Audio drops when fast user switching (OS X) [answered]

Installed Roon server on a Mac Mini with multiple user accounts. I have a couple of problems that I think relate to OS X implementation of coreaudio and not so much to Roon, but hoping I’m wrong or there is a workaround.

The main problem:
User 1 is running the Roon Server application and also the Client application Music is playing. User 2 comes along and switches to their account. The audio output completely stops, but Roon server seems to still be playing. Switching back to User 1 resumes audio output with time elapsed.

The related problem:
User 1 is running the Roon Server application. User 2 is logged in, launches Client and initiates playback. No sound comes out, but the client acts as if it is working. Switching to User 1 turns the audio on, with time elapsed.

It would be great if I could fix this without adding another piece of hardware / transport. Is there a way in OS X to operate as a non-dedicated server and also as an output device with multiple users? If not, I assume that a separate zone on a different device would continue to receive audio from the server no matter which user was active on the host.

Roon 1.2 build 142
hardware is 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 Mac mini (Mid 2011), OS 10.10.5 Yosemite, 16GB RAM
audio device is Parasound ZDAC via USB
music is stored on a Synology NAS

I have a similar issue. roonserver is running on a headless mac mini, and controlled from roon on a macbook. if i log out of my mac user account, or switch to another user, playback is halted. logging back in does not automatically restart playback.

i’d want roon to keep playing until i stop it, even if i shut down the machine running the controller.

A little testing seems to confirm that the output problem is related to using the Roon server machine as an output device. I configured a Raspberry Pi with the roon bridge software. Sending audio from the server to the Pi allows me to switch users on the server computer without disrupting playback.

It would be nice if the headless server app could run in the background with no users logged in, but this doesn’t seem like a deal killer. It’s too bad that I seem to need a separate playback machine to allow multiple user access on the server (my main computer), but at least the Pi has a small footprint and power requirement.

Sorry for the slow response here @kelly.

For a number of architectural and technical reasons Roon installs are per-user – if multiple people on given machine want to use Roon they’ll each need to install Roon and, as you might expect, switching between profiles is going to cause playback to drop.

Thanks for the question and sorry for the trouble here!

Thanks mike. That makes perfect sense for behavior of the GUI running as client, which i have confirmed runs fine for multiple users on the same machine and at the same time.

The real problem is that if User A is running the headless server app, then User B cannot play ANY music on Roon through the system audio interface, including external devices connected to the system. This does not seem like the correct behavior on a multi-user machine, since A is preventing B from playing music.

Can you be a bit more specific about what User A and User B are running in this scenario, and how you’re trying to play?

Is User B running Roon? What output is User B playing to?

Sure. Sorry I missed the notification of a response here.

User A runs the headless server under their account. The server computer is also the output device via USB connection to an external DAC. When User B logs into their account and opens the Roon Client everything seems normal except that when playback is initiated there is no sound.

It appears that because the server is running under User A, OS X suspend’s Roon Server’s access to the system audio output. We now use a dedicated RPi as an output device to avoid any problems with OSX core / system audio.

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