Questions & Comments about Roon

roon

#1

I’ve noticed a lot of chatter about Roon and I thought it would be nice to create a resource for people who know about Roon to share with people who don’t. There’s a bit of an up-front cost, and there’s a lot to this piece of software so I can see why there are so many questions.

Feel free to ask and answer them here.

If someone could also write a beginners description of exactly what Roon is I think it would also be really helpful!


What service do you use for music playback?
#2

I wasn’t too familiar with Roon and ended up researching about it for a while last night . . . Another rabbit hole. I found the link below pretty useful as a start.

I hope it’s fine for me to post this link: http://www.hifiplus.com/articles/what-is-roon/.


#3

Always okay to post useful information!


#4

I’ll take a shot at a simple Roon description:

It allows you to bring multiple music sources together from multiple pieces of hardware and then play the music anywhere you want.

Where it excels is how it brings your collection together and makes it accessible across your audio hardware. It also excels in “audiophile” tools. It’s truly built for people who want to get the most out of their systems.

For whatever reason, I usually find that music sounds better through Roon. It’s totally subjective of course, but I really think they’ve designed the software with sound in mind.


#5

It’s easiest to think of Roon as two parts of one whole.

The easiest part to understand is the role of Roon an an extremely flexible, high-quality, “player” (and “server”), with built-in capabilities for DSP, EQ, upsampling and on-the-fly format conversion, as well as full control of a multi-node, multi-room system, remote/network audio players*.

And it can combine your local library with albums and tracks from Tidal and make it appear to be one seamless library, which is displayed in a rich, beautiful and fluid interface

But the best features of it, in my opinion, come down to how it exposes your music collection.

It provides an expanded set of metadata, background information, and links to other music, data, profiles, bios, histories and so on based on that metadata. This takes things well beyond the basic embedded data in most digital music files and provides a very rich view of your library.

When you engage “Focus” mode on something, you’ll get to explore that, say, album in detail - including related works, histories, deeper insight into the recording itself and the band/group/orchestra/artist etc. This is an amazing avenue both to explore and understand your existing music collection more deeply and, perhaps just as importantly, to discover new music.

Roon can run all on one machine if you want to. Or you can run a separate “Core” and have multiple control and end-points spread across your network. The “control” point looks like a high-end media player/library manager, and is very visual. That control point (a PC, Mac, tablet etc.) can also be an “end-point”. End-points actually output the music to, say, your DAC or your local computer’s sound system. End-points can be remote, they can be grouped and synchronized, or they call all play something different.

Setup is really easy … if all of your gear is on one network.

The most important thing to do if you decide to give Roon a trial is to explore it FULLY and not just think of it as a flashy music player application (as you’d be missing out on the best parts).


Roon now supports Chromecast
#6

I very much am interested in the idea of Roon, but am reluctant to have to be tied to a computer, or a network of them, to get the most out of it. Can I stream the audio to my AV receiver while viewing the Roon interface and all of its metadata, on my iPad? I would like that. To be able to “see” what Roon does on my iPad while using AirPlay to hear the music thru my HD600s on my AVR.

I guess I should just try it. I am a heavy Apple Music user but do have quite a lot of local music, too.


#7

Does anyone know if roon has an expansive metadata database? It seems that there is flaws in all metadata, but have you found roon to be a superior and accurate tag source?


#8

As long as your AVR can use a protocol supported by Roon (RAAT, Airplay, Songcast and HQ Player NAA, from memory), then yes, absolutely!

It sounds like your AVR supports Airplay, so it should just show up as an available end-point in Roon. And ANY Roon client can stream to, view and control any end-point. It’s extremely nice that way.

I doesn’t support Apple Music, however. The only streaming service Roon currently integrates with is TIDAL.

It does.

Very expansive. It goes well beyond the usual information that is embedded in typical music files, including detailed music, band, orchestra, conductor, venue, genre and related content information, multiple, alternate album covers and so on. This is, in fact, the bulk of what the subscription fee covers.

You can also use your own, embedded, metadata, or choose which data Roon uses on per album or per-track basis. You can even use some data from your local files and some from Roon’s database (which is actually an amalgam of many services).

And yes, I have. In general, I let Roon display it’s metadata. This is a bit more coherent for contemporary music than it is classical, but the classical data is still better than most of what does embedded in purchased downloads.


#9

Great player… A spectacular proposition of the music library, a beautiful DSP player for headphones… it can not be missing among the best players of each music lover.


#10

Okay. Only works with tidal? That is not a plus. So what do I do with, say, spotify or maybe deezer? After spending $500 on roon I can only navigate one streaming service…and then have to purchase another navigation for spotify? Wow…that changes things


#11

Fantastic. That is a big plus for roon. Sounds like a good way to go, I will need to find out if roon is compatible with my gear. Thank you


#12

You can’t use those services with Roon.

At least with Spotify, that issue is currently because Spotify themselves won’t allow the integration. Other than not being supported currently, I don’t know what the future holds for a potential Deezer integration.

No.

You can’t purchase “another navigation” - Roon simply only supports a combination of your local library and TIDAL today.

The chaps at Roon are more than willing to integrate other services, but those services are, in general, electing not to allow it. It’s an issue that comes up a lot on the Roon forums, there’s just not much Roon can do about it without cooperation.


#13

Okay, so, and forgive my ignorance on this navigation topic, I am stuck with tidal with roon. Any other services I have to buy a different navigation software. I don’t know, I love the look and features of roon but I am probably going for a more all in one solution if it is out there?


#14

Excepting Audirvana+ I don’t personally know of another software player that will talk to more than one streaming service at all (Audirvana+ will play local files, TIDAL, Qobuz and “HIGHRESAUDIO Virtual Vault”), let alone integrate them so that they act like they’re part of your local collection.

For example, Audirvana+ has separate navigation trees for local files, TIDAL, Qobuz, etc.

There might be one out there, but I haven’t come across it yet if so.

There are several hardware solutions that can talk to myriad services. Sonos, BlueSound, and the Linn DS line will all talk to multiple streaming providers, though the experience is still a long way shy of what you get with Roon. But if you want something beyond TIDAL and local files, then Roon’s not the way to go.

You don’t need to buy any specific software for other services, you can use their native clients/apps. Most of those let you play local files as well, though it’s VERY clear what locals vs. what’s streamed, which is less usable than having it all appear to be one giant library.

I’m a Roon fan (though I have no affiliation with them; I’m just an early and enthusiastic adopter … ). It works well with all of my hardware … I can use it to feed my Linn DS, my locally connected DACs, my laptop, my iPad (with, or without an external DAC attached), all of my Sonos devices, and so on.

I’m also not a big Spotify user/fan. I have issues with the quality vs. the alternatives, and pretty much have stopped using it unless it’s the only place I can find the album I want to take a listen to (and then if I like it wind up buying it). And it’s decided not to let me play my locally stored downloaded content in mid-air once too often for me to trust it (for portable use I switched to Apple Music to avoid this).

Roon either suits what you need or it doesn’t - it’s certainly not for everyone or every situation.


#15

Thanks for the info. Looking forward TT delve further into Roon.


#16

Thank you Torq, I am learning. It is a little weird to me. I have a lumin D1 streamer…and it services tidal and spotify. The navigation with the lumin is a upnp navigator…sorely lacking with the likes of a roon. I will have to research a good navigator, because I would sure like to maintain the graphics and features of something like a roon, and it not look like a data sheet


#17

Squaresville Ok, so I’m like squaresville.

Everybody has playlists. Everybody is trying “Curate” music. I don’t want my music curated. I want recommendations from my friends, from people here, from someone who has a clue what I like, and or things something is just so awesome or different that I need to hear it.

I do like information. I like reading about artists and who influenced them, and I like being able to dig deeper. Where did Carmen Miranda come from? She was more than just the Chiquita Banana jingle girl. Tito Puente? Who were the influences on him? Shakir Hussain? dig deeper and get to Yehudi Menuin and Ravi Shankar, and then into classical Indian music. Curated music seems like skipping a flat stone on a lake.

So, someone, please tell me why I would like or want Roon? I’ve read quite a bit about it, and it seems like a mixture of human and robo-curation. And no, I don’t think that I am anti-robot. Or Robix.


#18

It does all this and more, and better than anything else out there.

It doesn’t do this.

How you use all of detailed information and relationships between all of the data on tap is largely up to you … what path you take through it, using “Focus” mode and the extremely rich navigation that is the core of the experience, is what makes it really interesting (once you’re past all the cool features).


#19

Thank you for explaining that. If I use my computer to do this, looking at Wikipedia or other places - even looking at Tidal without buying a subscription. I don’t need to buy anything I don’t already have to buy for other reasons. [no no no - I’m not turning into my Father - no]. How can Roon “manage my music library?” I have 15+ linear feet of vinyl, and a few hundred CDs, not all of them ripped. One reason I haven’t bought a music server is that I’m way too lazy to feed CDs in to make a library.

I don’t mean to be fussy, maybe I was just born that way.


#20

Like most things in life, it’s not for everyone nor every situation.

You can certainly browse for most of the information, though you’d have to hit several sources each time to get the same coverage. For me the immediacy, fluidity and preservation of context of doing it with a single tap on whatever looks interesting, and using that as another focal nexus to keep exploring and discovering more about my collection whilst also finding new music and artists is a killer feature.

Just the time saved in having it all in one place and just a tap away has probably paid for my lifetime subscription a couple of times over.

At the same time, the amount I’ve spent buying music I’ve discovered as a result of using Roon and its Focus and exploration capabilities dwarfs what I paid for the subscription.

Then there are the myriad other features that I use heavily. A single way to expose my library and control all of my sources (except the turntable), from anywhere on any of my devices is also a very valuable feature.

But, again, it sounds you don’t want or don’t need the overall set of capabilities offered and as such it doesn’t really make sense to dwell on it.