Does Roon download entire track into RAM? [Memory Playback Discussion]

Well there’s anecdotal evidence of an increase in SQ. These sorts of effects can be noticed first and explained later, it happens time and again.

I used Pure Music years ago and it was a feature that it was played from RAM, nothing new going on here, AFAIK. Gentle invitation for Roon to look into it seems fair. Roon have also set out their position time and again.

How about we have a feature request list and vote on what we’d like to see, keep it democratic (just as a guide for the management)?


Before I started using Roon, I used my network streamer via DNLA/UPnP controlled via its own app. When playing ‘like for like’ material in both ecosystems, I didn’t notice any difference or degradation in SQ moving to RAAT/Roon streaming.
Maybe this issue is ‘hardware’ dependant, but as you acknowledge any ‘evidence’ to support ‘memory play’ would seem to be anecdotal and circumspect at best.
I can understand why this feature would be beneficial in CD replay, to avoid processing ‘on the fly’, hence why PS Audio’s Memory Player should confer some technical, and probable SQ enhancements, but with streamed files over a network it’s a completely different scenario.
Plus, any ‘memory play’ feature in Roon would involve both a delay in initial playback whilst the file is loaded to RAM, and also a delay when changing tracks. This would be unacceptable to me.
Yes, there is an argument to say that Roon may be able to offer it as an option, but as Roon quite clearly state above, this would involve additional development and resources to implement. And to ‘what ends’? Personally it’s not a feature I would use, for the delay issues that have already been recognised/acknowledged, and I would hasten to guess that many other users would also baulk at the drawbacks of such a feature.
I’m just skeptical that such an option would even be popular with users for the drawbacks discussed, and I’m sure there are many other, more pressing priorities for Roon to work on first.

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I think that would just give voice to the more vocal, and not be fully representative of a mostly silent majority. Imagine if MQA inclusion had been put to the vote! Roon are aware, both of what’s required and also the passion some have for this.

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Agree completely.

(Sorry for the long post)

I think it is important to be fair minded and as objective as possible in discussions like this, both with respect to individual posters’ positions and conduct and also with respect to the substance of the topic.

I agree that the AS/CA crowd has some very knowledgeable members. So long ago, that is where I first learned of building a low-electrical noise PC to play audio. Ironically, that first specification included an SSD as a major component. There is no question we can learn some things from folks in that crowd. And there is a lot to be gained if the AS/CA members and Roon share information that could improve sound quality or anything else about Roon.

It is fair enough to ask Roon to make a statement about RAM playback, and even to ASK if Roon would consider conducting some tests and research.

What is not appreciated is an attitude that it’s OK to post on the forum and others are not allowed to respond. I am OK with there being a back and forth and even statements that some Roon users get so fanatical they won’t brook any possibility of change so as to make certain feature discussions more difficult - I have felt that at times myself. But I am not OK with going so far as to say someone doesn’t have the right to post their opinion, regardless. Let them post it and then respond (as long as it isn’t trolling - repeating the same substance-less thing solely to provoke a response).

Here is a quote from the introductory post to the relevant AS/CA thread:

We welcome your participation in this thread. Please note that discussion needs to stay focused on direct listening experiences with audio experiments discussed here. This is not an opinion thread. Most of what is discussed here does not have a readily available analytical explanation. Once we get into arguing about the why’s, this thread is going to disintegrate. If anyone comes in here, makes no contribution, and attacks people, I reserve the right as OP to delete their posts.

Let’s deconstruct that a little bit. In effect, you have to BELIEVE in the audio improvements to post within the rules of the thread, or at least leave your science at home and only post based upon empirical experience. Scientists and engineers need not apply. In effect you can debate if you are on my side.

Further, the above quote is from Austinpop,so he may be a little used to having more control over threads than he can have here at the Roon forum. That’s not the problem or fault of other posters here.

While some of his frustration with self-appointed Roon defenders might be merited, I was concerned enough about the frustration evinced by Austinpop and Alan to go back and re-read the whole thread.

Maybe it’s been cleaned up, but in re-reading the whole thread, I feel that Alan left out a lot of information in his initial posts that resulted in other posters suggesting their ideas for sound improvements that he’d already tried, and Alan interpreted that as interference and only later informed us that he had already tried such things. In that process it looks like Alan got frustrated because he took that as interference when the intention was to be helpful. It was also true that other posters wanted to understand how “scientific” his various tests were, and it took some back and forth, not all good-natured, until it was established that Alan HAD done some of the things being suggested by others. Alan admits as much about half-way up the thread, that he could have provided more detail that would have obviated some of the posts he objected to.

My bottom line is that I think some of the pro-RAM playback posts were unnecessarily dismissive of those who wanted more intellectual rigor to the assertions made by Austinpop and Alan, and that devolved into some tension, but it never appears as severe as that posted by Alan above where he emphasizes how the snide remarks interfered so greatly with the conversation, nor as bad as Austinpop’s description of this post as a kind of picket line. Characterizations of opinion as “noise” shows a bit of a bias.

Everyone here has a right to post. If it is upsetting that there is no other way to contact Roon, that is not the forum users’ fault. That is on Roon and their decision. Nor does any control over an AS/CA post grant any privileged status here. We are all equals and should both be able to take it a bit and dish it out a bit without there being any condemnation.

Finally, I am genuinely curious about whether RAM playback would improve sound over RAAT streaming. But I also feel that an experience with a single hardware configuration that is proprietary to its manufacturer does not establish that an improvement would be had with other hardware and configurations, and so back to the fact that it is fair to ask for more information and rigor as part of the request to Roon to research this. I am not ready to say that scientists and engineers cannot participate unless they are already believers.


It’s worse than that.You have to believe everything they say and cannot challenge it in any way. Read through that thread. It is preposterous. If sound improved as much and as many times as claimed in the thread, what they hear and what someone here hears is so different it probably can’t be classified as the same song!

Look, I have no problem with people claiming their experiments improve the sound quality on their systems. But, when every experiment offers a night and day difference. Well, that is over the top. On top of that, there is never any chance they are experiencing expectation bias. No, not possible.

It’s a joke. No one ever has any reasonable explanation as to why the sound is better.


I think the whole AS/CA forum ‘grew up’ temporarily from somewhere completely different, at a time when ‘tinkering’ and tweaking with computer-based music and it’s hardware was not just encouraged, but probably even necessary to achieve satisfactory results.
Roon is different. Roon is very much ‘plug ‘n play’. And that’s why I subscribed. It just ‘works’, and works damn well. And I think that’s what draws people to Roon - ease of use and dependability.
Personally, I would say that if you want to tweak, that’s absolutely fine. But Roon may not be ideal for you then.


martin, james, winders. Good comments, well worth the read!
I was forced out of AS/CA for testing the boundaries, testing the limits and challenge their conclusions. I was always polite and said please and thank you, but because I didn’t always agree with the main users (the element) I was branded a trouble causer and troll, simply for questioning their findings (i.e. you don’t agree, so you are out!). And whilst surfing the net quite a few other people have suffered the same fate as well as some established hi-fi manufacturers. When I asked for evidence of what I had supposed to have done wrong in their accusations; e.g. poor conduct etc. They went silent without any explanation. Sorry for the rant! Finished.
PS: And if you read very carefully you will discover that there are: anomaly’s, contradictions & ‘U-turns’ all the way through. Onions are apples, and apples are oranges etc. etc. And they won’t admit to it either.
one box/two box/one box solution.
more power/less power/more power. …cycling over & over, year after year; relentless.

Regarding your PS, one thing you’ll find with any “stream of consciousness” type thread is that as people explore more their views will change. That isn’t at all unusual. Let’s say we leave our gripes with other forums there. Let them talk about us if they must but we are here to talk about Roon.

Agreed. This is the crux of my issue with these kind of requests, as I alluded to in an ealier post.

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Does this mean that if we can’t explain it we don’t do it, even if it sounds better?


Individually, do what you like. But to ask a business to invest their time, money and resources into something deserves some kind of objectivity IMO.


I want a light grey background to the app instead of white or black. White’s too light and black’s too dark. I want grey. I’d love to ask the devs to trial it for themselves but i don’t own a light meter so i guess there’s no basis for me to do so.

I dont understand how this comment relates to a thread about requests for possible sound quality improvements? Bit of a strawman.

In any case its very easy to define a shade of grey on a computer screen so you could readily provide devs and everyone else with a specific shade to consider.

Changing a colour is easy, quick and cheap to do. Re-engineering RoonBridge is way more involved.

So only request easy features?

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You can do whatever you like Hugo. Have a nice day.

Not to belabour a simple analogy but I wouldn’t prescribe a shade as my monitor is calibrated differently to the devs most likely. You’re getting caught up in details and jumping all over my request. I’m just asking that they check out grey. And if it’s not possible then to just respond directly in the thread.

Except that it typically only sounds better to the person harping about it due to their own confirmation bias. Nobody can ever provide properly executed, statistically meaningful blind listening tests for any of these “improvements”. This RAM playback argument is exactly one of those instances. It doesn’t make sense for Roon to chase phantom SQ improvements when they could use the resources to make enhancements to the product that have a real, genuine improvement to the overall listening experience.


Judge jury and executioner! False premise! Increase in SQ should be measurable, why else would you bother. Are you assuming that an increase in SQ can’t be measured?

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