Perhaps this will help clarify: I rip and download music files onto external drives connected to my Study PC. JRiver imports them automatically, which I use to edit metadata etc. It’s much easier using a multiple pane layout, a bit like those old Visual Basic editors and on the big monitor I use on my PC. Once that’s done, my backup software runs a script which transfers the new albums over the network to the relevant USB drive attached via a USB hub to a laptop used just for the Hi-Fi, also running JRiver on Windows 8.1. That copy of JRiver imports the new albums and within a few minutes I can access them on my iPad with JRemote. Each night, while I’m piling up the Zs, an automated script on my Study PC copies all the new albums onto another external drive. When that’s full I get a new one and give the full drive to a friend for safe-keeping.
As for the Hi-Fi, as I’ve said, the external USB drives in my music room are attached to the laptop via a USB hub as the laptop has insufficient USB 3.0 ports and the USB hub draws its power from a separate power supply. JRiver, controlled by JRemote, outputs to an ISO Regen with LPS-1.2 battery power supply into my Dave. The rest you’’l know.
What I’m a little unclear about is why continuing to use the external drives via a USB hub would not be a good idea (It appears to be confirmed that it would be technically feasible with an NUC unit running Roon Rock or a Nucleus or similar device.) I could change to NAS for storage in my music room, though I don’t know how noisy that would be, and at present would prefer to avoid that expense unless there were good reasons for doing so.
Basically, I want to be able to continue to copy files over the network to my external drives, which will be connected via the USB hub to, say, an NUS, and Roon would presumably import those new albums into its database as JRiver now does, which I could play using the Roon IOS app.
Or am I completely off the mark?