how to avoid attaching USB hard drive to Mac used as music player

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cporada

Hi,
I am using a MacBook Pro to play all of my music files via JRiver, Tidal, and Qobuz. It is connected via USB to a BelCanto RefLink, that then outputs to a Mojo Audio Mystique V2SE DAC.  The MacBook has been stripped down and has no software and is used for nothing other than audio.  I read on the Empirical Audio website that you should never attach an external USB hard drive to the computer that is used to output audio files via USB.  My question is: how can I have access to all of my music files if I don't use an external hard drive?  Would I have to attach the hard drive to another computer in my house and access the files via hard-wired network? Is this a fairly straightforward thing to do as far as getting J River to "see" the hard drive through the network?
Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I'm still fairly new to the use of computers for audio.
Thanks for any suggestions/help,
Chris

srb

You could share the USB drive attached to another computer on the network, but of course that computer would always have to be on and available, however that option would cost you nothing additional.

An even better solution would be to buy a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device which would plug into your network router or switch.  Most have USB ports to attach USB external drives or printers if needed, but they need at least one internal drive for the OS anyway.

Depending on the size of the drive(s) they can also be used to back up computers on the network.  They usually consume less power than a computer and have numerous sleep options.

Although many have expensive and powerful* NAS devices with multiple drives, I have a simple single drive Synology NAS that hosts music files and backs up two computers on the network.

* Beyond required storage drive space (some users are storing HD and 4K video files), other users may require a more powerful processor and more RAM to be able to run server software, like Roon.

audioengr

Two options are:

1) Use a bus other than USB to connect to your hard drive.  I do this on my Mac Mini.

2) Get a network attached storage drive and connect it to your network by Ethernet or WIFI.  You can make this a RAID1 to secure your music while you are at it - 2 drives.  You can even have removable drives.

Steve N.

cporada

Thanks so much for the replies!  So, my Nighthawk router has USB inputs, which is good.  I attached my USB drive to one of them, but can't see the contents on any of my PCs or Macs...
It turns out the Nighthawk won't recognize exFAT formatted drives, so I have transferred all my music files to an internal hard drive, used a "portable program" to reformat the USB drive to FAT32 (so both PCs and Macs will see it), and am now waiting for all 1.3TB of music files to transfer back onto the FAT32-formatted USB drive. 
Is there a "trick" to getting JRiver so "see" the new NAS as the library location?  When I say "browse", it only shows me local/attached drives.
Thanks again,
Chris

cporada

Thanks all; it's working like a charm!