Consequences of streaming library only?


My days of maintaining a local music library are long gone and I can’t remember the last time I purchased any music.

However it remains in place on a NAS, backed up, and backed up into the cloud but I never use it, if forms the basis of the music I liked but all actions to the collection are done on Apple Music.

I have Apple Music as a mobile provider for phone, Sonos and CarPlay, Qobuz is my feed for Roon.

I’m thinking of approaching this like @Jim_F and just having online music libraries.

I’m thinking of transferring all my albums from Apple Music over to Qobuz using Soundiiz.

Other than loss of service due to internet issues, any other downsides from a Roon perspective I should be aware of?

My database is fairly new so I’m not concerned with play counts etc, I’m happy to be starting again as a retirement project and start to build up my online library.

Cheers Phil

Roon will neither help you to play music through your phone (unless wifi) and nor supports Carplay.

I know that which is why I plan to replicate my local library collection with online versions to create online streaming versions only.

One possible downside to having a music library based solely on an Internet music service is if the service loses the rights to some of the music. From what I’ve experienced thus far this issue does not seem to be a problem with the various Internet music services. In other words once the item (album or collection) is available on a given music service, it stays available.

The same cannot be said for the various video streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Apple, etc.). As I like to say “where Harry Potter this month?” As things now stand the video streaming services are a complete mess.

The reason I use streaming only is because I don’t own any music files of my own. I owned a lot of LP’s as a kid, but over the years those somehow got lost or whatever. If I was you, I would hang on to your music library since you have it. However, if you don’t want to use it right now, you can disconnect your drive from Roon and use streaming only.

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I agree hang on to it, storage is cheap.

Regarding streaming only: (1) the Internet DOES go out sometimes…(2) in my experience the loss of titles in the streaming services is a real issue. It may be true that whatever catalog number is deleted, another replaces it, but that doesn’t put it back in your favorites or re-sync playlists or tags, etc., and so it is a force of entropy.

That entropy doesn’t happen to the extent of your local collection. To me, that is worth it right there.


Well I’ve done it all my library is now a Qobuz favourite.
Lost a few albums that I’m not that bothered about, still have all the files on my NAS nicely backed up.

It’s kind of liberating not having to manage files and folders and tags etc.

The other element is it gets rid of this whole Mobile Roon issue, my music is my Qobuz music on any device I want to use and where I want to use it.

Might not suit everyone but for me it works and sounds wonderful.


That certainly works for me. Tidal plus Qobuz plus lots of Verizon data for when I travel. I just upped my Verizon plan to 50gb and 30gb hotspot and got Audirvana for away from home use. I also activated another 30gb data and hotspot data on my iPad Mini 4. Verizon gives me free Apple Music which works well with Carplay. With this Verizon plan I also get free Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+.

Yea Qobuz does not work that well in the car, I’ve kept my Apple Music and the car has wireless CarPlay which gets lots of use.

I don’t have any problems with Qobuz in the car, but I’ve had to reduce the bit rate (I have sublime) in some areas with weak cell coverage to keep the music playing. Same with Tidal.

Since I have free Apple Music, I find it easy to use that with Carplay. I keep Apple Music in sync with Qobuz and Tidal using the free TuneMyMusic app. I leave my iPhone Tidal and Qobuz streaming on the highest resolution for use with headphones walking my dog, etc.

Unfortunately that is not true. I only have apr. 1000 Tidal albums in my library and each month 1 or 2 of them are not longer available. And ~3 others were replaced by other versions, so I have to readd them and loose all my edits, play count and favorites. This is really frustrating.

There is no way around the fact that something you listen to today in a music streaming service (or watch through a move service) might disappear tomorrow. Every service has fixed length licensing deals that have to be renewed and when that time comes the owner of the content may choose not to license the exact same set of content or might have even lost the right to continue to license some of it themselves (artists change labels all the time). And a music service will have literally dozens if not hundreds of licensing deals that make up their catalog so there is a constantly changing set of content in any service. If you want to be absolutely guaranteed what you have today in a service will be available tomorrow, buy it.


I have a total of 2117 linked albums in Tidal and Qobuz as on now. I don’t have any that I consider critical. My days of buying music ended 40 years ago. I have one 4K DVD that I bought to try out my Oppo 203 that I’ve watched a couple of times. That reminds me, I need to list that DVD on eBay.

This is really helpful to know. I didn’t appreciate the nitty gritty. Thanks for sharing that information.

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It’s all largely irrelevant unless you just listen to the same music and I bet most of what people have in collections is largely not played.

Yes you could buy it, but if the house burns down or you don’t have a back up it’s gone.

Either way you’d just find something else to listen to.
It’s not the end of the world.


I, basically, do this now except I’m not adding much (or anything) to my library from streaming. If I feel that strongly about something I do buy it (4 albums a year maybe?).

Away from Roon I use the native apps and that, usually, gives me something “new” as I can dip into My Mix or some Spotify personalized playlist. But, at home I primarily listen to albums and away from home I prefer curated (by human or machine) playlists. I’m not looking to “own” a large collection I just want access to a large collection and streaming works for that. I rarely “browse” outside of New Releases so search is my friend. Not only am I abandoning the jewel cases I’ve also abandoned the endless flipping of a “virtualized” bookshelf of album covers. Search, click, listen.

Are there consequences? What are your listening habits? How do you want to find your music?

I have found, potentially, one downside. There are a few areas of Roon which seem to only work off your local DB (like Discovery and Focus). So, if these areas of Roon become critical to you then, without the security of “ownership”, these areas of the software can shift over time. It’s also why I rarely use these features in Roon. I know what’s in my collection… I’m more interested in finding related artists and connections I don’t know about and all that works fine streaming only. It even works when the artists / albums are not in your library. In my situation, I’d be perfectly fine having a library of 0. But, I keep the 1000+ ripped CDs in the library for the nostalgia of it all.

I agree. I use Tidal on Roon at home, and Apple Music on CarPlay in the car. It’s so nice not fussing around with folder structures, tagging, and so on.

Wouldn’t it likely be more cost efficient to wait until an album disappears from the streaming service, and then buy it, rather than buying all of your music in anticipation that it MIGHT disappear from the streaming service?

If it’s not a rude question, how much does all that data cost in the US,our mobile data prices are such that I couldn’t even contemplate

I have a 20 MHz uncapped fibre line to the house costing R 1000 a month ($65)