1.8 - The start of a move from a Library system toward a Music Discovery streaming-led future?

@Bolivar_Pou – I was intrigued by this.

My only approach to new music discovery with Roon has been quite limited – start Roon Radio on on a Jazz album from my Qobuz library, let it do it’s thing, and have been adding a couple of new albums per day that way. Haven’t really explored discovery tools beyond that – partly b/c I am not able to listen to music as much as I’d like. I’m pretty sure I was barely scratching the surface of discovery in 1.7.

So I’m curious about what specific ways you feel that discover options are expanded in 1.8 beyond what they were in 1.7. Would you be willing to say a little more about this? – TIA!

A library is not perse the music stored on my hardrive. A library is all the music I have choosen to store in either which way. It does not matter to me if it is local or Tidal content but my library is my library. If you want to stand out in an all streaming world it is exactly the library function of Roon that allways stood out. Ever tried to manage a collection in the Tidal app, in Spotify or any other streaming service. All of them are about discovering. I also would like to see my library first and all discovery after that. I really like discovering new music but once discovered I also like to find it back withing a glance. I like it to be just a bit more prominent before all the next albums to discover. If it gets buried away then what’s the use of “add to my library” anymore.

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Well I think my rips sound much better than my Qobuz albums……I hope they never abandon those us who will always have more rips than streamed albums. I am now gonna try getting my SACDs ripped into stereo for inclusion in Roon….see how that goes.

@LarryMagoo – I have quite a few SACD rips (almost all multichannel classical, but also a few dozen multichannel rock) that play fine and get included in Roon in that they are in my Library and easily accessible via bookmarks.

They usually don’t get picked though when using Roon Radio, which seems to always favor the Qobuz/Tidal FLAC version. That’s not a problem for my usage patterns – I use Radio only for Jazz; when listening to classical/rock I always pick an album from my rips. But it would be a problem if I wanted to use Radio for classical and instead of my multichannel rip, Radio would only give me FLAC stereo. Hope that’s useful…

What’s kinda strange is ever since joining Roon, I quit listening to my SACD player and got an outboard DAC for another jump in SQ. I can’t even imagine what a multichannel DAC would cost :face_with_raised_eyebrow:??

@LarryMagoo – actually, I just use the multichannel AV pre/pro that I have anyway, and I am very happy with it. But a true mch DAC that gets very good reviews can be had for about $1400-$1500, I think (the Octo something). I considered it but did not want to give up my bass management so am sticking with the AVR.

Interesting view. Maybe true.

Yes, I had wondered if these various 1.8 changes are strongly driven by Roon’s assessment of what they need for future survival + growth. Emphasis on things that trends suggest are going to dominate: (1) usage from mobile devices rather than computers, and UI tailored accordingly (2) usage from streaming services rather than local files (3) color schemes that appear to have appeal among mainstream services.

Hey thanks for the idea……I have a pre/pro that I use as well I could try that to see (hear?) how it sounds then later look into a multichannel DAC….my Yggy cost a little more than that…I did not think any multichannel DAC would be available for that….


I mean…of course there is. It’s called creating a versatile, customizable platform. So different people can use the product in different ways. Unfortunately Roon is not doing that. They are following the footsteps of Plex, the “my way or the highway approach” where everyone is supposed to use the product in exactly the same vanilla manner.

You don’t rip existing, functional features out like they have unless that is the goal. It’s very disappointing. I can’t understand what is so wrong with versatility and being able to accommodate various use cases.

Even if a streamlined minimalist approach is the goal, nothing wrong with that. But you don’t have to amputate features. Just hide them behind “advanced features” or whatever.



Agreed. The clue is in the name. Software. For example, let users select which album art size they like with pinch and zoom. End of arguments.

I don’t see the issue. Roon handles on-disk music no differently to how it handles streamed content added to your library. Discovery is naturally going to focus on the stuff you don’t have, and Roon can only do that if you’re hooked up to a streaming service.

I accept that Roon Radio will of course have limitations when it can’t trawl a streaming service for content to play.

What I’d like to see is that those without streaming enabled are not ignored as future functionality is developed. As long as Roon enables me to see and explore the links between performers in my library in a manner that’s functionally on par with what you get when streaming there can be no issue.

Whether you stream or not Roon is already using the community’s listening habits and relationships to expose your content to you e.g. popularity is listing the stuff that’s in your local library that Roon’s subscribers most listen to:

Now, whether I want my tastes to converge on the community’s lowest common denominator or not is a different question…but we’re all being treated the same on this front, except that streamers would likely get a different result that includes music you don’t have in your library.

Roon Radio for non-streamers of necessity behaves differently, albeit I’d like it to go out to Roon’s cloud and keep pulling recommendations until it finds something that is in my on-disc only library. Perhaps that’s too much traffic and server load for little benefit, who knows. Bottom line for me re Roon Radio is it’ll never be as good as something that actually has insights into the acoustics of the tracks in your library…and that’s a limitation of the cloud model unless the streaming services were prepared to do the analysis and make the results available to Roon. Seeing as such a system would not benefit Roon’s streaming customers I doubt we’ll ever see something like this implemented unless it’s developed by a 3rd party, open source and easily implemented by Roon … e.g. AcousticBrainz

One area where I feel Roon is being lazy and as a result actively discriminating against on-disc only customers is showing content like:

for artists that are well represented in a user’s on-disc library. I can’t see why Roon wouldn’t parse the data it’s fetching from its cloud infrastructure against your on-disc content, showing you the matching content. Parsing that list should be trivial.

Outside of examples like that above, I don’t think Roon is treating on-disc content any differently. Its beauty lies in its interface and the manner in which your content is unlocked and presented, ready to be explored.

All those calling 1.8 a disaster are in my view being overly precious and can’t be taking the time to explore just how rich Roon’s exploration capabilities now are. Sure, there were some issues on release that triggered some downtime for a portion of users, but it was resolved as soon as Roon had the data to enable them to identify and address the root cause. Don’t like the colour schema, change it - there’s no UI to enable it (yet?), but the ability is there, so change it however you fancy. Don’t like the fonts, you’ll get used to them. It’s not bug free (something this complex never is, but there are no showstoppers I’m currently aware of stopping me browsing, exploring and playing my on-disc or streamed music. Frankly, as much as some aspects do frustrate me, there is nothing I’d rather use.


I think that is all valid and important stuff. I think what’s being said is that most of us bought Roon first and foremost as a library, a music manager, a DAM. So that needs to be up front, easy and quick to access, and not cluttered up with Recs, and Primes, and whatever. That should almost be like a magazine that one accesses in a different tab, which was what I always expected Discovery to evolve into, a more dynamic, algorithimed, magazine of your own music. The basic side panel recommendations in 1.7 was great - it’s where I did most of my discovery (bandcamp articles second). Now it’s Recommended Albums, Similar Albums, In Their Prime, If You Like The Music Of… and then a whole slew of artists recs. And to me they’re seemingly populated randomly everywhere. All good stuff, but it confuses me. Maybe a newer generation uses things differently. Or perhaps I’m too ADD for it, I don’t know. I need/like only one door to go down for each function - one for cataloging, and one for discovery, one for playing, etc.


Yes! …and also, just as essentially,

I buy music and store it locally to ensure that I will continue to have access to it, even if streaming-service licensing agreements change a few months, or years, or decades down the road.

Access to music via streaming services is every bit as evanescent as the word “cloud” implies. Streaming services are a life-changingly excellent way to audition music, but they’re no way to build a core collection you can count on.


That sums it up pretty much for me.

Most confusing thing is that the label “recommended albums” is used for different kinds of recommendation. One for recommendation that are similar to this artist, two for recommendations of albums of this artist and three for general recommendations based on my total listening behaviour. They show up at seemingly random places and each time I have to concentrate to discover what kind of recommendation is meant here on this place. Then there is also the new releases for fans of in a completely different style. All in all this feels like a bit too much of a good thing and not very streamlined. The fact that I’m now not able to tell where which field shows up where without first going back into Roon and click and scroll through the interface says enough maybe. I like things that have a steady place, they are easier to find.This evening I was trying to look back at a recommendation that came by somewhere, I was not able to find it back, could have been anywhere, or it had been changed in the mean time.

Much comes down to getting used to I know but intuitivity certainly has gone a bit backwards. All in all I like the new interface better than the old one, (especially since I have been able to change the colours into a more readable interface to me which made a very positive difference), but Valence could be a little less prominent. Put the library first, exploring second. It does not have to be hidden away but the balance is a bit off now. When looking at an album, the album page now shows under the tracks first “selected discography” albums of this artist, something which I expect on the artists page not here. The it shows "recommended albums"of which I don’t know if they are related to this album or general recommendations, since they are called the same. And the comes the information about the album itself, something I would have prefered to see first. I am on the album page of this album after all.


Interesting. We know that people have different views, that’s one challenge for the Roon team.

I certainly never bought Roon as a library manager. I don’t want to manage a library, if I did I would be a librarian. The library is a useful tool, managing it is a necessary evil.

To me, Roon was always about listening to music, and finding music to listen to. In the beginning it was just my own rips. Then streaming came. And quantity required tools for finding things and for getting suggestions and recommendations.


But if you have discovered a couple of nice new records wouldn’t you want to be able to find them again in the most convenient way and learn a bit about them first before wandering off again?

It is for me, too. However - to stay in your analogy - the librarian for my preferred genre is so messed up that he can’t help me finding new music. I know there is still lots of music to be discovered in my own rips and the crazy librarian in me has taken care of the library. So I‘d love for Roon to help me within this environment. But it doesn’t seem to want to help me…

I may be one of the new guard. I’m an old f, but only installed Roon a little over a year ago (just re-subscribed for the 1st time). I have albums but I’m not converting them to digital. I have some FLAC files, over 1000 albums but what is the point of it. There isn’t one appreciably to me. From my first day of Roon and was a Tidal and Quobuz member so I’ve really ONLY every used Roon as a streaming service, rarely choosing a copy from my library because it was better quality, allegedly. So even having a library of my own is only required when one of the two streaming services does not have that artist, album or song, which is increasingly rare. I respect someone with a big library and the idea they care about that library. More and more of us, don’t because it simply isn’t necessary.


Sure. As we have discussed a lot, I find adding them to my library to be very useful.

But that’s not really “managing” the library. Not different from setting a heart in Tidal or Qobuz.

Sure it’s useful and I often start a listening session by looking among my known favorites. But I really like clicking on an impressive bassist, clicking on discography, and seeing everything available to me.