A NOOBIE's Perspective on ROON and things that need improvement

I’m a huge Talking Heads fan myself so I dig your handle by the way. As for evidence, this isn’t a scientific experiment of an unproven phenomenon. This is basic economics which is well proven and predictable given the situation. ROON/Tidal/Qobuz started with a niche market catering to audiophiles that had a need for lossless audio and a way to catalog their large digital libraries. And when the giants of streaming were not in that small pond of a market that made perfect economic sense to pay a premium for those services. However, now you have the 3 largest 800 pound gorillas entering this market and they have the ability to price these smaller competitors out of the market. Amazon/Apple/Spotify have 75-100 million subscribers, where as ROON/Tidal/Qobuz have a few hundred thousand. And the attitudes of the people on this forum - audiophiles which makes up less than 0.1% of the music streaming market is not a good representation of the market as a whole. For the vast majority of streaming consumers out there, they will go with one of the big 3 providers especially if they are offering those services at 50% discount to the very very niche offerings by Tidal and Qobuzz. That means that where there was once an opportunity for growth due to a competitive advantage of offering high res lossless and charging a premium for that offering - it no longer exists. And it’s basic economics 101 that eventually these tiny players will not survive with no future growth opportunities. I don’t mean to sound all doom and gloom here, because I really would like to see ROON, Tidal, and Qobuz survive and continue to grow. But given basic economics this would seem highly unlikely given the current market situation.

Sorry but there’s no such thing as basic economics. How the market will develop is extremely difficult to predict. There are so many variable factors.

Niche products can exit and thrive if they add value to the consumer’s experience. If the Big 3 are able to replicate what Tidal and Qobuz achieve, then they may well squeeze out the smaller players. If they don’t then there may be a future for Tidal and Qobuz. The thing is, we just don’t know.

But here’s the rub. The Big 3 are not entering the lossless market to squeeze out Tidal and Qobuz. They’re entering the lossless market to compete with one another. The vast majority of their customers are unlikely to care either way when it comes to lossless vs lossy (hence the comments of Apple’s Head of Music). Tidal and Qobuz will stand or fall (as niche providers) on whether or not they can provide something that the Big 3 don’t.

When it comes to Roon, there is no chance of Amazon, Spotify or Apple integration unless the Big 3 change their minds (and why would they?). Like Tidal and Qobuz, Roon stands or falls on the value that it adds. This value comes from deep integration.

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First of all yes it is easy to predict especially when you are comparing a commodity product say apples to apples. If company A offers an apple at $1 and then company B comes in and offers that same apple at $0.50, the vast majority of consumers wouldn’t buy from company A and would in turn buy from company B. That’s exactly whats happening here with streaming. You have the same product (music) being offered at different price points. And basic economics dictates that in that situation, the company that is under pricing its competitors will ultimately win. This is Amazon’s business model and why they have become one of the most successful companies on Earth.

So given that Apple and Amazon now offer lossless high res streaming, what value added does Tidal and Qobuz provide that Apple and Amazon doesn’t or can’t provide themselves?

And whether or not they introduced the lossless streaming to compete with each other or not is irrelevant as the fact is that they entered the market. So that means like a giant stepping on an ant, the ant gets squashed whether the giant knew the ant was there or not. The end result is the same.

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Maybe a little late to the thread but somebody sure drank the Kool aid.
I’ve had Roon for several months now and it’s still a like/hate relationship.

It appears that the Roon developers are so enthralled with themselves and their idea of the perfect local streaming service that they ignore feature requests without explanation.

I can’t make this thing stop playing music from my own library that I have not requested and it is very bad at curating the following tracks.

No it is not easy to set up.

I kick myself in the head for paying for it. But it does sound good.

Apple and Amazon offer limited end point compatibility. This isn’t a problem for the vast majority of users. However Tidal and Qobuz already allow/provide (via Tidal Connect, UPnP, Roon etc.) a value addition that Apple and Amazon do not. Again, whether or not this is sustainable is a different matter.

Your apple analogy doesn’t quite work as you’re presenting a model of “pure competition”. Pure competition is a useful theoretical device, but one that doesn’t play out in real-world settings, at least not easily.

In the case of your analogy, you fail to take into account (amongst other things) brand loyalty, shopper experience and the quality of the apples sold. All of these things are relevant when it comes to establishing value added products and developing niche market opportunities.

I have no idea what your background is re: economics, but your analysis of the current market and its potential development seems to be high on opinion and low on evidence. Hardly a convincing starting point.

My background is in business and economics. My day job is managing my own money by making investments in companies. So I am pretty well versed in making these types of predictions and it has made me a lot of money over the years. Having said that, yes I am over simplifying things for the sake of this discussion. However, even with things like brand loyalty and integration issues as you said, both Apple and Amazon can easily overcome those hurdles if they desire to do so. And as for brand loyalty Apple is the most valuable and respected brand in the world, and Amazon is a close second. The companies you are comparing them to have zero brand recognition and are basically startup companies. So again this makes no real difference in this situation. Apple I believe is making an exception with Sonos Connect and I think they are giving them full integration and rumor has it that the next versions of Mac OS and iOS developer kits will include the ability to fully integrate apple music without having to use AirPlay. So in the specific case of Apple that value added will be added in the near future.

They can, but thus far have not.

Again, this presupposes that Apple will. No evidence of this at present.

Look, I respect your position. Your line of work involves a good amount of informed speculation. I just don’t think that you, I, or anybody has enough evidence to predict the future. After all, economics is far from an exact science!

I agree that the future doesn’t look great for Tidal and Qobuz, particularly if you add in Spotify Lossless with Spotify Connect. But, at present, there’s no indication that Apple and Amazon are likely to embrace the endpoint options that are currently available with Tidal and Qobuz. And why would they? It’s not the market that they’re chasing.

As to what will actually happen, we will have to wait and see! Nice chatting, but I feel I’ve rather muscled in on this thread so I ought to bow out for a while!

I’m on M1 and mine is 39x and its only using about 20% CPU… It isnt a CPU load issue.

I have been using Roon as my main source for 5 years and its still a love/hate relationship. It has sufficient good bits to offset the bad, I still actively maintain my legacy system “just in case” .

If you just switch off Roon Radio and it will stop at the end of an album or playlist, although that is is to me one of the good bits.

Normally it runs off to Tidal/Qobuz and ignores the local library , is that maybe what you meant ?

I agree with this. Suggesting that Spotify, Apple and Amazon will become oligopolistic providers relatively soon - squeezing out everyone else - seems to be based on some false assumptions, namely:

  1. That streaming is a pure utility and that there is no space for innovation. I think there is still considerable innovation potential in this whole area. As mentioned, access to endpoints is one, as is IoT integration. Roon - although niche - is a third. Ford, GM and VW do not make all the cars in the world and I’ve always wanted a Morgan (https://www.morgan-motor.com/)

  2. That the nature of the relationship between artists / record labels and streaming services will stay the same as it is currently. I don’t think that’s right. The potential for developments in this space (NFTs etc) which will allow artists to disintermediate the record labels and tech companies must be considered and it will be in the interests of smaller companies to disrupt in this space.

Like Jack Dorsey from Twitter, I would buy shares in Tidal if I was as rich as some other Forum members.

Of course, in the long run, what @Brent_LeVasseur says might come to pass: the technology could all settle down and only three companies will control 100% of the market. But as Keynes said (in a different context), “In the long run we’re all dead…”

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Say, where can I find this magic number? Staring at the signal path now while playing music, but no numbers…

It only shows if it’s less than 100. If it’s not there your system is easily coping.

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Thank you.

Go to the queue page and turn Roon Radio off. This needs to be done for each output zone.
There is no global setting. Yes it has been requested, as has, having this setting default to off.

I would suggest adding your voice to the feature requests for either of these.

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I have used Roon on a few different macs ranging from a 2012 Mac mini, 2015 iMac and a newer m1 Mac. I have also ran Roon on Linux. No issues on any Mac or OS. I have 2000 artists, 11000 albums, and 140,000 tracks in my library. Roon runs on a single cpu which isn’t good. The most critical hardware you need to run is 16GB of ram and run the Roon app on a ssd, the data files don’t need to run on a ssd.
I used to run Audirvana for years and even auditioned it 6 months ago, I’ll stick with roon.
As for Audirvana tuning, you can do the same with roon: turn off time machine, quit all other apps, and turn off spotlight. I run timemachine editor which schesules my backups when I’m not listening to music.
The new M1 Mac runs circles around most other processors even when running Rosetta 2 for a non-M1 active app.

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It was using up my resources scanning my library.

7 posts were merged into an existing topic: Trouble finding track

2 posts were split to a new topic: Default to playing tracks from my hard drive instead of streaming them

This has started to become a support thread so I’m closing this out as it seems that most of the NOOBIE’s perspective has been discussed to conclusion.

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