Does Roon care about non-streamers anymore?

Whether one is using streaming services to discover new music or not is a matter of personal preferences.
Calling this lazy or not open-minded is insulting.


I started my local digital music collection some 15 years ago. I bought a NAS from Linn with all their digital music in high res. Think it was 2005. It cost a fortune back then. The NAS was so loud that you barely could listen to the music when you had it all in one room. So I started networking my house. My collection evolved big time from there.
2013 I started subscribing to Qobuz and I started buying less. Then 2015 came Roon. With the integration of Qobuz into Roon my purchases of digital music dropped by a large fraction.
All my “music discoveries” come from a streaming service nowadays. That changed my “music live” completely. Maintenance of various NAS is a true PITA. Would I have started my “digital” collection back then with all the streaming services available today? The answer is: NO

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That’s fine, and you are free to do so, and Roon will continue to support you.

This topic was created because of the repeated incorrect message that we do not support users who have no streaming service in Roon.

But please don’t whine (not saying you do, but others with your position do) when we release great new features that don’t apply to you. Roon has always been for local libraries enhanced by streaming and it will continue to be that.


I never said that. You put words in my mouth and that is insulting.

I said that it’s lazy and not open-minded to think that all new music is bad or “pop”.

What I did say about streaming is: if you do not stream, you are a dinosaur. There is no arguing that the world will evolve past your use case. It’s okay to be a dinosaur, but just don’t whine when the world leaves you behind.


A post was merged into an existing topic: We want your ideas for Playlists!

I’ve cleaned up this thread to stay on topic (does Roon care about non-streamers?). Whether you stream or not is your choice and irrelevant to this thread. The matter is whether Roon cares about non-streamers or not.

I replied to @Speed_Racer only to have a public statement from our team in regards to the noise he and a handful of others are making about how we are not adding any new features applicable to non-streamers.

The reason this thing about non-streamers being dinosaurs came up is because Roon will continue to push forward in interesting ways for streamers faster than non-streamers. This is because the potential is greater with streaming.

I’m guessing that a lot of the noise is from non-streamers who feel left out when they see really cool streaming-only features. Easy solution to that problem: break your personal barriers down and start to stream! No one is saying to get rid of your local content… only to augment it!


Really liking the direction Roon is going with streaming services and agree that’s the future. I’m discovering and exploring more music than what was possible just a few years ago. Also building a broader catalog in my virtual library with Tidal and Qobuz. If you used to buy an album or two a month you can now get millions of albums spending even less with a service like Tidal or Qobuz. There’s no better time to be an audiophile.

Just today I was listening to one of my Pandora channels when a John Mayer song came up and grabbed my attention. I brought up Roon, did a search for John Mayer, and started playing. Simple click to add the album to my collection for future enjoyment.

Roon makes it super easy to do all this. Okay, the Pandora thing doesn’t work in Roon. From my experience Roon+Tidal+Qobuz definitely does not come close Pandora’s recommendation engine with my Pandora stations. Hoping Roon adds Pandora or gets better quickly on that front.


2008’sh – purchased a Slim Devices/Logitech Transporter. Game changing…but only after painfully ripping 100’s of CDs… Frustrating software.

2015 – discovered and started paying for both Spotify and Tidal. AMAZING – the ability to listen and explore so much music still boggles my mind. Integrated Tidal into LMS and that was transformative too, but software still lacked.

2016 – Quick trial of Roon and I purchased a Lifetime Subscription without thinking twice. Just to control the Transporter and replace LMS. And soon came Allo and the Rasberry Pi as Roon Endpoints!

2017-20 – I stopped buying music once I was happy that Tidal was a realistic alternative. Ignored the silly MQA Debate. Overlapped with Qobuz for a bit, and then retired my Tidal Subscription. I keep Spotify also because of the family.

FUTURE? – I can’t believe I am alone in the above scenario, and I bet it is quite common among Roon users. The World of hi-fi music listening had a reckoning with Slim Devices and then another one with Tidal/Qobuz. I no longer purchase any music. I still use Roon – but I would argue the future growth of Roon is about integration and Streaming, and hopefully creating offline mobile device solutions. Again, complete integration.

What I am looking for? Roon should buy Soundiiz or come with a solution for background syncing of playlists within Roon and outside vendors like Qobuz/Tidal. Right now I use Roon for listening and exploring, but use Qobuz and occasionally Spotify for building up playlists, and Soundiiz to keep things synced (helped me end Tidal).


I dunno danny, you could have struck a nicer tone in this thread. As a newcomer in the Roon trial period this isn’t particularly apealing. If you want to be heard, don’t call customers or potential customers dinosaurs, lazy, or closed-minded even if you somehow think they are in the wrong – those kinds of personal attacks are not productive and totally unnecessary. Suggestion: stick to the facts about the features Roon provides, and the goals for future development, and why you think that will appeal to most people. You’ll never please everybody so why try.


I have been collecting music for 60 years and have been digitizing my music collection for 20. Roon tells me I have nearly 7,000 albums. I still add new music of many genres. Roon has increased my enjoyment immensely by providing the metadata for my collection that finally allows me to surf things I forgot I had and find out things about the music I didn’t know.


You have made it clear that if a feature does not benefit streamers, you guys aren’t really all that interested in looking at it. Based on what I quoted, I am guessing we are never going to see “really cool local library-only features”, are we??

You might say that you care about people with large local libraries only. But, most of your words and actions tell me that streaming is what you really care about.

By the way, when I first started using Roon, all you had was Tidal and streaming was not presented as the only or even best way to use Roon. It was just another feature.


Probably not… There’s only so much you can do with files and tags and a limited library of content that is unique to each user. This is what I mean when I say that the future is streaming. We will continue to support files as well as we can, but major innovation will always move towards streaming because that’s where the music is.

As for features like playlists and box sets, those apply to streamers as well because streams can also add streaming content to their library.

Then, either you can’t read or you’re choosing to be stubborn.

We had a working Roon without TIDAL in January 2015. We held up launch until May 2015 until we had TIDAL support. It’s always been there from the start and been a core value of Roon. The fact that you can’t remember the past correctly doesn’t mean you get to rewrite it.


Multiple times I’ve said it’s okay to be a dinosaur. It just means that the product will evolve, like the world, and leave you behind. It’s not an attack, it is reality.

I personally refuse to upgrade Mac OS unless I end up with a new laptop. It also makes me a dinosaur in that regard. But I don’t go whining when Apple does things that only work on their newer operating systems.

As for “lazy and unopened minded”, but if someone thinks that all new/modern music is pop, hip hop, and rap, then I hold my position and repeat that they are lazy and unopen-minded. If that offends someone, tough.

My problem is that these few individuals are derailing conversation on many topics they touch, and when those topics are started by newcomers that have no interest in local libraries, it hurts our business.

So yes, they have struck a nerve with me, and you are hearing it in my tone now.


I write:

You write:

How can you say that when you say:

You words reveal what you think and show “that streaming is what you really care about”.


I showed that we continue to release features exclusively for non-streamers and well as features that non-streamers can enjoy right alongside streamers. Prove me wrong instead of trumpeting the same lies over and over with zero evidence. I’m telling you we care about local libraries and we support these use cases, but there are limits to where we can go here. Even in our last release, the majority of features were applicable to users with local content. You refuse to hear it.


Pertinent question…

What uncharted waters does Roon have yet to cross regarding local ripped or downloaded file libraries?

I have a 5000+ album local library. Beyond live playback HDCD decoding and digital de-emphasis – both of which I can apply more deftly via my own ripping and post-processing tools – no other absent use cases for my local library immediately spring to mind.

Maybe the piracy filled Pandora’s box that is SACD ISO playback? I suppose that could be one.


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Yeah, I’m wondering, too. What are these “really cool local-library only” features that @Speed_Racer is thinking about?


Although I’m inclined to think local libraries are the future only for dinosaurs, hermits and those unfortunate enough to have really bad internet, I have one that I use from time to time. When not enjoying Tidal or Qobuz streaming I find nothing particularly lacking when I use Roon to listen to my local library.

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Hi, @danny.

I too was insulted when I first read your “lazy” and “not open-minded” categorization of us non-streamers. Your reasons aren’t clear to me from what you wrote, yet you called me lazy and closed minded! I suppose you can get away with that when you have prepaid lifetime customers…

Here’s what you wrote:

This statement [that speed_racer doesn’t care for pop music and streams to fill gaps] is the absolute antithesis of what the Roon Team believes and puts into every Roon release. It demonstrates laziness and a lack of open-mindedness.

Every new artist today builds on the shoulders of giants of the past. The tools are better, the inspiration is better, and the history is better. If you haven’t found better music that’s new, it’s on you. Every generation says the same thing about “today’s music”, and they all end up wrong.

While I too do not care much for today’s pop music, crap music has existed forever. It’s just that history has helped filter it out for you. That’s the laziness I speak of. But it’s the lack of trying is the most offensive to me – that’s the closed-mindedness.

Surely you’re not saying it’s lazy to not care much for today’s pop music – that’s a matter of taste. And surely you’re not saying it’s lazy or closed-minded to stream just what you feel you’re missing and would like to hear – much work could have been spent identifying a new work to listen to. Are you perhaps saying it’s lazy to let “history” filter out bad music? By that I presume you mean music that is no longer available to listen to has been filtered because it is crap. Or are you ultimately saying it’s lazy not to listen to a lot of new music and do the filtering yourself, when no group filtering via the marketplace has winnowed out the crap yet?

And it’s not clear precisely what it is that non-streamers don’t try (the “lack of trying” bit) that you find offensive and close-minded. Is it that we aren’t trying to listen to and filter all of the new music, so that’s not only lazy, but also offensive to you for being close-minded?

Perhaps you’re really just offended by some stereotype that has old folks dissing young folks’ music and find that closed-minded? Did your mom yell at you when you were a kid to “Turn that crap down!” Mine did…

I’m not going to defend how much better old music is than what you durn youngin’s call music (especially since a lot of it is old-timey music anyways :wink: ). But I will observe this: Music that is no longer available (i.e., filtered by history) may be gone because there isn’t a market for it due to audience ignorance of it, or fashion, or licensing, or loss of source materials, or other commercial reasons.

I’d rather focus on listening to what inspired the artists I already like, and not spend my time in a crap shoot filtering out the crap in new music. This means digging into the past, past the filters of the streaming services. You should see the value in this, as you observed:

Every new artist today builds on the shoulders of giants of the past.

While acknowledging this, you still disappointed by writing:

If you haven’t found better music that’s new, it’s on you.

Why is new music necessarily better? Is Ken Vandermark better than Coltrane? Wynton Marsalis better than Cootie Williams? How about finding better old music? Or even just great old music that I haven’t heard? Some day I’d like to hear all the music that influenced The Band. I won’t find that in “better music that’s new”.

So I’m very happy being left to my own devices, exploring the vast legacy and history of past music, using liner notes, and books, and metadata about artist history in roon as clues to follow. It’s okay to get the occasional glimpse of something outside of my box through a friend or serendipity, but the box is already so big that I’ll never complete my own explorations in my lifetime. This is not laziness. This it not closed-mindedness.

To take a really contrary view, is it not lazy (and folly) to rely on recommender systems to lead us to the next best thing, hoping it will float our boats, instead of searching along our own paths? It’s also a bit unwise because the streamers have financial incentives to push you in certain directions. Following the crowd is often just a fashion trap anyways, not necessarily leading away from crap. Isn’t this really just another hollow promise of instant gratification via technology?

- Eric

PS - That was a fun write. Thanks for reading. I hope this thread isn’t in the feature request forum.


I think the last quote “If you haven’t found better music that’s new, it’s on you” was meant to imply that there is good new music as well as dross in all categories and some work may be needed to find it.
So new Jazz, new classical, new rock etc.
Before the social bans, though not a classical music expert, I went to the premier of new classical pieces and I thought they were great.
You can indeed go mine the roots of music but it is also interesting to see what the new shoots look like too.
If no one ever listened to old music when it was new then we wouldn’t have any old music.