I have used CD’s and SACD’s for quite a while, but I quit using them for the following reasons:
My family kept using them as coasters.
When you use them with the curtains open you can be blinded by the sun.
I couldn’t read the tiny text on the cover.
When the CD is in the drawer you can’t see it anymore.
Every time my favorite band releases a new CD I have to go out and buy one.
That’s why I decided to buy myself a life long Roon subscription. As well as Qobuz. They go along just fine and I can use it everywhere without risking my eyesight. Since I use my Android phone as remote I can find additional info and pics that I can zoom in a quadrilzilion times.
I suppose that is “tabular clarity”. I like open source too, but I am not a programmer and open source can be difficult to use as it is constantly changing. I have no idea how to use all the tools you list to integrate the CDs on my SSD drive with Qobuz where I can change zones and control my stereo equipment etc. Roon makes it easy.
Exactly the universal in UPnP is really not so, too many interpretations and not one seems to work well with all the others. Gapless being the main one along with format support on lesser hardware. I have a number of upnp renderers that don’t even support flac and gapless never works.
I think you make a good point.
Before I bought into Roon I spent a great deal of time gathering up my many thousands of scattered tracks accumulated over many years (including hundreds of rip’d CDs) and centralized them on a single Mac Mini. I used that machine, via a wireless NAD DAC, to drive my main stereo system (across the room). To use this setup I had to remote into the Mac, startup whatever music app was required, navigate to the desired music and start playing it. If I remembered to switch the pre-amp on my system to AUX the music would play. Sometimes REALLY LOUD. Quick: run over to the preamp and turn down the volume. And of course I couldn’t listen on any of the other devices or in any other rooms. But it did provide access to my music files. But this required another computer or iPad to work. Also with my music scattered across three or four machines it was often impossible to find what I was looking for.
The flexibility that Roon added to my listening is really remarkable. It is expensive, especially if you want to subscribe to a streaming service on top of the Roon subscription, but it does a lot.
One aspect of Roon that I rarely hear discussed is its “spousal friendliness”. My wife doesn’t always want to hear my music when she’s in the living room or kitchen. She installed Roon on her iPhone and she can “magically” adjust the volume or stop the music. This avoids the previous approach which was to find me or simply to turn off the entire system (which I try not to do; it’s old). Everyone is happier now.
So as long as the money holds out I think I’ll stay with Roon. If and when Roon goes away or in a different direction or I am too poor to pay for Roon I’ll have to cobble something together on my own.
I’m new to Roon, but I’m not new to streaming players. I had the original Roku Music streamer (2005?), before they went Netflix. I spent ~10 years with Logitech LMS server (6 SB Radios), and all the nightmares that it had with multi-room streaming and Spotify.
I jumped at the Roon 3 month trial, and I just paid the yearly fee.
I’m running my Roon Core on a cheap Synology 216+ with 8GB RAM, and it works perfectly.
I have 100,000+ tracks, and I’m not an audiophile. I just want PERFECT MULTI ROOM streaming, and Roon does that with DI.FM and my local music. (I’m using 4 cheap Chromecast Audio’s)
Spotify works perfectly also, but that’s outside Roon.
For me, the subscription cost for the Roon software is just a way to say Thank You to the devs. I could purchase the lifetime, but I chose not to. The Roon team loves music as much as I do, and I want them to continue for as long as possible.
I can understand if others disagree, but I’ve spent nearly 20 years looking for this level of quality, and I could not be more satisfied!