My library is stored on an external USB drive connected directly to my Aries. It is on the same network as my PC but does not access music from it. I do have content backups on hard drives connected to the PC. The Aries plays music from it’s attached USB drive via the Lightning app on my IPad. The drive is not visible from the PC. I assume that Roon installed on my PC will not be able to access files from this drive, or is there a way to have them connect?
I have experimented with an SSD in a USB case on my Aries and Roon. I was able to setup the USB drive as a watched folder in Roon by accessing the Aries as a network device in Windows and sharing the USB drive with SMB.
The larger problem was that because all audio must go through the Core, the path involved real time duplex Wi-Fi from the Aries to the Core PC and back. That was too much for my Wi-Fi router and the musc stuttered and was completely unlistenable.
I then experimented with the USB drive off the router, which worked OK in Roon but required a bugfix in Lightning DS.
Eventually I put the SSD from the USB drive into a BRIX and haven’t looked back. Roon and Lightning DS can both use it very happily.