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NAS

From trivum

A NAS unit is a computer connected to a network that provides only file-based data storage services to other devices in the network. Although it may technically be possible to run other software on a NAS unit, it is not designed to be a general purpose server. For example, NAS units usually do not have a keyboard or display, and are controlled and configured over the network, often using a browser.

NAS systems contain one or more hard drives, often arranged into logical, redundant storage containers or RAID.

NAS uses file-based protocols such as NFS (popular on UNIX systems), SMB/CIFS (Server Message Block/Common Internet File System) (used with MS Windows systems), AFP (used with Apple Macintosh computers), or NCP (used with OES and Novell NetWare). NAS units rarely limit clients to a single protocol. (see: Wikipedia:NAS)

Providing music with NAS

General recommendation

  • On your NAS, provide all music through a folder and network share called music. Below music, the artist folders should be listed.
  • Map this network share on your PC through a short mapping like
    net use Y: \\192.168.1.250\music
    or on your Mac through a short Volume reference.
  • the trivum server can use music files stored on a NAS in formats .MP3, .FLAC and .M4A

Preperation of music files

File Format

supported music files

  • .MP3
  • .FLAC
  • .M4A

supported playlist files

  • .M3U

supported image files (for coverart)

  • .PNG
  • .JPG

Meta Data

  • Avoid empty or incomplete meta data, especially
    • empty artist name
    • empty album name
    • empty track name
  • When purchasing music files from the web, make sure they contain artist, album and trackname meta data
  • When importing CDs to a NAS, make sure to use software or a service that automatically writes artist, album and trackname information into the music files, and ideally also cover art data

You can check the meta data by tools like:

  • iTunes
    right click on any track, select "Get Info" and check that artist, album and track name data are not empty
  • MP3Tag (free software tool)
    run that tool, load any album folder on your NAS, and check that artist, album and track name data are filled in

Recommended NAS folder structure

Example:
If there is a NAS machine called "mynas", it is recommended

  • to provide a share name "music" that exports a folder "music"
  • to create a folder "playlist" within "music"
  • to have folders of all artist names within "music"
  • within these artist folders, there should be album folders and therein the actual music files
  • to create an iTunes database within "music"


When entering the NAS share at trivum, it will look like

smb://mynas/music

and all further paths will look like

smb://mynas/music/playlist                   - may contain .m3u files
smb://mynas/music/Abba                       - first artist folder
smb://mynas/music/Abba/The Album             - first album folder
smb://mynas/music/Abba/The Album/Eagle.mp3   - music file

NAS network path

  • the NAS has a symbolic name within the SMB network, called machine name in the following
  • within the NAS there must be another symbolic name for a folder, called the share name
  • both are combined into one long name, the network path
    smb://MyLivebook/music
    This means: on the machine "MyLivebook" there is a folder identified by the name "music".

Connecting a NAS to trivum

TIP: Always try to store at least one music file on the NAS before integrating the NAS with trivum. This checks if the NAS is configured to supply storage space at all.

  1. Find the network path of your NAS music folder.
  2. Create a new Share
    System V8:
    • Open the trivum Multiroom Setup Tool
    • Click Database & Mediaadd network share
    System V7:
    • Click StreamingLibrary
  3. Enter a NAS path like smb://nasaddress/nasshare
    → When trying to change the path, you should see a list of found network paths. In case that this list is empty, select Adminrestart and wait for actuator reboot.
    → If the path list is still incomplete, identify the IP address of the NAS, then try the alternative form like smb://192.168.1.250/music
    → You may also extend this path by sub folder names. However in most cases this isn't necessary.
  4. Enter a Workgroup, Username and Password for that share if necessary.
    Details can be found in the administration surface of your NAS device.
  5. Test access to the NAS clicking Rescan all
    System V7: select SharesRescan all
  6. Press the Refresh button (2 or 3 arrows in a circle) repeatedly to see status updates.

→ If you see a message scanning files, then access works.
→ If you see no access, check if your NAS path and all other data are correct. Also make sure to use "/" slashes, but not "\".


To make the connection between NAS and trivum work permanently you must configure a fixed IP in the NAS' administration GUI.

Checking the playlist import process

You can check what the server does in detail during playlist import, by opening the URL /print/scanner-trace at the server Web GUI. Look for lines like

m3u.noacc:  -  file not found under that filename
m3u.fuzz :  -  playlist entry matches by fuzzy name comparison
m3u.remap:  -  playlist entry matches by remapped path name
m3u.miss :  -  entry cannot be matched to tracks in the database

When scanning a NAS, a list of invalid music files may be produced. This means

  • the music file cannot be accessed
  • the music file has empty or incomplete meta data (see Preperation of music files)
  • an itunes track mismatch
  • unsupported playlist file type (see File Format)
  • M3U playlist mismatch
  • files without cover art
  • files with unreadable cover art

Reasons for slow scanning

Check thoroughly if your NAS contains redundant tracks, i.e. them same Artist/Album/Trackname unit stored in multiple music file, maybe in different folders, maybe with different formats (like .MP3 and .FLAC). This may also cause Playlist mismatches.

Potential sources of error

itunes track mismatch

trivum gets a list of tracks from the iTunes database and tries to find those tracks in its own database. This match is based on Artist name, Album name and Track name, or by the Music file path. Possible reasons why matching fails can be:

  • the iTunes database contains references to files on a different NAS, or a different path in the NAS, or even local files on some PC or Mac not related to the NAS
  • Artist, album or track name or the music file path contain special characters. trivum tries to convert those characters, but this will not always work
  • the same track is listed twice in the iTunes database, referencing two different music files. trivum will use the first listing. Further listings are skipped
  • tracks with a format, which is not readable by trivum (like .WAV files) should not be added to the iTunes database

If an iTunes playlist misses tracks within trivum, the reasons are always mismatched tracks in the iTunes database.

M3U playlist mismatch

trivum reads .M3U files found in the NAS and tries to match the entries within those files by Artist name, track name, and music file path. Possible reasons why matching fails can be:

  • Artist, album or track name, or the music file path contain special characters. trivum tries to convert those characters, but this will not always work.
  • Music files are stored in a complicated non-standard directory structure with too many directories. The recommended structure on a NAS looks like:
    /music/artist name/album name/track name
    with "music" being the share name exported by the NAS. If there are additional folders between "music" and the artist name, trivum tries to match the path although, but this will not always work.

If an .M3U playlist file produces many errors: open it with a text editor and check entries for plausibility. For example, if all entries refer to music files stored on a completely different NAS machine or path, it cannot work.

files without coverart

Usually, all files of an artist+album combination contain cover art. If one or more files do not, then the first file per album is listed here. This does not necessarily mean there is no cover art displayed for the album; if at least one file within the album contains cover art, you can ignore further error listings for this album.

files with unreadable cover art

Please check the listed files with a tool like Mp3tag (free software) if they contain unusually large cover art files, or files with an image type not being .jpeg or .png.

Well known issues

Synology
Make sure that a "Volume" is really defined. It may happen that with a new NAS no Volume is defined, but the NAS allows to define shares, which are however unusable because without a volume there is no storage space.


MusicCenter 7.79 with iTunes under Macintosh
There was a bug in the path matching, is fixed with 7.80.

Playing Sampler / Compilation CDs from NAS

Music Albums containing tracks of many different artists are called compilations. When importing these into the trivum MusicCenter system from a NAS, it must be prepared that all music files of your compilation albums are marked as compilations, i.e. have the COMPILATION flag set in their meta fields. With MusicCenter V 7.46 or higher, the server will then recognize .MP3 and .M4A files marked as compilation and offers tracks of those albums correctly grouped on the TouchPad.

Detection of FLAC file compilations requires V9.18 or higher.

How to check if your tracks have COMPILATION flag set

  1. Run the tool Mp3Tag
  2. Select a compilation folder of your NAS
  3. Click one of the listed tracks
  4. Select ViewExtended Tags
  5. Search for a field COMPILATION
    → If none is seen, the flag is not set

At least for MP3 files this can also be done with iTunes. In iTunes, select track details and look for the Compilation check box.

How to set the COMPILATION flag on many files

It is recommended that you organize your NAS folders in a way that all compilation album folders are placed within a big root folder called Compilations.

  1. Run the tool Mp3Tag
  2. Select that root folder with all your compilations in it.
  3. Select ALL tracks by pressing CONTROL+A
  4. Select ViewExtended Tags
    → If COMPILATION is not shown anywhere
    1. Select Add field (star symbol)
    2. Select the field COMPILATION
    3. Type 1 as value
  5. Save all tracks

Resetting the music database and all cover art

This can be helpful in some rare cases, e.g. if cover art does not appear in the player screen after a software update although a normal rescan was selected.

System V8

  1. Click Database & MediaDatabaseReset
    OR
    enter in your browser
    /xml/system/control.xml?action=clearDatabase
  2. After the database reset, click Rescan all.
→ The whole NAS content will be re-read in complete, which will take much longer than a normal rescan.

System V7

  1. Click StreamingCoverartDelete coverart cache
  2. Run a normal rescan to make sure cover arts are rebuilt.

Troubleshootings

A list of all Troubleshootings concerning NAS you can find here.