Goodbye NAS, hello USB drive

Let’s just say that your threat model is completely different from mine.

I’m concerned about inadvertent damage by household residents or their friends or guests. You’re worried about miscreants penetrating your LAN from the outside.

Clearly, your threat model dictates a different course of action.

Either way, saying “I have backups, should anything bad happen” is not actually an answer to anything (though, of course, you should still have backups as well).

Every company’s IT administrator can tell you stories about inadvertent/unintentional loss of data. It’s usually the top cause for the need to access backup data. It’s a human thing to make errors, there is no prevention against it.
Even I may manage to delete the wrong album in Roon on occasions.

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Oh yes indeed.

I also moved from NAS to USB and it made a huge difference. I still keep the NAS as backup.

I set up for the best of both worlds.

All content (master copies) stored on a Synology NAS (RAID)
Synology Drive client software on Roon Core system, a dedicated MacMini
Drive set up to live-sync my library on the NAS to a local drive - specify one way sync so no chance of accidental deletions or other damage to files on the Mac getting back to master copies on NAS.
Backups run from NAS not the Mac Mini local drive.

Now adding albums to the NAS results in replication to the local drive on the Mac core system and appearance on Roon all within seconds.

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I to switched to using a usb drive on my core late last year after using my Nas for years. Much better user experience over all. Faster at displaying results and artwork in remotes, instant updates when adding files. I use the Nas purely as backup now.

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I now also have 2 licences, since I have 2 homes - wanting the same Roon experience in both with everything in sync, without turning on and off cores, leaving others in silence…
This also has a very positive side effect, I use Resilio (free) to sync the musicfiles and Roon Backups via Internet - making it a perfect offsite backup.

Backups are extremely important, especially also having one offsite. The NAS has a little bit of added security through RAID, so if one disk has a problem, the others take over. Which is good, but having a real backup is better anyway.

All in all having gone directly to connected disk has made the entire Roon experience snappier and having new musicfiles pop up immediately in Roon, is just so much better than doing complete scans - a real world of difference!

Safety is a combination of the two and I do both.

  1. I think you overestimate the impact audio has on a modern network. These files are small. I have no trouble streaming 4K to my 2 Apple TVs while I am playing music to a remote end-point - everything wireless, except for the NAS to Core connection which is on the same wired switch. YMMV, depending on how you have your network configured.

  2. Yes, but I don’t see your point. I don’t use my Roon Server for library management; I use a MacBook Pro and am able to update my in-house library from anywhere on the Internet. That would be more complex to setup with a direct attached device. So. yeah, it’s true.

  1. Mine does detect new files, but I have it set to a 4 hour scan interval. You can change the value to something else. Again, I am not adding new music every hour.

  2. I haven’t seen that problem, myself. It scans and finds everything.

My hands are bigger than your’s.

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Neither am I. But, when I do add a new album, I tend to be impatient; I want to play it now!

Hmm. Well, it’s pretty consistent for me. Changing the SMB share to r/w doesn’t help (it shouldn’t; Roon’s documentation says that it doesn’t write to the media directory).

It’s a minor annoyance, but still an annoyance. Not quite enough, though to induce me to install a hard drive on my Roon Core machine.

I’m currently using a Synology NAS to stream music (and 4K video for that matter). My (non-streaming) music library is small by all accounts, but playing it back with Roon is instant and, once the music library is indexed, I wouldn’t see how it is any different from streaming (Qobuz, Tidal, …).

I mainly use a NAS so that I can centralize storage (music, tv shows, movies, documents, …), manage access rights, and do cloud backups. It also serves as a way for me to access my data from anywhere in the world through VPN. In that regard, I believe it to be a fairly elegant solution.

That being said, I’m contemplating putting an SSD into my Nucleus. Since I’m not going to ditch the NAS infrastructure I already have, I would be interested in hearing how people synchronise their Nucleus (or ROCK) with a NAS.

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IMHO a RAID with redundancy just adds (a little bit) to the reliability of a NAS it does nothing for (data) safety. Lost data is still lost.

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After using a ReadyNAS as my music storage medium for over a decade, it had become my security blanket. Consequently, it came as a shock when the thing failed and disc redundancy wasn’t much help. It wasn’t just a simple matter of moving the discs. I had to start all over again setting a new NAS from a backup.

Since then, I’ve moved to USB storage attached directly to my ROCK NUC. The NAS is now part of my back up regime. I agree with what’s been said above about Roon working so much better with directly attached storage. It’s a simpler more elegant solution.

Lots of horror stories out there about those who unfortunately thought RAID was a backup solution.
https://lmgtfy.com/?q=raid+is+not+a+backup

Especially if your intern demonstrates how RAID works by pulling a disk, as the array is rebuilding the index.

And despite the huge sign saying “customer data do not touch”.

A sector level rebuild ensued.

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I use my Synology NAS as the master storage and auto-mirror it to the SSD in my Intel NUC. This is fully automatic via the Synology, using WebDAV and Cloud Sync (in order to get around the absence of rsync compatibility with ROCK). Just mount the Roon storage to the NAS as a remote Samba connection, then WebDAV will expose the NAS as a cloud service, and you configure a sync task in Cloud Sync with the “cloud” set to localhost:5005 (assuming you use the default port for WebDAV). All edits to the master strorage are sync’d in real time, completely seamless.

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Weird - using a QNAP TS-251+ for my music store here and have never noticed the issues described. I must admit, these days I am not adding ripped CDs directly top the NAS that often these days (as tend to rip using the features in ROCK to one of the SSDs more often now), but those I have appeared immediately. If I am ripping to NAS, then I am usually doing on it my mac via dbPowerAmp, usually to a local folder first then bulk copying the rips to my NAS once I’m sure its a good rip.

My core is on a NUC 717 running ROCK. I could move all my music to the NUCs second internal HD I guess (well sync rather than move) - there is plenty of room, but the lack of any noticed problems with scans or playback performance has given me no reason to do so. I do have other services on the NAS that are actively watching the media folders as well along with a bunch of different NAS accounts (I also keep separate account for writing to those shares so media players and other computers generally only have read access) - I don’t know if that should make any difference.

I wonder what NAS’ people are using who experience problems and what NAS OS versions / share settings etc and what the core is running on? I guess there must be some common pattern to this.

I’ve read a few sweeping statements across the forum about how much better a USB drive is than a NAS, but they always seem to be unqualified, apart from a few that say it speeds up loading, and visibility of new material. Neither if these are noticeably slow to me with a NAS. So I’m wondering what other benefits anyone has found? Better sound? Reliability?