Does Valence support non-streaming users?

Regarding Valence, I was excited by the description but now I am confused… Could we please get a straight answer on how this works and what the requirements for it are… specifically, does Valence do anything at all for those with large libraries but NO streaming services?


No, nothing at all.

@evand - Thanks for that, appreciated, but I would still like a clear statement on this from Roon.

There seems to be a trend recently whereby new features/improvements are announced with the assumption that everyone is using 3rd party streaming services which is not the case, and nowhere does it inform users that if they don’t have one they won’t get any benefit. I feel this is very misleading to advertise features that require paid 3rd party subscriptions, at least without being clear that this is the case.

The “New Releases” announcement simply says “Vālence lets Roon show you new releases you care about, based on your library and listening history. The more you use Roon, the better the “New Releases” will get!”
The same goes for the main Valence announcement - nowhere in it does it say anything about requiring a subscription to a streaming service, and that if you don’t have one you will receive no benefit or use from this “new amazing machine-learning technology”.

Which also begs the question - If as the announcement says “The secret ingredient is the Roon community; Vālence learns from the musical tastes of over 100,000 expert listeners who use Roon” - then is my personal library and listening data being used to construct/tune a system that I cannot even receive any benefit from?

I bought Roon to listen to my music. I have zero interest in streaming services. Others do, I get that and that’s fine - each to their own. And I would be very happy to get some new improved recommendations/searching etc “to model the many dimensions of relatedness more deeply than ever before” which is what the announcement says. But it seems every new big feature is now restricted towards those having a 3rd-party streaming service, with no clear information that without one you can’t use it.

Meanwhile long-running feature requests supported by many users and stretching back many years, such as Mobile Music Sync/Streaming, which would also benefit those without 3rd Party streaming subscriptions, are being silently ignored.


Like you, I don’t stream and I have a large local library. I have asked this question before and know the answer to your first question is no, just as it has been for Roon Radio prior to 1.7

The explanation given is most users don’t have sufficient depth in their libraries to be able to play the cloud based selections locally, so the algorithm is going to make non viable suggestions, hence, the functionality isn’t available if you don’t have streaming activated. Similarly, Roon won’t make suggestions for content you don’t have access to play, so no new releases or recommendations for you.

Regarding whether your data is part of the dataset used to feed the recommendations engine my guess is yes, the entire user community’s data feeds that engine.

In a nutshell, streaming is the future and we’re the past.


“The explanation given is most users don’t have sufficient depth in their libraries to be able to play the cloud based selections locally, so the algorithm is going to make non viable suggestions, hence, the functionality isn’t available if you don’t have streaming activated.”

The solution that would benefit everyone is to have the algorithm use the community-wide data “to model the many dimensions of relatedness” but for those who don’t stream only present suggestions that exist in your local library, or - for those who do stream, also present suggestions available in that service. This does not seem like it would be that hard - Roon already knows what you have.
This is basically what already happens with links to other artists in artist descriptions etc. If you have that artist’s music locally then you get a clickable link to it, if you don’t… then you don’t. It seems to me that a similar procedure could be applied to something like Valence.


Agreed, but we’re a minority and managing a second set of algorithms for minorities isn’t considered viable. Bottom line, those that don’t stream will be increasingly marginalised within Roon as it evolves.

Are you aware of any statistics as to what percentage of Roon users have active 3rd party streaming subscriptions, or not? I’ve no idea… but to be honest would be surprised if local-only users are really a small minority… For those with large local libraries Roon is an attractive player.

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No, but I’m only going on what I’ve been told in response to the same questions you’re asking.

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It’s not a trend it’s a reality. Roon is closer and closer with every iteration to be just a fancy interface for different streaming services (the more the better).

That’s because roon (and a lot of users) are considering the music added from the streaming services as being their (your) library.

Nothing lasts forever, one day Tidal will be no more and so will be the music added from them. And all that will remain will be a lot of very long faces staring at the past…

Hopefully this will not be a case. Roon still advertises themselves as a solution for those who have large libraries on their hard drivers or servers. Hopefully Roon will not become just a tube for other paid services.


It already is the case.

Do you have any links to similar threads by chance with Roon stating their stance? This is interesting to me as well (local vs streaming) as I too have a large local lib.

It would a interesting data point to know how many users have local lib of small, med, large size and even how many stream only with no local lib (less than “X” local files) - some sort of metric

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If I recall correctly it was discussed in the Roon Radio threads around the time Roon Radio started leveraging what’s now been dubbed Vālence.

I use Tidal but only a bit, should Tidal fail Roon will lose its attraction for me.

I have a library around 6000 albums long collected, my meta data via Roon would die should I stop paying , makes me wonder

I now find that 1.7 no longer runs on my Samsung tablets due to Open GL requirements, I wonder some more

Add to that it would seem the development work has mostly gone into something I have little interest in , I wonder some more.

There were may feature requests ignored, what about box sets for example

Yes, it changes everything.

This is wrong, let me explain.

Valence isn’t limited to a specific feature; it’s actually a core part of how we are growing Roon’s ability to understand music and your personal taste. This technology is contained in our cloud services as well as in the Roon application inside your home – together they are Valence.

For example:

  • Valence powers our new, more accurate, search results. This works spectacularly even with local content.
  • Valence has processed and disambiguated more than 40 million new credits into our metadata systems, and will be a key part of how we add additional metadata services in the future. This gives your local content much better metadata than it had before.
  • Valence is enabling smarter browsing of your collection, helping classical fans to surface the best compositions and performances across their library, whether they have a streaming service enabled or not.

Going forward, Valence is going to influence the product in innumerable ways, and continue to deliver new features for both local content and streaming content.

With 1.7, there are three totally new features powered by Valence, all focused on music discovery.

Roon is a music player first and foremost. The goal is not to become the Wikipedia of music. Surfacing music recommendations that you don’t already have will require a streaming service, so you can actually listen to them. If you want to use these new features in Roon 1.7, you will need a streaming service enabled.

While you are getting the benefits of Valence throughout Roon, don’t confuse these new features with Valence – we’re just getting started tapping into the power of this system, and it goes way beyond a few new features.


“Nothing lasts forever, one day Tidal will be no more and so will be the music added from them. And all that will remain will be a lot of very long faces staring at the past…”

Agreed. I have no desire to get rid of my music collection…albums it took me nearly fifty years to collect…and place myself in the hands of a streaming service that might go POP one day, with the loss of everything. No. Thank. You.


I use streaming services to find and enjoy music I would have never, ever found otherwise. This is the primary benefit for me. When I find an album I deem worthy of purchasing, I do.

Excluding streaming services from my experience would be a significant loss to my life, and I have a rather large collection amassed over 40+ years.

Yes, it’s renting the right to play the album or track without the spend of purchasing them unless I choose to, of course.

I simply don’t see the negative expressed by others


I don’t think it is so much a negative against streaming or those who choose to, more some disappointment because Roon is pivoting to become a resource that seems to offer more to streamers.

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Don’t think anyone said streaming is a negative. However, if Roon’s functional enhancements increasingly require one to sign up to a streaming service in order to access them that would undoubtedly be a negative for users that choose, for whatever reason, not to stream. I value the finality of buying the music I listen to, so the value proposition of adding a streaming service doesn’t stack up for me if the only reason to do it is to leverage the full extent of Roon’s capabilities. For users with depth in their libraries RFY and Roon Radio are functional enhancements that they could benefit from if Roon were prepared to simply iterate through tracks or albums in the background till it found the next local library match. In any event, I find Roon Radio pretty good without a streaming hookup as it is, so more a concern about being left behind functionally than feeling I’m missing out at present.

Re new releases etc. I’ve got that more than covered outside of Roon, to the point that I anticipate releases from artists I enjoy months in advance of release. Following artists on Twitter is a great resource for staying on top of what your favourite artists are up to, so by the time it’s announced via a streaming service it’s yesterday’s news.

Danny’s indicated that both will be catered for as further enhancements are implemented, I’ll take that as a positive.


According to Roon’s “standards” I have a middle sized library of about 5500 albums. That’s big enough for me since it would take many years to listen to it all again. I’m very happy to have found Roon and don’t use any streaming services. Just my 2 cents worth.