Hi Keith, I have been using a mac for a while, streaming to an airport express which outputs optical and into a DAC. I have used this way for a number of years and have found it good but it does have its limitations. This also means I can control the music from my laptop but makes USB impractical.I'll chime in here as I feel these answers could also be useful to you, Keith.
So, Vadac, are you saying that one of these
can be configured to plug straight into a DAC with no other streamer needed (like squeezebox)? To control the music library you can use your phone?
a) is it any good, sound wise?
b) is it easyish to set up
c) can you add more albums easily (maybe using a laptop and stream the content to the NAS for storage?
d) could you use something like Jriver?
Best regards, Lee
Sorry Lee....only just caught this. I was rather saying that DACs don't support HD's being directly hooked up to them. But Yeah IMV Syno NAS's are a good solution as a music player.
Anyhoo, here goes.
A) Yup it's great in terms of SQ. :stereo: This is dependent on the quality of DAC used of c. My Syno DS213 has replaced an SBT in my second system. Through the Audio-gd NFB 12.1 DAC/Pre/Can-amp I use in the all digital/active set up, it actually sounds better than the SBT does thru its analogue outs/built in DAC. That's not a bad yardstick really, as the SBT used like this is easily comparably to £400+ CD players....Obviously, it's even Stevens with both fed into the NFB 12.1.
B) Syno NAS's are extremely easy to set up.....Check out my NAS thread here.>> .http://www.hifiwigwam.com/showthread.php?88255-Upgrading-to-a-better-Nas-with-more-storage
I've recently talked Pete(Cobbler) thru setting up LMS on his, which he's only had 5minutes basically. Pretty much all the setup for Syno NAS devices is this easy/logical & is all done in a coupla' steps/clicks. Pete only needed pointing in the right direction basically. :^ Similarly I've helped Tones with some set up/navigation stuff as you can see on his recent thread here too. Even if needing a small amount of help most peeps even noobs should be up 'n running, holding their own pretty toot sweet.
C) Adding new albums is very easy. You can move files over to the NAS over the network easily enough using drag 'n drop etc. However for larger file transfers, hooking up a HD/USB stick directly to the NAS is a lot quicker....If you go for the full fat DS213 or 213+ both these have front panel USB3 ports & this allows even quicker transfer*, which is useful for any larger scale copy operations. (*if you have USB3 drives of c.)
Library scan/rescan times are also v quick, more so with the two range topping models I've discussed due to them having better H/ware specs. You can also set up copy folder jobs/locations so once this is done all you have to do is plug the drive in & nowt else. I don't copy straight to the main music folder, which means that I can enjoy uninterrupted music while transferring files without library scans interfering with this. I move any new files where I want in my music library sub-folders later when not streaming music. Moving files around is really simple/logical too.
D) J River would be a none starter as control S/W for music playback using The Syno NAS streaming directly thru a USB DAC, you would use Syno's bespoke Audio Station/DS Audio, Software/App for that & you could control music playback from a web browser on a pooter or smartphone/tablet. You also get internet radio but no spotify. The icing on the cake is that as well as using it for local playback into one system you can add addition SBT's or UPnP/DLNA streamers/renderers elsewhere around the house. I don't know too much re J River from a users point of view so can't help much with that, soz. :?
Scooze ennnny typooooooozes....having a late supper........Colcannon Mash & Hot Chipotle Chilli Bangers Nom Nom
PS.....Re the DS 112j you've linked too, I wouldn't bother buying that one TBPH:nup:. As a minimum I'd rather get the newer Syno DS213j instead. The reason for this being the H/W specifications. For starters the DS213j has four times the RAM memory @ 512MB & a faster 'Floating Point' Processor. It's only £35 more than the DS 112j you linked too, which is an older generation model. Synology have not yet rolled out a 2013/2014 generation replacement for their single bay NAS's so the DS213 Range is where I'd start looking.....You're not actually tied to having to populate both bays with these two bay NAS's. No reason why you can't rely on an external drive for backup or start off with just one drive & add the 2nd later as funds allow.
A DS213j is around £160. If you want hot swap drive bays + the USB3 connectivity + front copy feature then you need to look at the DS213/DS213+ or even the newly rolled out DS214.