Ease of playing miscellaneous music files

Shifting excerpt from above thread for separate discussion.

People often talk about this “hassle”. I don’t see it. I often have this situation, my son is a musician. I’m on a laptop and insert the USB stick he gave me. I drag the file onto the face of Roon, the Roon remote copies th3 file to the Roon server, it’s added. Not identified, but added. It shows up in the upper left corner of my default view, which is Albums, sorted by Date Added. I click on it and play it. I don’t bother deleting it, because disk spac3 i# free. If I want to, deleting it is a few clicks, too man6 but that’s for safety,

The only extra step compared to any other player is the drag and drop.

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Oh, the hassle is there. Drag it into Roon. Tell it where to save it. Find the unidentified file and play it. Find the file and delete it. Totally unnecessary just to pretend Roon is a drag and drop media player. It’s not. The idea that disk space is free and so it’s OK to leave your media collection to include a bunch of random sound files, I just don’t agree. I don’t want that stuff with my music - I want my music collection to stay rigidly organized and curated just as I have it. I just want to hear that file once.

This is not to be critical of Roon. The point is that Roon’s advantages and configuration requirements tend to knock out what I’d otherwise use to play such a file, and thus I wouldn’t mind if Roon then stepped up and made it easier. Either by just playing what is dragged into Roon without adding it to the library and requiring it to be copied to a storage location, or by having its transport show up as an audio driver I can play through VLC or whatever.

Anders, you’re free to love Roon and so do I. But if anyone came out with a drag and drop media player that requires what Roon does to just play a file, they’d be totally flamed. Roon isn’t designed to do that, it’s just an ancillary need based on the domino effect of configuring one’s network to use Roon, so it’s not a design flaw of Roon. But I can’t pretend it’s just as easy to play a random file. It’s a hassle.

And don’t get me started on the cumbersome deletion process…

You say these things are necessary, but I’m the counter-example, I don’t do those things, and thus they are clearly not ne essay.

Drag it into Roon. Yes.
Tell it where to save it. No, I don’t have to do that, I let Roon put it wherever it wants, that’s not necessary to play it.
Find the unidentified file and play it. No, as I said, it’s in the upper left corner of the browser.
Find the file and delete it. No, I don’t bother, it doesn’t do any harm.

Granted, with this approach, I don’t get the file organized. You say, I want my music collection to stay rigidly organized and curated just as I have it. That’s fine. But this curating and organizing is what is the burden for you. Just playing the file once doesn’t create the burden. (As I said, if you do want to delete it, you don’t have to “find it” because you can delete it from Roon, don’t have to think about the file system location.)

I’m not suggesting that Roon is a drag and drop player, that’s not its purpose, it’s not why I like Roon. But for those special occasions, it is possible.

Anders, in case I am not clear, I always enjoy interactions with you. Your posts are always thought-out and well-meaning, and it is clear that you love Roon, music, and the the forum.

My original point was to illustrate why some Roonies have a tendency to “demand” rather than “request” features, relative to several inherent characteristics of Roon.

Drag and drop play, or just generally the need to replace easy drag-and-drop play when the Roon network configuration doesn’t have me sitting in front of my audio endpoint anymore, was an example. I didn’t mean to get into a side debate about how easy it is.

I do feel that it is clearly not drag and drop. It can be drag, drop, click, click, click, click and then [live with random media copied into CD collection] [or] [click click click click.].

We both know that in certain design fields, the extra clicks can simply be fatal to usability. I’m not saying this is as complex as filling out a tax return, but it’s not drag and drop for playback. No one should argue this is a good workflow.

And perhaps you don’t do this, but I often want to listen to something for 15 seconds before I put it in my library, or have other reasons for quick, uninvolved listen. It would be nice if that were supported. Not my top priority, though.

One of the usability features I love in OS X is being able to press space in finder and have it preview the file. It’s immediate. Doesn’t require a work flow. If I want to edit a doc I need to open it, but if I want to find the right doc I can do it from finder. I wish Roon had the same notion. With what’s new or Tidal Rising on Tidal I don’t know most of the music - so it would be good to be able to preview it without having to add it to a play list. If I like it, I’ll play it. Don’t like it - move on.

There are experiments, easier to do than to explain, which we try to solve one issue but are sometimes also doing other things that what we think they should. But calling that voodoo is as opposed to a scientific approach as can be, a good start is to be rigorous in comparisons and statements. I somehow raised that point in the previous comments.

Rigor is very important: arbitrarily wrong « conclusions » can be drawn from non-rigorous comparison protocols and improper settings for experiments. The web is full of preposterous statements and abusive generalizations on audio. Sometimes it feels almost as if those with the least experience would feel empowered to draw the most definitive conclusions… With experience comes caution. And always remember the plasticity of our perception, which makes it so perfectible by training but is also a potential source of bias.

Going back to more general audience and remarks about ergonomics:

  • I fully support the « quick listen and drop or keep » to benefit from Roon (and associated hardware) sound optimization, that would be neat.
  • I recently reorganized my library to simplify and regroup after storage disk failures,and find it annoying that there is no way in ROON to define simple general storage rules for playlists such as:
  • If unavailable from path A, try to remap from path B: if it works, substitute » that would make playlist content robust to library reorganization. Which it is not, as of today.
  • and Ă  playlist export or even Ă  CD or DVD burn features, to help our audio friends that stil need optical drives to be able to play files…
  • At least an ascii export of playlist with absolute path embedded could enable to do a text-based path substitution prior to re-importing the playlist with the new path for the same tracks.
    Hope this helps,

Quick listen and drop or keep…

What I do when I see an interesting album mentioned in these Music threads is this: in Roon, I search for the artist, on the artist page find the album in the Tidal area, hit Play (which doesn’t add to the library), then either ignore or click Add to library.

This applies to Tidal only, but if I have local files it doesn’t come up, I always add.

Thanks, but this really is after Roon functionalities, in my case I am after a genuine Roon solution outside Tidal. I have a large library and would like to avoid adding things that I will never listen again.

My method for playing odd files through Roon is to keep a shortcut to a watched folder on my desktop. I use the Windows Music folder because it hasn’t got anything else in it, but you can use any folder you like and call it whatever you want. I drag the file into that folder and then it appears in Roon under Albums, Recently Added. After I’ve listened to it, if I don’t want to keep it I just delete it from the folder. If I want to keep it I’ll move it to some more permanent watched folder.

If I’m at the desktop and don’t particularly want to listen to a file through Roon then I just click on it and VLC will play it through my computer speakers.

This all feels pretty normal and easy to me.


When I want to signal for a left turn in my car I just stick my arm out the window and use the left–turn arm signal.

Not meaning to be sarcastic as much as illustrate that a workaround can seem, and really be, pretty easy, but it is still an odd workflow with the copying to the storage location and the need to delete, just to play.

This is far from my highest priority with Roon. I just choose not to pretend it is a normal workflow relative to true drag and drop media players.

Does Roon claim to be a true drag and drop media player ? I can’t see it on a quick flick through the Roon Labs website.