Can I play Tidal via Roon client only?


I have been looking for Roon but have not tested it yet. I have one question concerning the setup

We play music in three different places via three computers

Living room – Mac, Tidal only
My home office room – Windows, Tidal and Flac files
My wifes home office room – Mac, Tidal only

Very likely the Windows computer in my home office would be the Roon server. However, I do not want to keep it on all the time. Most of the times I play music in the living room only and via Tidal only

Question: Can I play Tidal via Roon client only?

How would you arrange the setup? Usually we play music in one place only but sometimes it would be nice to play multiroom

The server has to be on whenever you want to play music. Even music from Tidal. The server is what plays the music (sends it to endpoints) The remotes (clients) connect to the server and you select from there and tell the server what to play. The server manages your library of local and tidal tracks that you select from.

See this for more information.

Thank you for the fast reply.

I understand the main architecture, in my case the problem is that I normally do not have any of the computers on all the time and powering on/off would require running back and forth to upstairs or downstairs. Using client only would have been one alternative, even if it would sacrifice some functionality.

Can the server role be moved/swapped between different computers and can the database be located in a NAS or alternatively in cloud, example in Dropbox? That would enable me to play in the living room using the Mac as the server, then next time in my home office with the Windows computer just swap the role from client to server.

Could that work?

How about the cloud alternative for database? Any experience on that? Maybe it would create too much latency?

No the database has to be on he same machine as the server.

You can swap the server between different machines but you would have separate databases on each machine.

That won’t work: while you can switch core duties quite easily between systems, the database is local to the core. Keeping things in sync will be a nightmare. As for running from the cloud: since there’s lots of reads/writes to/from the database all the time, that would give very slow performance.

In your scenario you’re best served by tucking away a dedicated Roon core in a cupboard somewhere (think along the lines of a small NUC running Linux). It’s pretty much ‘set and forget’ afterwards and available anywhere all the time.

Ok, good to know.

Having three computers with different databases would not be a problem, actually it would be a good alternative as my wife and I play different type of music and thus database content can be different.

How is the Roon license measured - is it per server or per household? Do I need to swap the server role every time or how would that work?

Licensed per server. My hunch is you’re going to make your life a lot more complIcated (and expensive) than it needs to be with your suggested route. When set up as designed, Roon is simple, seamless and reliable. :slight_smile:

You and your wife can have different accounts on the same license/server and can each set things up to suit your different preferences. You just need to keep one of your machines on all the time as the server or as others have suggested get a dedicated nuc that is on all the time to run the server.

You didn’t say which NAS you have. Many folks here including me have installed the Roon Server on a NAS and no longer need to worry about the Roon software running on a computer. Just a thought.

Hello John,

I have two NAS devices, they are both retired as I use cloud (=Tidal) or local disc in my work room to play music.

The other one is D-Link 323 and it works pretty well for general purposes. The other one is Seagate GoFlex Home but it does not work too well - very often it can not be found from the local network.

I have now started with the Roon trial and will test it. Very likely my setup will be so that the server will be the Windows PC in my work room as that is where I might explore new music and in the living room will likely play plain Tidal via Mac as I usually just play my playlists in my living room and do not look for anything new.

Naturally will install the agents to all computers so that can use multiroom functionality. In that case I naturally need to have the server up and running.

If I fall in love with Roon I might look for the NAS alternative as the hw is there, even if I doubt if the performance is suitable for Roon and especially would require some tailoring

Those NAS devices are not going to be able to host the Roon server. You are going to have to run Roon on a PC for the clients to have access. I know it’s not your ideal scenario but it is your best option. I first did the 30 day trail and liked it. Then I took a one year subscription and began to love it the more I used it. I then converted to a lifetime membership because now I cannot imagine living without it. Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

1 Like