What hardware/setup would work best for my situation?

PS. Will the wifi device always be the endpoint? I’m envisioning a situation where the wireless is transparent and the Bridge 2 is the endpoint.

If you mean by redundancy, some form of RAID, then (getting up on my soapbox), RAID is NOT backup, it’s redundancy. Personally, I eschew the complexities of RAID, and just take hard drive backups of my music collection and hold them off-site…

1 Like

Thanks Geoff. Point taken. I guess I’m thinking of protecting data in the event of a device failure, not, say, fire. But with a NAS you’ve got one power supply, right? So–not very secure after all. Thanks.

Hi Jim,

I backup the SSD on the BRIX to hard drives on a PC. The backup is probably more risky than the original !

You could hang a USB drive off a NUC or BRIX and backup to that rather than over the network by Wi-Fi.

Haven’t used JRiver so can’t comment there sorry.

I understand that Bridge 2 supports Wi-Fi as well as Ethernet, so when the DirectStream becomes RoonReady, that can be your network endpoint. I don’t know how quickly that is planned, you would need to check with PS Audio.

Roon doesn’t publish dates for releases, but 1.2 is in testing, which is the last stage before release. Testing started about a fortnight ago and it lasted about 4 weeks when 1.1 was released.

Thanks Andy. You wrote:

I understand that Bridge 2 supports Wi-Fi as well as Ethernet

From the manual:

To use the Bridge the rear panel Ethernet connector must be plugged into your home
router through a CAT5 Ethernet cable. A WIFI Ethernet Bridge can also be used.
Once connected, the Bridge should be visible on the network to a controller that is
also on the home network via WIFI or hard wired through CAT 5.

Is that what you meant? In that case, in Roon-speak ,which is the “endpoint”, the Bridge 2 or the Ethernet Bridge? I’m still learning the lingo.

Thanks again.

Hi Jim,

I’m not familiar with PS gear so when I checked their website I assumed Bridge 2 and Wi-Fi Ethernet Bridge were the same thing. I think you may need to check with PS Audio as to precisely what gear is required for Wi-Fi to their RoonReady DirectStream.

Hi Jim, I have a 2012 low end MacMini directly connected to my DAC. The music files are on a external USB hard drive (not SSD). I backup by using another external HDD connected to the Mini. Control by iPad. Works great. Having a SSD for the applications and operating system is very worthwhile.
Jeff

I always prefer an ethernet connection, particular in NYC with 100s of interfering wifi networks and only so many channesl. If you can’t run ethernet cable to the location you need, consider the use of something like ethernet over power. For example:

This may or may not work in your apartment. All depends on the wiring. I use a pair of older versions of this (the netgear 500 nano) in one location and I’m able to stream HD movies, hires files, etc. via the ethernet connection created by the powerline adapters.

garym–when wi-fi interference is causing data-transmission errors (which you can detect with a variety of apps), a wired connection is clearly superior. But please do keep in mind that ethernet over powerlines can inject high-frequency hash into your (and other people’s) components via the power supply, which can also degrade the sound. Digital components definitely sound better with clean power. (I currently use an AC regenerator, so it’s not a problem for me.)

Thanks,
Jim

Jeff,

Thanks for this; specific info about people’s setups is really helpful. Have you managed to set it up so that backups are automatic, or do you do backups manually? The reason I keep asking about this is that I use drop-box–slow and expensive–and my renewal date is coming up soon.

Thanks.

true, depending on equipment, power supplies, and other things. But life is full of tradeoffs. My main home is all ethernet wired and I always prefer ethernet connections over any other option available today.

I’m not Jeff, but here are a couple of applications you could use to do scheduled backups on the Mac mini:

SuperDuper!
Carbon Copy Cloner

I’ve been using SuperDuper! for a number of years to do backups at both the office and home, and it’s quite easy to use, IMO, and 100% reliable so far (knock on wood). CCC is also quite popular among Mac users.

You can also use Time Machine, which is included with OS X, but I don’t think it’s a good choice for a music playback system, because it likes to back up whenever it sees a need and an opportunity, as opposed to when you’re not likely to be listening to music.

—David

Hi Jim and David,

Just noting that Time Machine and similar programs won’t create usable backups of the Roon database because of the behaviour David describes. Roon Core needs to be shutdown in order to make a good backup. I backup the database and music files separately to ensure that.

Jim, I use OSX Timemachine, but I do not have it connected all the time. Once a week, I quit Roon plug in the backup USB and manually initiate a Time Machine backup. As @andybob points out, Roon needs to be inactive to be able to backup it’s database file on the home directory.
Jeff

Another thing Jim, I have read that it is desirable to not share a USB bus used for a DAC with other devices. I have a FireWire DAC using a FireWire port and my music files are on a USB port. If you you use a USB DAC, you could either use an external Thunderbolt storage or a big internal drive. With Roon, it is very desirable to have apps and Roon database on a SSD. 256 Gb should be enough. SSD for music files seems expensive overkill to me and I certainly can not hear the spinning drive. Perhaps some Windows NUCs allow two storage drives. The new MacMinis do not.
Jeff

Jeff, thanks for this. My current thinking:

6th-gen i5 NUC; the “H” version (NUC6I5NYH) has room for an M.2 SSD AND a 2.5" HDD (or SSD), as you suggest. I’m thinking that to save money now I’ll get a 512GB M.2 SSD–enough for my current small library with a bit to spare–and leave the 2.5" slot open; let prices come down and buy (probably a WD Blue) when I need it in a few months. That keeps the app + database on SSD. I’m thinking of the larger drive to accommodate a larger library, not for backup. (I’m thinking–is it still true in the SSD era?–that you don’t want the backup drive supported by the same power supply as the primary.)

I envision this NUC pushing audio to the PS Audio Bridge 2 (in my DS DAC) via Ethernet, although USB would be the short-term choice until Roon and PS Audio provide full Bridge 2 support. Longer term, with the NUC, I don’t see how I can avoid sharing the USB bus, since I’ll need an external drive for backup. But I can minimize the use of USB by other devices, since, as you and others have pointed out, it’s best to do backups when Roon is not running. So this seems to be working out quite well.

A question for you and the crowd about USB ports: All 4 ports on the NUC I’m looking at are 3.0. That’s not good, since it’s best to keep things slow. I’m thinking, though, that this shouldn’t matter because I’ll only be using (one of) them at USB 2.0 speeds, connecting to 2.0 devices. Does that make sense?

Thanks,

Jim

The new Intel is coming out in May and will have a thunderbolt connector at 40 gb.

Jim, I checked out the PS website. The slide-in card Bridge 2 for your DS DAC seems like a no brainer. The ethernet connection NUC > DS DAC will address any shared USB issues. I am no expert on USB versions, but I do not think you will have problems with USB3. RAM should be 8Gb minimum these days, but I would play it safe and use 16 Gb. NUC RAM is cheap (not like Mac soldered in RAM). If you have a problem in the short term sharing a USB DAC and USB backup drive. You can always, backup manually after quitting Roon.
Good luck and good listening.
Jeff

Is this certain? I thought the feature set of 1.2 was scaled back.

Nothing is certain. I believe the devs have said publicly that they expect RoonBridge in 1.2 in a variety of flavours including Linux. We can run RoonBridge on the above devices using Linux. I think you may be referring to bootable images for specific devices, which the devs said might be later.