After a great deal of back-and-forth, I settled on Apple Music for streaming, discarding all of the others to which I subscribed. Apple Music was an easy choice, because I have curated an iTunes library since the beginning of ‘ripping’ music. That and my Apple Music subscription came with my wireless phone plan
I sample new music with my phone (at work and in the car) and if I really like something, I buy a Redbook or High-Res version from a variety of places to listen at home via Roon: HD Tracks, used or new CD from Amazon for older stuff, and sometimes even Bandcamp or the artist’s own website (you might be surprised how easily one can purchase digital music directly from the artist with a little bit of searching).
It’s like going back in time, since this was how I listened to music years ago. Watching the political nonsense with Spotify has reaffirmed my choice of owning digital copies of music I love.
I thought briefly about discarding Roon, as well. But replace it with what? My two digital endpoints at home (Bryston BDP and Bel Canto Design e.One Stream) are laughably clumsy to use with their own playback software. So, for now, Roon lock-in is complete.
I’m in a very similar position. I have 7 months left on my Qobuz sub but decided to move towards a local library only set up. I’ve really enjoyed supporting artists through buying downloads and also scouring Ebay for cheap 2nd hand CDs. I can use Qobuz to listen to new music (“try before you buy”) but I won’t be renewing when by sub runs out.
I also thought about cancelling Roon as my renewal is up next month. I asked myself “do I really need it?” and the answer was “no”. I then asked myself “do I really want it?” and the answer was “hell yes!”.
I Am living with roon for some years now, I build all my home systems with roon in mind, and the idea of not having roon is something that I can not imagine. I became used to the interface and beautiful experience that gives me supporting almost every gear I own.
I still use Tidal but as an offer of an artist friend, and in my country is the only service that roon supports, integration with more services would be welcome. For me roon turns music in a visual experience for my local library, and I got some users on it with the years that also can’t live anymore without it.
There are some alternatives on audiophile software, but no other can give me personally the same global satisfaction.