Question

Where to store my Music Library?

  • 20 January 2018
  • 16 replies
  • 10559 views

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I feel like this should be addressed somewhere on the Community boards, but I couldn't find any specific answers to this question. I have a large digital music collection much of which is not available through streaming services. I want quick and easy access to my Music Library but I'm unconvinced on the options. I have stored much of the music on an external hard drive connected to a PC, however to access that content the PC needs to be booted and logged in. A while back I had a Home Server, but the hardware technology failed on me twice and in the current timeframe Home Server solutions appear to be out of style. So, my question is 'where can I store my digital music collection in such a way that it is readily accessible via sonos without the need to turn on a PC and log in to connect Sonos to my vast Music Library collection?'. Can anyone help? And if this is addressed in other forums or community conversations, please re-direct my ask.

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16 replies

On something like a WD MyCloud network attached server, that is wired to your router.
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Ok, so you're suggesting a cloud storage solution creates the immediacy of access?
No, the WD MyCloud is just a name for what is a local NAS with cloud based access to it if desired. Since installation three years ago, I have used it only as a local device, so installed. Google for more.
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I keep mine on a 4tb hdd plugged into the usb port on my router. Works for me. Basically the same principal as mentioned above, but works out cheaper.

Suppose it depends on your set-up!
If the "plugged into USB" drive works, that is just as good, maybe even better with a smaller footprint and no need for a power connection to it. And with flash drives getting cheaper, these will be the most discreet if their memory size is adequate.
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It will depend on your router though, some can only use the usb port for firmware updates via usb. Worth checking.
Userlevel 4
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As others have suggested, my iTunes library is stored on my WD MyCloud in addition to other tracks and Sonos is configured in Music Library settings to point towards this library. I can therefore play all my music from the WD device whether or not my computer is on or not.
Userlevel 7
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I used to use a WD Ethernet connected drive until they stopped doing security updates, now I use a Raspberry Pi to serve up my music library from an SSD. Low power, small and it will be getting security updates for many years.
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Stanley, tell me more about your setup. I'm intrigued…
now I use a Raspberry Pi to serve up my music library from an SSD.
You must still need a router? If yes, why isn't one that can accept a plugged in SSD better?
Userlevel 7
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Vegeta_UK, Really nothing to setting up the Pi as a music server, just get a Pi and the SD card pre-loaded with the operating system add keyboard, mouse and HDMI monitor and plug it in. It will boot up ready to run, do an update to get to the latest software version and reboot. Attach your music drive to the Pi. Then install the SAMBA package and configure it and you are done.

Basic PI videos: https://www.raspberrypi.org/help/videos

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It is best to set a mounting point for your storage drive rather than using the auto-mounting function. The article below is intended to be educational so it has a lot of information you don't really need and looks a bit more complicated than the basic mount command you need. Do use the mount by UUID method to make sure your drive is always mounted regardless of the port it is in or other devices being added or removed.

Mounting a drive: https://www.raspberrypi.org/magpi/connecting-disks-with-the-command-line

This is the mount command I added to my fstab file:

PARTUUID="d450bd65-603d-4e13-8b32-41ed9ea3e354" /mnt/ssd-music xfs defaults,auto,users,rw 0 0

That breaks down to the following sections:

The unique name of the partition on the device you rae mounting: PARTUUID="d450bd65-603d-4e13-8b32-41ed9ea3e354"

The location you want to mount it to: /mnt/ssd-music

The file system your device is set to: xfs
You will probably want to format your drive as FAT or NTFS depending on your other computers preferred method.

The option settings: defaults,auto,users,rw 0 0
They break down to: Use the system defaults as a starting point, automatically mount at boot, allow users to mount and unmount, the 0 0 are recovery options that are best left at 0.

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SAMBA config: https://www.raspberrypi.org/magpi/samba-file-server

This is the section I added to my samba.conf file:

[music]
Comment = Pi shared folder
Path = /mnt/ssd-music
Browseable = yes
Writeable = Yes
only guest = no
create mask = 0555
directory mask = 0555
Public = yes
Guest ok = yes

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Once set up I remove the keyboard, mouse and monitor and access the PI via VNC from another computer. All you need attached to the PI is the power and Ethernet cables along with your storage device.

VNC: https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/remote-access/vnc

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The Pi is designed as an educational computer for kids so it is easy to use and the documentation is well written but maybe just a touch British in flavour due to the origin of the PI.
Userlevel 7
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Kumar, Yes you still need a router with a Pi but a large number of very good routers do not accept a plug-in USB device. That leaves you needing another device that is an SMB v1 capable file server in your local network to stream local music.

I personally would never use a router that did SMB as I am a bit worried about security and every additional program you run on your router/firewall device is another possibility for a security compromise.

A WD live drive is the simple and low initial investment option, more complicated NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices are a step up while the Pi is a bit more effort but lower cost over the long term.

I only have 6 Sonos players and streaming different music from my Pi v3 to each of them only uses a small fraction of the Pi's CPU power.
Userlevel 7
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Vegeta_UK, A long detailed "how I did it" post with examples of my setup and links to the detailed explanations of each step is stuck in the spam filters, hopefully it will be approved.
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I have a Netgear ReadyNAS 2 x 2TB disks mirrored connected to the router, not only does it store my 250Gb music library, it also backs up my laptops and stores all my files enabling access anywhere in the world
@sonos, what about adding support for dropbox/box/drive/gdrive cloud shares? It should not be that complex, and would allow more usability
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Stanley - detailed indeed. I shall look more into it. Think I'll be able to cope with the British flavour too ??