A Discussion on Standards

Note - this discussion began in the “A message from the Roon Founders” topic, but since it’s about standards in general, I’ve moved it to a topic of its own.

It already is - and the standard is RAAT. Please don’t ask Roon Labs to venture into the murky waters of DLNA - I’ve seen what a world of pain that was. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I discovered Roon and RAAT.


No objections there.

Roon has long supported DLNA by the back door. You need to enable Squeezbox support in roon and a DLNA server on your network

In fact, to my knowledge the only Mark Levinson product (a Harman flagship brand) that supports RAAT is the No. 519. Everything else is DLNA including my own No. 5101. Whilst I have never experienced any start-up or stability issues, it is annoying that using the 5101 with roon does involve several additional clunky configuration and operational steps meaning that other members of my household will not use the 5101 with roon. From other comments I have seen on the forum, other users enable DLNA devices with roon in a similar way. I don’t know how widespread this is. I also don’t know how many other Harman brands are DLNA only or what the dependencies and usability issues are with other Harman “lifestyle” products.

I, for one, would welcome more seamless DLNA support. I never thought I would ever see folder browsing so who knows?

I am not sure I would characterise RAAT as a standard either. A “proprietary standard” maybe. To me the common usage of the term engineering standard implies control and administration by a non-profit independent entity and not control and administration by a single for-profit commercial entity like roon. I know that roon doesn’t charge it’s partners for certification but still a standard is normally administered at a further hands-free distance than RAAT is. No doubt these are murky waters and there are all sorts of exceptions when you get into the weeds. Maybe Harman will spin RAAT control and administration off as an independent entity. There does seem to be a lot of change in the air.

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Standards can be de facto, de jure, proprietary or open. RAAT just happens to be a proprietary standard, that doesn’t in my eyes make it any less of a “standard”.

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True, but the problem with DLNA is that it doesn’t have this either and so it has become an unholy mess.

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Yes, of course. But to me de facto implies a market power roon does not have. Google’s administration of chromecast for example. Or Microsoft’s administration of a common “office” interface. Oracle and Java. There are lot’s of examples. I don’t see RAAT that way.

But ‘proprietary’ doesn’t.

Again, of course. But I think what I am trying to say is that the common usage of the term standard" without a prefix to qualify it implies (certainly to me) a significance or importance that can be misinterpreted. RAAT is hardly an ITU or ISO standard or such like. It’s hardly Chromecast or Apple Play either. As far as I know RAAT is developed, controlled and administered by a handful of people and now has a rather uncertain future.

What is your basis for this conclusion? I rather thought that the acquisition by Harman strengthened its future rather than diminished it.

I would argue that since so many Roon Partner companies offer Roon Ready products that use RAAT, then it must be an effective standard. If it wasn’t, then there would be any number of interoperability issues.

No-one has ever claimed it was. But it is a standard.

Many years ago, when I was actually involved in the work of Standards bodies (X/Open and the OSF), I used this grid to position standards…

It could probably now be adjusted to accommodate 3 points on the Y-axis: emerging - de facto - de jure…

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I have no idea what is going on behind the scenes but I did work for a very long time as an architect leading very small teams in the telecoms industry. I know first hand just how vulnerable those teams are to mergers. acquisitions, staffing attrition.

One argument is certainly that Harman resources will help stabilise and reinforce what has been described on many occasions as a very small roon team. But another argument is that there is a very small window to do that before key players in roon with very strong views find themselves at odds with a new Harman direction. I welcome folder browsing and a renewed focus on box sets and local libraries but why would Harman stop there? What about roon’s other sacred cows? DLNA support is the obvious one to me and that may well prove too much for some at roon. One year from now if there were even a handful of departures of key roon players, RAAT may not make the same strategic sense to Harman that it currently does to roon.

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You are not the only one who has worked with standards bodies.

If it is important to you that RAAT is a standard in the same sense as X/Open and OSF or the international telecommunications standards I have mentioned then I really don’t care.

'*The great thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from" :wink:


There are probably a number of us techies who worked on standards committees. I even succumbed myself for a while until visiting MIT in January became too much for my wimpy Californian soul.

But it’s not clear to me that RAAT is standarized, even inside Roon. Apparently, from what I’ve gleaned from Forum posts, the SDK that partners incorporate into their Roon Ready gear includes an interpreter, and the Core (sorry, Server) downloads a program to it on start-up, which processes what comes from the Server. This makes it easy to change things if Roon needs to do something different with the “wire” protocol. Don’t know if it ever does change, but it can if needed.

But the mechanism by which that program is downloaded onto the endpoint and the way that that program interacts with the device software to get device capabilites, to get samples to the d/a converter and album art/track info to the screen is standardised.


Yes, the SDK’s external API is standarized. But that’s not “RAAT”. Or is it?

The protocol is standardised - the contents inside the protocol envelope may vary. It probably standardises a data model, a serialisation format and core properties for the definition and processing of extensible metadata for defining audio capabilities of endpoints as well as the transmission of audio data.

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This is what ROON itself says about RAAT:

We like to think of RAAT as AirPlay for Audiophiles.

Whether it is already a standard or not is of no great importance for me, well that it works quit well. And that it stays working in the future! The more users it has, the greater the chance is there.
ROON works very well for me using different devices (Loewe, Linn, Sonos, B&O, Chord…) over my two places.

The “standards” for me to realize this are RAAT and AirPlay :grin:.


The bad press that DLNA gets is well known. That said its a sorta loose standatd open to interpretation

I have limited experience of hardware but using JRiver as a server i have used a Cambridge Audio CXN v1 snd a Naim Uniti Atom HE with DLNA with no issue

Get a good implementation and all works like clockwork

I appreciate that there are some iffy implementations out there