Getting, Installing and configuring ConvoFS

General notes

Note1 (important): The single-package ConvoFS releases (currently releases after 3.0.x), use container (Docker) technology and installs ConvoFS in a shielded environment inside your NAS box. As part of this process, it downloads and installs some hundred of megabytes of supporting programs etc into this environment. This is the software previously shipped as part of the base package. This process can take up to 10-15 minutes the first time it is performed. During the process, the hard disk on the NAS, will be busy.

Note2: to ensure a problem-free installation process, please stop your music streamer/music playback program, media server (e.g. MinimServer) and ConvoFS in that order before installing/updating ConvoFS. Afterward, start things in the reverse order.

Note3: when doing a major upgrade, e.g from 3.0.0 to 3.1.0, ConvoFS may lose its stored filters / other sttings. Therefore, back them up first or know where you’ve stored them on your computer. When doing minor upgrades, e.g from 3.0.0 to 3.0.1, there should no such risk.

Installing on QNAP

To install ConvoFS on a QNAP box, download the relevant ‘qpkg’ file from the download are: Log on to the QNAP web interface, and enter the App Center section. Click the little circle with a plus-sign in the upper-right corner of the windows. Select the downloaded QPKG file, and proceed from there.

NB: ConvoFS requires the standard QNAP package ‘container station’ to be installed. After having having installed it, make sure that it is actually running. Otherwise the ConvoFS installer will fail without much information.

Installing on Synology

To install ConvoFS, you will - due to problems with digital signature - have to go to Package Center, click Settings and select “any publisher” as Trust Level. Afterward, click “Manual Install”, select the downloaded ConvoFS SPK file and continue from there. After installation, ConvoFS should appear among any other installed packages. Click on the icon and check that it is running. Otherwise, start it using the ‘Action’ menu. There should be a “URL” link which leads you to the ConvoFS admin interface. Check that there are no red warnings on the bottom of that page.

The ConvoFS installer adds a new share: ‘ConvoFS’. Here, convolved files are to be accessed. Due to technical reasons, they are located under a subfolder ‘mount’ in that share. No file service access rights are added during installation, you can add them manually, should you want to. Per default ConvoFS is read-only.

Installing on Linux

Installing on Linux is done by running an installer ‘’, answering a few questions, and hitting return a couple of times. During installation, the installer temporarily needs superuser (“sudo”) access to your Linux box. ConvoFS does not - while running - require extended privileges, but a couple of things need to be set up during installation.

To install it, download the latest & greatest ‘.tar.gz’ file from to your account on the Linux box and run the following commands (for x and y and ‘z’ substitute the actual version numbers of the downloaded software):

sudo apt-get update
tar -xzvf ConvoFS-x.y.z.tar.gz
cd ConvoFS-x.y.z

The installer prompts you for your password to perform the installation. It will install any additional Ubuntu software needed to install and run ConvoFS.

The installer creates a directory ‘ConvoFS-data’ in the directory above the one containing the installer. During operation, this directory may grow to some gigabytes depending on the size of your music collection.

After installation has hopefully completed OK, you can stop/start/restart the ConvoFS software by running the commands

sudo /etc/init.d/ConvoFS stop
sudo /etc/init.d/ConvoFS start
sudo /etc/init.d/ConvoFS restart

Post install basics

After having installed ConvoFS, direct your browser to http://the-address-of-your-computer-or-Synology-box:8999/. E.g. From there, create a filter bank with a suitable name reflecting the filters you are going to upload to it. Then upload filters into it by clicking the green upwards arrow. Note: you can upload multiple filters at one time. On a Windows PC by using ‘control-left-click’ rather than just ‘left-click’ to select. After having uploaded filters, you can activate the bank by clicking the green ‘OK’ button.

Now is the time to specify the location of your music files. Do this by clicking the Perform maintenance functions link which opens another tab/window in your browser. Specify the music directory and click ‘Submit’. After having set the location, restart ConvoFS from the administrative interface of your NAS.

As a optional but useful step, you could rebuild the ConvoFS meta db (datbase). Select this from the maintenace tab. Depending on the size (#tracks) of your music collection, this may take some time. You may follow the progress in the maintenance tab. But if you skip this step, the first music server rescan will just take longer.

You then let your music server, e.g. Minim, rescan your music collection, using the ConvoFS mount point as music catalogue After your music server has completed scanning, you should be ready to go. Remember to enable DRC on the ConvoFS main screen.

Web interface in more detail

See below for a more detailed description of the tabs of the web interface.

  • Main tab: You are going to spend most of the time you interact with ConvoFS here. It will show you the current ConvoFS operating mode and parameters and has buttons for changing them. New from version 2.1.x is a colored indicator which automatically goes red when the convolver is active (no need to refresh the browser window). Otherwise, is it is green.

  • Online documentation tab: That’s where you are right now.

  • Maintenance tab. Set up ConvoFS initially. Hopefully, you won’t use much time there afterward. An important function, though, is a button that downloads a log+config bundle. If you run into problems and contact me, I may request such a bundle. It contains ConvoFS logs for the past three days, ConvoFS configurations and operational information about your system.

    You can also find the ‘Rebuild meta DB’ button here, see above.

    A related button is ‘Trigger music server re-index’. Each time it is clicked, it permanently adds one second to the timestamps of all convolved music files as presented by ConvoFS. It tricks your music server into thinking that the entire music collection has been updated and re-index everything.

    At the bottom of the screen, you can select which upsampling levels should be active.

  • Statistics tab: Another screen where you will probably not spend much time. Its primary purpose is for development/debugging.

  • DRC filters tab: This is where you define filter banks and upload room correction filters.

  • Manage LoCo filters: it appears if you enable the extended web interface. It allows you to define LoCo filter banks in addition to the built-in one and upload filters to them.

  • Resampling/transcoding: Here, you can instruct ConvoFS to resample (change sample rate) or transcode (ConvoFS 3.2.0 and later: present convolved files in WAV or FLAC format) even though they may be in FLAC/WAV/MP3 format. Please refer to the Resampling section in the General Concepts chapter of this manual.

Operational modes

ConvoFS defines two modes of operation with corresponding web interfaces. The modes determine how ConvoFS when playing back tracks, determine basic parameters: phase, attenuation parameters, LoCo mode, and filters.

  • Basic mode: ConvoFS will offer the selection of only one set of parameters: phase (normal/inverted/reverse ) and LoCo filter (Disabled/built-in filter bank). These parameters apply to all tracks played back. Basic mode is the default in 2.1.x installations whether fresh installs/upgraded installations, but can be easily be changed.
  • Extended mode: offer a lot more functionality (and quite some complexity). When starting delivering a track, ConvoFS searches up to 4 places for determining parameters. The sources are - in the order searched:
  1. Stored album preferences if present. They are set and stored from the ConvoFS main page.
  2. The preferences which were active the last time a track from the album was played. The item only appears if you allow ConvoFS to continually store the info (done in the maintenance tab).
  3. The preferences of the active DRC filter bank. Set these parameters in the DRC filter tab or from the main page.
  4. The global preferences. Set in the maintenance tab.

Each of the three first sources of information can be disabled individually.

When in extended mode, ConvoFS informs you of the settings used and how they were located. In both modes, ConvoFS will notify you of the last played album. The info is not refreshed automatically. If you store changed parameters into the current album preferences, the album stored into is the one you see listed in the tab.

The values you can choose from the Phase/LoCo menus include a pseudo value “NotSet”. When stored as a parameter value, it will make ConvoFS proceed to the next information source to get the parameter value.

To get a deeper understanding, experiment a little with the possibilities and see how they affect the effective settings. Or you may decide to return to basic mode. Keep in mind that basic versus extended mode is just a matter of fine-tuning things.

Extended mode, additional notes

When you allow ConvoFS to store the parameters of the last playback, it saves them in a file ‘ConvoFS-last-prefs.txt’ located in the catalog where ConvoFS found the track. You may delete these files at will, but you are not advised to edit them. If you explicitly store preference values for an album, they end up in files called ‘.ConvoFS-album-prefs.txt”’. They are in a simple “key-value” format, and you may choose to manipulate them by hand. Note that this is low-level details and subject to change. A last note: The two per-album preference files are saved along with your music collection. However, ConvoFS filters them out when presenting the album in the ConvoFS share.

Log levels

You can select four levels of internal logging. The default is 0 which is not very talkative but gives small log bundles which are easy to email. Internal error messages are still logged. If you’re a happy convolver, there’s no reason to change it. In the case of problems, it may be necessary to bump it up to 2 or 3 producing a lot of messages. If ConvoFS is run for at a long time at logging level 2 or 3, log bundles may grow very large. Furthermore, the logging activity _may_ have negative consequences for the sound quality.

Media server specific info

As noticed, ConvoFS does not know/care about what’s accessing it. That been said, you may profit from making minor adjustments depending on what media server your use.

  • Using ConvoFS with Minimserver: ConvoFS was initially built for use with Minim Server and still works very fine with it. Indexing is very fast. You will want to make one single adjustment to the MinimServer setup. On e.g. a Synology NAS, you cannot be sure if ConvoFS will start up before/after Minim Server. As Minim Server defaults to scanning the music collection on startup, this may lead to it seeing an empty collection and removing its index of your music. To avoid this, you can set the Advanced Minim Server option ‘startupScan’ to false. You will then have to manually request a rescan of your music collection when you add music. If you’ve enabled upsampling to WAV format, please check the notes about Index mode in the upsampling section of this manual.
  • Using ConvoFS with Logitech Media Server (LMS): ConvoFS works OK with LMS, and no particular setup is needed.
  • Using ConvoFS with Linn Kazoo media server: This has been reported to work, use Index mode while indexing.
  • Using ConvoFS with Roon: With some adjustments, ConvoFS works OK with Roon too. One user has 100,000+ tracks and is happy with this setup. As is the case with the AURALiC media server, you are advised to put ConvoFS into Index mode when doing the initial and later rescans. Also, you will want to adjust the Roon configuration, setting two parameters to false. Please refer to this screen dump:
  • After having installed Roon and made the config adjustments, go the Roon ‘Storage’ tab and add a Network Folder under the Watched Folder section. As NetWork Path, specify the IP address or network name of your NAS/Linux box running ConvoFS. E.g. \MyNAS\ConvoFS or \\ConvoFS. You will also have to specify the username and password you’ve configured on the NAS. If everything is set up OK, Roon will start scanning your music collection. Roon indexing takes time – on my not very fast Synology NAS, Roon can index about 2500 tracks per hour. If you have a newer NAS, it will probably go faster.
  • Using ConvoFS with AURALiC Lightning Server: The AURALiC Lightning media server will read a little more than just the headers of your FLAC files when scanning, triggering partial convolution which is expensive, time-wise. To make this go considerably faster, it is suggested putting ConvoFS into Index mode before starting the scan. Unfortunately, the initial scan will still take time. You can follow the progress in the AURALiC app.