Experience of a new user

Hi guys,

This is a summary of my experience as a new Roon user.

I’m into music streaming for about 15 years when I bought my first Sonos. After time more devices were added, Linn, Naim, Bluesound, Denon, Amazon Fire TV. Most old devices are still doing their duty, hence I have a pretty mixed setup and were looking for a sulution to make usage more easy and consistent, ideally by using one app for all.

For ages I use mainly Bubble and Jriver for most things, available for Android, Linux, Windows and work pretty well for all devices, except Bluesound and Amazon music, so I still have to use the various vendor software. Main issue was that the Bluesound as only system doesn’t support UPNP/DLNA and hence always needs its quirky software. Well, Bluesound is famous for ignoring customer demands, just see their sick game with their Linux client.

First tried Audirvana, but was a total disaster. Total chaos in the media library, poor device support, no customization, massive issues with slow Internet. Never saw such a bad overrated software.

So, I thought I give Roon a try. Promises were amazing, all music on all devices controllable by all operating systems… Hm….

Start was as bad as it could get. Roon disappeared from the QNAP store. Ok, no problem, then lets go Linux. Wait, there is no full software for Linux. WTF? Guess I wasn’t the first who didnt understand that Roon doesn’t support Linux before actually trying it… Argh…

Ok, so Windows it is. Let’s see if the software is so good to justify going back to windows.

Streaming on Linn and Naim works well, Sonos and even Bluesound, too. Amazon Fire TV no, no huge surprise, although Bubble works well with them. Denon also no. :frowning: UPNP not supported, WTF? One of my Denons can be used via Airplay, but quality is mediocre at best and no HR support. Hm. So, Bubble even supports more devices than Roon… My idea to use only one software failed, but ok, let’s see what it actually can do. Basically, the streaming software that directly supports by far most devices is… Spotify. At least until some month ago before they announced to stop the support for hundreds of devices, like my Denon. When oh when will content provider understand that the hardware support is more crucial then the content.

In the meantime, Roon core runs fine on QNAP and for Linux I use Android in a VM. Of course Roon Android App is rather poor, but hey, better than nothing.

Following some observations in random order:

  • Roon has issues with slow internet connections like mine. While it’s still better than the poor Audirvana, it’s far away from the Apps of the music services, and not even close to Bubble or Bluesound. Hence everything over 44k rarely works and is pure luck. I know that 96k loads my internet with 100%, but since it works decently most of the time with other software, I see it as a Roon issue.

  • The ignorance to support UPNP/DLNA is extremely bad customer service. Roon supports older Linn DS, which AFAIK only support UPNP. Hence they already built it in the system and it would be a piece of cake to make it available for all devices. Who cares if you can use all DSP features, but at least the basics. I assume there’s only one reason why they don’t do it: the real Roon customers are vendors paying for “Roon Ready” badges. Sure, why should you invest in Roon ready when every simple UPNP works… Unacceptable service for paying customers.

  • Media database and tag handling is ok for an automated system, but far from perfect. About 30% of my media gallery Roon isn’t displaying artist pictures, i.e. you have a lot of grey bubbles with initials only.
    Some specific examples:

    • 5 Fresh Blues samplers. Roon tags 2 as Compilation, 2 as Various Artists and one with both. ???
      Similar chaos with Soundtracks.
    • 20 Albums by Doro. 19 are tagged correctly with Doro. One is tagged with Doro Pesch?
    • Kind of everything is tagged with Pop/Rock, which makes this tag totally useless and also affects the Roon radio.
      And so on and so on. Unfortunately I didn’t find a way to only correct specific issues. Yes, by playing around with the search keys, most of the time you find what you want, but its not comfortable.
      So, it’s ok, with some issues if you stay with English mainstream. As soon as you leave that you quickly get lost.
  • Roon Live Radio
    Available stations are pretty poor, worse than vTuner and even less than my Synology NAS offers. Lightyears away from TuneIn.
    No problem, you can add stations. Documentation explains how to add TuneIn stations. Logo and info are imported quickly, but… Music not playing. I tried it with 5 different stations, but the same for all with various error messages. Even the example station in the guide doesn’t work…
    In literally every music player you can import radio as playlists (m3u or xspf). Unfortunately didn’t find a way in Roon. So, to listen Radio I have to stay with Bubble. Again.

  • Roon Radio
    Great feature. Probably the one I enjoyed the most. As long as you stay English mainstream of course. 2 main issues:

    • for less known artists, Roon radio often ends up looping 3-4 songs only. Or since everything is tagged with pop/rock, it quickly ends up with something completely different.
    • most dance/electronic songs are available in different mixes. Unfortunately Roon has no “Don’t repeat songs with the same title” function. So you often end up listening to basically the same song 3 or even 5 times in a row, just in a different mix. Not very entertaining.
  • I organize my favorites by artists and rarely tag albums or songs. Unfortunately Roon often doesn’t allow me to add an artist to my favorites. For some artists it works, for some it doesnt (heart is greyed out). Didn’t find out why.

  • Of course Roon struggles with the database mess by all but one streaming services. I.e. Combining artists with the same name and listing singles as albums. Not Roons fault, but not nice either. Maybe at least Roon could include the number of tracks per album, so the “single track albums” could be better identified?

  • Android App is rather poor and not respecting basic standards.

    • no notification of current songs, no way to skip or pause without opening the app
    • no volume control via volume keys outside the app and even inside it’s not working.
    • no mouse wheel support
    • App crashes frequently on all kinds of devices
  • Streaming service support is pretty poor with Tidal and Qobuz only. Amazon Music would be good and Spotify should be a must have, especially when they finally release their HR service.

Verdict:

Roon is a decent beta version and nowhere near to be a ready software (at least for my purposes). Most promises that made me try Roon were not kept. I have no problem to fiddle around and spend time to find workarounds for a freeware, but a full price software needs to be better. The price/value ratio for me is simply not adequate. A price similar or slightly higher than Jriver would be ok, but Roon is more expensive than the full Adobe Photoshop Suite or MS Office.

So, unfortunately uninstalling and checking in from time to time to see the status. Happy to try again once it leaves beta stage.

Cheers

4 Likes

The inevitable question, if not Roon then what ?

The best of the rest comes nowhere near Roon IMHO

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Boss, posts like these flake around here every second month or so. Another one bites the dust.
If you are steaming out – that’s totally fine with me and I guess the rest of us, feel free to.

But don’t try to convince anybody here that Roon is a bad product – the fact that you spend so much time focusing on outlining that you miss UPNP, trashing Roon Radio and your ‘bizarre’ experience with Hi-Res on Qobuz, yet haven’t said a word about your connection – wired or wireless – says it all.

For every confused soul –this is a place to start with if you want to figure out how Roon works. It is different, yes, but different isn’t equal bad. Plex Music is free, no one stops you from using it.

10 Likes

I think you should stay with Bubble. You seem to like it. Why change a winning horse?
You won’t find UPNP here, not now nor in the future. No need to come back here.
Save your time. Get the bubble developers to listen to your needs. They will be happy to have somebody with such excellent input advices. You should also pressure Jriver to add Spotify, Amazon, Apple etc.
They will be glad to listen to you.

6 Likes

@Thomas_Christ you’re not going to find much love for your post here, which is a shame because you obviously put some effort into writing it. What I don’t understand is why people don’t just move on instead of trying to rock the boat? If you want another go, post specifics so people can try to offer assistance. Otherwise, good luck in your quest.

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“Roon is a good Beta software version…”

OK :rofl:

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While I am very happy with Roon in all aspects for myself, the Bubbleupnp devs are actually extremely responsive to feedback and suggestions.
It’s possibly their best trait…lol.

One reason I still keep it active on my phone.

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I was serious in my response. I used it many years. Lots of potential.
But this was before Roon came along.

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@Thomas_Christ obviously thinks it’s ‘cool’ to ‘diss’ a product that the majority of users on the forum are happy with.

Maybe he needs to ‘find another hobby’, rather than spend his precious time on this earth posting irrelevances.

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By the way, Roon Server has a linux version. See downloads page.

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For me the Android app does never crash and is perfect to use. I do not understand most of the very critical points.

I have two hearts in my chest. On one side unfortunately I do understand several points and on the other side I also see the nice features and the good stuff from roon.

I discovered much more music and I’m enjoying a lot of things.

On the other side I’m joining Roon for 2 month now . 2 month with fighting failures, nice answers “your network and that b…t”, TIDAL is not under control and other things also not. Build 795 has optimized some things, but is by far not ready (it’s Beta). I hope the roon guys will make their way and find a solution for a lot of stuff. If I would only deal with local files and Qobuz I would be almost fine (just minor issues except playback without internet connection). Tinkering stuff I never got to work, TIDAL Streaming, Live Radio from McIntosh same deal,…

I have never invested that much time in software - but I’m a music fan.

So I keep my fingers crossed for a better roon world.

4 Likes

It’s your network. I stream Tidal and Qobuz many hours a day for 18 months with zero problems using Roon Nucleus. My network is AT&T U-Verse 50/12. Everything is connected by ethernet.

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@Jim_F @Peter_Kuehnel This!
Switch all your equipment to ethernet only and see for yourself.

Whilst my experience of roon is radically different to yours your input is welcome as an addition to the debate.

You took some time to "report " and fair play to you for taking the trouble to do so.

Life is a compromise but it’s generally better the the alternative , as is roon for me.

.sjb

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Do you want help? Some of this can be fixed and is general “new to Roon” stuff we can help with. Other things are very much “not Roon” and never will be and never should be (like UPNP). Also the mobile apps are not great so if you were primarily using the Android app during your trial you were missing a lot of the Roon experience. Roon supports Linux for everything but the Remote and if that doesn’t entirely make sense then having a better understanding of Roon’s architecture is where to start.

Let us know.

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Are only positive posts allowed on the Roon forum.He is user who has not had a positive experience with Roon and took the time to report with a very detailed explanation.Things he posted may be irrelevant to you but not to him.Over all I have had a very positive experience with Roon but not with out issues.

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Wrong inference. Roon uses Songcast, not UPnP to talk to Linn devices. That’s a Linn-specific streaming method, which is not relevant to non-Linn devices.

That’s the tragedy here. For all it’s major flaws, Roon is still the least worst option.

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True… and why? Minuscule market perhaps? And the native streaming apps are getting better and better.