Can I Use Cloud Backups With a Music Server?

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Q My Windows-based Music Server (MediaMonkey) recently died and I want to replace it with one that supports music streaming services and will let me control playback with a tablet. I spent many hours ripping FLAC versions of my CD collection. Those files were stored on my PC’s hard drive, and I had them backed up offsite using iCloud. Here’s my question: If I buy a standalone music server like the Elac Discovery or Bluesound Vault 2, how can I restore access to my music collection that’s now sitting in the cloud? Also, can you backup data directly from the Elac or Bluesound servers to storage services like iCloud? —Jacques Simard

A The Elac Discovery music server ( recently reviewed on Sound&Vision) and Bluesound’s Vault 2 use different strategies to store and access your digital music collection. Elac’s server links to your home network over a wired Ethernet connection and retrieves files stored on either an attached USB drive, a networked computer, or NAS. The Bluesound Vault 2 also links to your home network via Ethernet, but differs from the Elac in that it contains 2TB of built-in storage. Both cost around $1100, support streaming services (Tidal, for example), and can be controlled wirelessly using an iOS or Android phone or tablet running the Roon Essentials (Elac Discovery) or BluOS (Bluesound Vault 2) control app.

To prep your music for use with either server, you’ll first need to retrieve a copy of your collection from iCloud by downloading it to a computer. From there, you can transfer the files to a USB drive or NAS for use with the Elac. For the Vault 2, you can transfer files to its built-in hard disk over a network connection. In both cases, the control app steps you through setup, letting you create an indexed media library for browsing and playback.

To answer your second question, neither server connects directly to cloud storage services, so you will need to run file backups manually — same as you did with MediaMonkey and iCloud. One option would be to use local storage for backup. An advantage the Vault 2 offers there is its Backup Music Library feature, a setting found in the BluOS app menu that lets you make backups on-command to an attached 2TB or larger USB drive.