Getting Back on the Roon Horse

Hey > I had a fail w/ Roon last year, and I didn’t have the time to chase it down, so I shut it down.
I want to try again.

Would like advice as to what I can do and best way to think about my setup.

iMac, with AIFF files on an external drive > into Schiit DAC and from there to Onkyo receiver w/ KEF speakers. That’s the office setup.
Living room has NAD C368 amp w/BluOS module and KEF speakers.
Also have 3 HomePods in different rooms.
Qobuz subscription.

Will use iPad for Roon Remote.

This is my lack of understanding - I’ll put the core on the iMac, correct? So, is that the Brains of the entire system? Or do I not need to think of it that way.

Cant quite wrap my head around how Roon either plays my AIFF files or chooses to stream from Qobuz. ie. - if I’m playing on the Living Room stereo, then how does Roon make the mix of my AIFF files and streamed files from Qobuz?

I really want to get the concept of Roon using both my files and streaming files, and whether or not I need to think of the iMac as the center of it all…or is just setting it up and using the Roon Remote all that it’s really about?

Also > how to bring the HomePods into the mix? I guess I’ll be able to choose whichever systems/speakers from the Roon Remote, correct?

Your heading in the right direction

Maybe start by reading the knowledge base , it explains the architecture, cores, end point etc

It will need an apple guru to answer the home pods

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That is correct.

In your case, it would be.

MAGIC. It does it with magic !

Nah, just kidding, Roon plays whatever you want it to play.

Maybe one way to think about it that could help is to consider that it will treat Qobuz as a public library, only one where you’re paying the subscription to borrow as many records as you want at a time.

When you add the Qobuz records to your own library, then Roon will treat them like your own. It will merge your own collection with what you add from Qobuz, and so you won’t really see the difference (the only thing you’ll notice is the lack of visual display of the waveform on the bottom, and no dynamic range indication).

Roon speaks Airplay, Apple’s music networking language.

There are two caveats: if you have two in a stereo pair, it’s a bit trickier, and what you won’t be able to do is play music, in sync, to your office setup, your living room, and your 3 homepods.

As long as your wifi setup is good, you will be able to play music to all of them at the same time, just not the same music at the same time in sync.

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It is creating a large llibrary database which resides on your core. The database consists of information from either your local AIFF files, or the files that are on Qobuz. It knows where each music file is, in your library or on Qobuz. What Roon is showing you are Artists, Albums, Tracks among the library. When you click on an album, for example, Roon core knows that album is on Qobuz and streams the digital music file from Qobuz to your DAC. If the next album is from your library, the music is pulled from your local drive. If Roon is playing a shuffle of tracks, it knows to get the track from a local file or Qobuz.
You don’t need to keep track of where any of this is. It is, as @Xekomi puts it, just one large library of information.

It gets way more complicated than that, but you can learn as much as you want later. But your core (iMac) is really where most of the data processing happens. Your remotes are talking to the core for all music requests.

Thank you!

I set it up this evening. Although it was a glitchy set up (my recent iMac w good specs shut down four times (!) while it was scanning Qobuz and then a couple times while scanning the external drive where the files are stored), and once I started playing it was doing some dropping and skipping, it seems to be good now. I hope it holds.

Question: I set up the Remote on my iPad - all good. Tried to do it on my iPhone, but even thought I deleted the app and re-downloaded, it has the old core listed and there doesn’t seem to be a way to re-set. I was running Catalina when I had Roon set up last year, and now it’s running Big Sur. The app on the phone won’t connect.

How to fix?

Are you planning to have your iMac running the Roon core 24/7 or all the time you want to use Roon?
If yes than read no further. Your setup will work.
If no, you may consider other options for the Roon core to be available even if your iMac is off.
With only one output at a time and only minor DSP usage (crossed) a NAS based solution works quite well for me and I can switch off my iMac without stopping Roon.
Another alternative would be to invest 300-400 bucks for a intel NUC based Roon Rock which also will free your iMac.

You tried this? In Roon on the iPhone: Settings>About (it should update automatically)
What version iPhone do you have?

Scott - when I open Roon, I have this page. it’s not the current version of my OS, and there’s no way to get off this screen.
When I click the link at the bottom to configure, it tries to connect but doesn’t find anything…just keeps trying.
I’m stuck.

Thank you - good to know for future reference. For now my iMac is good.

thank you.

Clarification: are you saying I won’t be able to play the same music to the 3 AirPods at the same time in synch only if two of them are paired as a stereo?

Or will I be able to do that if they’re not paired?

I’m saying both.

Pairing Airpods in stereo implies using Airplay 2, which isn’t available to Roon (or anyone else outside of Apple) AFAIK.

The way around this would be using an Apple device as a Roon Endpoint (or player), and telling that device to send the music to your stereo pair of Homepods. In practice, that means having the Roon application running on a mac that is connected to the stereo pair of HomePods. Roon is not to be blamed for this, it’s an Apple walled garden problem, thru and thru.

Next, Roon can’t play to different types of outputs in sync: so it can’t play to a RAAT (Roon Advanced Audio Transport) endpoint and Airplay, or AirPlay and Chromecast, in sync, at the same time. The reason to that, as far as I know, is that different protocols handle clocking differently.

I haven’t tried playing to multiple Airplay zones, but that should work.

The problem is that if you’re doing a stereo pair + an airplay zone, then the stereo pair would likely be RAAT, and the sole HomePod would be Airplay.

I’ll let the apple ecosystem peeps correct me if I’m wrong, it’s been a while since i’ve used AirPlay…

It’s not the current version of your MacOS, correct? You aren’t talking about the correct version of Roon? Don’t be distracted by the MacOS version now…
Build 710 is the current version of Roon, so you don’t need to do anything there.
When you connect with your iPad, click the blue Connect button. That should run Roon on the iPad.
Does that work?
This should also work for your iPhone. You would click the blue Connect and Roon should run. You can update to Build 710 on your iPhone with Settings>About.