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Roon music management, looks promising.

thaimusic

New member
Not seen Roon discussed here. Though in light of Alan’s query regarding an integrated amp/streamer, and now powered 30.1s in the wild, Roon raises some interesting questions.

Should Roon's business model succeed, it would impact demand for powered speakers, especially at the upper end, and make superfluous OEM-specific software for streaming and content management purposes.

Key things I’ve noted:
  • They’ve got top people delivering a UX unprecedented for music management that has got people excited. Actually creating a market for a top-shelf UX, not music.
  • They’re pretty confident in their yet to be released new streaming protocol Roon-Speaker, and working with OEMs to deploy it, including Naim.
  • Pretty extensive capacity within their team, which I think illustrates the challenges of OEM’s being able to invest in and manage the software side—though they did come from Meridian.
  • They’ve already integrated Tidal, illustrating that they are about managing not just user-owned content but incorporating other services. No reason Roon could not go the same direction as Apple TV and Roku, with all manner of audio services and stations available?
Pretty amazing that it’s $10/month and not a one time license with upgrades. But it does seem to have legs, and is illustrating further how rapidly digital music content is changing how audio gets delivered to speakers—the only piece of the chain not changing—well, other than the microphone.

I’m waiting for their iOS remote app to be released before trying it, but very much looking forward to doing so. Anybody here given it a spin?
 

chicks

New member
Super Sonos?

Super Sonos?

Haven't looked at it in depth. What are they doing that Sonos hasn't offered for at least 10 years?
 

volpone

New member
Roon feeddback?

Roon feeddback?

Hi thaimusic,

I'm like you, really interested in Roon music management solution to feed my SLH5+.
I've read some very positive chronicles about the Roon user experience:



The key point for me is if they will be successful in deploying RoonSpeakers new protocol to audio hardware vendors ( network streamers, DAC, modern integrated amps) witch are currently only using UPnP DLNA (and sometimes Airplay) protocols.

I'm curious to get Roon user feedback.

Regards
Volpone
 

thaimusic

New member
Hardware v. software solutions

Hardware v. software solutions

Haven't looked at it in depth. What are they doing that Sonos hasn't offered for at least 10 years?
Probably best to ask this question to those on the Roon forum. They seem a pretty rock solid team, and like Alan here, their lead guy Danny is pretty active. So in addition to the links Volpone posted above, I’de encourage those interested to dig around on their forum.

But I’ll give it a stab. I’d say Sonos is a hardware-based music distribution platform, whereas Roon is a software-based music management platform. Clearly they both do both and Roon has even hinted that hardware may be coming as its development is too in their team’s DNA. I’d wager the Sonos market is much larger for now, as Roon’s initial appeal is to those who immerse themselves much more in music playback along with digital tools available for music discovery. However, as something like Roon gains traction, especially their RoonSpeaker initiative, I think a larger percentage of the Sonos market will too be available to them.

Since the beta of their iOS app is now pending Apple’s approval, I’ve signed up. So far, it does appear these guys are really on to something. It will be interesting to see how far they go.
 

Jeff_C

Member
Roon looks interesting

Roon looks interesting

This does look very interesting indeed. I will be keeping an eye on this. There are lots of things I need to learn about it. I will be having a deeper look at the available info' about Roon over the coming days and report back with my thoughts.
 

thaimusic

New member
Roon are to be watched

Roon are to be watched

Any feedback on Roon ?
Beyond what’s noted and linked to above, a couple of observations after two weeks of use.

1) If you’re primarily digital, absolutely keep an eye on it.

At the moment, I see nothing to rival Roon's content presentation and management. Setup is about 7/10 on the easy scale and the interface and playback is a joy to use. Moreover, anything software based (and maybe hardware later) associated with music management and playback seems to be somewhere on their roadmap. RoonSpeaker will soon allow streaming to any device (even a mobile phone for example) whose manufacturer/software allows for the free protocol. DSP is coming. Negotiations are underway with TuneIn and probably other content providers. Roon’s rising.

2) if you’re a Tidal subscriber, absolutely consider Roon.

The Tidal integration is fantastic. So not only is your own music and Tidal’s offerings in one place, Roon delivers a wealth of information that neither Tidal itself, Apple Music nor Spotify have chosen to provide. Great for music discovery.

3) Still rough around the edges, but they seem stocked with sandpaper.

They are three months into their commercial release. Though fully functional, just seems every so often there’s a snag, connection lost when browsing the library from a remote installation, etc. Nothing I’m not willing to accept—for now. A look at their community forum reveals a number of little hang-ups, but Roon folks seem pretty active in dealing with things on the fly. The Tidal integration floundered a bit over the weekend, but they got it sorted. Despite stating that an iOS remote app was coming since May, still nothing. Android folks are taken care of. Linux too is not yet offered, but claimed will be. Another major release of their software is currently in alpha testing.

As I’ve noted earlier, Roon seems onto something. They are connecting a lot of dots that so far others have left scattered about. They appear to have the pedigree, passion and funding to deliver. No doubt the price feels a bit steep, especially as it's a subscription, and yearly not monthly, so requires a hard look. But even if you don’t jump in now, you’ll probably want to keep watching as these guys seem to be showing us where our management and playback of digital music may (should?) be headed.
 

Jeff_C

Member
Lots of promise in Roon

Lots of promise in Roon

I have decided to hold fire a little intil the iOS remote app is available. I also found out that if you customised the tagging (like I did ) to make multiple CDs show up in your library as one album then the Roon system will have difficulty identifying the album. So I have not delved in for a trial as yet.

I do not have a tidaL subscription but that would enhance the music experience because integration with Roon seems very good. At the moment Qobuz is refusing to allow Roon to use their database in the same way as Tidal has so that is a shame if you are a Qobuz subscriber, but I suppose that situation may change.

Roon is certainly something to keep an eye on as more features are implemented, and bugs get fixed.
 

volpone

New member
Thanks

Thanks

Thank you @thaimusic and @jeffc for yours interesting insights.

I'm waiting version 1.1 to evaluate Roon.

Almost waiting RoonSpeakers protocol release to audio equipments makers, i hope during september.

PS Audio, Auralic, DcS, Bel Canto, Sonore, Naim, Linn and others as endpoints ?
 

thaimusic

New member
Trouble with streaming solutionns

Trouble with streaming solutionns

Agreed. Roon 1.1 may tell us a lot. I’ve had a few more bumps with Tidal this week as well as network hiccups. Basically, it’s not ready for me to hand over to my wife if that makes any sense. She expects stuff to just work, which iTunes generally does (did) for her needs. Can’t stand what Apple Music did to Beats did to MOG, which is how I ended up trying Tidal and shortly thereafter discovering Roon. iTunes now is pretty much a disaster and though Roon’s pricing is tough to swallow, it actually could provide a superior iTunes alternative to us, which Audirvana, JRiver, etc. could not.

If 1.1 manages to smooth everything out along with the iOS app, the real fun can begin. However, if they add more function without cleaning up the form, will be a bit disappointing. I still think they have the tools to bring about a much needed iteration in our relationship to seeking, playing and managing digital media, but as of now, I think the jury may still be out.

To get me over the iOS hump, I’m using the iOS Mocah VNC app on my iPad mini. Mocha VNC replicates my mac mini’s screen content and gives me full control of Roon, though a tad clumsy at times.

A bit off topic now. Along with Roon or something similar prevailing, my hope would be for a pair of active Harbeths with user upgradeable (software and hardware) DAC models. Dynaudio’s XEO and others have begun heading down this road, but the hardware is fixed. All the needed electronics are so widely available now, so not a cost or tech issue relative to the craftsmanship needed to produce Harbeths.

I was kind of surprised when Alan posted about a Harbeth-branded integrated with digital inputs and streaming capabilities. I think these things will come and go. Streaming to active speakers is likely where things are headed. Given Alan’s objectivity about electronics, such would certainly complement that, and going active may afford Alan another realm of creativity with regard to further evolving the Harbeth product.
 

thaimusic

New member
Roon progress

Roon progress

So Roon 1.1 is out, as is the companion iPad app. It contains support for what they call RoonServer, that allows headless operations of a Roon installation. RoonSpeaker was not included.

Like my earlier comments, and as supported by the discussions on their forums, glitches are still surfacing and are being tended too. A minor update followed within ten days of 1.1’s initial release. A lot of the problems experienced seemed to be migrating existing databases to the 1.1 format. If you’re starting a fresh trial, should be good to go.

It’s still a bit of a work in progress and unintuitive at times, but they've done quite a bit in the four months since the product went public. Be interesting to see where they are after a year. Now with the iPad app and Tidal integration Roon certainly provides an unmatched music playback and discovery experience.
 
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