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post #1 of 97 Old 03-22-2015, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
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digital storage recomendations

I have a couple thousand CD's that I need to rip. It's time, I put it off too long.

What do you guys recommend as the best way to rip, store and access after?

I need help in digital 101.

What you got back home, little sister, to play your fuzzy warbles on? I bet you got little save pitiful, portable picnic players. Come with uncle and hear all proper! Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones. You are invited.
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post #2 of 97 Old 03-22-2015, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eljr View Post
I have a couple thousand CD's that I need to rip. It's time, I put it off too long.

What do you guys recommend as the best way to rip, store and access after?

I need help in digital 101.

I also have a large CD library, much of which I have ripped to my PC using Windows Media Player.

I find that the 320K MP3 files are almost impossible to tell from the original, and take up a lot less hard drive space than some other formats.

I also recommend the Music Collector software to set up a master catalog system for your CDs and LPs etc.
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post #3 of 97 Old 03-22-2015, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by commsysman View Post
I also have a large CD library, much of which I have ripped to my PC using Windows Media Player.

I find that the 320K MP3 files are almost impossible to tell from the original, and take up a lot less hard drive space than some other formats.

I also recommend the Music Collector software to set up a master catalog system for your CDs and LPs etc.
Thanks but I will likely use JRiver, I will rip to Flac or APE, I already have some HD downloads to transfer. I have a dicted laptop right now that store some on. want to move on from that.
I'd like to rip the SACD's DSD of course.

What you got back home, little sister, to play your fuzzy warbles on? I bet you got little save pitiful, portable picnic players. Come with uncle and hear all proper! Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones. You are invited.
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post #4 of 97 Old 03-22-2015, 02:33 PM
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Well, I'd store it in multiple external harddrives, at least two copies of each album, then put the other set of harddrives in a drawer-size storage unit so if lightning strikes at your place you won't have to do it all over again (even with a surge protector its possible to fry everything, a good surge protector comes with an insurance payout in such an event but that don't bring back data). Keep the CDs, as proof of ownership.
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post #5 of 97 Old 03-22-2015, 06:52 PM
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I really like dBpoweramp with PerfectMeta for ripping.

https://www.dbpoweramp.com/cd-ripper.htm

A Nice Radio Station with Great Music. For Those That Like That Sort of Thing: RadioParadise.com

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post #6 of 97 Old 03-22-2015, 10:26 PM
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EAC/JRiver/dBpoweramp to rip and a server to store on using Flexraid/Snapraid. HP N54L is a decent small server. If you need lots of capacity because you also store video, check this thread.
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post #7 of 97 Old 03-23-2015, 06:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Just found this. Looks to be perfect.

Audiophile VortexBox

Please share all the negatives before I move forward. Thanks

What you got back home, little sister, to play your fuzzy warbles on? I bet you got little save pitiful, portable picnic players. Come with uncle and hear all proper! Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones. You are invited.
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post #8 of 97 Old 03-23-2015, 09:01 AM
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Very, very expensive for what it is: basically a single drive box (no redundancy, RAID etc) no different to a cheap android media player.

The N54L I mentioned before offers a ton more capacity in terms of storage, which need not be just music and an Intel Celeron NUC with USB to your DAC for playback and several hundred in change.
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post #9 of 97 Old 03-23-2015, 01:57 PM
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A random external harddrive can offer up to 6tb for not much money (I believe you can easily get 2x 6tb external drives for under 1000 USD, even with Norwegian prices and VAT). Buy two for redundancy. If you rip it to the main internal harddrive first, then organize it and move it over in chunks that don't have to be modified, then no fragmentation occurs and the disk speed is nice for whatever amount of time you will use it. Whatever program you use to play it can add the entire external harddrive as its music library.
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post #10 of 97 Old 03-23-2015, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronny31 View Post
A random external harddrive can offer up to 6tb for not much money (I believe you can easily get 2x 6tb external drives for under 1000 USD, even with Norwegian prices and VAT).
That's very expensive. In the US I see guys getting 3TB external drives for around the $100 mark each. This is the sweet spot. So 12TB could be $400.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ronny31 View Post
Buy two for redundancy.
If you own all the CDs, there's no need. Snapraid will do a parity rebuild for free. Plenty of people here use it with success (or Flexraid) and have no problems with rebuilds after a drive fails. With the HP server, you can have 5 drives, allowing 12TB (if you use 3TB drives) and a 3TB parity drive which can be music, photos, data, whatever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronny31 View Post
If you rip it to the main internal harddrive first, then organize it and move it over in chunks that don't have to be modified, then no fragmentation occurs and the disk speed is nice for whatever amount of time you will use it.
Read/write speed is irrelevant for audio as the bandwidth is so low. I can easily write a BR to my server and play back another off the same HDD with no stuttering. I use TeraCopy to spit the files to my server as it does it sequentially and CRC checks the data to make sure it's fine. Free too.

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Originally Posted by ronny31 View Post
Whatever program you use to play it can add the entire external harddrive as its music library.
Yes, JRiver, XBMC/Kodi, OpenELEC, Media Browser 3 can all do it free or for modest cost.
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post #11 of 97 Old 03-23-2015, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by eljr View Post
Just found this. Looks to be perfect.

Audiophile VortexBox

Please share all the negatives before I move forward. Thanks
Yikes!

I literally just built my first NAS with 16tb of storage for right around $850 (I paid a bit more than I should have because I insisted on WD RED drives ).

With RAID5, I'm getting about 11tb of useable disc space.
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post #12 of 97 Old 03-24-2015, 05:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post
That's very expensive. In the US I see guys getting 3TB external drives for around the $100 mark each. This is the sweet spot. So 12TB could be $400.
I was using Norwegian prices as reference.

I meant redundancy as if your house burns down or lightning physically strikes the electrical system. I've got raid and I still have an additional set of redundancy. You can never have too many backups.
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post #13 of 97 Old 03-24-2015, 06:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eljr View Post
Thanks but I will likely use JRiver, I will rip to Flac or APE, I already have some HD downloads to transfer. I have a dicted laptop right now that store some on. want to move on from that.
I'd like to rip the SACD's DSD of course.
How are you planning on ripping your SACDs?
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post #14 of 97 Old 03-24-2015, 11:48 AM
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Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by eljr View Post
Just found this. Looks to be perfect.

Audiophile VortexBox

Please share all the negatives before I move forward. Thanks
Eljr - you are getting lot of good advice in this thread. I agree with your comments as well. I will summarize my experiences from 4 years of this, having started with a proprietary (though ultimately unreliable) Olive system and having had to re-create and move my library to a 'portable' format.

1) Your library will likely be the most valuable part of your system.

2) Use a software that you like and that has the needed features. JRiver is an excellent choice; so is dBPoweramp. I use JRiver in a Mac/OSX environment. I really appreciate JRemote on an iPad.

3) Pay attention to tagging, artwork, etc. as you rip. Think about how you want to tag albums, especially classical and jazz. Try a couple at first; try organizing them (genres, artists, composers, etc.). There is a lot of personal preference here. Most programs will get 80-90% of the tags right, but classical will require more manual tag updates than pop for example. Something like JRiver keeps track of all your updates (e.g. artist or conductor name, etc.), and makes suggestions based on your typing, so each successive CD tends to get easier

4) JRiver is usually pretty good at finding several artwork choices for any given album. In general, the largest artwork file size is usually the best, but only about 80% of the time - so preview your choice first. I also use XLD (free) connected to a (free) Amazon Web Services account - this works for obscure CD's we may find in a used record shop for example, which can 'stump' JRiver. You'll get the hang of all this; not hard. Perseverance pays off.

5) You want back-ups, but don't need to get overly paranoid. Four thousand CD's in lossless (e.g. FLAC) will easily fit on a 2 TB disk. We keep one back-up locally (on an Apple Time Capsule) and, about once a month or so - depending on how many CD's were added, I update a USB external drive which I keep in my office.

6) Keep the original media is a reasonably safe place. We use simple binders (Univenture 5 ring binders) in a file cabinet. We save the liner notes but not the jewel boxes. Just a preference

7) There are many choices out there for digital storage and access. Vortex box as you selected is very good but pricey.
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post #15 of 97 Old 03-24-2015, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlknez View Post
How are you planning on ripping your SACDs?
However you suggest.

Frankly, I was thinking of tackling this as a separate "adventure."

Basically, leave them on the side till all Redbook is ripped.

What you got back home, little sister, to play your fuzzy warbles on? I bet you got little save pitiful, portable picnic players. Come with uncle and hear all proper! Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones. You are invited.
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post #16 of 97 Old 03-24-2015, 01:22 PM
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I would agree with clpetersen above. Audio takes up a fraction of drive space compared to what video requires (ie 300 MB per CD in FLAC vs 25-40GB per BluRay). I agree that backups and redundancy are important, but wouldn't get crazy about it. A single drive to store them (wouldn't do RAID for something this small) and an online "cloud" based backup service is really all you need. If you want to back up to external drive, then fine.
I also love JRiver as a music manager and player; it's very versatile
With that said, budget will dictate what form the "box" takes; you could use an older PC, or built something cheaply. You could use one of these cases as a small "server." They have nice aluminum fronts. The downside being that the slim drives are slower than traditional PC drives. The ones without a built-in drive could make use of an external that you would put away after ripping all the CD's; alternatively, there are many slim PC's on the market now (Asus, Lenovo, hp) that have small cases, could house a 2-3TB drive and have an optical drive as well
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post #17 of 97 Old 03-24-2015, 02:05 PM
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Vortex is a Linux box
It does the rippingbut I haven’t the slightest idea how good/bad it performs the ripping and thetagging. If not, you have to tag your files manually.
JRIvers weak spot imhois the support for internet databases (their own YADB and at rip time FreeDBto)
If you are into popthis won’t be a problem but in case of classical it is almost useless

My personal preferenceis to be in full control.
I do think dBpowerampone of the best rippers there is.
Its meta data ispretty good too.

I’am not a fan ofRAID, it simply replicates all your cockpit errors faithfully.
Better have a secondNAS somewhere outside the house and do remote replication
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post #18 of 97 Old 03-24-2015, 02:55 PM
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I use MAID instead of RAID. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-RAI...itectures#MAID


Maybe other people can, but I can't listen to more than one music album / watch more than one move at the same time, and I have other things to do in life than music listening / movie watching 24/7. So no need to keep all of my harddrives spinning at all times. I own two powered USB 3.0 hubs and 17 external harddrives, giving me 37TB external storage, and 1TB internal in my laptop. Spinning down harddrives that are not in use is done by using HDDScan for Windows (freeware). Preventing automatic spindown of green harddrives is done by using (for tasks other than music playback) KeepAliveHD (freeware) and by using foobar2000 (freeware).
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post #19 of 97 Old 03-24-2015, 03:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidio View Post
Maybe other people can, but I can't listen to more than one music album... at the same time, and I have other things to do in life than music listening


I am way luckier than you but not always. None the less, even when I was ultra busy with life I found time most days to spin an album or two.


What you got back home, little sister, to play your fuzzy warbles on? I bet you got little save pitiful, portable picnic players. Come with uncle and hear all proper! Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones. You are invited.
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post #20 of 97 Old 03-24-2015, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eljr View Post
I am way luckier than you but not always.
Hehe. My most recent additions are Seagate Barracuda ST3000DM001 / Western Digital Green WD30EZRX. Even though they aren't designed to run 24/7, you can play music off of them for much longer than just a couple hours per day without having to worry about them failing prematurely. And besides, spending more money by getting drives that are designed to run 24/7, like Western Digital Red (NAS) drives, for example, doesn't buy you anything much because if you want your data to be safer then you are better off spending more money on backup drives instead.


Also please note that the Wikipedia explanation about MAID (see the link I posted in my previous reply) states that low drive utilization rates may actually reduce reliability in consumer-oriented large drives. So, to strike a fair balance between running them 24/7 (typical of a NAS) and "low utilization", I recommend setting up a rotation scheme, e.g. after two to three weeks you can start using each backup drive for playback and each playback drive for backup. Next, rinse and repeat.


That said, only too often do I shake my head and ponder, does the fact that it takes some seconds to spin up a drive after it was spun down really bother people so much? I mean, I can spin up a different drive just before the last song of an album has ended. I could even let foobar2000 automatically do it for me if I wanted it to. My point is most people don't seem like they would even consider any of the reasons why things like NAS and RAID (and "reliable" enterprise drives...) are nowhere near meaningful for most home use scenarios.


A server build based around a Fractal Design Define R5 case and some additional Fractal Design case fans with an Asus Z97-Deluxe motherboard that has 10 SATA ports, 10 USB 3.0 ports and state-of-the-art fan speed control options will set you back a whole lot less than one of those fancy 8-bay NAS boxes. Still, I see tons of people recommend taking the NAS route even when it's not warranted, and they don't actually even understand that RAID cannot be used as a replacement for data backups. If you want backups that really are backups, then make multiple ones and unplug them from both the computer and the wall, store them in (geographically) multiple safe locations, and maybe consider adding an online cloud strategy on top of it all.
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post #21 of 97 Old 03-24-2015, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by nvidio View Post
A server build based around a Fractal Design Define R5 case and some additional Fractal Design case fans with an Asus Z97-Deluxe motherboard that has 10 SATA ports, 10 USB 3.0 ports and state-of-the-art fan speed control options will set you back a whole lot less than one of those fancy 8-bay NAS boxes. Still, I see tons of people recommend taking the NAS route even when it's not warranted, and they don't actually even understand that RAID cannot be used as a replacement for data backups. If you want backups that really are backups, then make multiple ones and unplug them from both the computer and the wall, store them in (geographically) multiple safe locations, and maybe consider adding an online cloud strategy on top of it all.
Yeah if not only for music it can also be for everything else we accumulate that we don't want to lose. I'm not a really active cameraman but even I have accumulated enough video and pictures I have recorded and taken myself that it would be a huge loss. I have two Contour 2 Roam action cameras with 32gb cards, they take 2.46mb pictures up to a speed of 1 per second and can take 1080p30fps video or 720p at 60 or 30fps and smaller formats, so it quickly becomes many Gb on one charge.
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post #22 of 97 Old 03-24-2015, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by nvidio View Post
A server build based around a Fractal Design Define R5 case and some additional Fractal Design case fans with an Asus Z97-Deluxe motherboard that has 10 SATA ports, 10 USB 3.0 ports and state-of-the-art fan speed control options will set you back a whole lot less than one of those fancy 8-bay NAS boxes.
Agreed. For less than a QNAP 8 nay NAS, I built a server based around a Z77 board (8 SATA), added 2 HBA's (another 16 SATA) in a second hand Antec 900 with 3 3x5.25" to 5x3.5" adapter from Norco running WHS2011. The last 10 drive spaces are using 2 similar but hot swap adapters sitting external to the case in my server rack. Not including the HDDs, it was about $600.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidio View Post
Still, I see tons of people recommend taking the NAS route even when it's not warranted, and they don't actually even understand that RAID cannot be used as a replacement for data backups.
I suggested the NAS as it's relatively affordable, easy to set up has warranty etc and requires none of the skill to set up like my server. The N54L I suggested has a bit of a cult following here and is odified in all sorts of ways.

I understand how RAID works, but rebuilding from Snapraid parity for the occasional failed drive is simple for the rare failed drive and saves the need for 1:1 duplication. That's probably not a big deal for someone with a few hundred CDs only.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidio View Post
If you want backups that really are backups, then make multiple ones and unplug them from both the computer and the wall, store them in (geographically) multiple safe locations, and maybe consider adding an online cloud strategy on top of it all.
In general, I agree, but only for important data, not music that you still have on CD. My personal data is backed up onto my second PC as well as 3 USB drives and my old Vista box - the last 4 are never plugged in to mains, PCs or network unless data transfers are happening.
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post #23 of 97 Old 03-24-2015, 08:40 PM
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Maybe other people can, but I can't listen to more than one music album
Yikes ....I watch hardly any broadcast TV and only select few movies at home. OTOH most downtime is spent spinning full albums (releases) as my mode of decompressing.

Much like you (under my circumstances in collecting music) I recommend multiple drives w/ at least one "off the grid" and have another at a friends house.....just in case.

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post #24 of 97 Old 03-24-2015, 08:45 PM
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I always suggest your laptop computers. It's much more flexible considering the amount of soft-wares that can benefit your files.
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post #25 of 97 Old 03-25-2015, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post
Agreed. For less than a QNAP 8 nay NAS, I built a server based around a Z77 board (8 SATA), added 2 HBA's (another 16 SATA) in a second hand Antec 900 with 3 3x5.25" to 5x3.5" adapter from Norco running WHS2011. The last 10 drive spaces are using 2 similar but hot swap adapters sitting external to the case in my server rack. Not including the HDDs, it was about $600.
My "server" is an Asus R510LDV notebook with an i7 4510U, Nvidia 820M, 8GB RAM, and 1TB internal harddrive. It doubles as my HTPC.
Quote:
I suggested the NAS as it's relatively affordable, easy to set up has warranty etc and requires none of the skill to set up like my server. The N54L I suggested has a bit of a cult following here and is odified in all sorts of ways.
Yeah, but I prefer to follow the cult that says a bunch of USB 3.0 external harddrives combined with one or two powered USB 3.0 hub(s) is more affordable, easier to set up, also has warranty etc. and requires none of the skill to set up like a NAS.
Quote:
I understand how RAID works, but rebuilding from Snapraid parity for the occasional failed drive is simple for the rare failed drive and saves the need for 1:1 duplication. That's probably not a big deal for someone with a few hundred CDs only.
Immediately as soon as you've lost all data stored on an entire RAID volume, that's when you'll learn that it doesn't save the need for 1:1 duplication. Making backups is not just about 1:1 duplication, it's also about protecting the duplicated data against a plethora of risks including user error, software error, virus, hacker, burglar, home fire, failing power supply unit killing each and every single harddrive connected to it in just a single big spark, etc. etc..


My point was also that non-RAID storage can give you the bonus of being able to spin down individual drives to reduce power consumption and to avoid unnecessary wear and tear, thus allowing you to make cheaper drives choices (e.g. green drives, as opposed to e.g. WD Red "NAS drives"), whereas RAID storage gives you extra performance (RAID 0) or lets you minimize system downtime (RAID 1, optionally combined with Multiplexing) or both (RAID 10, "The Cadillac of RAID"). Alternative solutions such as RAID 5 give you a tradeoff between system downtime and cost, while at the same time also giving you improved sustained read speeds of large contiguous data sequences. However, reduced system downtime and secured data backups are two sorely different animals!
Quote:
In general, I agree, but only for important data, not music that you still have on CD. My personal data is backed up onto my second PC as well as 3 USB drives and my old Vista box - the last 4 are never plugged in to mains, PCs or network unless data transfers are happening.
Harddrive storage is cheap. Better to have one 1:1 duplicate of your CD rips collection than to have to re-rip it all.
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post #26 of 97 Old 03-26-2015, 12:58 PM
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Vortex Box

I've been eyeing the Small Green Computer VortexBox myself - as well as the Bluesound Vault. Neither of these options is as inexpensive as a NAS in terms of $/TB.


What I like in the Vortex box and Bluesound Vault over a NAS is that it is headless and you can run it from an IPAD (at least they say so) without needing to connect it to a TV/Monitor


My music is in ITunes - I use apple lossless - but nothing yet sounds as good as a CD in my CD Player. SGC folks responded to my question and says that it support ALAC - so I don't have to re-rip the 500 odd CDs I've ripped.


Anyone on this forum own the SGC Audiophile mini-vortex box and can share how easy it is to live with?

2 Channel audio only:
ZUs Soul Superflys; Marantz PM15S2. Marantz SA8005; Rega RP3; Sonos Connect
ps - try before you buy, and always make sure you have a return option!

Last edited by jdjaye; 03-26-2015 at 02:50 PM.
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post #27 of 97 Old 03-26-2015, 08:17 PM
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What I like in the Vortex box and Bluesound Vault over a NAS is that it is headless and you can run it from an IPAD (at least they say so) without needing to connect it to a TV/Monitor
With a NAS you're still going to need a media player of some sort. Almost all of these can be fun from smartphone apps. If you were to use my suggested Intel Celeron NUC, you can put openElec/Kodi on if free and run it from your phone too.
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post #28 of 97 Old 03-26-2015, 09:55 PM
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With a NAS you're still going to need a media player of some sort. Almost all of these can be fun from smartphone apps. If you were to use my suggested Intel Celeron NUC, you can put openElec/Kodi on if free and run it from your phone too.
Interesting option.
Do you mind posting a link to the device you are suggesting?
Though installing an os on a barebones machine mgmt be more than some folks want to sign up for...

2 Channel audio only:
ZUs Soul Superflys; Marantz PM15S2. Marantz SA8005; Rega RP3; Sonos Connect
ps - try before you buy, and always make sure you have a return option!
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post #29 of 97 Old 03-26-2015, 10:37 PM
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Here's what I'm using and I'm very happy with it:

A couple different PCs in different rooms:
Graphics performance and quiet: Alienware X51 w/ SSD boot drive, running Windows
Tiny and very quiet: Gigabyte Brix PC with an SSD for the boot drive, running Windows

Storage: Thecus N5550 NAS in another room (to keep things quiet) using RAID5 and iSCSI (<$400 + drives)
Playback software: JRiver (great for organization and playback quality), one PC in server mode, the other in slave mode (sharing the same library)
Backup software: CrashPlan (unlimited storage and unthrottled uploads, nothing compares for cheap backups for terabytes of data)
Room EQ software: Dirac Live

Don't mess with "hi-fi" PCs. Just use HDMI out or a USB DAC if the line out jack isn't good enough.
If you want tons of storage capacity in another room, use a NAS with RAID5.
If you don't need tons of capacity and aren't obsessive about noise, you could just put a 3TB drive in a local PC.

USB drives are handy for portable storage, but not a reliable option for a storage server. Go internal or NAS.

Last edited by rcohen; 03-26-2015 at 10:51 PM.
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post #30 of 97 Old 03-26-2015, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post
With a NAS you're still going to need a media player of some sort. Almost all of these can be fun from smartphone apps. If you were to use my suggested Intel Celeron NUC, you can put openElec/Kodi on if free and run it from your phone too.
I prefer to set up the NAS as iSCSI and do all my media serving from a PC. That's much more flexible than the limited options built into NAS devices. My NAS has that kind of stuff. I just don't use it. JRiver has lots of built in streaming options. The nice things about iSCSI are that it's super-fast, and the PC sees it as a local drive, rather than a network share. If you need a network share, just set it up as a share from the PC. Similar to streaming, this works much better than dealing with quirky NAS issues with file sharing. (security issues, incomplete SMB/CIFS implementations, performance)

Last edited by rcohen; 03-27-2015 at 08:26 AM.
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