Help with setting up watch folder on MacBook Air with Roon Nucleus Core - New to Roon!

Core Machine (Operating system/System info/Roon build number)

Roon Nucleus 2019 Version

Network Details (Including networking gear model/manufacturer and if on WiFi/Ethernet)

Nucleus plugged in to Netgear router. Remaining set up using WiFi

Audio Devices (Specify what device you’re using and its connection type - USB/HDMI/etc.)

Sonos Move, KEF LSX, Chromecast audio

Description Of Issue

Hi, Im trying to set up my watched folders but can’t seem to find them/ set up the right path despite following the instructions on the Roon KB. I am new to Roon and configured my MacBook Air to use as a remote with the Roon Core being my Nucleus. Probably a basic enquiry but any help would be awesome! I plan to plug a hard drive via USB into my nucleus as well. The music on my MacBook is in two places - downloaded into a folder on my hard drive and backed up in iCloud. Thanks!

Hi Adith,

Welcome to the community.

Using a hard drive and connecting it directly to the Nucleus is a good way to go. Having the music on your MacBook means it has to be on and running to play music on the Nucleus. It will work though. Lots of people do this.

Check out this kB article that shows how to set up a network share.

Let us know if you need any help.

Cheers, Greg

In macOS, System Preferences==>Sharing -

In Roon, Settings==>Storage -

If you don’t want to use the Hostname, you can use the IP of your Mac.

hi Greg,

That worked a treat. Took a newbie like me a bit of fiddling but got it to work. And yes, I plan to run off the hard drive connected to the nucleus mainly. Do you know if plugging and unplugging the hard drive (as I upload more albums on) makes a difference?

Thanks a lot again!

Thanks @xxx! Worked !


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I’m assuming you’re ripping CDs to the USB drive that you unplug from the Nucleus and then plug into the MacBook. If that’s the case, yes, you should be able to do it that way. Alternatively, you can map the USB drive connected to the Nucleus as a file share on your network. Then you can rip CDs directly to the USB drive while it’s still connected to the Nucleus. No need to swap the drive around. Simply point your ripper to the USB drive you mapped on the network.

Thanks @David_Gibson. Yes ripping CDs but also downloads from Bandcamp. It would be great to just direct both (the CD rips and the downloads) straight to the drive leaving it connected to the Nucleus as you suggest. If it isn’t too much trouble, could you point me in the direction of how to do this please? Will I need to disconnect/ disable the drive first now that its been recognised by the nucleus already? Many thanks in anticipation!

I’m not an Apple guy so I don’t really want to advise. A quick Google search turned up this site: . If that doesn’t work for you, someone with Apple experience will show up here I’m sure.

Hi Adith,

Are you currently using the Mac hard drive as your watched folder in Roon? Have you attached a hard drive to the Nucleus yet?

There’s a procedure you should follow when you move your music to another location. You want to make sure a Roon keeps track of any edits you make to your library while Roon is watching the shared hard drive on the Mac.

Let us know what your plans are for your current hard drive, new rips and where the hard drive is attached.

You may want to:

  1. Rip new albums to the watched hard drive on the Mac until you’re finished, then move the music to the Nucleus.


  1. Move the a music to the Nucleus first, then rip new music to the Mac and then copy it to the Nucleus.

Let us know your plans.

Cheers, Greg

Thanks all for your help!

So I have -

  1. A watched folder on my Mac set up for downloads mainly for FLAC files from Bandcamp

  2. A USB drive that I plugged into my Nucleus which had my stored music collection on it from years past. The nucleus recognised this automatically and has catalogued the music on this

I suppose the ideal would be for me to have all rips and downloads directed to a Network drive which could be the USB drive I have plugged into the Nucleus. Or I could buy a NAS (which I don’t currently have) and map this into Roon using this as my only music drive.

Thank you all for your patient suggestions. Such a great community!


Unless you have a TON of music, I don’t think a NAS makes sense.
There was a time when large storage capacity could only be had via a NAS. But USB drives are huge now. And USB drives have better responsiveness for Roon.
USB’s are easy to use, versatile, responsive and pretty cheap these days. A NAS makes sense if you have very large storage requirements, there are a number of other tasks you need to do which a NAS can handle, or you already have a NAS. But even if you have a NAS (and I do), it seems better suited to back things up than serve music from a small to moderately sized library.

Thanks @grossmsj. I think that’s good advice. I don’t have a ton of music so sticking with the USB drive is the way to go as you suggest. I would still like to map that drive as a file share on my network as @David_Gibson suggested. Wonder what people on here think ?

I have a NUC with internal storage SSD and I’ve mapped it also as a file share. I can’t see any reason one wouldn’t do that? It just makes it very easy to move music around a system and backup.

great, thank you! could you at at all tell me how you did that? to be clear though my USB drive is plugged into my Nucleus which is in turn plugged into my network router by ethernet. many thanks!

Have you tried this?:

  1. From the Mac OS X Finder, hit Command+K to bring up the ‘Connect to Server’ window
  2. Enter the path to the network drive you want to map:
    smb://NUCLEUS/Data/Storage/InternalStorage and click ‘Connect’
  3. Enter your login/password and click “OK” to mount the network drive
  4. The drive will now appear on your desktop and in the Finder window sidebar

I’m not completely sure the USB drive is referred to as “InternalStorage”. If this works, fine. If not, someone from Support will help you shortly. I’m just a Roon user like you, and I don’t run a Mac.

Thanks Scott. Definitely worked in so much as the drive shows up in my Finder sidebar. It doesn’t allow me to save to the drive (or move files in the drive) saying I don’t have permission. Not sure why. Entering my password on being prompted hasn’t helped. Thanks for trying!

I was afraid of that. It is almost certainly because of how your USB drive is formatted:

Storage Devices

Roon can watch multiple storage locations for files at the same time. That means you can simultaneously use any (or all) of the following storage locations:

  1. Devices connected directly to Nucleus by USB
    If your music is stored on an external USB drive, plug it into your Nucleus now. Nucleus supports USB drives pre-formatted as EXT2/3/4, VFAT/FAT32/FAT16/exFAT, NTFS, or HFS/HFS+. Note that HFS/HFS+ (also known as “Mac OS Journaled”) is read-only, which means that Nucleus will not be able to make changes or store new music on the USB drive.

Notice that USB drives formatted as “Mac OS Journaled” can be read, but not written to.
If the drive was reformatted to EXT or FAT (which your Mac has the option of doing), you will have read/write access. Unfortunately reformatting the drive also erases all the files on the disk.
The best way to check how the drive is formatted is to unplug it from the Nucleus, plug it into your Mac and check its properties. If it is HFS/HFS+, then you need to decide what to do next. The choices are buy another drive and copy everything from the old HFS-formatted drive to an EXT-formatted drive. Then you could use the HFS-formatted drive as a backup drive.
OR, move everything on the USB drive to some temporary location, reformat the drive, and copy things back.
Probably not what you wanted to hear…

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That’s very useful Scott. Thank you. Not ideal but I’m happy to have an answer nonetheless. Much appreciated.

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