1.8 a wasted opportunity

Roon 1.8 is exactly what I expected after watching the series of 5 video’s and the explanation of 1.8 by the CEO. I am sorry to say that the CEO, while I am sure he is smart, passionate, and capable, has totally misread the market and the user base requirements.

The whole focus on this is supposed to be “improved features” as regards to search, metadata, and metadata and search presentation. I guess there are a group of Roon users who are “power” users who care deeply about being able to create five filters (producer, bassist, venue, band, etc.) and explore music this way. But CEO dude … get real. Most of us know what we like, use the search and deep metadata infrequently, and have either robust libraries of music we’ve accumulated or use Roon Radio (I still prefer the original Sooloos term “swim”) to “discover” new music related to what your playing habits are.

Far more important is the need to bring the UI into the 21st century. IOS integration so the volume control and basic features sit on the lock screen and are accessible. An UNNESTED volume control that doesn’t have a completely unusable slide bar. And a much better use of screen space (a nested, tiny volume bar in a sea of white).

CEO of Roon, come down to earth! If you want to survive as a product, you will have to expand your audience outside of the core power users who care or want deep metaphysical experiences from filtering metadata.

If you want to survive, you need to find a way to tap into music lovers of all stripes, including people like my wife and kids who just refuse to deal with Roon. When I am listening to music and my wife walks into the room and says “lower it for a second” and I have to 1. Open my Iphone, 2) navigate to Roon (usually it’s not the first screen) and open it 3) Wait for it to discover network and update 4) go to the volume control in the lower left hand corner 5) Hit the mute button or lower the volume after missing the slide bar two or three times. At this point she is just livid cause I’m staring at my phone so long it looks like I’m ignoring her.

My kids say “this is stupid, just look at Sonos, it doesn’t take time to reload, and we can do everything on the lock screen.”

Roon also professes to be a music lovers refuge. But the best thing in music today is the curated music on Sirius XM. What real music lover doesn’t listen to Jim Ladd? Yes, I know the sound quality leaves something to be desired, but the curation is unmatched! And if I’m sitting on the terrace and want to hear Jim Ladd’s show on my terrace speakers do I care if I’m not getting cutting edge sound?

Maybe usability is the next tackle in 1.9 or 2.0 But as it is now, Roon is destined to remain a poorly designed niche product whose appeal extends to audiophiles or very detail oriented music lovers, while the rest of the world shakes their head at such a poorly designed product.

CEO -learn your product, learn your base, and respond to it!

Because I’m an audio nut and a previous Meridian Sooloos user who values mqa conversion I am forced to have two end points - an MQA decoder (I use Meridian streamers) AND a Sonos end point. I am forced to pay and wire this debacle because Roon is absolutely clueless to the issue of usability. How do you design a sleep timer without a wake up alarm? Just how does that happen? So if I want to go to sleep to WQXR classical and wake up to the same I have to use Sonos. If I want MQA I have to use the meridian.

It’s an insane missed opportunity. Insane.


I don’t get your point with this one?


I think that this post highlights the fact that different users of Roon have very different needs and expectations. Turning down the volume is, for me, a simple matter of using my pre-amp’s remote control, including, if needed, the mute button.

Also, I’ve never heard of Jim Ladd or, for that matter, Sirius XM.

I have Sonos as well as Roon, and enjoy both - Sonos for around the house (mostly for news radio), and Roon for when I want to sit and just enjoy music.

Each to his own, I suppose.


I appreciate that you don’t like some things in 1.8, but your claim to speak for all Roon users is false. Lots of us love the changes in 1.8.


I think you may have completely misunderstood Roon’s audience. Roon is a music player for music fanatics. It’s not a Spotify or Sonos alternative. It’s not a music player for the masses.

And how come I haven’t heard of Jim Ladd if he is so influencial?


Love how people always pitch their desires as the community’s desires.


Wtf is Jim Ladd or SirrusXM been a music lover all my life and not heard of either.

I agree with some of the usability arguments of no lock screen control but everything else afraid not.


Well, not totally. There is portrait mode now. Maybe largely.

Who’s that?


Do we really need another thread on all this? I mean I get that everyone can have their say (although it’s all been said ad infinitum) but it’s still tedious when every man and his dog insists on telling us all what we think and attempts to show how much smarter they are than everybody else.


Satellite Radio station, some quite good station actually. Has come with every new car sold in the US in the past decade and a half.


I have not misunderstood Roon’s audience. I myself am not only a music fanatic but a lifelong audiophile.

What is the state of this audiophile universe nowadays? It is not just dying, it is in its last gasp. As us baby boomers age, millennials on down through Gen X are listening to MQA on Tidal, hi res on Amazon, and listening (because of those ubiquitous earbuds) more then we ever did, or could. Sooloos, the forerunner of Roon, died from lack of an audience. Roon, if it doesn’t combine form and function will also die. The things I mentioned, like building a sleep timer without an alarm, or having unusable and inaccessible volume controls, are just stupid. They are stupid for the masses and stupid for music fanatics. Because ultimately I live in the real world. I have invested alot of money in my sound system and if I can’t turn the volume down easily or use a well designed UI the market will not let Roon survive regardless of what you or I want.

As to Jim Ladd … Jim Ladd - Wikipedia


Well, yes, that’s true, but now I’ve heard of Jim Ladd, a rock DJ, which explains why I’ve never heard of him before.


So it’s regional to the US? The world’s bigger than one country no wonder never heard of him or it.


Ok this is a wind up right??


Are we? The youth market is listening to Spotify, Apple Music, or Amazon. Mostly the first two.


I love that people announce that if their pet thing is not done, Roon will die. Meanwhile, Roon has managed to write several enormously complex applications, plus backend systems, etc. And, while doing that, gained more than 100,000 users in just a few years time.


I never claimed to speak for anyone but myself.

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The CEO in the video explicitly asked for feedback multiple times. I care about the product. This is my feedback.


Most of us know what we like, use the search and deep metadata infrequently, and have either robust libraries of music we’ve accumulated or use Roon Radio”

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Well apart from boomers, gen X, millennials…