Naim App

I have a new Naim Nova, having come over from Linn. While I am pleased with the sound I am concerned over the (Android) app.

It regularly falls over and just circles. This does sort itself out and I can live with it. But it regularly loses my NAS - when I select the servers button there is nothing there.

The next/day hour servers appear and it works.

I can always use Roon and Media Monkey happily and without issue. And previously my Linn setup had very few issues over three years of use.

I have spoken to tech support at Naim: they have advised me to check on my network and await the updated android app, which apparently should appear in few weeks along with a firmware update.

But does anyone else have any ideas?

 

Original Post

It may help to reserve the IP address of the equipment involved (ie if your router supports it, tell it to always give your Nova and your NAS their current IP addresses).

Then rather than leaving the app to auto-discover the Nova, set it up as a 'room' manually by entering the relevant IP address.

I stress the 'may help', but it only takes a minute to give it a try.

Dave, the problem isn't finding the Naim Streamer (yes setting that to a fixed IP and manually entering the devices IP fixes that problem); the problem is detecting the Media Server.

There is NO SUPPORT for using a fixed IP to find the Media Server AND NO WAY to force the app to reconnect to the media server.  When the app messes up there is nothing that the user can do other than wait.  The app is written assuming that it's perfect and nothing will go EVER wrong with finding the Media Server.  The programmers believe that they know better than the users.

I've seen this programming style many times before...  THIS IS PROGRAMMING ARROGANCE of the HIGHEST WATER.

All that's needed is a button to allow the user to force a reconnect, it's REALLY SIMPLE; the failure to allow this option to the user is utter crap.


I'm now starting to send feedback to Naim to this effect EACH TIME the app f***s up.  Maybe we can embarrass them into doing something sensible!

Aha, so the 'may' in 'may help' should evidently be replaced with 'won't'.

For a while, I did make a habit of using the automatic report function each time the app crashed. I'm quite sure that someone at the other end got very bored. But this problem seems not to cause a crash, and so I tend to be too busy being irritable to send a report each time there's an issue. More power to the elbows of those who do so.

Fingers crossed that the expected update in a week or so is somewhat less arrogant! And in the meantime, let's just enjoy the phrase 'of the highest water'. It brings back some great memories of Niagara, last time I toured the US & Canada!

Can't you set-up the media server through rooms manually, or am I missing something? I should add that I don't have a Nova. If the app is playing up finding the MS and you're network is hard wired have you tried the Naim recommended start up procedure, IE, power every thing down including the router and network switch, disconnect at network switch if fitted. Power up router and wait 5 mins for it to connect to internet and network, power up n/w switch and wait. Power up media server, wait, then connect network cables to server. Lastly power up Nova, wait, then connect network cables to it. I think that's correct, others will tell you if I've got it wrong! I must admit to having hassle with the Android app and to a lesser extent also the Apple app. To get everything done I use a mixture of both, unfortunately you can't use both at the same time.

Hi Huge and Boris, Sorry of limited help then, as I said, I don't have a Nova. Just for my information, would restarting as I suggested help in any way. On my system of Core, Qnap and NAC 272 it cured a number of issues including not 'seeing' my Qnap either in Apple or Android. Rich.

Thanks Rich 1.

I know exactly what causes the issue, and from previous professional experience, I have pretty good idea of what is going on when it happens.  I just need to persuade the people that write the Android code, either to drop and reconnect the network socket correctly or provide a way for the user to do it.

If they can't be persuaded to write their code correctly, then we need to persuade Naim to find a group of competent programmers.

It does supprise me that the app ... particularly the android app ...is so poor

It is not really fit for purpose , and it cannot be beyond the abilities of the design team to put some effort into producing a decent interface

But having seen the woes around the core etc ... perhaps it is ??

Huge posted:

....the problem is detecting the Media Server.

There is NO SUPPORT for using a fixed IP to find the Media Server AND NO WAY to force the app to reconnect to the media server....

Does the Naim app connect to media servers? I was under the impression that it connects only to the streamer, and only sees info from the server that is presented to it by the streamer.

Chris,

My understanding is that the app connects to the UPnP server for navigating the library/track selection/starting playback etc. but presumably also connects to the streamer for issues relating to system automation e.g. volume control/imput selection.

Yes the app is just awful on Android unless you either reserve the devices IP in you DHCP allocation on the router or assign your own ip out of the DHCP range. Even then its a flakey piece of programming which crashes at the drop of a hat our fails you show you anything at all once connected.

Huge posted:

A UPnP AV / DLNA Control Point connects to both the Media Server and the Media Renderer,

Indeed, the Naim app gets all the directory and group information from the media server, along with a unique reference for each piece of media. The Naim app then tells the streamer which media server and unique references to sequence up in the buffer or play list. The streamer then fetches the media and its meta data  using this unique reference from the appropriate media server, and the streamer  then tells the Naim app what is playing at a point in time, what is in the playlist buffer and sequence list as well as providing meta data from the media reference on the media server.

The Naim streamer coordinates the media replay with the media server for a given sequence or playlist which enables  gapless playback where two adjacent  media references are actually concurrently  spooled by the streamer for a short period time so as to allow seamless playback between them.

Well the firmware update arrived and it did say it would improve stability of app. However I am still struggling to get it to see the NAS. 7/10 times it does not. Not surprisng I guess in view of the above.

This morning the older versions of Android seem fine but on Android 8.0.0 consistently nothing. Finds no network devices at all.

Out of interest what do I lose sound quality wise if I use Media Monkey? I guess it is using Chromecast.

Now I could move things around and place my NAS near the nova and connect up by USB cable so that I can reliably use my (now £4,200) Nova with my music library?

Boris786 posted:

I have a new Naim Nova, having come over from Linn. While I am pleased with the sound I am concerned over the (Android) app.

It regularly falls over and just circles. This does sort itself out and I can live with it. But it regularly loses my NAS - when I select the servers button there is nothing there.

The next/day hour servers appear and it works.

I can always use Roon and Media Monkey happily and without issue. And previously my Linn setup had very few issues over three years of use.

I have spoken to tech support at Naim: they have advised me to check on my network and await the updated android app, which apparently should appear in few weeks along with a firmware update.

But does anyone else have any ideas?

 

Why not just stick with Roon? So much better...

V2.6 is the fourth attempt to fix a simple problem with the use of the network (sockets) interface.  When I worked as a systems designer / consultant, I frequently used to see these exact symptoms in applications written by naive coders; to fail to fix it in four attempts is incompetence.

Here's my latest feedback to the Android development team (I stopped being nice to them after telling them how to fix it and being ignored - twice, six months and two versions apart!).

"V2.6 yet another failed attempt at a simple programming task; obviously not a clue how to use a sockets network interface.

still won't find the media server on waking from sleep 4 attempts to fix this simple problem and all failed - complete incompetence, especially as I've already told you what the fix is."

my solution to this  was i buy an iPad that i didn't want to do BUT the android app was useless ,  in fact the apple one aint much better.  Hear it too many times ,its my fault /network etc. i STARTED STREAMING WITH SONOS  10 YEARS AGO AND THE APP WAS GOOD.   i also have aries system/app for the last year and dont recall one glitch  .  Come on naim  sort it 

sjbabbey posted:

Chris,

My understanding is that the app connects to the UPnP server for navigating the library/track selection/starting playback etc. but presumably also connects to the streamer for issues relating to system automation e.g. volume control/imput selection.

I've just checked your profile and see that you too have an NDS. Do you actually see a volume control on the Naim app? I don't. 

Clive B posted:
sjbabbey posted:

Chris,

My understanding is that the app connects to the UPnP server for navigating the library/track selection/starting playback etc. but presumably also connects to the streamer for issues relating to system automation e.g. volume control/imput selection.

I've just checked your profile and see that you too have an NDS. Do you actually see a volume control on the Naim app? I don't. 

Yes I do Clive. I have systems automation enabled and the app can control the volume via my NAP252. The "Now Playing" screen shows the + and - volume and mute icons below the play/pause and navigation icons. I'm using app v 5.9.1 on my ipad mini but earlier versions of the app had the volume controls. In "Other settings" I have both "Show volume control" and "Bottom bar volume control" ticked.

I hope this helps.

Steve

sjbabbey posted:
Clive B posted:
sjbabbey posted:

Chris,

My understanding is that the app connects to the UPnP server for navigating the library/track selection/starting playback etc. but presumably also connects to the streamer for issues relating to system automation e.g. volume control/imput selection.

I've just checked your profile and see that you too have an NDS. Do you actually see a volume control on the Naim app? I don't. 

Yes I do Clive. I have systems automation enabled and the app can control the volume via my NAP252. The "Now Playing" screen shows the + and - volume and mute icons below the play/pause and navigation icons. I'm using app v 5.9.1 on my ipad mini but earlier versions of the app had the volume controls. In "Other settings" I have both "Show volume control" and "Bottom bar volume control" ticked.

I hope this helps.

Steve

I don't see 'Show volume control' or 'Bottom bar volume control' in the "Other settings" page. So I suppose I'd need to enable system automation somehow. How do I do that? Is that something to do with the small small sockets on the rear of the preamp and NDS? How should they be connected? Is it just a 3.5mm iPod type cable?

sjbabbey posted:

Mike, thanks for responding to Clive's query. I would have to go back to page 15 of the NDS manual for the instructions.

Steve

Hi Steve,  I've deleted my post,  it was your question & I'm making it too many cooks so I'll back off

OK lets start again (with apologies to Mike B).

You need to connect a 3.5mm jack cable from one of the 2 Remote Outs on the back of the NDS to the RC5 input on the 552. You will need an adapter to do this (mine was supplied by my local naim dealer). Page 15 Section 4.9 of the NDS manual describes the setup procedure for Systems Automation but basically you use the NDS remote (spanner icon) to enter the settings menu and select systems automation. Once there select Preamp and Enable it.

sjbabbey posted:

OK lets start again (with apologies to Mike B).

You need to connect a 3.5mm jack cable from one of the 2 Remote Outs on the back of the NDS to the RC5 input on the 552. You will need an adapter to do this (mine was supplied by my local naim dealer). Page 15 Section 4.9 of the NDS manual describes the setup procedure for Systems Automation but basically you use the NDS remote (spanner icon) to enter the settings menu and select systems automation. Once there select Preamp and Enable it.

Thanks, Steve and Mike. I've had a look in the manual and found the relevant page. It looks quite interesting, although I wonder what price the adapter will cost from a naim dealer. Anyway, it might be interesting to pursue as it could lead to a reduction in remote controls - currently I have four naim remote control units, three of which are in my listening room, the fourth being in the study with the NS01.

Clive B posted:
sjbabbey posted:

OK lets start again (with apologies to Mike B).

You need to connect a 3.5mm jack cable from one of the 2 Remote Outs on the back of the NDS to the RC5 input on the 552. You will need an adapter to do this (mine was supplied by my local naim dealer). Page 15 Section 4.9 of the NDS manual describes the setup procedure for Systems Automation but basically you use the NDS remote (spanner icon) to enter the settings menu and select systems automation. Once there select Preamp and Enable it.

Thanks, Steve and Mike. I've had a look in the manual and found the relevant page. It looks quite interesting, although I wonder what price the adapter will cost from a naim dealer. Anyway, it might be interesting to pursue as it could lead to a reduction in remote controls - currently I have four naim remote control units, three of which are in my listening room, the fourth being in the study with the NS01.

My dealer gave me a suitable cable for system automation when I bought my 282. They are very cheap. I subsequently changed it for a shorter one to neaten up the cable dressing, for the princely sum of 65p from an online retailer called Kenable. Do a Google search for:

3.5mm Mono Jack Plug To Single RCA Phono Plug Cable 0.5m 50cm (MSR-008245)

...and you'll find it. This is a 0.5m one, they do longer lengths too. 

 

ChrisSU posted:
Clive B posted:
sjbabbey posted:

OK lets start again (with apologies to Mike B).

You need to connect a 3.5mm jack cable from one of the 2 Remote Outs on the back of the NDS to the RC5 input on the 552. You will need an adapter to do this (mine was supplied by my local naim dealer). Page 15 Section 4.9 of the NDS manual describes the setup procedure for Systems Automation but basically you use the NDS remote (spanner icon) to enter the settings menu and select systems automation. Once there select Preamp and Enable it.

Thanks, Steve and Mike. I've had a look in the manual and found the relevant page. It looks quite interesting, although I wonder what price the adapter will cost from a naim dealer. Anyway, it might be interesting to pursue as it could lead to a reduction in remote controls - currently I have four naim remote control units, three of which are in my listening room, the fourth being in the study with the NS01.

My dealer gave me a suitable cable for system automation when I bought my 282. They are very cheap. I subsequently changed it for a shorter one to neaten up the cable dressing, for the princely sum of 65p from an online retailer called Kenable. Do a Google search for:

3.5mm Mono Jack Plug To Single RCA Phono Plug Cable 0.5m 50cm (MSR-008245)

...and you'll find it. This is a 0.5m one, they do longer lengths too. 

 

Perfect, thanks Chris. I'll have a go.

Huge posted:

V2.6 is the fourth attempt to fix a simple problem with the use of the network (sockets) interface.  When I worked as a systems designer / consultant, I frequently used to see these exact symptoms in applications written by naive coders; to fail to fix it in four attempts is incompetence.

Here's my latest feedback to the Android development team (I stopped being nice to them after telling them how to fix it and being ignored - twice, six months and two versions apart!).

"V2.6 yet another failed attempt at a simple programming task; obviously not a clue how to use a sockets network interface.

still won't find the media server on waking from sleep 4 attempts to fix this simple problem and all failed - complete incompetence, especially as I've already told you what the fix is."

Huge

I'm working as a software designer / consultant as you did. Probably different area though - I mostly do webservice related stuff these days.

However I do not qualify myself 'incompetent', I do fail on fixing issues four attempts in a row too - I am having such a project this very day - I don't like this work and even if it is fixed brilliantly the customer will probably pay the bill but not even say 'thank you'. This always happens on the same kind of projects: big legacy, no documentation, limited understanding at the owner of the software - my customer.

I can imagine how this happened at Naim - but I don't have information so I'm purely speculating here. Naim had some streaming initiatives in the past - way before I discovered Naim and as far as I know, many of them are still supported. Guys actually coding things in Apps are relatively young and simply can't judge the total implication of a change. And that is difficult these days. The apps must support the same functionality on iOS and Android - and also the operation via Remote Control and the buttons on the Streamers should not be forgotten.

Such a complex application - I have designed one a few years ago but was discontinued since all financial information (4 billion usd on a yearly basis) was visible and this was a too big security thread - needs a strong architecture. This is relatively easy when a new initiative is started, but not when there is already a load of functionality / code in use. Separation of duties comes to my mind.

In these situations, a difficult transition must be made and this requires one (small, not large!) team, on one place. No offshoring.

By the way, I have insulted many people in the past by calling them 'incompetent' (I'm Dutch, have no problems to do so, pretty shameless). I would not do that to youngsters anymore since they really can't help. They have been asked to do something by some manager. On this manager we can apply the word 'incompetent'.

Ardbeg10y

Hi Ardbeg10y,

Yes indeed I accept a lot of what you say, but for the fact that, firstly the Naim app really is not that complex and, secondly, the worst fault (functionally fatal to one of the basic and primary functions of the code) occurs in a simple piece of code controlling the network connection state (the sockets object) and synchronisation of this to the display refresh (via the document/view model).  Both of these are quite simple, really basic programming elements common to all applications that use network resources.

Incidentally the remote control and front panel function entirely independently of the app, they programme the UPnP AV control point in the streamer hardware.  Even the playlist has only very limited interaction with the app.  The only interaction comes when the app reads the state of the streamer hardware from that control point - including the contents of the playlist - and displays that and the state from the volume control and current play item; or when the app loads a new playlist into the streamer's control point (overwriting what was there previously).

Maybe worth differentiating & noting that the iOS app seems to be operating pretty well trouble free compared to the Android app   

My iOS is practically fault free, never fails to find rooms etc.   That said I expect there are some iOS users with more 'complex'  LAN & wireless setups that could have problems

I disagree with you Mike-B. 

The iOS app is also a nightmare to use. Used through my Iphone 8 Plus, Ipad 4 mini, or Ipod toch 4 (yes, my whole home and mobile devices environment are Apple) and the same glitches accross all the devices. I have the same issues as described above: the app simply don't want to reconnect to my Synologly NAS. 

Very annoying, and even tiring and a real pain on the ars* when you do have to kill the app, launch it again and wait for 5 long minutes or even more for the app to reconnect and wake the NAS from sleep. 

This is even more annoying when my entire (16TB of music and counting) library has to be discovered by the streamer and the app. If I want to play my library in random mode I can't as it is possible on the legacy UQ2 (using the remote control dedicated button). Playing music in shuffle mode is limited to x numbers of tracks not possible for the entire library. 

 

OK Bouba I hear ya,  I am not so presumption as to disagree with your findings of your iOS devices set up on your system.    Like I said in my post,  on my system iOS is practically fault free, never fails to find rooms etc. & having gone through a significant number of beta apps,  that has not always been the case.     I also said that I expect there are some iOS users with more 'complex'  LAN & wireless setups that could have problems,  so I suspect some of your problem might be in your network rather than in the app, but  it does sound like you have a 'Discovery' problem & I know that Naim are working on that.      And finally I also have an Android phone & my post earlier is actually based on comparing that with my iOS,  it's not a complete failure but I prefer not to use it.

Bouba posted:

I disagree with you Mike-B. 

The iOS app is also a nightmare to use. Used through my Iphone 8 Plus, Ipad 4 mini, or Ipod toch 4 (yes, my whole home and mobile devices environment are Apple) and the same glitches accross all the devices. I have the same issues as described above: the app simply don't want to reconnect to my Synologly NAS. 

Very annoying, and even tiring and a real pain on the ars* when you do have to kill the app, launch it again and wait for 5 long minutes or even more for the app to reconnect and wake the NAS from sleep. 

This is even more annoying when my entire (16TB of music and counting) library has to be discovered by the streamer and the app. If I want to play my library in random mode I can't as it is possible on the legacy UQ2 (using the remote control dedicated button). Playing music in shuffle mode is limited to x numbers of tracks not possible for the entire library. 

 

OK, in my case detecting the 272 is reliable and not too slow (2-4s), but detecting the Media Server is a nightmare (about 20% success rate with no timeout), despite not letting the NAS and Media Server sleep (the disk sleeps itself, but wakes to read in <2s).

If you're having trouble detecting the streamer, have you tried giving it a fixed IP address (on the local subnet but outside your network's DHCP range), then manually adding a 'Room' in the Naim app.  This should take the UPnP AV discovery (the initial SSDP call) out of the loop for the streamer.

Last thing: indexing and randomly selecting a single track from 16Tb is asking a lot from an app on a toy OS like iOS or Android, on the other hand it's not actually beyond the wit of man (or even me) to work out a way to do it, but the initial load of the data will be very slow.


BTW I have just today received contact from someone at Naim support, so the light may be the end of the tunnel rather than the proverbial train (I find 2.6 is actually worse than 2.4 or 2.5).

Hi Pev, I've shown at least some of the problems to be down to race errors (i.e. timing errors of internal processes in the app, or the combinaton of internal and external processes), so it depends on the speed of your portable devices and also how that relates to the latency and response time of the other components on your network.  As these timings and latencies are dependant on various elements in the network, it's entirely expected that some people won't have any trouble, some will have occasional trouble and some will get trouble most of the time.  Without very detailed analysis in a number of different networks and network topologies it's not possible to say precisely what combination of components and topology will guarantee success.

Hi Huge, not doubting you or others who have problems.

There does seem to be lot of negativity at the moment on the forum to the point where people are discouraged from even trying some products. They can work well and it's the dealer's job to make sure they do perform in the purchaser's home. Make them earn their mark up!

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