I’ve recently download Roon, and I’m tempted to transition to Roon entirely – but have a few hesitations before I recommit a large amount of time and effort to the process. My current setup is iTunes + Pure Music on a Mac, a large-ish library (about 8,000 albums), and a couple hundred ripped SACD’s as DSF files. The biggest reason I’ve stuck with iTunes all these years is it’s staying power -software platforms often fall out of favor or are discontinued, but that seems very unlikely with iTunes. Given the hours and hours I’ve spent with ripping/editing/rating/playlists/etc - I wanted to make sure the time was spent on a platform that wouldn’t “disappear”. I also use other Apple products, so I need iTunes to sync to my phone and watch anyway. I also currently have a hi-res and lossy version of all albums, with the lossy version “unchecked” in iTunes but used for my phone playlists, etc
I’m intrigued that Roon could potentially be a unifying solution for me … but my first question involves it’s staying power – obviously no one can predict the future, but does Roon seem like something that will be around in 5-10 years, i.e. something I can COMMIT many hours to again? The things that like about it:
-More visually appealing and better interface/experience than iTunes
-no need for another program to “piggyback” on iTunes (i.e. pure music) to ensure audiophile playback
-integration with HQplayer
-No need to have 2 copies of every album, as Roon plays the appropriate output based on the device its using
-Long term solution? Even though in theory Roon can just monitor my existing iTunes directory- in practice, there will be a lot of time and effort to get Roon customized the way I want it. Maybe not as much time as my initial iTunes setup, but still a lot of time. As I mentioned above i would really regret COMMITTING to this, given that I already have a functional existing setup, only to find that Roon ceases to exist in a couple of years
-Another big appeal of Roon is its premise as a single unifying solution, without the need for “jerry-rigged” solutions (i.e. pure music, keeping a lossy copy for mobile devices, etc). For this to be true, Roon would have to a) play music directly from my iPhone (rather than just being a remote) and b) be able to do that remotely (i.e. away from my local network - stream to my phone). After reviewing the forums here, it seems like both of those solutions may be on the horizon … but of course, no promises, no concrete idea of how soon, etc etc.
-Same thing with track ratings
Am I missing anything? Anyone else with similar concerns? Feedback? Thanks!
PS my initial thought was to start using Roon, while also continuing to add new music and mirror all edits to iTunes as well … for some amount of time, until the above issues sort themselves out. It might be a little extra work, but not too much as the library is essentially “groomed” already. It would be like insurance, should things not work out the way I like with Roon …
I absolutely hate iTunes. Despise it. I would normally recommend anyone move away from it…
Playing music on your iDevices is important so until Roon implements the ability to do it I would stay with your current solution. Unfortunately the music playback on iDevices is currently out of the hands of the Roon team so there is no concrete when or if it will be fixed and implemented.
TBH there’s no one that could give you a definitive answer to this. Life’s uncertain. As an educated guess I’d say it’s incredibly unlikely Roon wouldn’t be here in two years, but… we could all be wiped out by an asteroid in that period, who knows what’s coming…
The more important question is would you enjoy your two years out of it, bearing in mind the time investment you put in. In my case, it’s very much a yes.
The idevices may be more of an issue for you. Certainly you’d probably want iTunes running alongside for that purpose until the iOS playback situ is resolved. Many of us just keep out iTunes structure in place for this purpose, but to be honest I’m so lazy I rarely put music on my phone now and default to Tidal on the move. I do hope that changes in the future
I know Roon isn’t going to make a promise with regard to iOS playback … but I guess my question is, the general sense here is it’s going to happen sooner or later? Both local network and remotely streaming?
But … I recently left iTunes and Pure Music … now on ROON and
a lifetime subscription … cannot tell you how easy the transition was
from iTunes … it is a watched folder and everything came across …
a couple of albums split but found a way to recombine them.
NEVER had an interest in streaming music and now I use Tidal
as a trial for all those albums that might be good enough …
The metadata and ability to jump from one performer to another who
appeared on an album is unreal …
Custom artwork may take some time but as you have found the majority of the files
making it work should be easy at this point.
Did I mention getting rid of Apple’s ridiculously low streaming settings with Airplay?
After committing I spent 12 hours pulling Cat 6 cable through my attic to my main stereo
in the living room … the difference in sound quality was that big.
I now have multiple sites in the house to stream with ROON … it recognizes them all and
plays at the peak resolution of each DAC or end device. DSF files sound better than I ever heard
them on Pure Music …
Chord Mojo … Apogee Duet … OPPO 105 D … Spectral and Chord pre and amp … cannot imagine
The interface is great and very easy to work with.
I made the transition immediately prior to 1.3 and have been pleased that I have had very few issues with
If you keep the files in iTunes as a watched folder if you decide to leave ROON you have only lost the time
and initial expense in setting up. Should be possible to return … not sure I would want to face that.
Personally I download high-resolution files on the iPhone and use Kaisertone to output to the Chord Mojo …
it rivals my home system for sound quality. Not sure I would give that up to stream to the device … as the battery
life is a bit limited anyway. Better on airplane mode playing through the DAC.
This is my first post … I usually do not comment but I do feel this is a great software and it answers the majority of
my desires and needs.
I switched from iTunes to Roon about 6months ago. Very easy, not regretted for one minute.
About 6,500 CDs - 80% of which were identified in Roon - many of those not identified were live recordings which I wouldn’t have expected Roon to recognise anyway (including some box sets which I had split into individual CDs so that they could be ordered by date of performance. Tagged them as UID_LIVE so that I could filter them out and then look at other albums that were not identified initially.
I still use iTunes to rip data from CDs and/or set tags on downloaded purchases. Main reasons for this are (a) I know iTunes well (b) I use utilities (Dog Scripts) to consistently name files (Album Artist - Album - Disc - Track - Song). I then copy processed files into a Roon watched folder.
Tags that can be set in Roon far surpass iTunes (e.g. recording date as well as original and actual issue dates).
I did think, initially, that it would be useful to still have iTunes library as a ‘fallback’. Whilst I could still do that I’ve never needed to do so and can’t see that I ever will.
I didn’t - there was no way for iTunes to display that sort of info, so I entered it in the comment field of the tag (as an example, for a particular Genesis album, I have “1986 Japanese Charisma ‘Black Triangle’ release (28VD-1030-31)” listed in the comment field). The best I could do in iTunes was make sure the appropriate cover art was displayed for this specific release. Part of the appeal of Roon is a better visual/informational experience - but to accomplish that I’d need to sort the info in the comment field into the specific fields on the tag (from the example above: release year - 1986, release country - japan, etc etc etc). On first pass, I found Roon didn’t do a great job with some of the more “obscure” releases/versions. I may be willing to put in the effort, but that is part of the debate I was thinking about, as to will it ultimately worth my time?
Agreed. Without Tidal integration with Roon, the OP’s issue would be my issue and a deal-breaker. Having some sort of sync across my devices at home and away has become incredibly important to me. Like eating and sleeping.
I’m so confident in the Roon+Tidal combo that I am painstakingly going through all of my iTunes albums and tracks and finding the matching albums and tracks in Tidal. I’m also painstakingly tagging and rating all those new Tidal tracks to match my ratings in iTunes: 1-star tracks in iTunes get a 1-STAR tag in Roon, and so on all the way up to 5-STAR. I’m also grouping my 4- and 5-STAR tags as “favorites” in Roon and “banning” my 1- and 2-STAR tracks. My 3-star tracks from iTunes are neither favorited nor banned.
This was my thinking when I subscribed to Roon about a year-and-a-half ago. iTunes and Roon coexist very well on my system. (iMac remote & MacMini Core) They often are running - but not playing - at the same time.
When I rip a CD I add it to the iTunes library. If it doesn’t display correctly in iTunes, it probably won’t in Roon. This is particularly true in compilation/soundtrack albums and albums with a number of artists contributing to the main artist.
Roon doesn’t edit our libraries in any way. Therefore, I am very comfortable using both and plan to for the foreseeable future. iTunes is a pretty good metadata editor and it has features Roon may not ever have. It is also a handy, widely-used player that often makes troubleshooting a player/dac setup easier.
I suggest continuing doing what you’re doing using iTunes. Use Roon to listen and read about artists and albums. There is no rule that one should supercede the other.