What is ConvoFS?

ConvoFS is a “convolving file system” - a special-purpose file system sitting in between your music collection and media server/music renderer. When you install it, you specify the location of your music collection and an additional location. ConvoFS presents a virtual version of your music collection under the second location. You will see the same folders and files as expected, but the apparent FLAC file sizes will be larger. When you access one of those virtual FLAC files, ConvoFS behind the scenes builds a convolved copy to be served. You can specify the virtual location as the base folder for your music server, be it Minim server, LMS etc. What you hear in your speakers is the DRC processed version of your music. You can also export the ConvoFS mount as a network (“SMB”) share turning your NAS/Linux box into a convolving appliance. ConvoFS does not and cannot ever support Dirac. Also, being file system oriented, it cannot be used for streaming services like Tidal.

Is ConvoFS free?

Yes, ConvoFS is “open source” and distributed under the “GNU general public license, version 2”. This GNU license is one of the first Open Source licenses and dates some 25 years back. Space does not allow to enter into the finer details here, but ConvoFS being Open Source means that it’s free for you to download and use and that if you have the right technical skills, you can inspect the code and improve on it.

What do I need to run ConvoFS?

You need either a Synology or QNAP Intel based (e.g., Atom/Celeron/Xeon) 64 bit NAS or an ordinary Linux computer. A Linux computer should preferably run Ubuntu or another Debian based Linux flavor. A NAS (Synology/QNAP) should be able to run ‘Docker/Container station’. For a list of those models, please refer to Synology1 and Synology2 and QNAP.

Synology NAS devices with known success stories include many ‘plus’ models.

Your NAS should also have at least 1GB RAM (Synology) or 4GB RAM (QNAP). If your music collection is excess of 90,000 tracks, more RAM is strongly recommended. Either as per the model or by upgrade.

What other software/hardware products are used with ConvoFS?

ConvoFS is known to be in use with media servers like Minim Server, AURALiC Lighting Server, Logitech Media Server (LMS), Linn Kazoo server and Roon. As for stand-alone playback hardware I know of usage with streamers from Logitech, AURALiC, Linn and Lumin.

Can ConvoFS replace Acourate, Audiolense, REW+RePhase/…?

No, ConvoFS is not a replacement for those/similar programs. You generate your filters the way you use to and then upload them to ConvoFS which uses them to convolve your music as you access it.

So what’s the big deal?

The beautiful thing about ConvoFS is that it is media server agnostic - it does not know what’s running on top of it, meaning that media server/streamers whose developers have never thought of doing DRC will suddenly have DRC support. Another nifty thing is that ConvoFS does not build a separately convolved copy of your music collection - convolving is done transparently as needed, and the intermediate data will be discarded after having been served.

Does ConvoFS support gapless playback?

If your media server/player does, so should ConvoFS.

How do you pronounce it?

You do it in two parts: ‘Convo’ (substring of the word convolving) and then the single letters ‘f’ and ‘s’ (abbreviation of the word file system).

I’m using Lumin App with WAV output and experience play-back issues

You will need to enable Index mode in ConvoFS while scanning. But please keep ConvoFS in Index mode until the Lumin App is done updating its own database. This is the case when the ‘rotating circle icon’ disappears.

I’m browsing a ConvoFS share, and it is slow

Due to the concept behind ConvoFS, it will be best suited for use with media servers that once and only occasionally after that build an index of your music. What you experience is most likely that ConvoFS does a lot of partial convolving because your machine reads past the header located at the beginning of every FLAC file. Putting ConvoFS into ‘Index’ mode while browsing speed up things considerably.

Take care

General common sense wrs DRC is also to be followed when using ConvoFS, and it shows with red text whenever appropriate. The principles are to turn down the volume the first time a new filter is used, avoiding loudspeaker tweeters become damaged _should_ the filter file be corrupted or not a DRC filter at all and produce white noise.