After spending six hours yesterday trying to figure out where in the chain of my audio gear was causing newer version of “problem loading files” as soon as I try to play a song, I thought that maybe there could be a separate Roon software diagnostic tool (for phones) that analyzes your setup and guides you through the path to better connectivity. I suggested for phones as it could bounce between LTE and WiFi and Bluetooth to check things out, and many times, the current Roon Client software on laptop of phone can’t find the Roon Core server (music player).
During my methodical testing variables to get something working as we inch towards Thanksgiving dinner, I scaled back from using all my equipment and kept the system simple: Fios router with one wired music player (with Roon Core server), one speaker (both wired and wireless) and one laptop (both wired and wireless). I kept changing one thing at a time, like testing out the wired speaker and then trying it wireless, putting it on Fios router vs Asus AX-8 mesh router vs D-Link switch, but it still took six hours to get me to a semi-operable system with:
Fios router, Asus AX-8 mesh connected to Fios router, wired music player connected to AX-8, wired speaker connected to AX-8. OK, this is what makes sense should work, but it wouldn’t always work. It had me swapping out network cables in case they were flakey also.
Somehow, and I have no idea what made it so, I finally got two wired speakers and two wireless speakers working enough to play a few songs without skipping instead of immediately bombing out. After awhile ,instead of skipping, it would stop playing.
Since the main AX-8 mesh router (I have a very strong mesh WiFi signal in house with 4 other AX-8 units) connected to the Fios router only has 3 ports after the WAN port is connected to the Fios router, of course I progressed to adding my switch off the main AX-8 unit. As soon as I did that, placing one component at a time (and eventually everything else) on switch, continual problems arose, like file loading issues or Roon client software on laptop or phone couldn’t see the Core Server software on the music player, or couldn’t find the speakers.
In a multi-level house where you have to rely on WiFi, a strong mesh is almost a given necessity. With the partner factor to keep in mind (it’s her house), I can’t have wires strung inside walls or snake outside baseboards.
Anyway, very frustrating. The reason I suggest an app just for testing out the strength of the Roon audio system’s connectivity is because when I would get the Roon client on the laptop to see the music player and I needed to then select an audio zone (if I was lucky enough to get any speaker showing), I’d see confusing things like under Other Devices, Airplay options of the same speakers would be indicated (although they didn’t work when I accidently selected them). Why do I have these Airplay options showing? I don’t and would never have any Apple devices in the house. Just added to more confusion for me.
I have had slowly loading audio file issues with Roon for over two years. Having two music players and one NAS that all have Roon Core server installed (I own two lifetime licenses, but in the house, never have more than one in use), I have even more options to rty when things wouldn’t work. The reason I spent so much time yesterday trying to get this working again is because over the last month, rather than it playing a few songs and jumping to the next song mid-way, it would never start playing at all. I’d select Play and the too many files having problems loading would pop up. The only variable I can think of over the last month was finally installing Roon 2.8 software.
I have a new switch coming in, am testing new speakers, will replace all cables, so this is more of a suggestion for a diagnostic app than it is trying to ask for help, lol.