Perfect Wave Owners...Which UPnP Server for Bridge

I’m not finding what I need to know over at the PS-A site. What will you PWD owners do for a server once the Bridge is released? PS will be releasing their version of UPnP server software, but it will need to be used in conjunction with a computer (turned on and running). I prefer to take my computer out of the equation and use a UPnP NAS.

The problem is finding a UPnP compatible NAS that has the desired features necessary to provide a great music server (i.e.: managing files/folders, artwork, metadata, codec formats, etc.). Many of us are already accustomed to excellent music servers (e.g.: Sonos & SqueezeCenter). From what I am learning, just because a NAS is UPnP compatible, doesn’t mean it will provide ideal music server solutions. It may communicate with the Bridge – allowing the music to be played, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the other desired features will be available (“music” server attributes…album art, metadata, folders, etc.)

I would love to hear what some of you are planning. I won’t be able to swing the pricey PS-A NAS, which in the works.

I may be in the same situation. What is a UPnP NAS vs a NAS? Have you heard what PS Audio is going to ask for the bridge and Perfect Wave Library gizmos?
Also, I thought Paul had made a couple of recommendations a while back in a newsletter?

How will a UPnP NAS take the computer out of the equation? Won't one still have to rip the discs via computer?
I thought once the Bridge was out, most of the problems were solved.

Curses foiled again!

I don't think our plans need be foiled. We just have to find a viable solution. “Universal Plug and Play” (UPnP) is a type of operations protocol that allows devices to communicate with one another – in that any UPnP devices should interact with all other UPnP devices. Not all NAS devices are necessarily UPnP compatible. Originally, PS Audio stated that the required protocol (for communicating with the Bridge) would be DLNA. They’ve now expanded that requirement to include the UPnP protocol (All DLNA devices are by nature also UPnP compatible). This said, any UPnP NAS (think of it as a storage device with a built in server) should communicate with the Bridge.

My concern has to do with the way in which the “server” functions as a “music server” (not merely communicating with the Bridge, but managing music files, including and tagging album art and metadata, supporting a variety of codecs and hi-rez files, etc.). If you are familiar with other music servers such as, Sonos or SqueezeCenter, then you understand how these proprietary servers “serve” the music. From my recent understanding, there aren’t many optimal UPnP NAS solutions available (NAS devices which incorporate the server “Twonky” have been said to provide decent functionality – but not ideal functionality). The trick is going to be finding a compatible NAS (UPnP compatible) that also “serves” (manages) the music well.

It’s my gut feeling (I may be wrong) that PS Audio jumped the gun in promoting the NAS solution as simple (in that all a new Bridge owner would need to do would be to incorporate a DLNA NAS into their network…and then everything would be great). In fact, now PS Audio is developing their proprietary UPnP server software and NAS. Their NAS (the PML) will be on the pricey side (I have not seen it published, but I have heard it said – by outside sources, that the retail price tag could be as high as $2,000).

Using a NAS allows one to “take the computer out of the equation” because with a NAS, it is not necessary to run a computer. You would still use your computer to rip your files (although the new PML NAS will also include a built in ripper). I prefer not to (have) to turn my computer on every time I want to listen to my music server. I (we) could simple install the new PS Audio UPnP server on a computer and all will work exceptionally well. Again, the computer would need to be on. You can also purchase the new PML, which will no doubt be the very best solution available – by far. But, if you are like me and have a limited budget to spend on a NAS, then you…like me, must come up with another viable solution.
And this, my friend, is why I started this thread…..

I will very much appreciate more advice.


Any built-in media server (Twonky or otherwise) of a NAS is independent of the streaming solution that utilizes the NAS for storage and to pull content. If a NAS has built-in media server, it will operate under it's own environment for purposes of serving media to computers (or compliant devices like game consoles) that are connected to the network - it will do so either thru a browser-based application or a stand-alone application developed by the NAS manufacturer. By media server I mean serving music, video, photos.

If a NAS is used in conjunction with a streaming solution like Sonos and SqueezeCenter, the Sonos and SqueezeCenter applications are themselves the "server", pulling content from the NAS and serving it to the rest of the chain via their respective players or bridges. The Sonos and SqueezeCenter applications do not utilize the built-in media server of the NAS. Instead, it only utilizes the file sharing utility of the NAS by way of the SMB/CIFS file system, which btw all NAS boxes have this feature. For example, in the NAS I'm using I can turn-off/disable the built-in media server but Sonos can still pull and serve music to my audio system.

Album art and metadata that are either automatically written or manually embedded during conversion (ripping) are simply read and served up by either the built-in media server of the NAS or the streaming solution's server application, whichever you're using and, once again, are independent of each other. The upcoming PSA Bridge for the PWD will most likely operate the same way - it will simply read the data and serve it. The ability to pull missing album art or metadata rests either on the built-in media server (if it has one) of the NAS, or on the streaming solution's server application (Sonos, SqueezeCenter, whatever).

The same applies to codec/format support - for instance, the built-in media server of a NAS may not support a particular audio format but the streaming solution's server application may support it, or vice-versa. Therefore, the "desired features or server attributes" you mentioned that you're looking for to match the upcoming PSA Bridge will depend on the quality and comprehensiveness of the Bridge's server application itself and not on the built-in media server of a NAS that you choose later on.

Noise factor and scalability of capacity are other features worth considering when choosing a NAS.

In your case, the no-computer goal to stream audio will largely depend on how PSA ultimately configures the Bridge and its accompanying server application, not on the media server functionality of a NAS. If DLNA and UPnP compliance are the only requisites, then you're good to go. However, if you're going to use a NAS to serve content to other computers or devices in your network then yes you need to consider all the media server features of the NAS.

I believe we had a similar discussion in another thread but I hope this clarifies things a bit for you.
Thanks Edge. You're miles ahead of me.

The Bridge will NOT include a server. It is a UPnP player only. PS Audio will have a user interface application that they will make available via download. This application will be what the iPod-type controller uses as the interface. I'm not sure, but I assume that this application will be loaded onto a computer?? Or, possibly the controller itself (I would assume the computer). My concern being that the computer would then need to be running. That's why I have been thinking that this system will dependent on the third-party server (UPnP NAS). Unless the controller application IS the server?? I'm still unclear on how the PS system will function.

Yes, the controller application (or user interface application) is part of the whole server application that resides in all the components that make up the streaming system -- the bridge, the player (if independent from the bridge), the controller (desktop computer or a hand-held device), or in the case of the PS system, the PWD too.

The server application must reside in all the components in order to communicate with each other. That's why PS will require you to upgrade the PWD's firmware so you can possibly control from the front panel (in case there's no hand-held device yet, or if you wish not to use your desktop/laptop). At this point, however, the level of control using the PWD's panel is unknown - for example, whether it can be used for initial setup (e.g. mapping to the NAS) without using a desktop/laptop, re-titling of albums or tracks, creating playlists, or is it going to be for playback control only.

Whatever client-server model PSAudio implements in order to free the computer, I think it's not going to be radically different from what Sonos and SqueezeBox has already implemented. Differentiation will evolve around ease of install, user interface, compatibility with third-party hardware, pricing, and service.