Do you have a Synology NAS? Then streaming audio is one of the possibilities. Audio Station in combination with the free app DS audio (iOS and Android) makes that a pleasure: so you have your own Spotify!
A NAS is primarily used by most people for storing files and documents. Think of the things that you produce on a daily basis, for example Word documents, or of everything else that passes in review in the daily (home) workflow. But nowadays a NAS is much more than just a glorified hard drive with a network connection. Synology's NAS, for example, run on an extensive (Linux-based) operating system on which all kinds of extra software can be installed. For example, one of those extra packages is Audio Station. This program not only provides a music player that can be controlled directly from the browser, but also links to an app of the same name that is available for both iOS and Android. Once you have installed the software on your Synology (you can do this via the Package Center, Audio Station can be found in the category Multimedia) then it is important to move all your music to the music folder on your Synology. The folder structure does not matter, if you previously saved your music in another folder, the whole thing can be copied blindly. Then it is wise to let your NAS work with indexing overnight. This job can take some time, especially if you have a large music collection. Once the indexing is complete, the listening fun can begin. First, start within the web interface of the Synology software Audio Station. You will now see a window in which you will find all your music divided into categories such as genre, artist, album and so on. Click on a category or - if you're comfortable with your own subdivision into folders - on map. Double click on a track and you will hear music, simple as that. Control buttons are located at the bottom left of the window. Via the button with the picture of a laptop you can choose a playback device, such as a DLNA music player or a plugged-in USB DAC.
Your Synology's browser interface is wonderfully universal. If you have also made your NAS accessible via the internet via port forwarding, then you can even listen to your music collection at work or vacation from any PC or laptop. It gets even better if you install the DS Audio app on your smartphone or tablet, just as free as Audio Station by the way. In the login window, enter the local IP address of your Synology (or possibly the internet IP address if you have made the NAS reachable via port forwarding via the cloud) and your password. For a secure connection, make sure to turn the switch at the back HTTPS and tap the arrow button. Then indicate - if prompted - which playback device you want to use. Usually this will be the smartphone or tablet itself, but it could also be a USB DAC connected to the NAS, or a DLNA player elsewhere in the house. If you regularly (or mainly) buy uncompressed FLAC files - possibly in hires audio format - then you naturally also want to listen to them in the best quality via the app. To do this, tap the figure in the top left of the screen and scroll down a bit in the opened panel. Choose under the heading TRANSCODING behind Transcode in front of WAV and choose back Always transcoding in front of No. You are now streaming uncompressed music to your device. This trick often works well over the internet, although the success depends on the internet speed (and especially the upload speed of your internet connection at home). If you are treated to a stuttering sound outside the door, you choose behind Transcode in front of MP3. Provides a somewhat lower sound quality, but a stream that requires much less bandwidth. For the rest, the operation of the app is fairly self-explanatory. Choose music divided into categories and enjoy!