Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM) 6.0 Review

Audio Station

No personal file collection is complete without music and Synology got the Audio Station for all things in that regard. It is both a media library, a media player, and a streaming service all in one – and best of all in a familiar interface that’s directly connected and run from your NAS.

Update Highlights:

  • Provides year information in the album list.
  • Provides folder path of a playlist for better recognition.
  • Enhanced browsing performance.
  • Added support for multi-genre, allowing you to classify music more flexible.
  • Added an artist category in genre.

Where the Photo and Video stations ran as their own website, the Audio Station launches within DSM. I’ve recently ripped a bunch of my CDs that I haven’t sorted yet, so they’re the perfect candidate to test this function. I’ve copied them all into the shared folder Music and the Audio Station indexed it all as fast as it could be copied to the NAS.

Launching the app presents you with the library right away where you can view your music by tags, rating, folder, or recently added. You can also use the Random100 function and let yourself be surprised.

It is quick and easy to find what you’re looking for based on the lists. Here we see the album list and starting the playback is as simple as double-clicking.

Playlists might be a more secure way to make sure that you hear just the songs that you like and skip everything else. It is one of the most basic media player function and naturally we also find this ability in Synology’s Audio Station.

Should your local media library not have what you’re looking for, then it’s time to go to the internet and find something else to play. Audio Station supports SHOUTcast as well as user-defined radio stations.

There is no shortage of available internet radio stations and there should be something for everyone’s taste.

Besides the built-in media player function, you’re also able to stream the music directly to media players. The NAS instantly found both my Kodi media player named BeeTiny as well as my workbench.

The target playback device can also be selected from the top menu.

The privilege settings explain themselves, but there are more things that we can change in the Audio Station, for one we can setup Lyrics plugins to use along with our music. LyricWiki is already included.

Transcoding allows you to serve a better compatibility when connecting to the service remotely. You can transcode to either wave or MP3 format, depending on your preferred choice. You can import iTunes song ratings too.

If you only have yourself as a user then you don’t need personal libraries. But it is an important function when multiple users take advantage of the NAS. Everyone can have their own setup and no one is bothered by the other ones.

The final settings page has options to allow download of music too besides just playing it and you can stop the server from searching for DLNA devices.

NAS servers have come a very long way since the early days and one of the great features that come along with that can be seen right here. You can, for example, connect USB speakers directly to your NAS and use those as media output.

A large-scaled music player might not be what you need at all times and the Audio Stations can shrink down to a minimal interface too. This allows you to keep an eye on your music controls while you keep working with other DSM features.

Just as we saw with the previous Stations, we can also create smart playlists in the Audio Station. Enter a name and set your rules and the playlist will be automatically created and maintained based on your settings.