DiskStation Audio (part 2)

Having used the DiskStation audio to stream music to my iPhone (and Apple TV 3) for the last few weeks, there are a few further things I thought I ought to mention.

Speed of Data access:

The DiskStation easily copes with streaming audio to the iPhone even on cellphone coverage. There was no issues during the playback, which was smooth throughout. I managed to listen to my music streaming from the DiskStation while away from home last week.

And with playback on the Apple TV, there is no need to switch on the television as the controls are handled through my iPhone initially to start the streaming. Then the Apple TV remote can be used to jump from track to track, leaving the iPhone free for other functions.

Sound quality:

I compared the playback of Mary Black’s No frontiers from iTunes (256K) vs the version ripped from CD in Apple Lossless. Through my Apple TV/Yamaha YSP1100 system and also on my Etymotic ER4P micro pro earphones (one of the best earphones available), it was clear that the Apple lossless version had more atmosphere to the recording, was clearer with better placement of instruments and vocals compared to the 256K iTunes version. That just shows that for me, the audio equipment I’m using is able to show up the quality of the recording; clearly I need to rip from CD to get the most from the recordings.

Functionality of DS Audio App:

There were a few other features which I found very useful in the DS Audio App. It was able to gather all the music under various groupings such as Album, Artists, Composers & Genres. So suppose you are looking for all the songs from one artist stored in DiskStation, it will list them together in ‘All songs’ or under each individual album. Being able to see all the songs of one artist listed together (from all the albums stored on DiskStation), will allow me to know which songs are missing from my collection. Also, the listing of Artists will group the Mandarin artists according to the Hanyu Pinyin name.

View of options for artist - Mary Black
View of music from artist – Mary Black
All the songs by Mary Black available on DiskStation
All the songs by Mary Black available on DiskStation (list amalgamated from all albums)

It also allows for grouping under different genre such as easy listening, classical, jazz, religious, soundtrack etc, in case you were in the mood to listen to a particular type of music. These all add to the functionality of the App and give a great user experience. And when the lyrics work, it works very well; I’ve found that with some English songs, it will also highlight the lines being played just as it does in most of the Mandarin songs.

Music listed by Genre
Music listed by Genre

I have ripped nearly all the CDs I own, although there are a few of my favourite CDs which I have not been able to find (I may have lent it to a friend); hopefully they will be found and I can complete the process. My thoughts is that some of the CDs I own have developed some scratches on them, which will affect the music playback from them. So the best things to do is to rip the CD straight after buying it, so it is still in mint condition when ripping.

I have finally completed embedding the remainder of the artwork into all the albums (bar those which I cannot find online), so it should all show up on the DS Audio App when I open it (and not show many blank spaces in the artwork section). I would say that this audio playback facility has already made the DiskStation worth its cost. Although perhaps I have gone over the top as I have used just under 1 terabyte so far; I can’t see myself filling up the rest of the 7+ terabytes – but there is still time.

Do note only CDs which are owned were ripped into digital copies for personal use during the setting up of the DiskStation.