How USB Storage Differs From A Local Library




BluOS Players are equipped with a USB connection port. This USB port, located on the rear panel, is designed for plug-and-play listening of music stored on USB memory sticks. The port can be used to connect mass storage devices but does have limitations. BluOS firmware handles this type of plug-and-play storage device differently than a Local Library, as it is temporary and not for extended listening.


The USB port can be used to connect USB memory sticks holding music, which can be played and listened to on a local BluOS Player. USB stored music can also be grouped to playlists and streamed to other Players in the ecosystem, as long as the local Player connected with the USB storage device is the Primary Player in a Group.

BluOS Players will index and play music from USB mass storage devices formatted as FAT32, NTFS or Linux ext4 but with limitations. The index of these units, by design, is limited and sometimes unstable. USB Mass storage devices are designed for plug-and-play storage, not for an extended or permanent storage solution. For a more stable, permanent solution, Bluesound strongly recommends network sharing from a local PC, Mac, Network Attached Storage (NAS) or Bluesound VAULT or VAULT 2.

If you have questions about USB storage and how it differs from a Local Library, or if you encounter technical problems, please contact the BluOS Support Crew by opening the Navigation Drawer in the BluOS Controller app and select Help > Send Support Request or by submitting a request at the bottom of this page.


In the chart below, BluOS and USB storage interactions are listed and how they differ by design in terms of a portable USB device (memory stick or mass storage device) and a network-configured library stored on your network.

Function Network Share USB Port
Connection Method One time setup in the Settings Menu Automatically recreated on insert
Indexing Permanent index automatically generated at setup. User can manually update when music is added. Temporary index generated each time the device is inserted or the Player is restarted.
Time to Index About 1000 songs/minute on a wired-to-wired connection depending on network performance About 500 songs/minute
Display in Navigation Drawer Merged into your Local Library and shared among all Bluesound Players in the network. Any music can be played by any player. Each USB device appears separately as a Local Source appearing only on the Bluesound Player the USB device is connected to.
Playback Any song is available to any Player. Multiple Players can play different songs. Music can only be played on the Player with the attached USB device.
Grouping Multiple Groups can be created. Any player may be in any Group. Music may be shared among a single Group provided the Player with the attached device is the Primary Player in the Group.
Saved Playlists Saved playlists refer to songs in the Music Library referencing their current location in a permanent index. Playlists can be shared amongst multiple Players. Saved playlists will not play if USB device is not connected. Some playlists may change or become unstable if a different USB device with the same music is inserted. Playlists will be displayed but not play on other Players, only the Player with the USB device connected will play.
Hardware Compatibility Connection over 802.11n 2.4 GHz network to Windows (XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1), Mac OS X (10.5.x-10.10.x), most NAS devices including but not limited to the Bluesound Vault, NAD M50/M52, QNAP, Synology, Western Digital, D-Link, and Apple Time Capsule. Connection to USB 2.0 device. Devices requiring greater than 0.5A of power will require a USB Powered Hub or external power supply. See Notes for more details.


  • Select USB mass storage devices that require more than 0.5A of power may not perform properly when attached to a BluOS Player. These devices may require more power than the Player is able to supply.
  • For tips on troubleshooting under-powered USB devices, see the Bluesound Knowledge Base Article on Under-powered USB Devices; BLS-KB13-Z03
Have more questions? Submit a request