NAS to work on home Sonos system and on boat audio system

  • 13 February 2019
  • 4 replies
  • 264 views

I want to rip my CD collection to an NAS so that it can 1) be accessed by our Sonos system, and 2) so we can take it with us and "plug'n'play" connect it to the audio system on our boat. Our Sonos consists of 2 fives, 3 ones, a Connect that enables a high-end set of built-in speakers to be part of our Sonos whole-house solution, and a Boost (which is not really all that necessary but it's helpful when listening to music out in the yard). Currently, Radio TuneIn is our sole source of content for Sonos. My cd collection is sitting unused and I want to use it again. It's a pain to do all that ripping, so I want to do it only once. We are about to replace the audio system on our boat, so now is the time to figure this all out! We don't expect to use Sonos on the boat because we do not always have a continuous, reliable wifi connection. So we just want the NAS to plug into the boat's new audio hardware, whatever that turns out to be. So I have three questions: 1) which audio file format(s) will cover both of those needs? 2) What are the other hardware requirements we need to attend to on the boat to be able to do this? We assume that to browse and select music on the boat we need to use a laptop. (We have two MacBook Airs. (We also have two iPhones, if that matters.) The main audio components we are considering for the boat are: Fusion MS--RA770 Apollo Series Marine Stereo, Fusion SG-DA51600 Signature Series 5 Channel Marine Amplifier, and a Fusion MS-SW10 10" Marine Grade Subwoofer. These all work with the BG GPS/Navigation equipment we are installing. (The only interface between the audio system and the navigation system is the ability to select and control music form the cockpit without having to go below to do so.) We are not planning on using a CD or DVD player; we prefer to eliminate hardcopy content. 3) Which NAS units do you recommend? I have only a couple hundred CDs, so I doubt the NAS has to be huge. We just want it to be easy and reliable. Many thanks for helpful guidance!

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4 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +21
Rip to FLAC or another lossless format, then you can convert to any other format without any extra loss of audio fidelity.

Hardware needs are very light, I use a Raspberry PI to serve my audio library and the load on it is minimal even with a few different streams playing. About any other NAS out there will work as long as it supports SMB version 1 which Sonos must have.

You can use a Windows or Mac computer or an IOS or Android tablet for control. There is also a controller that is a bit iffy but that runs on a Pi that we use here.

To feed your audio system you'll want a Connect, a Play 5 would also work but doesn't sound like what you want.
Userlevel 4
Badge +11
I would consider a second storage device. Leave your NAS at home and take a USB storage device to the boat. Assuming your boat is able to play music from any kind of USB device. I use my NAS to backup photos and videos, my accounts (I am self employed) and also have cloud storage so it is accessible to me when away from home. I use a USB memory stick in the car which can hold plenty of music at CD bitrates. I would be concerned about shipping my NAS around with me as I wouldn't want to damage the hdd inside - it was too much money to be considered a consumable.
Thanks for the helpful responses; they helped me formulate an alternative. What do you think of this approach: buy an inexpensive Windows PC with a 500 GB internal hard drive. Use it as the library for Sonos at home and use it to store the music on OneDrive. From OneDrive I can copy parts of it to a USB thumb drive, which I can leave on the boat. (Our MacBook Airs don't have CD drives of course, and the external one I have is extremely slow. Sonos, unfortunately, cannot access files on OneDrive.) With this approach we won't even need to buy an NAS, we'll just need to set the PC to never go to sleep. Am I correct in thinking that using a laptop rather than an NAS makes SMB1 a non-issue?
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
Correct, Sonos doesn't use SMB on Windows setups.

Consider an SSD for the PC, much happier being left running full time than a hard drive. Maybe something like the Intel NUC devices for your home storage.