DSD download primer for the computer idiot- anyone?

I just read the As We See It article in the new August issue of Stereophile. “When the CD is gone, and it soon will be, we’ll miss it”. Seems a bit premature to me but it got me thinking that maybe it’s time to do a bit of research into the issue of what would be the best way to download, organize, store and backup downloads. This might be a good time to explore the world of DSD as well. I am curious about how they might sound on my new DS MKll DAC. But a computer expert I’m not. If I were to do this might as well start out on the right foot. Any guidance as to where I should start. Is there such a thing as a DSD Download For Dummies book?

There are several options on the market. One of those is NativeDSD.
Please look out for the best recordings, making your purchases giving you the best bang for the Buck.

For organising, you should consider what playback software you intend to use. Starting from simple file playback according to your own folder naming liking.
In case of Roon, the organising is done for you, no matter how you stack files. Also providing for other formats and streaming sources.

Anyway, they will all sounds fabulous on your MKII!

I have a Eversolo streamer. As I understand it, it is set up as a server to access your downloads but I think you need to direct where to store the file in what format and you would need to tell it what parameters you want to use to call the piece of music up- somehow. I have a little stand alone state state drive that I used to backup my iMac with that I think I could clear to use. Or I can buy a device to fit in a panel on the bottom of the Eversolo. Probably I would need both if I want to have a backup.

@rkindel, four years ago I was in the same place you find yourself now. At the risk of sounding presumptuous, you might find my series of articles for Positive Feedback describing my transition to digital files useful. I’ve doubtless gone deeper down the rabbit hole than some, but… You will find Part 3 most specifically on point to your question about files and backup strategies.

Yes, There Really is Music After Vinyl
Yes, There Really is Music After Vinyl - Part 2
Yes, There Really is Music After Vinyl - Part 3
Yes, There Really is Music After Vinyl - Part 4


Thank you! I’ll definitely check it out.

Started reading part 3 as recommended and my head spins just from the backup section alone. I can tell this is going to be much more involved than I was expecting. I’m sure if I just sit down with it and take it one step at a time it should be doable. Nothing in life is simple I guess.

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:sunglasses: I said I’ve probably gone down the rabbit hole. A simple answer to your question based in my druthers for how to do this:

  1. Set up a small computer (e.g., Intel NUC) with your preference of either Roon Rock or JRiver installed. As noted, I use JRiver, but many people seem to like Roon notwithstanding its cost.
  2. Buy a Western Digital My Book USB external storage device of a size you think will meet your near term storage needs. Load you files and this and let JRiver or Roon index them into it’s library.
  3. Buy a second My Book that is a terabyte or two larger in size. Use this for backing up your primary drive. (There are multiple options available to do the backups. I currently use a free Windows based application called “Perfect Backup”. It’s been working fine and is easy to understand.)

Hi Rushton.
I noticed that you specifically said My Book.
I have an old My Cloud NAS storing my media files. It being so old, I needed to turn off the Cloud sharing service.

One thing I still do like about the My Cloud is directly connecting to the router via a network cable. (And the once mostly useful Cloud sharing capability)…

Questions For AllL

  • My Books are only USB to a PC type device, yes? Not to a router/switch with network cables?
  • No Cloud Sharing with My Books?
  • A cloud sharing network NAS could be backed up to a My Book?
  • Can anyone recommend a budget-friendly NAS with an also provided and decent cloud sharing service?

Also, while we are at it: SSDs or HDDs for a NAS - In terms of longevity MTBF and data integrity?


If you are just starting out, paying attention to backup procedures is worthwhile. More than one person has wiped out an entire collection with a foolish move. With no backup, start over time. My backup routine is so excessive you’d think I was paranoid.

The simplest and easiest thing to do is from time to time plug in an external drive and copy all of the music stuff to it. Then shut it off and disconnect it. This is important as leaving it connected can be a bad thing.

Also, SSDs are your friend. Use them.


Since my current streamer has three USB inputs, I use an external SSD drive. I use a couple of Samsung T7 SSDs with 4TB storage. That will be enough for a few hundreds of DSD256. You don’t need any additional power source either.

My new streamer will come with 8TB internal storage, so SSDs will become backups. Now I just need to subscribe to Roon to control everything.

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Just a fast friend? Or also, a better friend with integrity, etc.?

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This is a very good subject indeed. I’m a hold out, love my cd’s, SACD’s and strongly believe these will never die. Same thing with vinyl (which I regret selling my collection a long time ago). But I know this is download thing is something to look into, but I am a computer idiot also and wouldn’t know where to start.

Correct. They are USB connection to a computer device only. Can be PC, Mac, Android, just needs that direct USB-to-device connection.

Lots of ways to accomplish backup. the critical thing is, as @aangen says, be sure to have a backup plan and use it. In my case, all my backup drives get unplugged and stored offline between backup sessions. I never leave them connected to power or to a network. Safety, safety, safety. And, I rotate with two separate backup drives for each live drive so if doing a “full” backup, I still have my most recent incremental set of backups in case disaster strikes mid-process.

Also, as I note in Part 3, I do NOT trust NAS devices for secure backups. Too many examples of a NAS drive controller failing and all the data being lost. They are great for ease of storage and access. They are just not backup devices.

As always, you have to decide your own risk tolerance in selecting your own backup strategy. Main thing: just do some sort of backup.


I encourage everyone who is interested in this topic to read all of the Positive Feedback articles linked in post #4 above “Yes, There Really is Music after Vinyl”. There is a boat load of information there.


You’ve gotten some very good advice here. But no one has mentioned any issue of meta-data. If you listen mostly to popular music, this isn’t much of an issue since the basic categories of artist, album, and track title are usually enough. But if you Like classical music, as I do, you will need to figure out a system for adding additional information, and also ensuring that any info that comes pre-filled in is consistent. This is not difficult to do, but is fussy and time consuming.

To give one example: when I first got into digital downloads, information about the composer was never included. Nowadays many downloads do have this, particularly for classical music. But if you’re not careful, you can end up with multiple variations which complicate searching: Johann Sebastian Bach, J. S. Bach, or Bach, Johann Sebastian. The same is true for artists’ names, work titles and other things.


I get all my meta-data from musicbrainz.org using their “Picard” program. It’s a mind-job to learn. I can help if you go down that path. Unless you are one of those unique people who reads instructions. I never did.

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Fixed that for ya. musicbrainz.org

Will it help me with Octave releases?

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So very true. NativeDSD has always done a pretty good job of getting accurate and complete metadata into their files, and other sources seem to be getting better.

But, classical continues to be a challenge. Consistency of both composer names and names of works continues to be variable. This is why I use JRiver. Each time I import a new download, I spend a couple minutes editing the metadata for completeness and for consistency. And, I add a field I’ve named “Work” so I can see a single name for something spanning several movements.