How to get the best experience from Roon Radio?

Thanks for this! It’s good to know that other people experience the same. I’ve looked at every thread on Roon Radio that I can find and I can’t find anyone who says their Roon Radio is super diverse and backs it up with facts. Some people say they don’t get repetition like this, but I think they just aren’t paying attention.

Since Roon Radio is what initially brought me to explore and subscribe to Roon, and I discovered that it doesn’t live up to the hype, I canceled my subscription. I still have 2 weeks remaining so I’ll try to run a few more tests and export the data.

I’ve tried every music service which has a radio function that I can find: Slacker, Pandora, Tidal, Deezer, Spotify, Apple Music… they all suck to varying degrees. I find that Pandora probably has the best algorithm, especially when you set the Fine Tune mode to Deep Cuts or Discovery – but what they don’t tell you is that this does NOT work in Offline (Download) mode, it only downloads the regular mode (e.g. popular predictable songs). Since more than half my listening these days is offline at my cabin, that sucks. Tidal is the second best… it’s easy to create playlists from the queue (incl radio) and then keep diving down into various related Track Radio or Artist Radio, adding everything to the same playlist (it can automatically skip duplicates), then set that Playlist for Download. My only gripe about Tidal is its obvious bias towards pushing Rap and R&B music even though I hardly ever listen to this genre.

Slacker has a pretty good algorithm and Fine Tune options as well, but when I download a station it only fetches about a dozen tracks and there’s no way to change it, so that’s a no-go for me as well. It also seems like a dying service. Deezer wasn’t bad, but it didn’t feel like it had anything unique to offer. Apple Music and Spotify radio functions are a joke.


I don’t have access to Pandora in the UK, but have you explored the idea of transfering these Pandora playlists to whichever streaming service you use for when you are at your cabin (sounds lovely btw), downloading in the streaming app? Obviously these would also appear in Roon:

The transfer appears to be supported for Pandora->TIDAL/Qobuz in Soundiiz:

Unfortunately, Pandora doesn’t have any ability to transfer songs from a radio station to a playlist (there’s not even a Queue or History). I can add individual songs one by one as they appear on the Now Playing screen, but that’s too tedious when I want to save a few hundred songs for offline listening. I’m hoping they fix it so that whatever Fine Tune mode you’re listening to when you select to Download the station actually determines the songs that are downloaded instead of using only the default station mode. They added these new modes (Deep Cuts, Discovery, Crowd Favorites, etc) about 2 years ago, but only if you’re online when you’re listening. It’s baffling.

That’s not great, you would think if they have improved their algorithms to such a level, they would be able to provide relatively trivial functionality. But might it be some form of licencing limitations - although hard to understand as they can provide downloads of the popular tracks.

The sweet spot of content and functionality still seems wide open for a company to exploit. But I suspect it isn’t a major concern of any of the major streaming companies, as most people seem to be content with their current recommendations.

But as you illustrate in your posts, there are many more functions/improvements/deeper control that could be offered to a sizeable minority. At least Roon seems to understand this could be a market USP, it’s just the implementation that seems lacking at the moment.

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Unfortunately recommendations in 1.8 are still missing some essential elements like Roon recommendations based on entire listening history

Guess many expect this already to be the case.

After 4 solid months of use Roon Radio use with Local Library (110,000+ tracks) + TIDAL and also with no streaming service attached, I share your thoughts. Artist repetition and lack of deep cuts. - I’ve had the best experience with radio without TIDAL connected (leaving only my local library), this setup has yielded by far the most deep cuts and interesting listening experience (resurfacing songs in my library I hadn’t listened to in over a decade). Ideally though, I really do want to fold in a streaming services as I love discovering new music.

I was also disappointed to learn after I signed up for Roon that Roon Radio is purely based off of one single song, the last song in your queue. I had naively assumed it would use your whole queue as a seed.

Related posts:

In the streaming arena I’ve tried Spotify, Apple Music, TIDAL, and Pandora.

  • Pandora wins hands down for Radio.
  • TIDAL wins for sound quality (only lossless option I’ve tried)
  • Spotify wins in every other category (UI, usability, social features, library)

Of course I could never give up my local library, and I love how Roon brings all of my audio devices together to party, so I would love to see Roon advance the radio to incorporate some of the suggestions you’ve brought up along with suggestions in the threads I’ve linked to above.

You’re not alone. Cheers.


Yep it’s sad that discovery isn’t on par with other recommendation engines. Even though Roon would have ton of data.
Maybe we can get this going which would make a considerable improvement


I don’t know if there is a more recent Roon Radio thread but I found this one.
Just played the Alanis Morrissette album ‘Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie’ and guess which artist and track Roon Radio chose for the ‘playing music similar to…’


Ironic indeed! It really needs to get out more. Perhaps the AI behind it is developing a sense of humour.

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In my experience the number of times, the first Radio track is from the same artist it’s seeded from is disproportionately high. I mostly play Classic Rock/Pop, so very mainstream genre.

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Unfortunately Roon Radio performance is still needing a major improvement.

Yep happens way more than it should.

I recently found this Spotify web app which is incredible.

It basically creates a 50-100 song playlist based on different inputs – my favorite is using a playlist of random songs that I like, either of a mix of genres, or from a particular decade, etc. It’s also possible to adjust several parameters to tweak the results (I use the defaults). It also keeps track of what songs it has previously included, and what songs are in your personal “Likes”, and does NOT include any of those songs. So the result is a playlist that includes tons and tons of songs that are new-to-me, or which I haven’t heard in a long long time, with no repeats whatsoever. Combined with the new Spotify “Enhance Playlist” feature, it gives me hours and hours and hours of music that’s interesting and fits exactly whatever mood I input into it… I hardly ever skip any songs.

It’s kinda what I wish Roon Radio, or Spotify’s own radio function, actually did. Combined with Spotify’s upcoming lossless option, it’s yet one more reason not to go back to Roon.


Had to post this. Roon Radio seeded from Ohio by Neil Young. And guess what the first track offered is. Ohio by Neil Young. I really wish someone from @support would comment on this.

And the next track is

In no way even remotely related to Neil Young. Valence just finds a song title which matches and decides to play it. I honestly don’t know what to make of this.

there are ways to fix this using sonic similarity data, rather than text matching, as radio seems to do.

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This whole thing with Roon being great for discovery is why I gave it a shot vs. Audirvana (which definitely sounds better on my system). I can’t say I am impressed enough to renew my subscription.

Hmm, I just signed up as Roon Radio seemed pretty good, but closer to the end of the 2 week trial we noticed the repetition in the song play.

So… Roon Radio is going to repeat within a few hours and there is nothing we can do except skip the songs that are repeating?

Or…Build large playlists of artists albums and put them on shuffle (create our own radio)?

Is this the consensus?

Are you using a streaming service or only local files?

i know this is beating a dead horse, but I encountered this pattern of repetition this afternoon/evening, and it really started to drive me nuts.

Picked Oscar Peterson’s Bags’ Groove off Night Train as the seed. Interestingly, Peterson NEVER showed up again.

Peterson - bag’s groove
Gordon - guess I’ll hang my tears out to dry
Adderley - Autumn leaves
Monk - monk’s dream take 8
Ellington - sentimental mood
Morgan - sidewinder
Rollins - where are you
Jamal - new rhumba
Burrell - chitlins
Blakey - night in Tunisia
Donaldson - boogaloo
Hancock - maiden voyage
Mingus - pork pie hat
Garner - red top
Gordon - scrapple
Davis - someday my prince
Powell - bouncing with bud
Ellington - limbo jazz
Rollins - st thomas
Evans - Foolish heart
Burrel - Chitlins (2)
Shorter - witch hunt
McCann - compared to what
Brubeck - Take 5
Haden/Hall - Bemsha swing
Mingus - Mode D
Gordon - tears (2)
Ellington - sentimental mood (2)
Adderley - Autumn Leaves (2)
Monk - Monk’s dream take 8 (2)
Morgan - Sidewinder (2)
Rollins - where are you (2)
Jamal - New Rhumba (2)
Burrell - Chitlins (3)
Blakey - night in Tunisia (2)
Garner - Red top (2)
Hancock - maiden voyage (2)
Donaldson - Boogaloo (2)
Mingus - pork pie hat (2)
Gordon - Scrapple (2)
Ellington - Limbo jazz (2)
Coltrane - Favorite things
Gordon - Tears (3)
Adderley - Autumn Leaves (3)
Ellington - sentimental mood (3)
Monk - Monk’s dream take 8 (3)

At this point I gave up on Roon radio. First-world problems, I know, but the algorithm just makes no sense to me.


I’m quite tired of the “Hey! You like jazz! Here’s some more jazz!” algorithm. It must be possible to have the choices more finely tuned. But I find the same thing in all services, even Pandora.

I’ve been trying to substitute subgenre radio for track or album seeding, but even that drifts away from the subgenre quickly. There will be tracks/artists that do not contain the chosen subgenre tag anywhere that I can see.

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I agree this is a space Roon could really shine, but maybe its an impossible problem.