DirectoryNotReady errors in Storage Settings


Well, I thought my issues were all resolved last week and I had a few good days of trouble-free performance. Today, I ran into some very strange problems and so I call on you once again to help.

After not using Roon for about 48 hours, I opened it up today and went to play a playlist. Roon would not play the list but instead lingered for about a half second on each song on the playlist as if it were going to start playing the song, but then moved on to the next song in the playlist, and so on. Roon thus cycled through a 25-song playlist in under 30 seconds without actually playing anything. The same thing happened when I tried to play an album. The first song would appear at the bottom, with the usual indicators of a light next to the song and the bar that moves across the screen as the song plays indicating volume levels. But that lasts only for a half second or so and the next song appears, until the album or playlist is exhausted.

I tried shutting Roon down and reopening it and that didn’t work. I then tried shutting my laptop Core machine down and restarting it and that did not work. So I tried shutting down my iMac, where my external USB hard drive that contains my music resides. When I restarted the iMac I noticed that my two big music libraries said “DirectoryNotReady” in the Storage settings. NOTE: I had not made any changes to my Storage settings before the DirectoryNotReady label appeared. I had simply turned Roon on and off and turned computers on and off. So I’m confused why this happened.

After it happened, I assumed I was dealing with a Storage problem and I flailed about, probably complicating and messing things up further by removing those two music libraries and trying to add them back through Storage. That didn’t work and now all of the files in those two main libraries are “Unavailable” and I don’t know how to make Roon see the folders containing this music again.

But the really weird thing is that even the Tidal files and albums that still show up in my playlists and in my library are subject to the dreaded half second appearance/disappearance phenomenon described above. So I don’t think this is just a Storage problem.

I do have a backup that I made this morning before I noticed anything was amiss. Maybe that can be used to get my Storage settings back in order. But I have no idea why even Tidal files won’t play.

I thought we had resolved all issues last week and I’m sorry to dredge more issues up. I would be open to moving my USB hard drive back to being attached to my laptop Core machine, even though I would prefer that it be out of the listening room and attached to my iMac. But if network issues are part of the problem and moving my music files so that they are directly connected to the Core machine makes things easier, I’d be open to that suggestion.

Please help!



I have an update and I feel like (and probably am) a complete idiot. It turns out that my Tidal music plays just fine – it helps if you actually turn on your DAC to play music. Doh!!!

Ok, so I’m back to the Storage problem. I have no idea why my two main folders had the dreaded “DirectoryNotReady” label. And then I probably messed things up further by removing those folders from my library completely. So I’m hoping you will kindly guide me through the process of getting those folders back in action. And, as I said above, I am willing to move the location of those folders, and the hard drive they are on, so that they are directly connected to my laptop Core machine, if that will improve the odds of keeping the folders accessible at all times.


I am waiting patiently, nearly two days now, for your response. Based on our experience last week, I am thinking that we might need to use a backup of the database so that we can see the two folders where my music resides (Music and DSD). Currently, those folders do not appear because I removed them. I am assuming that running a backup will make them appear and then we can follow the procedures we used last week.

In other words, after running the backup, I would click the three dots menu next to the storage location, click Edit, then Browse. If I am going to move my external hard drive so that it is connected to my laptop Core machine, I would browse to that location and save that folder and Roon should begin importing my music.

I have a couple questions. First, if I am going to use a backup, I assume I could use the backup I created with Roon’s backup setting on Monday, just before my Storage settings were messed up again. The last time we used a backup, I had saved a copy of the whole Roon database folder. This time, the backup folder structure looks different:

Should I just insert the folder that I saved on Monday, February 13, in the same location where my Roon folder is located on my Core machine, after moving that folder to another location and renaming it? In other words, should I follow the procedure we used last week but simply substitute the folder that is currently named backup_20170213173801_d7a94b78-dfb8-47a0-919a-00f9fc7f8fe5?

Second, assuming that I move my external hard drive with my music folders so that it is directly connected to my laptop Core machine, will I see those folders when I use the Browse function when I’m attempting to add or save those folders? The last time I did this I had to use the Add Network Share and I typed in the IP address for the music folders. This time, will I be able to see these folders if they are on a hard drive connected to my Core machine?

@Mike, I am waiting for your guidance . . .

This is my fourth request for help in four days – and not a peep from the Roon team? Is anyone home? @Mike? @support?

The lack of any response does not inspire confidence . . .

[quote=“alwayslearning, post:33, topic:19940”]
Yes, you can now take the rest of the week off …
[/quote]May be he did? :wink: I’ll see if I can get someone’s attention.

I appreciate the humor and I also appreciate any attempts you can make to get someone’s attention. My opinion of Roon’s customer service is going downhill rather rapidly . . .

Hi @alwayslearning – apologies for the slow response here. I’ve split these posts out so we can track this issue in a new thread.

Can you try the following:

  • Make a backup
  • Go to the storage device with the DirectoryNotReady status
  • Click Edit and simply confirm you can navigate to the same folder using Roon’s file browser
  • Save the changes
  • Repeat for any other storage devices with the DirectoryNotReady status
  • Confirm whether things are better, worse, or the same

I have a theory about what may be going on here, so I’m going to confer with the developers that own this code while you try that.

Let me know how it goes. Thanks!


I don’t think you read my posts correctly. The folders with the DirectoryNotReady status have been removed. So, unless I am misunderstanding your directions, I cannot “go to the Storage device with the DirectoryNotReady status” (step #2 in your directions). Those folders are gone (removed) in the current version of my database. Here is what I see in my Storage settings right now:

To recap, here is what happened:

  1. I tried to play music and Roon cycled through albums and playlists without playing any music. It apparently did this because I had failed to turn the power to my DAC on.
  2. I didn’t realize I had failed to turn my DAC on and so I thought Roon was having problems locating my music folders; I thought Roon might recognize the folders if I shut down the computer (iMac) to which my external hard drive containing my music folders was attached and then turn that computer and hard drive back on.
  3. After I shut down the iMac and turned it back on, that’s when I got the DirectoryNotReady status; it would appear that, when I shut down the iMac and hard drive, Roon Core (my laptop) somehow lost the connection it had with the music folders residing elsewhere on my network. This suggests to me that this connection was not very stable.
  4. When I saw the DirectoryNotReady message, I (mistakenly) thought I could just remove the folders with this status and then add them again. That didn’t work.
  5. That’s where I am now: the folders containing the vast majority of my music don’t appear in the Storage settings because I removed them and I don’t know how to get them back.

But I do have a backup that I made the morning before all of this started, so my assumption has been that if I revert to that backup, the folders containing my music will reappear and I can then edit them. In light of the apparent fact that Roon has had problems recognizing the external hard drive on my network, I’m thinking I should move my hard drive so that it is directly connected to my Roon Core machine.

So what I think I need from you is step-by-step instructions on how to revert to the backup (see screenshot of my backup in my earlier post) and then navigate through the Storage settings so that Roon will recognize the new location of my external hard drive.

Can you help?

Hi Jon,

I suspect you’re still in good shape here – as I mentioned in the other thread, the cardinal rule is this:

At this point, it sounds like your storage devices went offline and you removed them but I don’t have any sense that they’ve been added twice at the same time. So, you should be all set here. I suspect all you need to do is add them again and everything should be fine.

That said, I should mention that we’ve seen a lot of issues related to the storage configuration you’re running here, as it depends on Apple’s implementation of SMB network storage. In general, network storage is going to be more complex and less reliable than storage attached directly to your Core, and while there are configurations where network storage works great, we’ve found Apple’s implementation to be less reliable than most.

Is there any reason not to run both the Core and the storage device on the same machine? I think that might eliminate some of these network storage-related issues.

My only question would be the iTunes import I noticed in your screenshot – are you depending on iTunes for access to your playlists? That might complicate things slightly, but nothing insurmountable.

And just to reiterate – since you said you had a backup from when things were working, my recommendation for now would be to simply add the folders (either as a local folder if Core + storage are on the same machine, or as network storage) and see how it goes.

Let me know how it goes @alwayslearning!


Good news: I was able to restore the backup I had made just prior to these problems. My old music folders popped up in the Storage settings and so I Disabled them. Then I moved my hard drive with the music folders so that the hard drive is now directly attached as local storage to my Roon Core machine (MacBook Pro). I then clicked on Edit next to each disabled music folder and was able to easily browse to the newly located music folders on the hard drive attached to my Core machine. Then I need to Enable and Save those music folders and, voila, my music was scanned and reimported in no time. All playlists are in good shape.

I do have a few observations and critiques regarding this problem-solving process over the last week:

  1. I first posted my request for help from Roon support on Monday. I posted additional requests for help on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings but did not hear back from Roon support until Thursday afternoon. That’s just not acceptable in my book.

  2. I’m wondering if developers at Roon can try to make it easier to locate music storage at different places on the network for Apple OS users. @Mike notes above that network storage is more complex and less stable when depending on Apple’s implementation of SMB network storage. There are, however, important sonic reasons why one might NOT want to use local storage. First, locating a mechanically noisy, spinning hard drive in the listening room adds physical noise where you don’t want it. It can also take up valuable shelf space. Second, the process of reading from files attached locally can be harmful to fidelity because the voltage swings when reading from local drives can introduce noise. That’s why a high fidelity device like the Sonore microRendu does not offer support for local drives. Local drives also require additional power, which could mean introducing an electrically noisy SMPS power supply on the same circuit as other sensitive audio gear, another practice to be avoided if possible. So, all things being equal, my bias is to separate hard drives physically from the computer tasked with streaming. With Roon and Apple, it would appear that all things are not equal. But if Roon can improve the stability of this scenario, it would benefit everyone.

Thanks for helping and considering these observations.

Thanks for the feedback Jon, and again apologies for the delay.

Your point is well taken here, and generally speaking our architecture is designed with similar goals in mind.

That said, moving the storage away from your audio devices is really only half the story, and our architecture is designed to allow you to move all the noisy electrical interference far away from where your audio is being rendered. That’s why a device like the MicroRendu doesn’t support storage or Core functionality – just audio. (More info on our architecture here and here, although that 2nd one is a bit out of date).

Separating your storage device from the Core may or may not impact sound quality, but in my opinion, depending on OSX’s SMB implementation (as opposed to using a Synology or QNAP NAS, for example) is more headache than it’s worth.