Drifting further away from, but still loving, Roon

Off topic and not a bitch thread… I have been listening almost exclusively, lately, to Apple Music via my phone.

I have a big collection of playlists, some of which date back to my cassette tape days, and I started with iTunes (digitally speaking) so that’s been my go-to for managing my catalog.

Love Roon and have dedicated endpoints, but more and more I am listening to music at my office and in the car, where Roon can’t help me.

I have a nice (well, nice for me) 2-channel system and a separate Head-Fi station, neither of which get used anymore (my wife has re-purposed my 2-channel listening room for Yoga :grinning: ). I looked at my Roon dashboard and noticed I’ve used it 4 minutes in the last month.

I am reaching a tipping point with streaming music. I am duplicating new albums on Spotify, TIDAL, and Apple Music… I am sort of OCD that way. I am using Spotify less and less, mostly because their app has serious issues between bluetooth and Spotify Connect in my car (long story).

So, I synced some of my favorite Spotify playlists to Apple Music. Then, I had a reaction to my Covid booster, so I was stuck at home. I fired up my iPhone and Apple Music and used Airplay to an Airport Express to my DAC via SPDIF. And guess what? It sounded great, but that is more a testament to my Bel Canto DAC and Woo Audio Head-Fi amp vs. my car stereo (which is fine, but no car audio system can live up to something in a room).

I am wasting too much time messing about with streaming providers, let alone the cost. I tried canceling Spotify, but my wife and daughter came after me with torches and pitchforks; and they want nothing to do with Apple Music.

I don’t really have a point, just thinking out loud, but we used to have a saying when I was an Army Ranger: the worst thing anyone ever gave you was a choice. No kidding. I remember the first time I connected a CD player to an amplifier and thought: wow… that sounds great! I am not sure we have really done anything over the decades that have followed except to create a zillions ways to get to the same experience. I mean, now everyone is excited about ‘lossless’ and we are pressing lots of vinyl again.

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I once mentioned cancelling Spotify. My household was not hearing any of what I said.
Pitchforks are real.
Do what treats you best.

For me it’s simple. Roon at home and mother-in-law’s, SiriusXM in the car, and Apple Music walking the dog. Music source is Tidal, Qobuz, and Apple Music. TuneMyMusic to keep everything in sync.

No kidding is right. I regularly migrate back and forth between Roon+Tidal and Apple Music. Roon+Apple Music would be my dream system, but sadly that will never happen.

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I totally understand how the cost of an item vs the use of an item doesn’t equate anymore and it is destined for the budgeting chopping block. Subscriptions add up and often creep up! We have shed so many. I am really the only one who uses Roon, but I am lifetime so that cost is sunk. I am the only one who uses Qobuz Sublime+, and if it didn’t fall on a bonus month for me, it would likely downgraded to the regular Qobuz tier since my download purchasing budget has vanished. I honestly would love to get rid of my Apple Music, but my wife would crumble into a little ashen ball and blow away. She is the playlist maestro and breathes her creations. I think the kids, who are moved out yet still on the family plan now use Spotify and/or pirate YouTube streams but don’t want to lose their access to it… so it stays.

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There are two types of music consumption. I always put on my old records or I always want to discover and listen to something new.

The best way to deal with it, is to fall back on old habits. No matter if it was LP or Apple iTunes before.

If you don’t have a long history there like the wife or kids, you will never be satisfied with these old offerings.

Many associate with with vinyl (download/streaming is worse). Many associate my good old downloads with iTunes or Amazon and just as many associate Spotify with streaming and the competition only comes back into play a bit after acquiring EchoNest because of all the playlist tools.

We just mustn’t make the mistake of declaring quality of listening to be an objectively sensible mass phenomenon.

I don’t have to guess at all - I just know that Apple Music sounds great, I’m listening to it.
Why should it play poorly?