Network-attached Storage

Network-attached storage (NAS) refers to storage devices that connect to a network and provide file access services to computer systems. These devices generally consist of an engine that implements the file services, and one or more devices, on which data is stored. 

The Synology network-attached storage is designed to make storing and sharing files within your local network quick and simple, allowing you to directly access shared folders and files on the Synology network-attached storage without going through the hassle of logging into DSM every time. For example, you’ll be able to store files to your Synology network-attached storage with Finder just like other network devices.

Benefits of network-attached storage

  • They are simple to operate; a dedicated IT professional is generally not required
  • Lower cost; can significantly reduce wasted space over other storage technologies like SAN
  • Easy data backup and recovery, with granular security features
  • Centralisation of data storage in a safe, reliable way for authorised network users and clients
  • Supports a large variety of applications
  • Permits data access across the network, including cloud-based applications and data
  • Probably the most versatile form of storage.
  • Great for audiophiles who love high-resolution FLAC files
  • It operates silently – so all you hear is your music

Connecting your Synology NAS to a MacBook

  1. I bought the Synology DS220+
  2. I bought a Seagate BarraCuda 4TB 3.5 inch SATA III 256MB hard-disk drive (HDD)
  3. Go to the Synology website. Create an account for yourself and register your product
  4. I had to buy a Belkin USB Type C to Gigabit Ethernet (LAN) adapter. This allows me to connect the Synology to my Macbook via an ethernet cable
  5. Once you have connected the Synology, you will need to go to System Preferences, Security and Privacy, select Full Disk Access, click the padlock to unlock, and then add Terminal. Please read this webpage. It has all the details.
  6. Once you have opened the terminal, type: sudo tmutil setdestination -p “smb://USER@IP/FOLDER” – where User@IP is the name you gave to the computer and the folder will be the root address of the folder where you have stored your FLAC files. If the terminal says: dquote, then simply click a speech mark and click enter. You then enter the name of your root folder and your password.
  7. Now open the website: finds.synology.com and search for your network-attached storage. It should find it. If not, work through the webpage detailed in stage 5 above.
  8. You should have connected your network-attached storage to your MacBook. You then have to work your way through the wizard and decide how you want your network-attached storage formatted.
  9. I have installed the Audio Station, Minimserver and Itunes Server
  10. I created myself a quick-connect website address and stored it as a bookmark – so I have quick easy access to it anytime I like

The DS220+ is a performance-oriented, versatile device equipped with an Intel Celeron J4025 2-core CPU and 2GB of DDR4 RAM expandable up to 6GB. As with all Synology network-attached storage devices, the Synology DiskStation DS220+ leverages Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM). With this OS, the NAS can be turned into several different useful tools or a combination of many.

Cambridge Audio

Cambridge Audio recommends Synology network-attached storage and QNAP. QNAP are a relatively cheap option if you are looking for DAS (Direct-attached storage), especially when you compare their devices to anything made by Aurender. Once you have some FLAC files stored on your computer, you can easily play them via Cambridge Audio CXA81 or the CXN V2. If you connect to the CXA81 with an asynchronous USB cable, your computer with use software to play them and then send the sound to your amplifier.

If you connect to the CXN V2 with an asynchronous USB cable, the CXN V2 will process the FLACs and then send the sound to your amplifier. An asynchronous USB cable is key as it sends messages from your CXN V2 to your computer to tell it to NOT process the FLACs you want to be played and just send them directly to the CXN V2 instead. This is very clever and ensures you get the very best sound quality.

The CXN V2 will also work as a Roon “end-point”. Roon manages your music library, cleans up your files and directs the flow of music to your motley crew of Roon-compatible hi-fi kit. A walled garden of hardware this is not. Roon aims to be a well-organised, carefully considered and implemented, the democratisation of multi-room.

The CXN V2 has free and subscription hi-res streaming services, like internet radio, Spotify Connect, Tidal Connect and Qobuz. With Apple Airplay2 and Chromecast built-in, you can access Apple Music, Amazon Music, BBC Sounds and more. CXN V2 is also Roon Ready, consolidating the experience of browsing your digital music files – no matter the source.

Torrenting websites

Torrenting is the act of downloading and uploading files through the BitTorrent network. Instead of downloading files to a central server, torrenting involves downloading files from other users’ devices on the network. Conversely, users upload files from their own devices for other users to download. Torrenting itself isn’t illegal, but downloading unsanctioned copyrighted material is. I have been told that the following two websites are good places to find hi-res music.

Qobuz

Qobuz lets you buy and download high-resolution audio files legally. This would be my recommendation. It keeps you safe…

Qobuz’s comparatively high price has always been partly justified by its exhaustive library of hi-res music (FLAC 24-bit up to 192kHz). Recent figures put the total number of hi-res tracks at over 2m, while Tidal claims ‘only’ over 1m. Numbers rarely tell the whole story, but we regularly find hi-res albums on Qobuz that are available in only CD-quality on Tidal.



Author: Piers Midwinter
I am an artist and a teacher. I am currently teaching at a Cambridge International School in Vietnam.