Using an External Hard Drive as a Music Server

Hi there, I have just found the most awesome thing that totally makes sense and just makes you say DUH!

PS Audio just came out with a $10 Iphone app (I have no affiliation and im sure other companies make them) that allows you to control any networked device.

This would mean anyone using there computer for audio can back up there audio to an external hard drive (Free of all of the computer interference) and be able to put it right on your rack and hook it up to a USB DAC without having to either compromise in cabling or having to go wireless. Also you can put it on your power conditioner.

Please tell me if I am wrong. But It seems to me that if you go this route, You save alot VS. a dedicated server and dont have to deal with a servers interface and possibly being able to use Itunes.

I hope this is right please tell me if im wrong, but I cant see anything to the contary. Hope this works and benefits many

Thanks a million. Toby
I think that you are wrong about this.
no Toby....go to the well tempered computer website for some education.
Ok I guess Im wrong, But you your sure you cant network control a hard drive while still keeping the data and remote control seperate but the signal direct from the external hard drive?

Thanks I guess to good to be true
Yes, you can do this (hard drive connected to your system). Apple/mac makes a product with this basic approach. There is a large variety of hard drives available, blue tooth, wifi, wired, et al. Several years ago when I was buying an external hard drive I considered this. I don't recall the specific hard drive manufacturer I looked at, but it allowed for this general approach (no iphone app at the time).

The thing I didn't like about it was the fact that many external hard drives are loud and that noise from one would drive me crazy in my listening room.
Is there any reason I couldnt have a "Geek" Custom build me a hardrive where I put in to a metal container whith heat sinks to keep it cool as oppose to a fan?
I am waiting for affordable, large, flash drives before I dive into computer audio. No noise, heat or fans.
The correct approach is to put the hard drive in the closet with your network gear - away from your components and listening area. You can then stream the files (either via WiFi or Ethernet, depending on your hardware choice) to your listening area. The PS Audio DAC with Bridge does this without a computer (as does the Linn DS player, Logitech Transporter, and a few others catching on).

You can do this with a computer as well if you wish, though the one you choose impacts the desired results - especially if it has a fan, dirty power supply, and/or a spinning hard drive in it (which defeats the purpose of getting it out of the room). I did this with a Mac Cube (no fans) a few years ago, and I know some have done it with a laptop using a solid state HD (no moving parts). But it's still a computer in the listening room that I find distracting.

That said, I recommend to everyone looking into this to just bite the bullet and invest in the full integrated solution. For an interim tryout, you can use the less expensive Sonos or Squeezebox hooked up to the input of your DAC, but you will eventually want the integrated solution of a Perfect Wave, Linn DS, Transporter, or similar DAC.

Have fun.
Whatever you do, make sure to keep a backup, or two, somewhere else.

I've heard horror stories of people uploading all their CDs to a hard drive, then selling off their entire collection, and the hard drive breaking down.

One of my stand-along backup drive failed last year too. So I would recommend keeping at least one backup, two if you can afford it.

Shazam-you got it right. Western Digital makes an inexpensive NAS (network aware server) with a 10/100/1000 ethernet connection to your switch (router) allowing it to be shared by any device on the network. I use a cheap and quiet netbook to access the files and direct them to a wireless music bridge which is connected to my stereo's preamp. The weakest link is the quality of the music bridge, but much has improved over the last 4 years. The beauty of this setup was that I already had everything except the music bridge when I decided to experiment. It also helps to understand networks.
Why not just use itunes and the remote program it is free then go out of the PC to the Dac. That is what I do I ahve a bryston dac I take the usb out and it sounds great. The key is finding the right dac and usb cable. I also have a NUVO music port, great device but pricy. It syncs with itunes, wmp, etc and is a little music server with 4 lines out, also streams pandora radio time etc. Great little device, since by nature it syncs with a PC all your music is backed up.