General system overview ... Newbie

Here’s the silly question from a complete novice.
Current system: Aries with attached USB hard drive wired directly to Devialet and controled by iPad and Lightning DS. Aries is wireless to home network.
Roon system just installed: Roon is installed on a Macbook. Macbook is wireless. Usb drive “library” has been “read” and the Aries is identified as the output when using the macbook and/ or the iPad app.
My question: when playing music with Roon are the files still spooling from the usb drive directly to the Aries or is the Macbook somewhere in the chain?
I am assuming Roon is simply the window through which I am viewing my hard drive resident library without Roon modifying or altering the music files.
Is this the case or is the music data routed through the Macbook back to the Aries?
Is this the correct setup?

Hi Warren,

The audio path always goes through the Roon Core, which in this case is your MacBook. Your current audio path includes two real time bidirectional wireless connections.

I experimented with a USB drive off the Aries. Lightning DS loved it, but I couldn’t use Roon with it. The Aries was wireless (801.n at the time) but my Roon Core was Ethernet, I found that the single bidirectional wireless connection was unlistenable on my system. Stuttering and drop outs all the time.

Roon is happiest with storage on the Core. In my case I put the SSD in a BRIX running RoonServer and have had zero problems with that. You might try attaching your USB drive to the MacBook.

I experimented with a USB drive off the router, which meant a single bidirectional connection by Ethernet to the Roon Core. At the time the Aries had a bug that prevented it seeing USB drives on Asus routers with the most recent Asus firmware. That got fixed, but in the meantime I’d moved to the BRIX and I haven’t tried testing the router USB solution. In your case since the MacBook is wireless that would still leave one bidirectional wireless connection and a unidirectional wireless connection.

I don’t know if bidirectional and unidirectional are correct terminology for wireless connections going both ways and one way, but that’s how I’ve used them in this post.

Hello Andrew,
Thanks for your reply…so if required to run through the core (Aries to Macbook back to Aries) this application is of limited use for me. Thought that the recent integration of Roon in the latest Aries firmware would have had a differing permutation. So back to a computer in the chain and it’s related noise so seems like a backward step. I must be missing something as it seems a fairly large complication for better metadata, although the limited amount of time I have spent with the program since getting ROON up and running has been intriguing.
It would be of great benefit to all concerned if Roon was to offer a copy of web pages with cogent explanations of Core, Server, Roonspeaker, their interrelations and line diagrams for the less Computer inclined.
So then, in my case, would the the optimal system be a Mac (or equivalent) with an internal music drive or attached drive connected to the Aries by hard wire ethernet?

My experiments were using AirPlay. I haven’t tried with RAAT but generally speaking I think any wireless connection in the audio path should be unidirectional.

If you’d like to keep your MacBook wireless, I’d suggest RoonServer as Core on a server computer (I use a BRIX) with the library on an onboard SSD (depending on size) wired to the router and leave your Aries and MacBook wireless. The MacBook will be a remote and audio path doesn’t go through a remote unless to a private zone on that remote.

There are architecture documents in preparation. My most recent attempt at explanation was in this thread.

Hello Andrew,
This is where is falls apart for me. I have some facility with computers and work in a technical environment but with that said, I have no idea what the distinctions are between:
In your example, the Roonserver as core would sit on the ethernet and would serve to the Aries wirelessly but with a significantly large number of users moving to stand alone servers such as Aries and Aurender specifically to eliminate a computer in the chain, this seems a retrograde step. If all of this is to simply goose up the metadata, it seems like a large commitment of time and expense. I must be missing something.
With all due respect, Roon, to carry this further into the marketplace, must offer more cogent and diagramatic explanations than this haphazard “ask and reply” format in a support forum.
Any reply to a particular query is easily lost. The site needs an front page elaboration of your reply (as per your link…thanks) to the query concerning system architecture…clearly the poster has very similar concerns to mine.


New website is in the works. Coming soon!

As far as I can determine, ROON is Metadata on steroids, and to achieve this you’re asking that I add a computer between my remote control device (read iPad) and my server (read Aries), so I am not too willing to do so.
Maybe later, best wishes) if only because your software is so very compelling.

Roon is the server and your Aries just an endpoint.