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

I wouldn’t worry.
They made some mistakes in this release, I assume they will fix them.
Taking care of the current capabilities is certainly important.
Looking forward, how will the investments balance?
I hope, and believe, that the synergy between forms will remain.


I like that to, don’t get me wrong but is is just a bit cluttered around now, with the same label used for different and it’s a bit overshadowing the information about artists and albums now, something I also like to learn, read about. I for one very much like to maintain an overview.(no, not the function Roon calls overview) Roon is allready pretty difficult in that because of little information on one screen and endless scrolling around, and I like things to be consistent. like I said, it’s about the balance that’s a bit off now. For me it’s not so much about managing but about overviewing.

I do very little ‘management’ of my library because I bought Roon to manage it for me. And I feel that is its main function - I can discover all the new music in the world but it needs to be ‘managed’ for me to enjoy it (or go back and enjoy it again). This build has fallen down some on its primary reason for being imo. Otherwise if it’s just about flitting around (which is fine) may as well use the streaming service’s native apps.

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Exactly, I can explore music in the Tidal all day long, weeks in a row, but I have a very hard time finding it back if I want to listen to it again, It doesn’t not have any usefull management to speak off. That’s what has set Roon apart from the streaming services native apps to me, more then the clickable credits, collaborations etc. While these all have value it’s the managing / overviewing / curating / storing whatever you might call the same thing that is the most added value of Roon. Exploring alone can be done everywhere these days. It’s about the balance that’s all. It’s all in the presentation. Give me information of what I am looking at first and then all the algorithm created data.

I prefer local files for two reasons,

I know I’m in a minority but in rural North America (Canada even more than the US) there are still large areas with poor internet service. And I can cope with downloading an album once, but streaming is hit and miss, especially in the evening durning peak usage time.

Secondly, as others have mentioned, there’s no guarantee that anything on a streaming service is going to be there tomorrow. Not to mention that even if tidal pays a fraction more of a penny than serval others, artists still see very little from streaming vs album sales.

I got a life time sub to Roon last year, and had a three month trial to Tidal which I fully intended to let lapse. There are plenty of other ways to audition music before buying. And I used roon radio on my local libraries to reexperiance my library, and it works great for this.

It’s pretty easy if you want Roon to only manage your library - don’t integrate Tidal or Qobuz. I have a sub to Tidal that will likely lapse (too expensive for me) but while enabled I do think the Roon UI is cluttered. I just disabled it (first time in 1.8) and I no longer feel the UI is cluttered. I do miss the star ratings though…

When I disabled Tidal - the ‘discography’ was absent. I would LOVE LOVE to see Roon use its knowledge to create a discography section - and have place holders - ghost covers - in place of releases I’m missing from my local library. I get it - that’s what a streaming site is for - but I think there’s a large contingent of us who favor our local library over a streaming service.

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@Dan_Heatherly @sbr
I understand your point about the risk of losing albums if the streaming services change their licensing agreements or go belly up.
But I deal with the risk in a different way.
Roon says that in the last three years I have added 2286 albums, of which 79 are local.
If I wanted to protect myself by buying those streaming albums, that would have cost roughly $45,000. That’s an expensive insurance premium.
Instead I periodically export an Excel spreadsheet with all my albums in each of the three categories, local and Tidal and Qobuz.
If one of the services (or their albums) disappears, i can buy the albums then.
Paying the full amount up front to protect against paying for recovery of loss, that’s not how insurance works.
Plus I would probably decide that some of those 2200 albums were not that important after all.

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I ended up with Roon on top of everything else I have and everything I already subscribe to for two reasons …

  1. Devialet “upgraded” their software in a manner that killed its ability to play HD music directly from Tidal.
  2. My local music library kills most music library management apps due to it’s size.

So … Roon isn’t perfect and I found that Roon UI interaction performance degrades if you throw a massive library at it.

What would be nice is a “two stage” model for locally stored music so it could behave in a similar way to the Tidal integration model and not bog down Roon’s performance simply because you have a lot of music (searchable and discoverable without everything being indexed in your library). In a perfect world this would be another service that Roon could call and they could simplify their primary app to only use streaming services … one of which is a decoupled Roon component that behaves in the same way as a streaming service.

Roon SOA? We can hope.

I am not so much concerned that they might not be able to fix mistakes. I’m concerned that they think the only way to make sense out of a librarians mess (3rd party metadata for classical in my case) is to provide some artificial intelligence and don’t give those crazy home-made librarians (like me) some tools to clean that mess for our own library.
I am by no means an expert on machine learning but sometimes I have the feeling that they are so focused on “user experience” that they forget that the basis of this experience is laid by the consistency of the data in the first place. My personal feeling is that in order to have fun discovering and experiencing classical music you need to help them leveraging the power of a composer/composition database (that Roon can be - they match up compositions) and open this tool to the user.
I have seen so many posts in the metadata section about compositions from Tidal or Qobuz albums not being grouped properly. If the user had a tool to pick a couple of tracks from those albums and assign them to a Roon DB object like “composition” it would probably solve their problem immediately. It is clear that this on’t help others having the same problem. On the other hand the alternative seems to be to wait for months until someone somewhere changes metadata…
I know I ran off-topic, my apologies. I just don’t seem to understand what Roon wants to be. So much focus on solving problems at the end and not at the source. But as long as the majority of users are happy they do everything right.

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If Roon is doing it right, management of streaming content and local content should be just as robust and offer the same feature set. I have a massive library I’d like more insight to but tried the streaming services and don’t care for them. I continue to rip vinyl, download digital albums, and collect live shows.

These valence features should work with local libraries just like streaming libraries. That’s my issue. Give them both feature parity and let users management the content however they want. They marketed it that way but none of that stuff applies if you don’t stream.

[quote=“AndersVinberg, post:49, topic:143546”]
That’s an expensive insurance premium.
Instead I periodically export an Excel spreadsheet with all my albums in each of the three categories, local and Tidal and Qobuz.
If one of the services (or their albums) disappears, i can buy the albums then.]

So you are managing your library after all :wink:

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I think many of the capabilities work equally (e.g. traverse the relationship graph of an artist) and I think that’s their intent, but many modern technologies require a large data volume to work.

We say that it’s easier to find something on the internet than on your own hard drive, and that is not a joke, it is completely serious. In fact, 2,000 albums is the absolute worst point. A library of 20 albums is easy, and we can do great stuff with a library of 20 million.

I think rather than music discovery, Roon would be better thinking of music curation. Not just curating the stuff that’s in your own library, but curating choice. At the moment the “most popular” stuff is pretty weak for the genres I know a little about, so I am unlikely to trust it with genres I know less about in case my time is wasted. I’d rather go to more authoritative sources. If there was a way for Roon to link to those authoritative sources - Gramophone say, JazzTimes etc… I would feel more helped and trusting. As it stands Roon is putting a lot of dross in front of me - it is simply not the case that Lang Lang’s Piano Book is the third best Beethoven recording - it only has one short piece by Beethoven on it less than four minutes long.


But it may be the third most popular album with the word Beethoven in it. It’s the problem with all these recommendation engines, they lead to lowest common denominator decisions and as you say, they are usually outclassed by a person with a modicum of knowledge on the subject.

@AndersVinberg sure because search engines are good at finding things, they have things indexed, with useful metadata to allow easily finding them again. Your finder on your computer also does this, but devotes little effort to it. Roon also indexes your “physical” library to enable this, and works well, it would be a shame if they stopped focusing on this.

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I got frustrated about something or other with Tidal a while back and started a project to purchase downloads and CDs to replace the “keeper” Tidal albums in my library. I quickly figured out it was a fool’s errand.

Now, I have been fully assimilated by the streaming (Qobuz) Borg. I suppose it’s a natural progression from buying LPs, then CDs, and then downloads. Things change, usually for the better.

My 16 year old self, who saved to buy LPs, sometimes without ever having heard the music on them (and sometimes finding out they were crap) would never have believed it if someone told me someday I’d be able to play virtually anything ever recorded at the tap of a button on a handheld device without having to get up off my couch, all for a small monthly fee.

Anyway, streaming integration is the only reason I still have Roon. If I only wanted to manage a local library, JRiver is a better solution, even with it’s antiquated UI and quirks.

The Roon/Qobuz setup is a revelatory, next-level experience in terms of exploring influences, connections, history, and on and on, or just plain fun when you say “hey, remember that band/song” and you can pop it right up and play it on your stereo.

The only problems I have with streaming are 1) the quantity of available music is sometimes overwhelming (but Roon thankfully helps sort it out), and 2) I go a little crazy with “impulse buy” additions sometimes, which clutters up my library with stuff I’d probably never have purchased.


Whatever the reason that a cd containing 3:26 worth of a trivial piece of Beethoven is offered as a “Most popular” selection of his discography, it is surely possible to improve the query that resulted in this nonsense. Like CDs that at least contain complete works, or are all Beethoven … a little thinking and head-scratching will easily improve the results. But access to authoritative sources would be good too.

P.S. If/when I ever let go of my sentimental attachment to my modest local library that I nevertheless spent a lot of time and money building, I may no longer need Roon.

Streaming apps keep getting better and better, except Qobuz’s, unfortunately. Someday, software like Roon could be obsolete (as JRiver already is). Maybe the ultimate path forward for both of them is a Roon+Qobuz merger. That would be cool.

For sure, but from a data analysis perspective, a computer doesn’t know what Beethoven is**, so it’s based on string matching on different metadata fields from the album. They could possibly exclude any thing that has more than one value in the composer field, but you’ll probably exclude some good recordings that way. And it’s also a question as to how big their data set is, adding lots of additional rules may lead to a much lower number of relationships. The number of Roon users listening to Beethoven is infinitesimal compared to say the number of Spotify listeners of Taylor swift and related artists.

** Ok somewhere someone has probably taught an AI to create new Beethoven but that is besides the point, it still doesn’t “know” what it’s doing.

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I was thinking just that at the start of this thread, if roon gives up on local libraries in favour of streaming being the primary focus, it would be much easier for the streaming services to replace roons functionality. Tidal etc release an app for the Pi / other streamers and roon has very little to compete on.

I’m using Roon because of the things you’re complaining about. I like the combination of Discovery and local library because so I don’t need multiple apps or consult webservices. If it was just about my library I shouldn’t have to leave iTunes/Music. I use Roon because it saves me some time I used to invest into library and metadata management before. Wasn’t Roon always be advertised to enrich the local library. From this point v1.8 is the consequent evolution.