Question

NAS Drive Purchase

  • 16 February 2020
  • 10 replies
  • 126 views

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looking at possibly adding a NAS drive to use with my Sonos , I have about 2 GB of music on the computer, which is backed up to a external desktop HD.I doubt i would use all of it with the sonos, say at the most 1 GB. Would a single disc NAS be ok, NAS drives have always been a bit of a mystery to me, i understand the basics of the raid side with mirror images, but i cant see me wanting this as I keep the music stuff backed regularly. Single NAS ready populated drives are a good bit cheaper as well. Looking at a max budget of £150 to £200, any advice on this , and what to purchase appreciated.

Last question, 75% of my music is in MP3 format, the rest is Flac, will Sonos play Flac, if so would I notice any difference in sound, i am happy with MP3, so wonder if its worth bothering with Flac, considering the ammount of space it takes up.


10 replies

Userlevel 5
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The answer probably depends on a few things. 2 GB  is not very much.  Did you mean 2 TB? Do you want a NAS because you don’t want to have a computer on all the time? If you don’t mind having a computer on all the time or already do, you may not see much of an advantage buying a small NAS particularly if you are planning on just buying a single drive version. NAS drives shine for large capacity, redundancy and possibly power savings.

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Definitely don't want computer on all the time,only turn it on when we need to use it. Oops yes I did mean 2 TB. I thought that might be enough, as I wouldn't really put anything but my music. So are you saying a two bay NAS with a couple of 2tb drives works better than a single bay NAS. The NAS would be for use with Sonos only, can't see anything else I would need it for. As it is the computer is only used for home use,banking, emails, surfing etc,a using iTunes to transfer music to iPod. 

 

Definitely don't want computer on all the time,only turn it on when we need to use it. Oops yes I did mean 2 TB. I thought that might be enough, as I wouldn't really put anything but my music. So are you saying a two bay NAS with a couple of 2tb drives works better than a single bay NAS. The NAS would be for use with Sonos only, can't see anything else I would need it for. As it is the computer is only used for home use,banking, emails, surfing etc,a using iTunes to transfer music to iPod. 

 

Unless you’re going to use it for other things, and as you already have backups in place, you only need a single drive NAS. Even 1TB is quite a lot of music, particularly if you have a lot of MP3 files, so it’s very possible that you’ll hit the Sonos limits on local music libraries (either the number of tracks, the amount of store or even both). I only have about 7-800 GB of flac files, and Sonos can’t cope with all of them, so a TB of MP3s doesn’t sound viable.

Some people might suggest using a USB stick or external USB drive on your router, but I prefer to keep the load off of the router itself.

Sonos can play flac files up to audio CD standard. High quality MP3s (e.g. 320k) sound very similar to flacs - I can’t reliably tell the difference.

Userlevel 7
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I went cheap for my Sonos Music Library NAS, used a Raspberry Pi and SSD (M.2) drive for storage. I used a Pi 3 because it had Ethernet but even a cheaper Zero W will work using WiFi.

Setup is pretty simple: https://stan-miller.livejournal.com/

The only really essential NAS feature is support of SMB version 1.

 

Userlevel 5
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Definitely don't want computer on all the time,only turn it on when we need to use it. Oops yes I did mean 2 TB. I thought that might be enough, as I wouldn't really put anything but my music. So are you saying a two bay NAS with a couple of 2tb drives works better than a single bay NAS. The NAS would be for use with Sonos only, can't see anything else I would need it for. As it is the computer is only used for home use,banking, emails, surfing etc,a using iTunes to transfer music to iPod. 

 

I wasn’t trying to say you don’t need a NAS, but trying to determine what your best option might be (including no NAS). If you do t want a computer on all the time, then yes, a NAS is a good option. A single drive bay will definitely work. It will be very important to keep regularly scheduled backups as it sounds like you are already doing. Personally, I like the redundancy of RAID when a drive fails (it happens not too infrequently). RAID in and of itself is not a backup plan, so even with mirrored drives you’d want to keep regular backups.

Userlevel 6
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Hi there.

I’d strongly recommend a NAS for hosting music and playing to Sonos, but before you go out and buy something then I’d suggest a decent bit of research.  The market is flooded with boxes from 1 SSD up to those with many, many (>100) large (currently 16TB) spinning HDs and across this range are lots of different feature sets and capabilities.  This post isn’t supposed to be anything definitive, but a few thoughts.  First of all you need to decide what you want a system to be capable of doing.

NAS do help with backup capability but please don’t think that sticking everything in one place is a backup.  Use to 3-2-1 rule at least.  Basically, a long time ago I realised that everything I have on a computer (etc) was vulnerable to being lost and now maintain a primary NAS that hosts mirrored data from a PC.  The NAS also keeps a laptop and separate external HD(s) in sync.  This NAS then backs up to two others with one of these in a totally separate location.

In addition to data, the primary NAS hosts music, video, photos and manages podcasts, cameras, synced calendars, emails, a sort of DropBox and runs home automation system among other things, hence it also being backed up.

There are loads of good NAS manufacturers out there.  I know which I would recommend but I suggest you do your research.  If you have lots of various devices with data and media scattered over them and are concerned about data integrity and management then a NAS is probably the best way forward.  Unless your needs are truly modest and it’s just ~2TB of ripped CDs then a 2 drive NAS set up for 100% redundancy (RAID 1) will probably serve well and will consume much less electricity than a PC (or laptop).  If you find you need / want to do additional tasks then strongly consider a 4 bay NAS; they open up a lot more possibilities but do cost more.

Go on then, here’s a link to get you started: https://www.scan.co.uk/shop/computer-hardware/nas/704/705  This company (no affiliation) also has good support and a good YouTube site.  Prepare to take the red pill!

Hope this helps.

Userlevel 7
Badge +21

I would hesitate to enable the required SMB v1 protocol on a NAS holding important data.

With that constraint in mind getting a large and/or fancy NAS to allow access to Sonos music is probably wasted money.

If you already have a NAS you can use a NAS (non-SMB v1) to SMB v1 gateway to allow it to remain secure while also allowing Sonos to access your music.

Userlevel 7
Badge +20

I bought an Odroid NAS kit.  I’ts a single board computer specifically designed for NAS use and comes in 2.5 or 3.5 sizes.  You can use an old drive you have or buy a new one of your choice.  The free S/w supports SMB1 too.

 

I’m not big on Linux things, normally too much hassle but this was fun to build set up and use, and a cheap option too.

Great video on this too:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?edufilter=NULL&v=AtHzhtkxIc8

 

If you have your own drive already this is under £60.

Userlevel 5
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It looks like you can easily get a single bay diskless NAS from a reputable company like Synology for about $100.  Based on your description of needs (I don’t get the impression that you want to tinker to build something like a Raspberry Pi system), thats probably going to be the best way to go. It will be simple to set up and reliable.

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Thanks for all the advice, I want to keep things simple, the Raspberry thing is way out of my comfort zone. Have given all the suggestions much thought we have decided against a NAS. I wanted to keep things simple, and I really don’t think a NAS is for us. So I’ll just use my stored music for my iPod, and continue with Amazon Music Unlimited on our Sonos system. Thanks to everyone for the advice.

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