Possible case for FTP support in ROCK

Hello: this was originally in the ROCK software section, and it was suggested I move it here. If this not appropriate, I can move it back.

Hi all,
I’m a brand new ROCK user, and though I’m largely happy with it, I feel the lack of FTP support is not that great.

I know - ROCK is supposed to be an appliance OS that the user doesn’t have to interact with, but hear me out.

On the Mac, music is imported into the ROCK system by mounting the file system in the finder and copying files over. When this is done, though, there is some Mac metadata copied over as an invisible file, and I assume that this metadata is useless to ROCK.

The metadata files have the same names as the music files, but with '..’ prepended – that is, if the music file is Music1.flac, the metadata file will be called ..Music1.flac.

Granted, these files aren’t very large, only about 4K. But if you have a huge number of tracks, that could add up to quite a bit of wasted space.

Note: I am aware that I can get rid of all of these files with a find command in the terminal, but that seems to me to be an unnecessary step.

So – if files are transferred over using FTP, these extra metadata files don’t seem to be created. Because of this, I think it would be a win for ROCK to support FTP.

Or maybe I’m the only person who perceives this as a problem, in which case…never mind. :grin:

I have BlueHarvest running on my Mac, and don’t worry about it.

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FTP has nothing to do with what is transferred as that is up to the client. FTP is simply a protocol to move data around.

If you’re using SMB plus Finder to drag and drop directories then it is Finder as your problem. This is much like it’d be the FTP client responsible for sending the “dot files” (and whatever FTP client you’re using appears to not be sending the dot files).

Mac provides a dot_clean command to clean-up things like this. I’ve not run it. I just leave those things alone as they may become useful if I ever need to pull my music back onto a Mac. ROCK does, indeed, ignore those files is my understanding.

Then run Linux. I like the DietPi for Linux for easy install of a variety of things, including FTP, Roon Extensions, etc.

Yes, I was aware that Finder was the problem. That’s why I was advocating for FTP transfer, which doesn’t use the finder.

I didn’t know about the dot_clean command, though. Thanks for telling me about that.

I was previously running Fedora Server, and I did like it. But I wanted to give ROCK a spin to see how it was.

I had honestly never heard of DietPi, and my inner nerd is now having palpitations. :laughing:

I found one of the the things I don’t like about ROCK is that I don’t get to do any administration – I’m a retired IT guy, and I miss being able to tweak the minutiae of the system.

I’ll try DietPi, though, because it looks FUN.

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Fun? Try LFS Project Homepage
OK… sorry to go off topic.

I’m retired. No thanks. :rofl:

Honestly, I once messed with Gentoo for about six months, and realized I wasn’t that much in love with the minutiae.

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I’ve thought about this for a while now, and though there are solutions, I don’t think any of them are as simple as a basic ftp connection.

Eh?

And not to belabor this point, but…the reason I think and FTP connection beats everything else is because it’s a consistent interface to the file system. And one that doesn’t require a cleanup.

I mean, Roon does want to make ROCK as easy to use as possible, right?

How large are these files, a few KB per album folder? So if you have 10,000 albums on the drive, you‘d save space with the size of one single CD quality FLAC track?

It really depends on the album. The files are 4K per track.

So…it’s not so much the storage. It’s the cleanliness. I’d prefer not to leave 30,000 files on the hard drive for which there is no purpose.

Does that make me crazy? Nah, no crazier than the person who sits up night after night making sure all their metadata is perfect… :laughing:

Not that anyone here would do that. But we’ve all heard about people who do, right? :slight_smile:

Oh OK, so about one album’s worth over 10,000 albums :slight_smile:

Well, the metadata actually makes a difference to the Roon experience.

I think the problem with ftp is at least that you’d introduce a different protocol that only Roon OS users could use, but typically not for other server OSes because nobody has an ftp server enabled. So you would add complexity to documentation and definitely confusion for a large part of the user population who already have a hard time with computers.

And I don’t know how good the ftp implementation in Finder and File Explorer is. Does it allow renaming and opening files on the ftp server, and rearranging files and folders?

A good point. I think of it this way, though.

My case was for ROCK, which is a Linux server, no? So I think that wouldn’t make the documentation too much more complex. Isn’t there already a section on how to transfer music to the ROCK NUC? This would just be a paragraph or two presenting an alternative to that.

Given how simple the GUI for most modern FTP clients are, I don’t see this as a problem for people who don’t really have a lot of computer experience.

But then, I freely admit the thirty-five years in IT might have warped my viewpoint. :slight_smile:

I think you might not have read many recent support posts :wink: People need to led by the hand because they enter smb://rock or http://rock in the File Explorer search box or are tearing their hair out trying to connect to their NAS. Some would not understand that a post they read about ftp://rock does not apply to their NAS, and so on. I don’t know how much confusion it would add, but certainly some…

Do you know the answer to "Does it allow renaming and opening files on the ftp server, and rearranging files and folders?? I don’t know but this would be a use case that definitely would have to work.

If you’re talking about the FTP client, I can only answer for the one I use (Transmit), and yes, it does support all of those cases.

But with a few minutes research, I can also see that FileZilla (one of the most popular free multi-platform FTP clients) also supports all of those operations.

But Transmit and FileZilla is already a no-go, it has to work in Finder and File Explorer.
Also resaving them after tagger edits

I have to ask: why?

I’m not quite sure what you mean by this. Could you clarify?

Because of the obvious reason that otherwise users would have to install yet another program and learn how to use it before they could interact with the Roon storage. And I don’t know Transmit but the FileZilla UI is not simple. The 2-column view alone, although convenient and no problem for Midnight Commander users, it is completely different from current default file manager UIs.

When you realize that a file on the ROCK storage has faulty tags, with smb you can open it as if it was located on the local machine, edit it in the tagger app, and save it from there.