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Music System with very user friendly remote control

burrenyoga

Standard Member
Hi,
I am looking for a high quality music system that can store MP3 files (and also Wav files and other lossless formats) on an internal drive and that has a user friendly remote control that can be used to browse through the existing folders of MP3 files on the hard disk… ideally with a visual screen on the remote control.

The remote control should let someone easily scan through the Album names and select an album to play. And ideally the Album names would be displayed on the remote control. And if the album names can't be displayed on the remote control, that at least they are displayed on a screen of the music system.

Minimum of 16GB internal storage, but ideally a lot more, preferably 100 GB or more.

I would consider a system that would work with a USB stick instead of an internal hard drive, provided the search functionality using the remote control is user friendly.

Ideally very good Hi-Fi sound quality so that it will be worth storing the music in some lossless format.

The most important feature of the system is the user friendliness of the remote control, and ability to scroll easily through album names.

Ideally with FM Radio and a CD player (that can burned copied CDs ) but not essential to have these. I guess that an iPod and a speaker might be another
good option.

Can anyone recommend a good quality sound system that will do this?

Thanks in advance,
Dave
 

TheHighFlyingBirds

Well-known Member
Are you looking for an all in one system?

If not you could use a raspberry pi running logitech media server (LMS) (with hdd);and picoreplayer, paired up with the pi touch screen. You can then use a mobile phone with an app like squeezer to scroll through albums/songs (titles and album art) and control the music player. Noted this wouldnt have a cd player, but it would allow for internet radio (if connected to a network). You would still need an amp and speakers or just get active speakers.

Audiophonics do prebuilt systems but don't include a hdd, but do have versions with built in amps.

Do you have a NAS? As you could put all your music on that and run LMS from there.

This is my streamer build, which feeds into an amp, and all my music is on my synology nas. I can control the streamer by the touch screen, remote control (no display) or from my phone.
20190422_164155.jpg
 

Alan Weir 1

Active Member
Trying to get all of what you ask in the one box is a big ask.
The nearest thing I can think of is maybe a Naim uniti Star With the Uniti core added as storage.

I think your big problem though will be with the Remote Control. These days they just seem to be a second thought item that dont get used much as people just use their phones.

An idea would be to get a basic tablet, strip away all the non essential apps and then use something like Roon on it as a control system.
 

Nico72

Active Member
An iPod classic and a set of Bluetooth speakers if you use iTunes. Or alternatively an android phone with a generous memory or a micro SD card, still with Bluetooth speakers.

if you go for an android phone you can install tune in radio to stream any radio via wi-fi, so you don’t need FM radio. I bought an old Motorola G4 for £60 just for streaming deezer, Spotify and internet radio, and it does a brilliant job.
 

jamieu

Active Member
You didn't mention budget... ;-)

Or even what kind of system you are after, do you want an all-in-one bluetooth type speaker or something more in the traditional stereo hi-fi vein?

I can't think of many consumer friendly devices that have good local music indexing and playback, most are focused on streaming services nowadays.

In fact unless you have a huge collection of existing music already ripped I'd be tempted to suggest you give up on the local content idea and just go the streaming route, if you're looking for a nice UI then Spotify is pretty good and there are numerous speakers or hi-fi systems that supports it as an endpoint.

Sonos supports indexing music and playback from a network storage device like a NAS (even a cheap one) or PC, but you can't plug a USB stick or drive directly into any of their devices. Although it might be worth seeing if you can attach a USB drive to your router to make it network accessible. You could then use any Sonos speaker to playback your local content. The Sonos interface is fairly intuitive on a tablet and is well supported with regular updates.

As Nico72 says if you can access your own music on your phone already ie. in iTunes and your fine with streaming from you phone (ie. your phone needs to be on to playback music) then any speaker or system that has Airplay (iPhone) or Bluetooth will work.

If the indexing of local content ie. automatically downloading album art and metadata and the ability to browse though your collection is the key requirement, then I'd look at that separately. But beware, it's much more of an 'enthusiasts' route and your likely to need to get your hands a bit dirty in setting it all up...

A Roon Nucleus with an Android tablet or iPad as a remote, would cover all your streaming requirements. If that's outside budget then you could build a small Roon server yourself from a Intel NUC, again with an Android tablet or iPad as a remote. You're unlikely to find a better user interface for browsing / playing music than Roon, it really is head and shoulders above the rest. but it's not free.

The main NAS vendors like Synology and QNAP all tend to come with their own music indexing and streaming service running on the NAS with an iOS / Android 'Music' app or web interface (not as full featured as Roon but does the basics). That will get the music to your phone in a nice browsable interface and from there you can stream it to any Airplay or Bluetooth speaker. The Synology Audio Station app also supports Airplay and Bluetooth directly, which means you can get the Synology to send the music direct to a Bluetooth or Airplay supporting speaker or amp without it having to pass though your phone.

If your happy to DIY then a Raspberry Pi with an appropriate 'hat' (depending on what outputs you want and your budget) running PiCorePlayer / Volumio / Moode / RuneAudio (take your pick or try them all).
 
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burrenyoga

Standard Member
Are you looking for an all in one system?

If not you could use a raspberry pi running logitech media server (LMS) (with hdd);and picoreplayer, paired up with the pi touch screen. You can then use a mobile phone with an app like squeezer to scroll through albums/songs (titles and album art) and control the music player. Noted this wouldnt have a cd player, but it would allow for internet radio (if connected to a network). You would still need an amp and speakers or just get active speakers.

Audiophonics do prebuilt systems but don't include a hdd, but do have versions with built in amps.

Do you have a NAS? As you could put all your music on that and run LMS from there.

This is my streamer build, which feeds into an amp, and all my music is on my synology nas. I can control the streamer by the touch screen, remote control (no display) or from my phone.
View attachment 1241514
Hi TheFlyingBirds,
Thanks for your suggestion.

I must admit that I had to google most of what you suggested to see if I could find out what the items were.

I think this may be above my expertise… and age 😉

But when I see the photo of your display… it looks great.

And also that you can control which music to play either from the touch screen, remote or phone sounds very good. And having all the music on a server attached to the local network sounds great too.

Would it be difficult for a complete novice to build a system like that… or is it possible to buy something like that?

Best Wishes,

Dave
 

burrenyoga

Standard Member
Trying to get all of what you ask in the one box is a big ask.
The nearest thing I can think of is maybe a Naim uniti Star With the Uniti core added as storage.

I think your big problem though will be with the Remote Control. These days they just seem to be a second thought item that dont get used much as people just use their phones.

An idea would be to get a basic tablet, strip away all the non essential apps and then use something like Roon on it as a control system.
Thanks Alan,

The Naim Uniti Star sounds great but well above the price I would hope to pay.



Thanks for your insight about remote controls… I had thought I was just not fortunate to see a good one. But maybe they just don’t actually exist as people use their phones these days.
 

burrenyoga

Standard Member
An iPod classic and a set of Bluetooth speakers if you use iTunes. Or alternatively an android phone with a generous memory or a micro SD card, still with Bluetooth speakers.

if you go for an android phone you can install tune in radio to stream any radio via wi-fi, so you don’t need FM radio. I bought an old Motorola G4 for £60 just for streaming deezer, Spotify and internet radio, and it does a brilliant job.
Thanks Nico
An iPod classic may be the way to go. I don’t believe the classic has Bluetooth.

Does anyone know of a good iPod classic dock, that will connect via Bluetooth to the speakers?
 

burrenyoga

Standard Member
You didn't mention budget... ;-)

Or even what kind of system you are after, do you want an all-in-one bluetooth type speaker or something more in the traditional stereo hi-fi vein?

I can't think of many consumer friendly devices that have good local music indexing and playback, most are focused on streaming services nowadays.

In fact unless you have a huge collection of existing music already ripped I'd be tempted to suggest you give up on the local content idea and just go the streaming route, if you're looking for a nice UI then Spotify is pretty good and there are numerous speakers or hi-fi systems that supports it as an endpoint.

Sonos supports indexing music and playback from a network storage device like a NAS (even a cheap one) or PC, but you can't plug a USB stick or drive directly into any of their devices. Although it might be worth seeing if you can attach a USB drive to your router to make it network accessible. You could then use any Sonos speaker to playback your local content. The Sonos interface is fairly intuitive on a tablet and is well supported with regular updates.

As Nico72 says if you can access your own music on your phone already ie. in iTunes and your fine with streaming from you phone (ie. your phone needs to be on to playback music) then any speaker or system that has Airplay (iPhone) or Bluetooth will work.

If the indexing of local content ie. automatically downloading album art and metadata and the ability to browse though your collection is the key requirement, then I'd look at that separately. But beware, it's much more of an 'enthusiasts' route and your likely to need to get your hands a bit dirty in setting it all up...

A Roon Nucleus with an Android tablet or iPad as a remote, would cover all your streaming requirements. If that's outside budget then you could build a small Roon server yourself from a Intel NUC, again with an Android tablet or iPad as a remote. You're unlikely to find a better user interface for browsing / playing music than Roon, it really is head and shoulders above the rest. but it's not free.

The main NAS vendors like Synology and QNAP all tend to come with their own music indexing and streaming service running on the NAS with an iOS / Android 'Music' app or web interface (not as full featured as Roon but does the basics). That will get the music to your phone in a nice browsable interface and from there you can stream it to any Airplay or Bluetooth speaker. The Synology Audio Station app also supports Airplay and Bluetooth directly, which means you can get the Synology to send the music direct to a Bluetooth or Airplay supporting speaker or amp without it having to pass though your phone.

If your happy to DIY then a Raspberry Pi with an appropriate 'hat' (depending on what outputs you want and your budget) running PiCorePlayer / Volumio / Moode / RuneAudio (take your pick or try them all).
Hi Jamieu,
I purposely did not mention budget… as I just wanted to see ‘what is out there’.

I definitely don’t want to go streaming, and I do have a huge store of music, its about 450 Gb in size.

I have loaded all the music into iTunes (a lot from from CD, but also a lot of ‘presents’ of music collections from friends) at 320 Mbps. I don’t know whether this quality is high enough, but I guess that will depend on what system I buy to play it on. And having to burn all those CD’s again would be a huge amount of work.

There are two separate systems I am hoping to setup. The first just needs a small amount of music… possible 16 Gb, and may work best on an iPod and Bluetooth speakers. This system will be used at my place of business, so I won’t be there playing it. I want to setup some system that is easy for anybody (even new staff) to select the right album, and play it.

This was the system that was in my mind when I posted my question.

But thinking about it... there is also a bigger second system that I would like to implement.

The second system; it would be great to have access to the full 450 Gb of music… presumably from a network attached hard drive that I would use myself for playing music.

I know nothing about what is ‘available in the market place’, so all of the replies here are helping me to understand what is available.

I use Windows 10, and I am sure that a router that could have an external hard drive connected to it would not be expensive.

But I know nothing about how to then access the music… search/select which music to play… and also how to connect it to speakers.

I am not really interested in the album art, but it would be good to be able to easily search through a list of either albums, or artists much the way that is possible using iTunes. I am sure that many people will cringe using iTunes… but it works fine for me on my desktop computer.

So now it would be great if I could use it away from my desktop.

Maybe I just need some tablet or some device to run iTunes, that is then somehow is connected to the hard drive hanging off the router.

I do have an iPad Air 2, but I don't know whether it would be possible to connect iTunes on an iPad to access music on a Networked hard drive?

If anyone can point me in the right direction to do this, that would be appreciated.

Thanks for all the suggestions so far!

Best Wishes,
Dave
 

TheHighFlyingBirds

Well-known Member
Here are some commercial versions of mine which are pre-built:
Audiophonics rasptouch

It wasnt too difficult following guides etc, and doesnt require coding experience as I cant code for toffee. I researched a lot before jumping in, but there are several ways of achieving it, best thing is checking compatibility of dacs and software etc, then thinking about turning on or off etc. I can provide some info from my build if you fancy a challenge.
 

burrenyoga

Standard Member
Hi TheFlyingBirds,
Thanks for you offer to provide some info on how you built your system.

Reading various forums over the past few days, I am wondering whether I have to physically copy my MP3 files to a system in order to play them on it… or whether I could access the current MP3 files via WiFi in some way… and then play the music in another room.

My current music collection is all MP3 at 320 mbps within iTunes which is on an internal SSD drive in my Windows 10 desktop.

You said that you did quite a bit of research before you built your system… so I am wondering if you think there may be simpler way that I could somehow use iTunes in another room (on some device… possibly an iPad) to somehow communicate with the iTunes library on my desktop and then to play the music in another room?

Or would you advise moving the MP3 files to a raspberry pi and building the system as you did?

I am a complete novice with newer technology, so please bear this in mind.

Best Wishes,
Dave
 

TheHighFlyingBirds

Well-known Member
Hi @burrenyoga cant advise on itunes unfortunately, I know you can run an itunes server but no idea if you can stream to an apple device.

With regards to raspberry pi you can approach it two ways.

First by adding a hdd to the Pi and then running both the server and the client / player on the Pi.

The second is to have a remote server which can be a NAS (method I use) or a pc with the server software on, e.g. logitech media server. This is then accessed by the Pi over your home network (ethernet or wifi), and the Pi just has the client / player software on, the music is then streamed from the server to the Pi. Using your PC as the server removes the need for copying music elsewhere, but it requires your pc to be on for music streaming.

The NAS is the best approach in my opinion, as it can be on 24/7 with low cost and allows backup storage for your pc, and can even host things like plex for films to be streamed from. It also allows for additional players to be added, as you could have several Pis around the house streaming different music, and I believe they can sync up to allow the same music to be streamed to multiple players at the same time.
 

jamieu

Active Member
There are so many different ways of tackling this, but I'd agree with HighFlyingBird that storing all your music on a central network attached server like a NAS, even a low end one, is probably the way to go as a first step and will be useful in all scenarios..

The NAS or server will not only be able to store your music so that it can be accessed by multiple endpoints/clients and even remotely if needed. But it will also allow you to a) present that music up to your 'clients/players' in any number of different ways i) as a straight up SMB network attached file system b) as a UPnP/DLNA server c) as a 'iTunes server' (I know Synology supports this out of the box) c) via the NAS's own music client (ie,. the case of Synology this is called Audio Station) and lastly d) allow you to run specific audio 'streaming' and management platforms like Roon, Plex or LMS.

In the simplest case you can just use iTunes on your phone to connect to the iTunes server on the NAS and play your music back over AirPlay or Bluetooth. But that has it's limits in that you have to have your phone on to play back music (not just select it).

The smarter solution is to have a dedicated physical device capable of playing music back from your NAS. There's a whole world of options there, from Sonos speakers and bridges, though to a large number of small units like the Denon WXAD 10, Tefual connector or a Raspberry Pi (running any number of software players), which can added to an exiting hi-fi setup. Newer AV amps and AVR's will also be capable of playing back music from a NAS (either directly from a SMB share or via UPnP/DLNA).

Lastly you need a means of browsing your collection and controlling the playback of music (probably via an app on your phone). There's quite a lot of overlap here, you might be happy with the remote control app that comes with your streaming device / player (ie. you connect to your streaming device via the remote app and get it to stream a track from your NAS). Alternatively, you might prefer to use the app that comes with some 3rd party software (Roon/Plex etc.) running on your NAS to browse/select music, in which case you'll be telling the software on your NAS to stream a track to a particular endpoint.

It's worth thinking about what app you want to use to play back music. Will the app still be supported in a years time? Is it easy to use and intuitive? Can you use your steaming device with other control apps or is it limited to the app that comes with the device?

Maybe a couple of real world examples would help, I'm using Synology/Sonos because that's what I use, but the ideas/setups are similar with other NAS devices and/or similar playback devices/players.

Medium setup/low cost
- Files on NAS
- iTunes server running on NAS
- iPhone selects music from iTunes server and plays music out over AirPlay or BlueTooth
- AirPlay or Bluetooth supporting speaker or hi-fi (or an adaptor if playing back to an existing system without AirPlay or Bluetooth)

Note: Phone needs to be on to stream music. One user will 'grab' the AirPlay/Bluetooth connection, so not so good if more than one person needs to control music playback.

Easy setup/medium cost
- Files on NAS
- Sonos speakers or Port (pointing to the music on your NAS)
- Control with Sonos app

Note: Phone can be disconnected after music selected. Sonos handles indexing of music, multiple users can select and playback music. Multiple zones / speakers all play nicely in sync. Sonos streams music from your NAS.

Medium setup/cheap->medium cost
- Files on NAS
- AudioStation running on NAS (free)
- An endpoint supported by Audio Station (ie. Sonos speakers, Chromecast, UPnP/DLNA compliant amp or adaptor, AirPlay or Bluetooth supporting speaker/amp/adaptor) or even a hifi/speaker connected directly to your NAS.
- Use the AudioStation app to select music and stream from the NAS to your endpoint above.

Note: Phone can be disconnected after music selected. Synology AudioStation handles indexing of music. Multiple users can select and playback music. Can be used/accessed remotely.

Medium setup/medium->high cost
- Files on NAS
- Roon running on NAS (you might need to check min specs)
- An endpoint supported by Roon (a Sonos speaker or a RPi running RoonBridge are just two options).
- Use the Roon app on a PC/Mac or phone to select your music and stream from the Roon core running on your NAS to your endpoint above.

Note: Phone can be disconnected after music selected. Roon handles indexing of music. Multiple users can select and playback music. Beautiful & intuitive interface + rock solid music playback.

That's just scraping the surface, to give more specific answers we'd really need to know:

- What your level of patience for 'tinkering' and 'doing it yourself' is.

- Some idea of budget (are you trying to do this on the cheap or do you want to do it well, as that will likely cost more and in some cases a lot more)
- A better idea of the 'kind of system' your after.

That would limit responses to solutions that fit your needs, budget, technical knowledge and patience.
 
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burrenyoga

Standard Member
@TheHighFlyingBirds
Thanks for letting me know about using a NAS to store the music, and then the Pi accesses the NAS over the home network.

The more I am looking into this, the more I realize that I need to research it a lot more before deciding on which approach/technology to use.


@jamieu
Thanks for giving so much detail in your overview of some of the various different options that exist!

I will research each of the terms and name brands you used as most are new to me (such as UPnP/DLNA server and Roon etc.) but you have given me a great list of ideas to research.

After reading the information you posted, there are a few things that I know…

It sounds like using a NAS is the best way to go, and it makes sense to build in the capability of being able to stream videos as well as music in the setup.

My desktop and laptop are all Windows 10, but my wife and I use iPhones and an iPad.

We live beside our business, and both buildings are connected to the same network. It would be great to have 1 music library on a NAS, that could stream music to both buildings (without degrading the quality of the sound) and also that we could choose which music to play by browsing the music (by Album or Artist or playlist) from either of the buildings.

I am used to using iTunes to search my music library when using my computer in the office to play music... but would be open to using a different search method if required that could search the music collection.

I don’t want anybody’s phone to be ‘constantly on’ in order to keep the music playing. I would envisage that either my wife or I (or someone else in one of the two buildings) would select which music to play (possibly using our phone or some other method) but would then hope the system will continue to play the album or playlist without tying up the phone or needed it even to remain in the building for the music to continue.

It would be good that we could play different music in different rooms at the same time… and also ‘grow the system’ so we could add music to another room at a later time.

I love high quality audio, so at some stage may upgrade my current iTunes 320 mbps MP3 to some better format by burning the CDs again if this will produce noticeable quality improvement in the music.

I have read in some Forums that the ‘quality of the audio’ can vary from system to system, so would like to choose one that can deliver high quality audiophile music.

And as you say… choose a system or components that will be supported in a few years time.

I am not interested in streaming music from the internet, as I have a huge library to play and am not looking for new music. (I am showing my age ;-) But I guess it would be good not to preclude this capability of the system.

I would be prepared to pay more for a good system that provides high quality audio and can run economically 24/7 and that can grow over the years to come. I don’t know about a budget figure, but am not looking for ‘just a cheap option’ and would rather invest in something high quality that can grow.

I enjoy researching things before making any decisions, and used to work as a software engineer (many years ago) so the research aspect is fine.

I don’t have any experience putting motherboards or other technical pieces together so would prefer to buy components that simply plug together (or I should say connect together via the router or Bluetooth) rather than tinkering… or doing it myself.

The possibilities of these systems sound great, and my lack of knowledge in this whole area means I don’t even know the right questions to ask.

I appreciate all the help you have given me in your previous posts.

Best Wishes,
Dave
 

jamieu

Active Member
@jamieu
I am used to using iTunes to search my music library when using my computer in the office to play music... but would be open to using a different search method if required that could search the music collection.

I don’t want anybody’s phone to be ‘constantly on’ in order to keep the music playing. I would envisage that either my wife or I (or someone else in one of the two buildings) would select which music to play (possibly using our phone or some other method) but would then hope the system will continue to play the album or playlist without tying up the phone or needed it even to remain in the building for the music to continue.

It would be good that we could play different music in different rooms at the same time… and also ‘grow the system’ so we could add music to another room at a later time.
Sounds like a NAS would be a perfect solution for storing your music then esp. as you could use it for both home and office. Plus you could even use it as a central storage / server for other uses too.

You can get a Synology NAS for as little as £150 (..then again, maybe that's a lot). You'd then put your own hard drives in it. I'd start out with mirroring two hard drives of the same size and probably go for 4TB or 6TB drives rather than having to migrate to larger drives down the line.

As for playback, there are so many options, but — and I'm not a Sonos fanboy, but I do think they have nailed it in the plug-n-play / easy to use and setup stakes - Sonos might be a good starting point. It's not the cheapest solution, but it works well and handles multi room playback exceedingly well. I don't want to start a platform war ;-) but maybe an analogy is the 'it just works, yet maybe limited feature set of a Mac/iPhone' vs 'the unlimited tinkering you can have with PC/Android at the risk of having compatibility issues along with too many settings and options to mess up'.

You could start with a single Play 5 or a pair of Play:1 SL and go from there. Once your files are on your NAS it's as simple as going into the Sonos app on your phone and telling it where the files live on your NAS. After that you can play back your music to any speaker, from any phone (with the Sonos app) or any desktop computer with the Sonos app. You can also play back different music to different speakers and zones independently from the same app. Finally you can also setup playlists and queues and connect to internet radio streams via TuneIn from within the app.

If you wanted to extend the system to work with an exiting hi-fi setup (ie. amp and speakers) and not use Sonos own speakers (which aren't cheap nor the absolute best in audiophile terms, although far better than normal Bluetooth speakers) then you'd need to get a Sonos Port which adds Sonos capabilities to any existing setup (...this is what I actually do). You can also get a Sonos Amp which can be used directly with any 3rd party speakers, which might be a good option if you wanted larger hi-fi or traditional bookshelf style speakers. The Sonos Amp also has inputs for a traditional turntable or CD player.

There's literally hundreds of different routes you could go down to achieve what you want, many much cheaper. But if you just want a multi-room speaker system/platform that just works, is well supported and extendable, then Sonos would be high on my list. Sonos kit also keeps fairly high resale value if you wanted to upgrade later on.

If down the road you wanted an even better interface for browsing / playing your collection then you could look at installing Roon on your NAS which supports Sonos as a playback 'endpoint', but that's totally optional. Think of it as a hi-end software remote control for existing setups. I'd get the basics in place first, but do have a look at Roon, it totally transforms how you navigate though a large local music collection. Hard to explain in a post, but they have really nailed the user experience better than any other music cataloging / browsing / playback software I have used. Hence why they get away with charging so much for it I expect.
 
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burrenyoga

Standard Member
@jamieu

Thanks again for your detailed recommendations!

As I don’t want be tinkering around to get things going, your suggestions seem very good.

I will research the various Synology NAS drives to see which has the fastest speeds and low power consumption etc. The DS218+ looks good on my limited reading.

And also check out the Sonos speakers (and also the competition). The Sonos 5 seems great according to reviews… but a pity they don’t have Bluetooth. But I guess as long as they work using Airplay that should be fine.

Thanks for your tip on Roon… and after I get the initial components setup, I can explore that later.

Am I correct in understanding that the total components required would be
  • a NAS Bay enclosure such as Synology (+ hard drives)
  • Speakers that can pickup Wifi such as Sonos
  • And an iPhone (or some other phone) to run an App to select the music?
  • And possibly later Roon to provide a better remote/search interface

Is it possible or recommended to use SSD Drives instead of hard drives in the NAS Drive? Possibly making it Quieter/faster/Lower power consumption?

Best Wishes,
Dave
 

jamieu

Active Member
@jamieu

Thanks again for your detailed recommendations!

As I don’t want be tinkering around to get things going, your suggestions seem very good.

I will research the various Synology NAS drives to see which has the fastest speeds and low power consumption etc. The DS218+ looks good on my limited reading.

And also check out the Sonos speakers (and also the competition). The Sonos 5 seems great according to reviews… but a pity they don’t have Bluetooth. But I guess as long as they work using Airplay that should be fine.

Thanks for your tip on Roon… and after I get the initial components setup, I can explore that later.

Am I correct in understanding that the total components required would be
  • a NAS Bay enclosure such as Synology (+ hard drives)
  • Speakers that can pickup Wifi such as Sonos
  • And an iPhone (or some other phone) to run an App to select the music?
  • And possibly later Roon to provide a better remote/search interface

Is it possible or recommended to use SSD Drives instead of hard drives in the NAS Drive? Possibly making it Quieter/faster/Lower power consumption?

Best Wishes,
Dave
Yes, that's all correctly understood.

You could use SSD's but it would be ridiculously expensive just for storage. You can add an SSD drive to larger NAS units, in those cases it's used to run the actual operating system a bit faster and is also used for 'caching' commonly accessed files, but not normally for actual storage.

I'd probably start with a couple of physical 4TB or 6TB drives from a known/reputable manufacturer, whatever is currently on 'best offer' that doesn't have tons of bad reviews. They don't have to be the expensive NAS specific models.

In a two unit NAS you want two identical sized drives so you can 'mirror' them (also called RAID1), so when one fails — and they will fail at some point — you can just swap it out and replace it without losing any data. This is why you can be somewhat relaxed about the drives you buy as your data is safe as long as both drives don't die at once. If you have more than two bays in your NAS you'd select RAID5 (or in the case of Synology, use their version of RAID5 called SHR) to provide redundancy from a single drive failure. The NAS setup will take you though this process via a simple, non-technical 'setup wizard'.

As for noise, you normally hide your NAS under the stairs where no one can hear it whir ;-)
 
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