NAS vs. HD with Roon Nuc+?

My question: given problems with QNAP security, does it make more sense just to use an external HD attached to a Roon Nuc? What is the advantage of a NAS vs. dedicated HD wired to the NUC?

Background: I was running Roon off my computer and storing music on a NAS. Then I got a Roon NUC+. For whatever reason, large portions of my 8 Tb NAS could not be played by Roon even though they are recognized and cataloged in Roon (this was never really solved). So I transferred the files that would not play to an external HD and just plugged it directly into the NUC – all works really well now. Now I am running about 6 Tb of music from the HD and only about 2 Tb from the NAS.

Today I read about problems with security, ransomware, etc. with QNAP, which has me worried.

I mostly use the NAS as temporary storage when I rip cds. Every month or so, I unplug the big HD from the Roon, plug it into my computer, and transfer files from the NAS to the HD. The NAS is mostly storage and backup. Maybe this isn’t the best set up, but it works for me.

So back to my basic question: What is the real advantage of a NAS over a HD, especially given QNAP’s problems? I get that a single HD does not provide RAID security that a NAS can, but (1) external HDs are really cheap – so much cheaper than building a NAS; and (2) it is easy to cheaply buy two or three 8 Tb HDs and just use them as backup that can be stored in a different building from the rest of one’s set up–RAID doesn’t protect from theft or a fire, but separate storage buildings does. The drawback I see is every once in a while you have to schlep an external HD and copy a boatload of files.

Any thoughts on NAS vs. HD attached to NUC+?

Here are the thoughts of the CTO of Roon Labs from a couple of years back…


Attached storage all the way. Having a network path between the Core and Storage is adding another layer of potential issues. I rip on PC, copy to NAS, sync down to NUC external storage. Gives me 3 copies.


A NAS is not a good option for music storage for a Nuc+. You’re limited to Gbit bandwidth between the Nuc+ and the NAS, which you can easily equal (taking network latency into account) with an attached HDD.

Attach a SSD and it’s a no-contest in favour of the attached storage.

NAS for storage only makes sense if you’re running the core on the NAS.

I run my core on my NAS (Synology RS3617xs), the music library has ~2240MByte/s (~18Gbit/s) bandwidth to the core (relative to the core, it’s attached storage) and the NAS has 20Gbit/s bandwidth to the rest of the network so it makes sense for me to not use a Nuc/Nuc+.

My core is ROCK on a NUC.
ROCK music folder was pointing to my ripped music stored on a Synology NAS (old DS413j model) .
I’ve very recently attached a USB 3.0 HDD to the NUC.
I still rip CD to NAS but have set it up to rsync to the USB drive which is now the music folder ROCK looks at.

Wish I had done this sooner.
Speed of scan, search, play etc functionality is night and day.

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My Roon core is also ROCK on a NUC.

My local music files (circa 2500 albums) are stored on a Synology NAS that I back up fairly regularly. I say ‘fairly’ regularly because I rarely buy new content following my first subscription to Tidal quite a few years ago now.

My music is stored an a NAS rather than on a USB device simply because this is what I had in place with uPnP/minimserver prior to subscribing to ROON. My NAS works flawlessly with Roon and I have no issues whatsoever with speed of scan, search or play functionality with my locally stored music files.

I see no reason to move away from my NAS to a USB storage device. I simply don’t need ‘better’ performance!

I should add that my Synology ‘Music’ NAS is just that. I use it exclusively to hold my local music files. I have a separate Synology NAS that is used to store my digital photographs and home videos. I am sure that this does make a difference.

Things related to hi-fi, whether they involve debates about sound quality, or nowadays about file formats or home networks are rarely as ‘black and white’ as some like to make out. NAS devices can serve perfectly well as music storage devices in robust home networks.

Adding to that if more folks subscribe to streaming services using up free CPU capacity like with most NAS have makes some sense.
I certainly have a collection of CD I could rip. But what for? It’s all available in Tidal/Qobuz/whatever anyway. Unless there was content that’s exclusively avail on local media, I am way too lazy to go that extra mile for no benefit. I even would not need my 10Gbit network interface of the Synology.

A practical question for those using attached storage.

My music library is on a a Synology NAS, and it hasn’t been a problem with Roon. Indeed, that allows me to access the library with a variety of software, and from a variety of clients in our home. But if I start to use a NUC with ROCK, it would be easy to migrate the music to an attached USB drive, using the NAS for backup only.

How do people accomplish that kind of back up and synchronization (between the NUC’s USB drive and a NAS)? Is the attached USB drive addressable over the LAN like a NAS? Or some other way?

Would it be possible to make changes to the NAS copy and rely on the sync mechanism to propagate those to the NUC?

Lots of good utilities like Syncback or old fashion did utilities will sync the folders for you.
With the files on the local drive there is less network traffic so less chance of any issues.

And yes the Nuc instantly picks up and file changes.
I rip my albums to local storage on my PC and when I am happy everything I’d perfect I spend the files to my Synology and Nuc so that Roon and Plex can update their Libraries.

Gives additional backups and cuts down on any unnecessary network traffic