How to use Nucleus

I have Roon running on an iMac that serves as my Core and has all of my music files. I periodically purchase new files or rip CD’s to the iMac through iTunes. Using the Roon app on my iPhone, I stream wirelessly to a Roon-ready Naim device. I would like to know how a Roon Nucleus could fit into and improve this chain; I’m not quite sure what the workflow is here, or what choices I have, or to put it simply, what connects to what. I am largely dependent on WiFi, which I get through an Orbi mesh system that’s connected to my modem; sadly I do not have an ethernet-ready house, although the Orbi units have ethernet jacks. Thanks.

You should be able to connect the Nucleus to the Orbi by Ethernet, and then stream as you currently are to the Naim device

Thanks. How does the Nucleus interface with the music on my iMac? Which is treated as the Core?

The Nucleus will be core. You deauthorise the Mac and it becomes control only. The music interface should be USB or via Ethernet and ideally you would transfer music to a SSD or HDD fitted in the Nucleus.

When you say the Mac becomes “control” what do you mean? (I use the Roon app on my phone to direct music to the naim.) What is the sequence that gets the music stored on the Mac to the Roon-ready Naim? Does the Nucleus “see” the files on the Mac as long as they are both on the same network? Sorry for the rookie questions.

Your core can be controlled by a lot of devices. A desktop, laptop, iPad, or mobile phone. Anything that has the Roon app can control the core machine. See this.
It wouldn’t be ideal to have a wireless computer hold your library, but you could do it. In brief, you tell the core the music is in a certain location. You can have the core look for music on more than one location, if needed. Simpler is better. As Henry said, the ideal situation would be to move all the music from your Mac to the drive on the Nucleus. It will be faster and more reliable. Because if you close the cover on your Mac the music isn’t available anymore.

Please make sure you have your library backed up on an external drive. I feed my Nucleus from a 4TB drive and I have three other drives fully loaded in case of disc failure. Hardware can be replaced/repaired, but I have a large library that would be difficult if not impossible to replicate.

That said, you will likely love the Nucleus.

Thanks for all of the helpful replies. One more question - if your music is loaded onto a drive installed in the Nucleus, how do you add music to that drive later? For example, if you wanted to rip a CD and add it to the Nucleus drive, how would you do that?

You could rip on your mac and drag/drop onto nucleus.
The drive in nucleus would be just another hard drive on your network.

Your Nucleus, including your library, will show up as a shared computer on your Mac. That is how I update my library. One stop rip and store.

The only problem I see with using an onboard library drive in your Nucleus is what happens when you run out of space. I have gone from a 1TB drive to a 2TB and now to a 4TB external hdd. Much easier to upgrade the storage on an external drive, and cheaper.

Well you can also add other drives via USB or ethernet i.e. NAS when your needs demand it