I think it is time for Roon to widen their support for RockOS platforms. The AMD Emvbedded platform brings new competition to the NUC line.
Also, I know this a long-time conversation but with the RPi 4 are we not getting closer to RockOS support as well? Exactly how resource intensive is RockOS? I’ve been running on a dedicated i3 NUC for a couple of years and I’ve never seen it break a sweat. RockOS on an RPi would be a game changer.
Not trying to be antagonistic here, but I can’t imagine why someone would spend $120/yr for software and put it on a $35 computer. Are you supposing that folks are thinking, “I’d really like to get Roon, but I don’t have another computer laying around”? Or is there another use case I’m missing?
Really, just curious.
It’s funny. I’m new here. My trial has a week left, and I already bought a NUC i10 and installed ROCK — actually did that before I started my trial. I mean I had another trial under a different email address that I ran for three days - long enough to conclude that I wanted zippy - and then built a ROCK as a precursor. But I’m also a person who was ripping secure FLACs to a NAS 15 years ago. I’m not getting to my point.
My point is that there are an incredible variety of use cases on these boards, and these boards are a narrow slice of the use cases out there. I really wonder if the median (or at least plurality) new install is a nucleus via a home automation / home theater installer, running as a front end to Tidal onto equipment that was picked out for the owner by said automation guru. Basically an appliance similar to Lutron. All of us DIY types who engage on these boards are probably, what, 5-10% of the users? If that? I bet there are a lot of people who though wondered about the fixed cost. I certainly did. If i hadn’t dithered for a year (lack of time as much as anything else) I would have been one of the $499 lifetimers. Now I may be a happy monthly subscriber (for similar reasons to those @David_Snyder has articulated elsewhere) in perpetuity.
Maybe I’m wrong but I think there’s a huge diversity out there in terms of how people trade off their time / how much they care / how much they want to tinker / how much $1000 (or even $100) means to them. Reading the DAC threads and turntable threads puts me to shame, and I thought I was rather into this hobby.
I think you are right on the button, if i remember from another thread a large number of users have a nucleus and an iPad, then whatever their “network person” sets up for them. Ditto their AV consultant and their installer etc etc.
Have you been seeing the Apple M1 Mac Mini reviews. SOC/ARM has come a long way. I don’t have access to Roon’s IP so I can only guess how resource intensive RockOS really is but I don’t think it will be an issue much longer?
Have you actually run a new RPi 4? I have and it’s more than capable.
It’s all about barriers to entry. I help run the The DC Hi-Fi Group and only a handful of the members run Roon. Monthly costs and hardware setup are the usual push backs. My argument to them is you really should be looking at Roon as another hardware audio component like a CD Player. Plus, no one who has Roon that I talk to has ever looked at or even much less used the DSP features which makes Roon an actual audio upgrade to your system.
So, RockOS on a SOC like RPi would accomplish many things. Virtually, eliminate setup and hardware costs. Roon Labs could ship a mini Roon server that you could hang a 5TB portable USB drive off of based on an RPi 4 in a nice case. They could charge let’s say $250 for the plug and play and still make some money. DIY’s can continue to do it themselves.
Frankly, I don’t think Roon knows how to Market their product. I am working on a Video to illustrate the things that most Roon users don’t even know/use.
They are in a different ball game to the pi by a country mile, you cannot compare them. £35 Vs £800+. The base arm cpus used in most SBC are not up to it yet fact. Rock isn’t going to run on Mac hardware period they have said this as their is no reason to do so as it has its own os that’s tuned to the hardware.
You keep talking Dollar numbers as if that means something. Computer power is essentially free. RockOS from what I can tell without doing a lot of digging is just another Linux distro. I never asked for it to run on a Mac, I was trying to illustrate the point that the new Macs are running essentially the same SOC chip architecture that is also inside their phones and ipads. A RPi 4 has plenty of power to run the core Roon functions of library management from my limited access to IP vantage point. The DSP functions may be more taxing. If so, Roon could disable the DSP for the RPi version. Frankly, from my casual surveys, less than 1 percent of Roon users even use the DSP features.
We’re back to the wheat and chessboard situation again. An RPi would (currently) very quickly run out of puff if asked to handle a decent-sized library with its millions of crosslinks. Roon is more than just a music player.
The M1 is not a typical ARM. It is Apple Silicon, made in an entirely different strategy. The Raspberry Pi 4 is a great little machine, but it is not even in the same ballpark as the Core iX processors from Intel, or the M1.
We’ll get there, but not with the RPi4.
100% agreed here. We suck at marketing. We hired more people in this area this year, but there is a lot of basics we need to improve on.
Thanks for replying. I am glad you said it. Your Marketing Sucks. As a lifetime subscriber I am all in on Roon but sometimes frustrated. You’re org is a bit of a black hole of info. I have no idea what you are working on or what your strategy is for the product. I contrast this to things like my Tesla software and other stuff I own/use and and know pretty well where we are headed.
I wish you would publish some benchmarks on where the Roon RockOS bottlenecks are? I run my Roon on a NUC i3 and I have never encountered any bottlenecks. I have setup a half dozen RockOS NUCs and I have never seen the bottlenecks. I still don’t know why an i3 is inferior to an i7 for RockOS. My guess is the DSP. Is the library management that taxing or is the code that inefficient?
Of course, a M1 is a different beast but illustrates the relentless path of computing downsizing and performance we are on. If not RPi 4, then what hardware target is needed?
I am okay with the current NUC strategy but you “really need” an ARM strategy.
Lower cost - lower barriers to entry
Lower power - less energy usage
Cooler - both temp and appearance
Smaller - make Roon a real appliance.
I get you have limited staff so you want to limit support through limited hardware support options, but time is marching on and there are avenues to explore. I can think of things like “Roon in the Cloud” and other wacky ideas that you will pooh-pooh but need to be explored.
Thanks for sharing (saved me some googling. ). That’s about what I would expect. I often recommend little PC’s like this one to folks with small libraries who just want a tiny box they can dedicate to Roon. Yes, a four year old Celeron J3455 processor is not going to do well playing out to a dozen zones or upsampling to DSD, but as you’ve said, something like this can meet the needs of many (most?) Roon users.
Current cost is $136 (including Windows 10 Pro), which is only about $42 more than a 4 GB RPi4 with microSD card, official power supply, and a nice Flirc case. As to size, the largest dimension of the ACEPC mini PC is only five inches, which is less than an inch and a half greater than the length of the Flirc case.
Point being that the difference in size is no more significant than the difference in price, but the difference in performance and capability is substantial. I’d feel comfortable recommending this solution to anyone with modest DSP requirements, five or fewer zones, and a library size under 30,000 tracks with little or no DSD.
The Raspberry Pi makes an ideal Output device, but I think we’re at least a couple of generations away from it being suitable for Core.
I should have stated RPi 4 instead of SoC. Yes, I have several Pi of several vintages. I would not expect a 4 can do what ROCK/Core requires. Analysis would takes months. Sure once that is done it might be Ok playing but there are frequent updates to the images, metadata nearly nightly.
If RPi4 could run ROCK there would probably have a build for it. My point was/is a cheap long since retired Intel 2-5th gen proc and small SSD will run ROCK really, really well for well under $300 or in my case a retired machine from the office that got rotated out of service this year, cost nothing.