Better support for Tidal features & Consistency in Tracks list views between services

As a new trial user deciding on making the purchase, I really want to make the purchase. There’s a lot I love about Roon. But there are a few issues that instantly jump out to me that might not jump out to people that have been using Roon for a long time. Most of these are probably simple features. Or some are just “important” features.

1: Consistency in tracks list views. Currently Tidal and Qobuz tracks list pages show thumbnail album art (like the Tidal & Qobuz apps), while the Tracks page does not. This is needlessly jarring. Additionally, the Tracks page allows sophisticated sorting & filtering, while Tidal and Qobuz (favorite) tracks pages seem to allow no sorting and filtering - no additional columns like “date added” can be added unlike the Tracks page, and even the existing column’s can’t be sorted. This keeps the functionality below that of the T/Q native apps, but also below Roon’s own Tracks pages, while also presenting the Tracks page with less visual feedback than the T/Q favorite tracks pages.

This became obvious to me, as a newcomer to Roon, when my Tidal/Qobuz library is imported, but I can’t sort beyond track name alphabetization in the T/Q favorite tracks pages, yet the Tracks page has no thumbnails, and forces every track from favorited albums to appear in the tracks list unless it is favorited in Roon so I can filter. But there’s no easy way to take an existing Tidal/Qobuz library and import it into Roon with “favorite tracks” separated from whole albums. Existing Roon users would not notice this. New Roon users with existing Tidal/Qobuz libraries will notice it painfully.

2: Tidal added and improved a lot of features in their service in December, but Roon hasn’t quite caught up to it. Roon has it’s own radio, so the track/artist radio doesn’t matter (Roon Radio has the potential to be superior, as long as it can keep pulling deeper cuts than Tidal’s radio! But…it needs some improvement still.) However there are several features from Tidal that are VERY helpful that seem missing in Roon.

a) Playslists. This applies to Qobuz as well. Roon seems to force its own internal playlists. Organizing tracks into playlists is important, and since Roon can’t go mobile with you, keeping playlists up to date is important. Roon’s greatest strength to me is as a music discovery engine with it’s deeper-cut Radio and metadata linkage. But it’s limiting that adding tracks/albums/artists to my Tidal/Qobuz favorites is the only thing I can do in Roon that carries over to Tidal/Qobuz as a whole and for mobile support (or split Roon core locations.) I have existing genre playlists I maintain in T/Q and when I use Roon Radio I’d love to add tracks into those lists. But I can’t currently. And Soundiiz inherently can’t import Roon lists (local) into Tidal. We know the Tidal/Qobuz APIs support playlist manipulation (due to Soundiiz), and we know Roon can read T/Q lists. So it seems a natual extension to allow editing or at least adding tracks from T/Q into the T/Q playlists Roon already can see!

The current alternative is running Roon + Tidal + Qobuz apps, and searching for each song I add to the Roon library in the native apps and adding them manually into playlists there. As a result, I ignore Roon playlists entirely, though I realize they’re valuable for local library users.

b) (Tidal Only): Suggested new albums, Because you Listened to [artist], New Releases For You, Suggested Albums For You, Suggested Artists For You: are all extremely useful music discovery tools Tidal offers. I do not know if their API allows Roon to import these categories, but if so, this, along with My Mixes would be very very helpful to add. As it is, the Tidal app is required to be used instead of Roon if you want to take advantage of Tidal’s discovery.

c) (Tidal, maybe Qobouz as well?) - Things like My Mixes and recommendations utilize the music you play to build recommendations. Currently I do not believe Roon is providing Tidal whatever API feedback it requires to register that a track was played. “Recently played” dos not get updated (in the Tidal app) with what I listened to in Roon. SONOS does provide this feedback as whatever I play on SONOS does show up in my Tidal “recently played” list. This seems to be some sort of Roon integration issue. The net effect is it breaks Tidal’s algorithms for learning a users profile and making suggestions. I imagine Qobuz will at some point have the same issue, but I don’t know they have that capability now.

I had started a support thread with a few questions, but the more I use Roon the more these issues seem to interfere. I like what I see so far, but some holes in Tidal feature support, the inconsistency between Tracks and service/tracks pages, the playlist issue, strike me very vividly as someone just attempting to come into the ecosystem. Those that have used it for years, have a primary local library and a workflow of discovery already in Roon won’t see the issue. Anyone just entering with existing Tidal/Qobuz content more than local content will be hit by it pretty heavily and see the issue readily.

For now, the Tidal app needs to remain the primary player in order to feed their metadata properly, manage playlists and access their features, it seems. But I’d love to be able to use Roon is the main player. Still debating if it’s worth the sub/purchase of Roon given the limitations…I’m tempted, but it’s awkward.


If you are searching in Tidal and Qobuz then the advanced library features and filtering won’t work. Its for items that have been added to your library only this can include Tidal and Qobuz stuff but you have to have added it first it does not work in the Tidal or Qobuz views as these are portals to Tidal and Qobuz not your library . They are for searching and adding and will be limited to what each API allows.

I see your point. If the Tidal/Qobuz pages can’t support the complete filtering the library pages can, that’s understandable. But right now it doesn’t even support the filtering/sorting Tidal/Qobuz itself supports (or allow sorting based on the column headers that already exist on the page.) I know more filter fields and sorting is available in the APIs since i have Tidal and Qobuz sorted by “date added” in both SONOS and USB Audio Player Pro (Android) with their Tidal and Qobuz integrations. In Roon, “date added” isn’t a visible field, and even if it were present, the columns aren’t sortable on the T/Q pages. It can’t even sort by artist name, just track name.

It would become a mute point though if the library track view could display album art like the tidal/qobuz pages, and more importantly I could somehow favorite/mark/tag in Roon the items in my Tidal/Qobuz favorite tracks so I could adequately filter them in the advanced filtering. The pain comes in from the fact that there’s no way, if newly importing from T/Q to Roon, to separate favorite tracks from albums if the album is a favorite. There difference is T/Q (and most streaming services) have a separation between the idea of favorite track and favorite album. Roon’s library view doesn’t, unless you add your own means of filtering (heart-ing, or tagging, etc.) But there’s nowhere to take an existing favorite tracks list from T/Q to mark the tracks separately from their albums so that Roon can filter them in the library/tracks view.

I don’t think anything can be changed on the library/tracks page other than adding album art to keep it consistent and a bit more aesthetically manageable. It’s the T/Q tracks pages that need either more filters and/or the ability to “heart” or “tag” items en-masse from those pages so you can filter them better in the library. If you’ve always used Roon you won’t have that problem. But if you’re just importing for the first time, or have a split core database, there’s really nothing other than manually hearting or unhearting your library track by track.

The real problem is a mix of the fact you can’t perform bulk operations on the Tidal/Qobuz pages across a ton of tracks, and Roon’s library view of track vs. album isn’t really compatible with the way T/Q does it, so your incoming concept from T/Q of “favorite tracks” and “favorite albums” gets mashed together of “all tracks and tracks from albums I like in one big list, with no album art”.

I guess I could dump all my favorite tracks into a Tidal playlist - I just thought of that while writing this! That gives sortability and album art. BUT combines with the other limitation that since I can’t do that in the Tidal screen, and I can’t bulk-heart things, and since I can’t edit Tidal playlists in Roon…that has to be done in the Tidal app instead. And I still can’t bulk-heart things in Roon to make it filterable later. Since the point of Roon is to be a great library manager, if I have to use a separate app to do most of the actual library management, that makes Roon a glorified radio plugin for Tidal/Qobuz. :smile:

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Tracks are not Roons forte it’s more album focused and this area does need work. Roon is not designed to manage you Tidal and Qobuz libraries. Whilst it will sync any added albums via Roon it’s not going to do anything more than that in its current guide, Roon is for managing your Roon Library. I get your point but this is not what Roon was designed for.

Playlists from Tidal and Qobuz will import in but won’t sync back for a few reasons. Firstly playlists in Roon can contain media from local and streaming services so syncing that back would be a major headache as Roonn would need to either remove all local files out or try to match then to ones in Tidal or Qobuz. This in turn would likely add them to your T&Q library then would sync back to Roon again adding the albums to your library from T&Q. This could obviously get very messy and require some heavy duty coding.

One way around it it to have separate T/Q playlists but then it’s defeating the objective of Roons unified library. You could looked at tags in Roon as you can bulk add these. Create a tag called tidal favourites and Qobuz favourites, use focus to find the latest added tracks from either service.

Hmm, you bring up good points… When I started this I kept hearing about Roon, Roon Roon, and everything I read about it, I never quite “got it” what everyone thought was so great about something that seemed stuck in the offline world. Yet the possibility of a better Radio feature intrigued me. The main services never take deep enough cuts, so a new radio was intriguing. And a few people assured me that it works great as basically a streaming service front end. I desperately want to “get it”!

But from what you describe, it’s still so rooted in “local library management” to the point of taking a cloud library and just cloning it one-way offline makes it hard to really use that way. What you say brings me back to my original thinking that if you’re not using it to manage a local library it’s not a great fit. I can kind of see why it’s working that way, though I don’t see why it “has” to. I can even see it not fully syncing playlists back, but the inability to even add to a playlist is limiting. It’s a little circular though. The playlists matter in part because the sorting isn’t working in a meaningful way, and the sorting isn’t working mostly because we can’t bulk-select and “favorite” or “tag” things without putting it first in a playlist. I think there’s a few missing links in library/playlist management (and yes, adding to the Tidal/Qobuz playlists as well) that combine together to create some challenging conditions.) I can bulk select things on the Tidal favorites page. If I could just group-heart them, it could solve maybe 20% of my issue. But I can’t. As a workaround I could add them all to a Roon playlist, but then I still can’t bulk-heart them! Still this conversation ends up talking about a bunch of work-arounds for simple library management which I think re-inforces there are improvements that would really benefit managing the library simply, from a track perspective that I don’t think are outside the realm of the types of features Roon already has, and then there wouldn’t be a need for workarounds.

But ultimately the album focus and the “Roon is for managing your Roon library” that you mention are the two things tripping me up. Once upon a yester-year I did the full albums regularly, but it’s not 1995 anymore, and I probably haven’t often listened to full albums, other than classical, in a decade. Or my local library for that matter. Streaming definitely changed the way I access music. Technically Roon isn’t averse to this usage with the highlighting of Roon Radio. But while the Radio is inviting to me as a user, the subsequent management of the individual tracks I discover through it are creating a mess, though I do think it could be made much better, and most of the means for doing so probably aren’t difficult as they are features that already exist in Roon, just within different contexts, and thus aren’t fully utilized. (Filtering/sorting/more batch operations on multi-select tracks - hearting, tagging, etc. And, yes, at least ADDING single tracks to Tidal/Qobuz playlists. That’s very very useful for Roon Radio users.)

That ties into what you say “Roon is for managing your Roon Library”…where that falls through is that means "Roon is for managing my listening in a single building, because any other location, mobile, or another building, has no access to my Roon library since it’s not able to be remotely stored in the cloud ad present to be accessed from different locations. So each building needs it’s library managed separately, which defeats the point of cloud streaming to a degree.) If I could store the database/library/or core server on a cloud accessible server and point all my locations toward it, including mobile, I could be a lot better with that solution. But truthfully that’s a MUCH taller order of a feature request than just more filtering/sorting/playlist options :wink: In your context, I think the real feature request solution would be “support cloud hosting of core server” - but I don’t believe that’s within the function or business scope of what Roon is trying to do, and I would’t be comfortable even asking for such a feature when just a more thoughtful approach to batch operations and sorting/filtering and Tidal integration enhancements solves 80% of the needs. :slight_smile:

They are working on a mobile Implementation but nobody knows when this will arrive then there would be no need for the Tidal and Qobuz apps. No other app can do what your asking as far as I know they are all for managing at home Only Plex currently gives you access to your library outside of home but it’s still not very good for music.

That’s interesting news about a mobile implementation. I hadn’t heard about that, previously!

Still, I do believe there are simple improvements to sorting/filtering/playslist handling that would just make it all a lot more usable. In addition to making sure to fully support feeding the Tidal recommendations and supporting displaying them. Pie in the sky mobility etc is great, and I’m glad to hear they’re working on it. But for now, just adding better batch operations, sorting and filtering that carries over to more screens (that behaves the same it does on current screens), and being able to add tracks discovered on Roon Radio to a Tidal/Qobuz playlist would really still resolve most of the usability issues new users (and, apparently, track-focused listeners) may run into. More and more I think people are less album focused in the post-streaming world, and Roon certainly is courting new blood from the streaming world.

(Though as I say this, I keep trying to get Roon Radio to pick up traditional folk music, such as Erhu music, and I keep getting modern jazz and random brass ensembles… shakes fist)

There is always room for improvement.

Just to summarize for Roon staff after what was probably a confusing exchange here:

The feature request(s) would be:

Better track level management features and synchronization with Tidal/Qobuz in that regard via a few major points:

  1. Ability for album art to be displayed in library->tracks to match playlists pages, Tidal, Quobus tracks pages, etc.

  2. Ability to “heart” or “tag” items in batch via large group selection in the Tidal/Roon favorite tracks pages (or playlists/queues/any other page.) Right now there is no way to bulk heart/tag anything, it’s a one-by-one proposition.

  3. Proper support of all fields on Tidal/Qobuz favorite tracks pages allowing sorting of existing columns and inclusion of missing columns such as “date added”. Right now it can’t be sorted beyond track title alphabetizing.

  4. Proper support for feeding back play history into Tidal (and Qobuz) so they know what tracks have been recently played for their algorithms. (A.K.A. the please help me get Kanyeoff my front page feature request. :slight_smile: )

  5. Ability to add tracks to Tidal/Qobuz playlists that are imported into Roon. CrystalGipsy had a good point about why it can’t be fully synced, but at leas t the ability to ADD tracks discovered via Roon to their playlists would be helpful for mobile use.

I’m sure they will get right on that then.

It’s a feature request, not a billable work statement. Only Roon knows if these are difficult requests. On the surface they sound mostly simple: implement sorting on a page it doesn’t work like other pages where sortation would be an obvious function. Implement The obvious use of bulk selecting things: to apply a change to everything selected (it’s shocking hearts and tagging don’t already behave that way. It doesn’t seems they work that way on most screens.)

Those are presumably simple and straight forward suggestions. Possibly things they already plan do do for that matter.

The album art already works that way on every screen except the library track view… Probably a simple change though they maybe don’t want it there for a design reason, i don’t know.

Feedback to tidal is probably a single line to the api… But why it’s not working could be a simple oversight or a design reason. Only Roon knows.

Everything i suggest here is something that already exists somewhere in Roon, but would be beneficial to also exist on the mentioned screens, or with the bulk select missing options like tagging and heart seems like a pretty good feature for all. (And the expected default behavior)

The only truly new request is adding to service playlists. Probably also easy, since Roon is already aware of the list. But that’s actual new feartures rather than “bring useful feature of screen x to screen y” (and the multiselect issue where the multi select already exists but didn’t let you do anything other than add to playlist)

I get the sarcasm, it looks like a huge list, but it’s just a list of mostly simple seeming and usability features that seem to a newcomer like obvious things that already should be there. If we can’t request that kind of enhancement what’s that point of a feature request board? Only Roon can tell us if our requests are easily added to to difficult or undesired.

You’ve done the right thing here and posted everything in the right section.

Just note though, that you may not get any kind of reply from Roon but they will read all of this.

I’m a lifetime member but since the Tidal desktop app added ‘suggested new’ and ‘new releases for you’ I’ve been using Roon less and the Tidal app more…

I would love if those features came to Roon but firstly it needs the Tidal API to support it (like you I don’t know but I’m trying to find out elsewhere). But I get the impression Roon are going full steam ahead with their own recommendations algorithms. Unfortunately Roon Radio has been a disaster for much of the music I listen to. On the other hand it’s been great for my old man (dad) though, so he’s happy.

These are all great feature requests. Roon have said somewhere that playlists will get improved in future.

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I should also add recommendations I get through the Tidal desktop app and ‘suggested new albums and tracks’ have been fantastic for me and the music I listen to, compared with Roon Radio. I’ve been playing a lot with Spotify the last few months also and that really is the gold standard for recommendations. I guess it helps when you have over 200 million users sharing all that data for the algorithms.

Thanks for the encouragement!

Yeah, I’m still doing the trial, trying to figure out if Roon is going to help or hinder my music exploration, and I keep walking away with mixed feelings. I love the interface (though Tidal’s is no slouch these days and does some things better) but it’s the music recommendations and the feeding of the AI data that make me think “Why pay $120/yr/$500 for software that does a lot of what I’m doing worse than the one the service includes for free?”

Fortunately I did discover, separately, a few areas where I think Roon Radio does much better than Tidal’s radio (and some places it’s much worse), so I’m leaning more toward purchasing at the moment, but with deep hesitation given some of the above quirks and limitations (excluding access to and possibly avoiding the feeding of the Tidal discovery features we pay Tidal for seems like a huge omission, let alone the seemingly simple sortation & library management quirks.) I actually wouldn’t mind if Roon went all-in on it’s own recommendation engine completely, getting two discovery engines for Tidal is better than one! Though I don’t know how Roon would manage to build even a pale echo of what the deterministic engine seeded by millions of users at the major streaming companies can offer (which is still not always great and repeats artists and singles too often.) Unless they’re licensing that kind of user data from someone else, which is possible - licensing data is a big part of what Roons expense seems to be.

I agree, though, Tidal’s recommendations have been excellent for me as well, and I feed a really eclectic and diverse mix at these services. My “My Mixes” right now has a continuously changing (well…not since I started the Roon trial…grrr) set of 6. Right now I think it’s pop, experimental electronica, jazz, ‘chillout’ EDM, various “worldbeat” types in a mix, and a salsa mix. All of them are good for their genres, albeit the chillout skews toward trip-hop a bit heavily for my tastes, and the recommended new releases and “because you listened to” are excellent as well! It’s weird to see Tidal kind of inching ahead of Roon in some areas. They’ve come a long way. I remember just a year and a half ago I thought of Tidal as a running joke. But they’re actually quite solid now, with some things that are ahead of the competition. I’d argue their “radio” that builds fixed playlists is a really great feature and tends to repeat artists/tracks less than some of their competition (but more than Roon Radio so far.) Knowing I’m not seeding that excellent engine that can show me new music is a big giant “don’t use Roon today” banner that will hang over my system if I do buy in.

Some of this, it’s possible it’s not in the Tidal API, specifically exposure to the “because you listened to” and “recommended tracks/playlists/albums/new releases for you”, it’s possible that’s just something built into their client player. But I know for certain My Mixes is available, other 3rd party players with weaker integration than Roon already have it, and I know for certain the ability to seed the Tidal algorithms exists since SONOS successfully does so (things I listen to in Sonos’ app shows up in Tidal’s “recently listened to”, while things I listen to in Roon do not. Of course, there’s no point displaying any of the recommendations/mixes if Roon isn’t feeding the recently played algorithm to generate them anyway…

I feel a little bad for Roon in this case. They’ve been working on their discovery for years only to be blindsided by Tidal finally dumping solid discovery features and a massive interface overhaul quietly in the middle of the night after seemingly sitting on their hands doing nothing for years. Qobuz needs Roon, but I still can’t really find much content at all on Qobuz to justify it compared to Tidal unless you’re really into high-res or really hate Meridian. :slight_smile:

I still have a Spotify membership that I’ll probably cancel. I haven’t used their radio in years but I do know it found me a lot of good music back some years ago, and I imagine it’s only better now, but I did get frustrated by it’s repeating of specific artists after a while. I have too many subs right now, even before maybe adding Roon sub/lifetime. Tidal, Qobuz (can’t imagine keeping it, it’s barren. I’d canceled, but re-upped just for my Roon trial thinking Roon Radio with both services would be amazing. In reality it picks stuff available in Tidal 98% of the time, because Qobuz mostly only has a Tidal subset for now.) Deezer, I might cancel. Their catalog is much better than Tidal, much more back catalog for overlapping artists, some more artists, and user created playlists. But their radio/mix/flow engine isn’t great - too many repeats, their software isn’t great, and no HiFi on mobile add up to frustration. For now Spotify and Apple compete for my “lossy service I can’t do without” business…and unfortunately though I like Spotify more, Apple’s catalog has a lot more back catalog in genres that matter to me (and is the only service to have it.) So I think Apple tops Spotify for me (for now, Spotify is improving in some of those areas.)

Roon is probably between a rock and a hard place with supporting Tidal’s features. They don’t want to undercut their own selling points, but at the same time, cutting features encourages not using Roon to begin wth if you can get different features only with Tidal’s app. I, personally, think Roon would be a better product with supporting the host service entirely, but I can see where maybe they want to try to force vendor lock with one or the other. Not sure it won’t backfire, but I can’ see why they’d have that inclination.

But at a minimum the in-Roon navigation features to help work around some of that would be a boon! Plus I feel like hearting-favoriting might just be flat out broken right now, rather than just a feature request. Maybe it’s SUPPOSED to work in multi-select like I requested already and just dosn’t. There’s no ability to heart in the Tidal pages, no ability to heart in the queue, no ability to heart in a playlist, it seems like I have to search for it and/or find it in the tracks/albums page to heart it. Even on pages like the queue that show the heart, I can’t interact with it, and for some reason they seem grayed out for Tidal tracks but not Qobuz tracks on the queue (but clicking on either does nothing, yet I can heart things in the tracks/albums pages.) So the heart/favorites thing might be partly a feature request, and partially a bug report. :thinking:

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They were smart here and just copied Spotify’s radio mode in this regard… If you think Tidal is good, Spotify is scary good these days (radio and their new Release Radar and Discovery Weekly playlists).

I’ve just been using Spotify these last ~4 months to see/hear how things have improved since I dumped it over 3 years ago when I got Roon + Tidal… it really is the gold standard in terms of recommendations and discovery. I’ve been running Apple Music in parallel to.

Roon Radio is very new. I expect it to improve but the experience for those listening to music where there is ‘low data’ (Roon’s words) like I listen to (R&B, Hip-Hop and electronic), may continue to struggle…

Maybe it’s best you don’t play with it then :grin:. I get over 300 new tracks recommended every week by Spotify and they are all good… hardly any get skipped. The biggest problem is finding time to listen to it all (a good problem to have).

Can you share some specific albums? Just out of interest only.

I imagine you have a varied taste in music genres like me but can you share what genres (and maybe specific artists) where Roon Radio has struggled for you but where Tidal has done better?

Radio for me has been a revelation and for the most gets it right and is getting better the more I use it. I’m starting to find Spotify ones a little repetitive and have too many repeated artists. It’s also not changing that much as it did.

I agree more discovery in Roon is needed from recommendation playlists, or popping up albums it thinks are to your tastes. I’m sure we will get there before long. I don’t really use Tidals app I got too frustrated with it years ago and only use Spotify on the go as it’s just better at caching songs ahead so when you loose mobile data it doesn’t drop out. Tidals app.was awful and could never listen on the way to work with our major dropouts and loss of music until I got a data connection again m

This is one of my few remaining frustrations with Roon. I add new tracks in Tidal where my favourite tracks are sorted by date added. Then I look in Roon and there is no option to sort in the same way! With favourite tracks I often can’t even remember the name. “That track I added last week…”. Please make the Tidal tracks view sortable by date added and by other normal attributes!

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One update on the general thread here: I actually was contacting Tidal about a support issue with their player regarding a volume issue (it still happens…that alone is nudging me toward buying Roon past the trial…though I do otherwise like Tidal’s player.) But I also asked them about Roon. (They have shockingly great support compared to most streaming services!) They advised me that what you play in Roon does affect the recommendations engine. In my observations, that has not been the case, but from Tidal’s perspective my request here for that is how they believe it’s already supposed to be working. So if it’s not, I don’t know if it’s a Tidal issue or Roon issue, but it might be a bug on one or the other, and not a “new feature.”

It’s nice to see others sharing similar thoughts on usage. It’s always fun with internet forums. There’s no presence of a specific thought, until one person mentions something, and then suddenly there’s a bunch of other people saying they’ve thought of the same thing before! My usage of “favorite tracks” is the same as yours, right down to “that track I added last week” - worse I like a lot of international music, some of which is in languages I don’t speak or have keyboard support for…never fun finding where that gets alphabetized by track name…:slight_smile:

I’m glad you said that. It confirms my expectation bias. :slight_smile: Sean’s praise of Spotify’s algorithms has convinced me to give it another serious spin before I cancel, and I remember it being reasonably good back in the day, but if I recall, it is as you said, the repeated artists/tracks started to bother me after a while. I’ve found Deezer is even worse with that (but their Flow version of Tidal’s “My Mixes” is pretty solid.) Tidal is “consistent”…it can repeat artists, but keeps variety good usually, and the fact that it generates a playlist before kicking into total random continuous mode helps it differentiate itself. Apple is more like Roon - it’s hit or miss depending on the seed you give it. I can get hours of unique music, or I can get the same 15 songs every time I run it. Roon’s is new, so it’ll take some time I think, especially for “low information” genres to see how it fleshes out. Weirdly I can take 3 albums in the same genre, one produces an error nothing is similar, one produces about 10 tracks from 3 artists before it runs out of stuff to find, and another can produce a deep radio station - that plays songs from the 2 artists it thought was unrelated. I’m curious what Qobuz will do. They can’t be the only streaming service to have zero recommendation and radio of any sort forever.

I like the feature that SiriusXM has (or used to have?) on their streaming app where there’s a slider to choose if you want more familiar tracks, a balance, or deeper tracks. It didn’t always work well because SXM’s app, especially back then, was/is garbage, but the idea was fantastic. My hope for Roon Radio is that it is, or defaults to the “deep tracks” behavior. I can’t tell for now if when it gives me depth it’s because it’s designed to, or it lost the thread and is accidentally excellent while running off the rails. I do like how in general, Roon, and Tidal radio will give me different stations for the same starting point. If Qobuz could boost their catalog (and fix their loudness metadata which is currently mostly missing), Roon Radio would be amazing being able to pull 2 services. I’d keep at least a lossy Qobuz subscription for that. Right now there’s not much there that’s not also on Tidal anyway.

I have a feeling given your electronic, R&B, hiphop genres, Spotify can do a little better because they’re mainstream genres (more or less) and a huge amount of the Spotify user base is going to be providing feedback. My listening habits go kind of off the rails in different directions. Even back a decade ago, Spotify did pretty well in some off the track genres. Better than most others. But once you go really off the rails, at least in the past, it struggled (all services struggle. Tidal at least just locks out the radio for albums it has nothing…which makes sense. Roon tries…and sometimes tries disastrously, sometimes almost comes out ok. You’ve convinced me to give it another try though!

I’d have to get back to you and do some library comparisons - I haven’t used Spotify in a while in terms of where Apple excels. I do recall it was mostly an issue of international labels, and back catalogues, live albums or albums from different labels of given artists where Apple has (near) complete career discographies, while Spotify has “most” of the stuff but missing important albums from 10+ years ago.

I think I’m aging in reverse. Normal audiophiles started with Hendrix and The Who, got over the hill, and switch to classical all day every day. I’m the inverse. When I was a kid I hated all modern music, and listened only to classical and “world” folk/traditional/folk-classical. When I got a little older I added jazz and “great American songbook”. And now I’ll listen to virtually everything except hip-hop. And where hip-hop is concerned even some of the k-pop variants of it I’m finding appealing. :slight_smile: Though my musical tastes are like a plague of locusts. I’ll discover a genre, consume all of it until there’s nothing to discover, then move onto a new one. Imagine what my Deezer “Flow” channel sounds like - from African drums, to Skrillex, to Telemann, to Coltrane, Bollywood, to Lee Hi. It’s the worst, most unflowing music experience possible.

So where I try to push the radio engines, Chinese Traditional - I finally discovered via genre radio that Roon can handle this! (It can’t handle sub-sub-genres though of specifically ensemble or erhu music.) Tidal can’t even start. No albums in the category have a radio option available. “Worldbeat” is similar. Brazilian samba as a genre is handled by both, but both end up with extremely different representations from different ends of the spectrum of the genre. Same with electronic “downtempo” - it depends how you seed it. If you start with, say, Galimatias, Tidal does excellent. Roon struggles mightily - I’d say the station is mostly garbage. Yet if you start with the album Unfold, Roon actually gets a better representation of the vibe (but starts falling into the trap of excessively playing anything with Alina Baraz…not as extreme as Deezer does though.) Using the k-pop example is interesting, in part because Tidal is very limited in catalog to begin wth, Roon is all over the place, while Tidal tends to heavily favor the hit machine. Roon mostly generates “there was an error” with a track seed, or ends up with WILDLY unrelated content, or in one case plays the girl group “Twice” every other track, then stops after 10 tracks. OTOH, if you give it the right album it finds tons of different stuff, veers into Chinese pop, some Japanese pop…held back more by Tidal’s limited Asia representation than by Roon Radio. But only one out of 6 albums attempts gets the good results.

That’s a VERY tricky genre to try. Qobuz has near-zero content. Tidal has more than I initially thought - but still very little real catalogue depth. Deezer has a little more, though not a ton. Spotify does massively better as of the past year or so, but only Apple has a pretty complete catalogue there. Things get worse if you hop over to Japan where virtually no content whatsoever exists on any service except Apple (Japan isn’t into streaming at all - their only major streaming service, Line Music, mostly just has the same catalogue as Tidal, which is to say, Western music…Apple struck deals because Apple hardware is so dominantly popular there. I doubt anyone else gets a foot in that door.) Where Roon breaks down totally (along with most other services) is the various world folk genres though. Feed it something major like Tourmani Diabate and it’ll be ok. Irish trad. is all over the place. Andes music is a no-go. Not unique to Roon, just an example of the very niche genres that will break streaming radio easily.

I find Tidal does better if I feed it, something that’s not hip-hop but my have a collab with a hip-hop artist or style. Tidal keeps the “vibe” in its playlist nicely, even if it’s not a playlist for me. Roon goes kind of berzerk. OTOH if you give it something that could in any way be associated with “urban music” but you don’t want that, Tidal always skews “urban” in results, while Roon is more balanced. (so far.)

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What you play in Roon does feed back to Tidal and effects your Tidal recommendations. It’s also shows up in what you have been playing.

Hmm, that’s interesting. That’s not working for me… I did think that’s how it’s supposed to work, and that’s how SONOS works. For me, what I play in Roon does not show up on my “recently played” at all, and my My Mixes update rate slowed down considerably after starting to use Roon. Only what I play in Tidal’s app does… So indeed that apparently isn’t a recommendation but a support/bug issue. Now I just need to figure out if it’s a Roon support or Tidal support issue.

(Also, I just spot checked Spotify…you’ve got it right - it’s still as I remember it. Using a few examples it repeats the same artists often like it’s just picking 5 CDs and running through them all like a disc carousel before moving onto new ones. It handled the Chinese trad example better than even Roon, but anything else is not great. Away it goes, and its free Hulu with it, unfortunately.)