Uniti: Direct Wired Connection to NAS/UPnP?

I just got a Uniti Atom, which is fantastic, and I have a couple of related questions about how to connect my FLAC library and its metadata.  

My apologies if these questions are very basic, but I am a total novice to streaming audio, hi-fi and UPnP:  

1.  Can I connect a NAS/UPnP drive directly to the Atom via Ethernet wire (or wired USB connection), if the Atom has only a wireless connection to my wi-fi router?  

If so, will the Atom be able to read the customized metadata for the FLAC files directly from the NAS/UPnP drive? 

The Uniti will be the only connection between the NAS/UPnP and my home network.  I can have a wired connection between the Uniti an the NAS/UPnP.  But it will not be possible for me to run a wired connection between the Uniti and my router.

2.  I currently have a regular external hard drive (not UPnP) connected to the Uniti via USB.  It there a way to format or configure the hard drive so that the Uniti can read the metadata associated with the FLAC files on the external drive?  The Uniti seems to only be able to read the names of the folders, subfolders and filenames from the hard drive, but none of the metadata.

3.  Any recommendations on an inexpensive NAS/UPnP?

My setup is a Uniti Atom, with a wi-fi connection to my router.  Music is in FLAC files ripped with dBPoweramp, and metadata modified with MP3Tag (many thanks to the creators of these great programs).  I am located in the US.    

Original Post

I’m a bit baffled by your explanation of what can connect to what, but what you ideally want to do is this:

- run a wire from your router to a switch

- connect your Atom and your Nas with two wires to the switch

For a Nas I’d suggest a Qnap or a Synology. The Qnap will run Asset, which is very good. It will soon be available for Synology as well. The other good upnp server is MinimServer. 

If you have dBPoweramp it will take care of all your metadata needs so you don’t really need MP3tag. 

You will get much more flexibility with a upnp server on a Nas. If you use a USB drive you can only use the less flexible folder view. 

I hope that helps. 

Thanks. 

The Atom and router are in different rooms, and it will not be possible to have a wired connection between the Atom and the router. 

If I have only a wireless connection between the Atom and the router, can I connect the NAS directly to the Atom with an Ethernet cable?

My apologies, but what type of devices could be the switch in the setup you described?  I am not familiar with UPnP setups.

I had thought/hoped that that Atom would act as the hub to control the files on a NAS. 

If your music collection is not huge, try putting it on a USB drive, enable server mode in the Naim app settings menu, and look for it in the server input. There, you should be able to find your music, and the metadata should be visible. 

That may be all you need to do.

The alternative is to put the music an a NAS, run a UPnP server on it, and connect both the NAS and your Atom to an Ethernet switch. 

Johnny Utah posted:

1.  Can I connect a NAS/UPnP drive directly to the Atom via Ethernet wire (or wired USB connection), if the Atom has only a wireless connection to my wi-fi router?  

If so, will the Atom be able to read the customized metadata for the FLAC files directly from the NAS/UPnP drive? 

  

As HH has already said, the answer to this one is "no."  The Atom is designed to be connected to a UPnP server over a home network, and that only works if the devices are each connected to the network.

If you absolutely cannot get an ethernet cable run to where your Atom will live (and do speak to your local hi fi dealer; their technicians run cable all the time and it's not very expensive), the next best is to try wifi.  First try the built in wifi of the Atom.  See how that performs.  If you get drop-outs, you can try to connect the Atom with an ethernet cable to an Apple Airport Express.  That will establish a wifi connection between the Atom and the rest of the network that may be more robust.

Johnny Utah posted:

Thanks. 

The Atom and router are in different rooms, and it will not be possible to have a wired connection between the Atom and the router. 

If I have only a wireless connection between the Atom and the router, can I connect the NAS directly to the Atom with an Ethernet cable?

My apologies, but what type of devices could be the switch in the setup you described?  I am not familiar with UPnP setups.

I had thought/hoped that that Atom would act as the hub to control the files on a NAS. 

If you really struckwith placement.. you can have a network switch by your Atom and place a NAS on that switch.. connect a Wifi access point on the switch and run in ‘ad hoc’ mode to another Wifi  access point plugged into your router switch port. (Ad hoc mode allows Wifi to run efficiently as a point to point link). If really stuck, you could try connecting your remote access point (connected to the switch with the Atom and NAS) into the router Wifi SSID, but this won’t be optimal... and run in regular Wifi client mode.

An alternate is to create a higher grade / commercial grade Wifi using Ubiquiti access points or similar. You can connect two or more such access point back to your broadband router switchports using Ethernet, and ensure their coverage overlaps well in your listening part of the house by creating an ESSID (using the Ubiquit manager software) . This way you can effectively run the Atom via Wifi ... and even the NAS if you have to.. or you can connect the NAS into one of your router switchports. This way your access ports will aim to load balance to provide optimum Wifi service... oh yes if doing this disable your broadband router Wifi ... it won’t be needed any more.

 

 

Thanks for all of the info and help.

It turns out Chrissu’s very simple solution achieved my goal:  Connect a hard drive to the USB port, and play its files using the Uniti’s server mode. 

In case any other novices have the same question:

1.  Connect drive with FLAC files to Atom’s USB connection.

2.  Enable Server Mode on Atom.  In the Naim app’s Settings menu, go to Input Settings / Server and select “Input enabled”.

3.  Also in the Settings menu, go to Other Settings, and select “Server mode”.

4.  From the main menu, select the Server input.  Then select “Local Music”.  

5.  It takes a few minutes for the Uniti to pull all the metadata from the drive.  But after it does, all the album artwork and metadata should be available through the Naim app.

hungryhalibut posted:

I didn’t know you could do that: you learn something every day. It sounds like a nice simple solution. 

Yes, it's a neat feature of the new streamers. I haven't seen any mention of it in from Naim other than buried in the support pages, and I only discovered it by chance in the settings menu on my Atom. It will be interesting to see if it works on the new separate streamers, without compromising sound quality, as I'm sure there are plenty of people who would love to get rid of their NAS.

I suppose a drawback is that if you download an album to your computer you then have to disconnect the usb drive from the Uniti and plug it into the computer to transfer the file, then reverse the process. Or can the computer recognise the usb as a network drive despite it being connected via the Uniti? If it could it would indeed be a neat solution. 

Obsydian posted:

Why not forgo the NAS and just plug a USB £20+ or SSD £80+ into the Atom.

For the reason HH mentioned -- every time you want to add music to your library, you must physically retrieve the drive, connect it to your computer, add the files, then re-attach it to the Atom.  This would not be a long-term solution for me!!!!

Not necessarily... I do precisely that with my SoTM SMS 200..I use WINSCP which allows to sync files as well as simple drag and drop... this USB disc mounted on the SoTM SMS 200 now serves as my NAS for both the office system (with the SMS 200 as both server and renderer -> USB DAC) and the main office (with the SMS 200 purely in NAS minim server mode) serving the NDX. 

 

DrPo posted:

Not necessarily... I do precisely that with my SoTM SMS 200..I use WINSCP which allows to sync files as well as simple drag and drop... this USB disc mounted on the SoTM SMS 200 now serves as my NAS for both the office system (with the SMS 200 as both server and renderer -> USB DAC) and the main office (with the SMS 200 purely in NAS minim server mode) serving the NDX. 

 

That's great that on the SoTM player, the attached usb drive is visible to your network. Is that the case with the Atom? The Atom can serve the files on an attached usb drive to other Naim players on the network; the real question is whether one can write files to said drive from the network.

Bart posted:
Obsydian posted:

Why not forgo the NAS and just plug a USB £20+ or SSD £80+ into the Atom.

For the reason HH mentioned -- every time you want to add music to your library, you must physically retrieve the drive, connect it to your computer, add the files, then re-attach it to the Atom.  This would not be a long-term solution for me!!!!

WiFi USB Sandisk.

Surely something plugged straight into the business end is better than an elloborate remote storage over LAN 🤔

Glad you have the Atom serving local files from its USB storage Johnny. Seems like you’re set.

But to address your original question slightly differently than other advice so far, which has provided ways to locate the NAS beside the Atom (via switches and wireless bridges), you are also able to put the NAS in the room where the router is, and wire it directly using a short Ethernet cable.

Then, almost as you were hoping in concept if not in the physical locations, the Atom (wifi) and the NAS (wired) will be on the same network and able to see each other (this is the function of the home modem/router/wifi point). Run the UPnP server on the NAS and it will show up in the Servers input list on the Atom when you use the app.

The advice here, if you are able, is to make it easy to wire the NAS to the switch in the back of your modem/router/wifi access point (by physically putting it in your basement or wherever your router lives), and leave your Atom in your listening room connected via wifi. The router ensures that the wired and wireless devices are all connected and are all on the same network. I think this is the most common connection scheme, an It’s how lots of people, myself included, run their setup.  

Sorry if you already knew the wired and wireless devices would all be on one network, but your question gave me the impression that this was not understood. Sorry also if this was mentioned but I didn’t see it in the long list of other solution ideas... 

Regards alan

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