ARC Design Question

It’s the way Roon chose to do it. I like having two totally different apps. I prefer to keep Roon ARC as simple as possible with very limited capability. Just let me find my music and play it, nothing more.

I don’t know why this keeps coming up honestly. It’s always from users who hold a very limited set of use cases meaning a very narrow view of Roon’s feature set.

Roon, and Roon Desktop, have a ton of features most people simply do not use. It does not mean those features are not valuable it just means they are not valuable to you. A lot of these features don’t make any sense when mobile. Or, at least, need redesign for a better mobile experience. In that way, a dedicated mobile experience makes sense. The best way to develop that experience is in a dedicated app. Maybe, someday, they can merge back together. But certainly not at the pace Roon is making adjustments to ARC. That would be a disaster if those changes had to be put into desktop.

Anyone who says “just do what PlexAMP does” is exactly the person who does not use the features I’m talking about. And, if Roon was simply PlexAMP, I’d agree. But it’s not.

Use the mobile app. Don’t worry about the reason for it. Let it mature on its own path and I think you’ll be rewarded. Or, just go use PlexAMP. No reason why Roon and PlexAMP cannot co-exist on same set of files.

Happy listening.


I don’t have any convoluted network issues, having been using it since before it’s official release as was on early access before it was public. But it’s far from flawless in any way. Yes they should have waited to have a more stable product as it’s caused more issues support wise than anything else on a support team already under resourced.

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@ipeverywhere is spot on.

Roon’s LAN protocols (discovery and streaming) are not suitable for ARC. On top of that, features including grouping, transfer, and DSP either don’t have an obvious role in internet streaming or need to be slowly and intentionally rethought.

There’s a concept in product design called the “Principle of least astonishment”. In my opinion, Roon’s decision to split Internet streaming into its own app is an illustration of this principle. If internet streaming were jammed into Roon, they would have had to find ways to make all of the idiosyncratic, unsupported scenarios make sense to users. Feature buttons would disappear, be confusingly disabled, or have to pop up “This doesn’t work with internet streaming” alerts. That would have been a mess. ARC was a fresh start that allows them to incrementally add capabilities over time.

Personally, I hope the bifurcation is temporary and that they figure out how to bring the clients together over time - I do believe that would be a much better experience.

With respect to ship readiness, my opinion is that the critical sin was not solving for the case where ARC clients can’t easily establish inbound connections to a core. This is a mess. They should have stood up a reflector service for this case. That’s what many of the products we’re familiar with do - they try to establish an inbound pipe either through smart users doing port mapping or some other form of NAT traversal. If they can’t, then they fall back to a reflector service of some kind. They are already running a cloud-based discovery service, they should be doing reflection.

If a counter claim to this is “performance” or “latency”, it’s not valid. There’s too much prior art for a claim like that to be valid…worse case, the user experiences some small incremental latency but that’s far better than the world they’re living in now.

This is definitely an incremental cost to them but they should price that in.


I thought it was an experiment. I read somewhere that ARC was built with Flutter, Google’s UI toolkit, and Dart, Google’s app development language. Rather than the .NET framework that Roon uses in all of its remotes.

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I don’t think we need to categorize people and their use of Roon. For whatever reason, some people question why Roon made Roon ARC a totally separate app. Personally, I’m glad they did.

Are you assuming what youngsters who might enjoy Roon plus mobile listening are likely to be online gamers? I think not. In any event, Roon will soon have to figure out whether or not it is interested in users with limited network technology skills (or interest) – at any age.

No, @Suedkiez is pointing out that those who use an Xbox or PlayStation for online gaming must set up port forwarding in their router.

Yep, and many of them are young. I didn’t understand the leap by @SisyphusStone at all.

This is exactly what UPnP was designed for. It is just somewhat unfortunate there is a lot preventing it from working as designed including manufactures turning it off in response to “security concerns” that are somewhat irrelevant to most consumer / residential environment.

However, UPnP is somewhat old technology without a great replacement. The answer, ultimately, is we all need to move to IPv6 but that isn’t happening soon.

Roon has already stated they are looking into alternatives to UPnP. That’s great and I look forward to see what they come up with. But ARC wouldn’t be a thing without UPnP at launch. It was the right way to launch but, as with all things, updates and newer models will come.

The requirement for manual port forwarding is a direct result of how UPnP support is aging. Maybe Roon didn’t anticipate the number of UPnP failures out in the wild that would occur. But, and I know this because I’ve bean participating in it since beta, the community has been absolutely stellar in assisting and documenting manual port forwarding for the vast majority of users who ran into issues with UPnP.

There are very specific network configurations where the current design won’t work. But for the very high majority of others, a bit of patience and a willingness to work with others can get ARC functional.

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You were responding to @Dale_Brittain’s keen observation that the marketing for ARC does not seem to comport with “those youngsters mucking about with port forwarding.”

As we know, the gaming community is chock full of youngsters (and not-so-youngsters) who are never happier than when mucking about with all sorts of IT, web, and networking technology. The market for folks who (A) like to listen to music but also (B) do not have amateur gamer-level interest in mucking around in the networking wonderland is probably larger than those who do (since, almost by definition, set A+B is larger than set A alone).

This is how @SisyphusStone arrived at his “leap.”

Im in my late 20s, own both consoles mentioned as well as Roon lifetime, just as a counterpoint.

I think ARC is the first step towards a less technically inclined audience, simply judging by UI/UX. Don’t quote me but I believe Roon staff has on this forum floated the idea of ‘What if, in the future, you don’t need a Roon core anymore?’

At the same time, I do believe younger rather than older audiences are more technically inclined simply by nature and life around them. So even if Roon were to aim for a less technically inclined target audience, the barrier for entry would be lower than let’s say 20 or even 10 years ago IMO.

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I appreciate this. The community is generally friendly, willing, and ready whenever technical issues emerge – on any front. Unfortunately, it can be exceedingly difficult to find the community-generated documentation specific to one’s particular problem. (Just today, I happened to learn through the fine help of @ged_hickman1 that a whole topic existed regarding the particular port-forwarding issues specific to ATT and the BGW302-505 router. Unfortunately it took over two months and three posts in Support and one in Software discussion to hit on the magic words that rang a bell for someone to post guidance.)

As Roon community member, @Hazen, put it in his post about port-forwarding problems with ATT’s BGW320, “can’t spend more time seemingly working on a network admin degree on my day off [and] Roon documentation and whatever else I’ve found here seem like it’s not even talking about the same thing.”

I believe this level of frustration among a growing and diversifying user base is going to become a significant issue for Roon going forward.

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The lack of stickies doesn’t help either. The support section should have stickies with basic troubleshooting tactics for network issues, ARC etc so any user can find them easily. People will say use search but unless you word it exactly search in the forum does not yeald the best results and is like the proverbial needle and haystack.

Roons documentation has always been lacking, it’s better than it used to be but still big holes in stuff.


Sorry, I confused the posts. Then I didn’t understand Dales’ leap at all.

It was a joke, guys, more aimed at the marketing than the tech involved.


I think it’s funnier if calling attention to the distance between the marketed carefree lifestyle product and the nerdy efforts needed to keep the tech working…

But that’s just how my sense of humor works. :smiley:

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Roon is as far removed as a carefree lifestyle product as they come. Lifestyle yes, carefree definitely not.