck anyway, whatever solution you go for.

David

 

David

Thanks for this suggestion. I was avoiding the Pi, because it seems very much a DIY thing. But, since others are using this for exactly the purpose that I have described, I am encouraged to give this a try.

Nevertheless - you might have already guessed - I have a few questions. (Please feel free to correct me if any of my assumptions are incorrect!!)

As I understand the workings of the Pi, if I install the Minim server I will be able to access the files on a USB flash/thumb drive plugged into the Pi and serve them to the UQ and control this process via the naim app on my friend's phone.

I presume that the output will be via the ethernet port, which is where a question arises. Is a router still required? (OH!! I see a problem: the router is required so as to provide wifi for naim app control...)

(I realise that alan33 has covered this, but I am thinking that I could just connect the Pi into the ethernet port in the Qute)

alan33 posted:

 

Given the financial constraints, factoring in your own time line for upgrading your NAS is very appropriate. Itís clear that your old system will find a happy home when it is no longer needed at your place. That solution, longer term, will really work well.Regards alan

alan

I will probably wait a while to see how Brexit and the stock markets fare before I embark on repacing my NAS. It's only a year or so old, and has, I hope lots of life still left in it!!

Mike

Posted on: 09 January 2019 by ChrisSU

A Pi running a server with USB storage seems like quite a good low budget option to me, if you are prepared to set it up. Whatever server/NAS you choose, you could just use a switch to connect it, a wireless access point, and possibly also the streamer cia Ethernet. That gives you a very simple little LAN. If you already have a suitable Ďrouterí that might fulfil the function of switch and LAN without any further investment, but at least this is all low cost stuff. 

Posted on: 09 January 2019 by David Stewart

Mike, in response to your earlier post. In my original setup I had the RPi and SuperUniti connected via Ethernet cables to the wifi router and used the Naim app on an Android tablet to access MinimServer on the RPi. That allows me to select music from the ripped CDs on the USB stick by track title, artist, genre efc. I've since added a low cost Ethernet switch as I needed more Ethernet connections than the router provided. I Hope that answers your questions. It really is all quite straightforward stuff if you're reasonable tech savvy.

David's S

 

 

Posted on: 09 January 2019 by alan33

There are (quite) a few reasons for including a (multi function) router in the hardware list as you build the very simple local area network... and few (none?!) actually involve ďroutingĒ the traffic (until your friend chooses to connect to the internet, in which case it will also perform routing of traffic from the intranet / LAN to the extranet / internet / WAN).

First and foremost, you get a DHCP server, which hands out the IP addresses to each device on the (local area) network. There will be one for the Netgear router itself, one for the Qute, one for the Pi. Without the DHCP server, eg if you used only a switch, you would have to manually assign every IP address to every device; this is possible but neither necessary nor worthwhile. 

These three devices (Netgear router,  Naim Qute, Raspberry Pi) will all be wired together (using simple and short Ethernet cables)  and connected to your network via the switch, another important component of the router box - itís not just a router remember - the switch is important functionality number two! The switch ports are usually found on the back of your router, and the switch often has four (or four LAN plus one WAN) ports. If you have more devices youíd like to wire in (not in this scenario, of course) you can string together additional switches to add more ports.

The third function of your all-in-one router, living at the heart of your network, is the WiFi access point... and the DHCP server will assign a (local) IP address to each wireless device (phones and tablets and so on) that you connect. These wireless devices will all be part of the same local area network as the devices wired into the switch  (and strictly speaking, the router will ensure that traffic flows seamlessly between wired and wireless devices so that this is completely transparent to you).

It can be done other ways, but you already have the router / switch / access point box in your Netgear device, so you are best to stick with that.

The streaming functionality is indeed over the Ethernet cabling and travelling on the network, but it doesnít work the way you are imagining it: you canít (or at least you canít easiky) plug in the Pi to the Quteís Ethernet port because the protocols have very little or no resemblance to what happens when you ply a USB key filled with music files into the Quteís USB port. Trust me on this part for now, and donít get bogged down (yet) trying to understand why... your first and most important learnings will be getting the Pi up and running with MinimServer and playing music via the Quteís streaming interface. 

Best of luck, keep forging ahead, you and your friends will both take huge satisfaction when the first streamed track starts playing!

Regards, alan

Posted on: 10 January 2019 by blag

Thanks to one and all. In particular to alan, who has been exhaustive in his efforts to enlighten me.

I have decided to go for the Raspberrry Pi option, and am just about to place an order for one. (Delivery will probably be delayed, because I awoke to a heavy overnight snowfall!!)

Mike

Posted on: 14 January 2019 by blag

Well, the Pi arrived this afternoon, but I regret to report that I haven't had much joy.

First, using the NOOBS (preinstalled on the microSD  card), I was able to install the raspbian OS without too much difficulty, although I don't understand why the initial download/installation direct from the official web site needed a lengthy update.

Then I downloaded the MinimServer ARM64-bit (for the Pi 3B+) to the device and, as far as I know installed it correctly following detailed on-line instructions. I did this several times, because the installation didn't seem to work. The desktop logo appeared OK, but I was never asked for a location for the music, and there was never any interface. Furthermore, I checked the logs, and some referred to a file being missing, but I was able to find the file at the path indicated. No matter what I did, restart, reinstall etc. etc. I couldn't get the Server to start. I even tried different ARM versions of the server software, all with the same result. (Each time I took great care to delete - as far as I know - all the relevant legacy files, but since I am not familiar with the file system, and could not find any 'uninstall' option, this may have not been successful)

I was pretty frustrated, not least of having to do most of the stuff via the terminal, so I looked for an alternative music server. Seeing that Volumio had a few reasonable reviews, I chose this and installed it on to the Micro SD card. BOHHHH!! BAD MOVE. This seems to have eliminated everything else from the SD, and I cannot find a way (other than via the analogue audio output on the Pi) of playing anything. My naim app, nor any of my naim streamers sees the Volumio.

Because the Volumio installation has (apparently) overwritten everything else, I cannot even see the error logs from MinimServer. But, I did a search on the web and in the MinimServer forums to see if the error in the log produced any hits. I found none!!!

This is NOT what I hoped for, so I am turning back to you helpful people out there to advise me what I should do now. I am not convinced that MinimServer is going to work, because there seems to be a fundamental flaw in the set-up.

I presume that I have to do something pretty drastic to get out of this Volumio nightmare??

Mike