How to get the best experience from Roon Radio?

That’s just AirPlay 2 not PlexAmp. Arc shows up on Lock Screen and has all same controls you can do the same thing except it won’t group them which seems strange as it should as it just system AirPlay.

Try it out you will see. Better playlist management it’s so easy to build playlists from tracks and albums. It has lots of pre-made radio options, Sonic analysis is very good to play similar music. Nee guest DJ feature relies on this heavily and very good. You can set how radios works so can tailor it more than Roon or ARC allows, no repeats so far. Radios work on our own music where Roon Radio sucks for local music.

It’s fully featured music app, ARC is missing lots of things. It has fast and very responsive UI, search is better and works, has some good filter options that work like focus and can be saved not as advanced but it’s still good. Support Chromecast as well as AirPlay, has AutoEQ database of presets for headphone EQ. Downloads work and so much faster it’s embarrassing, also can queue up whole albums easily and it works when app in the background. You can share links to albums track artists that will give links in services to play it or if you have shared access with them from your own library.

It’s just more well thought out for an on the go app really.


I’ve installed and it integrates with my Sonos, no access to any other players on the network though.
What’s the advantage of PlaxAmp over just using Tidal Connect?
I can’t see how I can integrate this into my Hifi system so struggling to find a use fir it…

Only you can decide that. Does Tidal play your own music no it doesn’t reason enough there for most people. If all you do is use Tidal then no, but why would you need anything else either. As for Tidal connect I have only one device that supports it where all support either AirPlay or Chromecast. You can use a Pi or Pc to Hifi via a DAC if you want to. I don’t use it for the Hifi side only as a backup but my example was instead of ARC and it’s radio feature not Tidal so I don’t get your starting point.

Is there anything Roon ARC does better than Plex?


Synchronize with Roon. Maintain tags. Etc.

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Yes ARC supports Qobuz, Plex only Tidal it does no MQA decoding but nor does ARC. Not sure if it passes through to full MQA DAC as I don’t have one for mobile. ARC syncs to my stats and it’s a similar interface to better. Arc is also more of a battery drain. Disadvantage is your maintaining teo libraries and Plex isn’t the best for compilations etc took some maintenance for me to get it how I wanted it.


Here’s a comparison between Roon and Plexamp. Let’s show the first 30 songs.

Seed for the radio was the Artist “Versus” (the indie rock band from NYC). I picked this band because they’re not super popular (but not totally obscure either) and have a distinct sound across 3 decades of albums. I was specifically not trying to pick anything too difficult nor too easy. For Roon I had to use the Versus album “Secret Swingers”, because Roon doesn’t allow you to start a radio based on an Artist (well it does but it only plays random songs by that artist). For Plex I had to use Versus as the seed, since seeding from an album plays the album that you start with, then when that album ends, it plays an entire album from a related band. 6 of one, 1/2 dozen of the other.

Plexamp spit out what I would consider a perfect radio:

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Old 97’s
Car Seat Headrest
The Wrens
Minus The Bear
Ted Leo & The Pharmacists
The Bluetones
Pedro The Lion
Kaiser Chiefs
Les Savy Favs
The Godrays
Franz Ferdinand
The New Pornographers
Girls Against Boys
Lifter Puller
Joe Christmas
The Auteurs
Velocity Girl
Frank Black and the Catholics
Eleventh Dream Day
The Sea and Cake
Mac McCaughan


Weird War
Kelly 8
The Balky Mule
The Take
Rainer Maria
Paul Newman
The Halo Benders
Small Factory (genuinely impressed with this one!!!)
Don Zientara
Rainer Maria
Dahlia Seed
Preston School of Industry
The M’s
Weird War
The Van Pelt
The Balky Mule
Rainer Maria
Paul Newman
The Halo Benders
Small Factory
Don Zientara
Rainer Maria
Yume Bitsu

Note that Roon’s repeated artists are different songs, I’m just too lazy to type the song names for every track. Roon repeated 9 artists within 30 songs which appears to be no improvement from what I reported 2 YEARS AGO (also it’s mostly the same albums, just different songs, which is insane for artists that have, you know, more than 1 album in their catalog). And it repeated Rainer Maria 3 times, even though they’re not super related to Versus (RM is more emo-indie, I guess? Which is not the genre for Versus at all). Does Roon (the company) not think that repeating artists so frequently is a huge problem? It is. I can’t believe they haven’t put a simple line of code into Valence to prevent this, it’s not rocket science to not repeat an artist that has been played in the previous 100 songs.

Plexamp only repeated the seed artist twice in 30 songs (which is understandable, since it’s the seed artist, maybe you want to hear it a little more than everything else). In my opinion, the Plexamp songs fit the mood of Versus better, while the Roon songs were more “general indie rock”. I’m surprised that Roon suggested Small Factory because they aren’t very well known, but they’re also a lot more acoustic (esp the songs that Roon picked) than Versus. So it seems like Roon’s algorithm for selecting radio songs is very very rudimentary, matching only on basic categorization like “indie rock” and maybe loosely on “1990-2010 era”. Plexamp is clearly considering many more factors. I actually went 50 songs deep in Plexamp and there wasn’t a repeat of any artist except for a Versus song about every 12 tracks.

Generally my reaction to the Plexamp radio was “wow, I haven’t heard this song in ages!” and “this song is great, what is it?”. Where with Roon I was like “what the hell song is this? it doesn’t fit very well”. I’m all for discovering new music, but with Roon I have never even heard of 40% of the bands that it threw at me, where with Plexamp I was familiar with probably 85% of the bands (even if I had never heard the song).

So for me it’s no contest. I canceled Roon today. Plexamp is so great I also canceled Spotify and Pandora, leaving me with just Apple Music (which is free with my Verizon plan), Tidal which I use for the “not in my library” backend of Plexamp, and SiriusXM (which I got included with my car but will not be renewing next year).

Thanks to everyone who recommended Plexamp! I’ve been looking for something this good for years. So far I have zero complaints (though I would like to see them add some “fine tune” controls to the radio, such as what I have detailed in previous posts, e.g. a slider for “more discovery” vs “more familiar”). It seems like Plex has really done their homework, thought of every feature I might want, and gives me so many different ways to experience the music in my library + new music that I don’t know yet. Amazing stuff, and only $5/month!


Thanks for testing once again. There must be a obviously a bug in Valence as the basic algorithm should be more advanced anyway. @danny will definitely know.

Hopefully you try ROON again at some point later as its development has a very high potential.

I wish I had your optimism. They know there’s a bug in Valence – we told them 2+ years ago, yet they haven’t fixed it? Mind boggling. The Roon app on iOS is also still a hot garbage, non-native app ported from Android. I don’t know what they are trying to do with this service, but it’s clear they’re not focusing on the things that matter to me… and I’m a HUGE music lover. They talk a nice talk about Roon Radio, but they have failed to deliver. Plexamp is SO much better it’s not even a close contest.


It definitely is very sad to see ROON radio lacking so much over a long time. And also no team member replying which could shed some light about what’s going on.

Oh that could explain the also very long lasting/annoying iOS remote touch screen sensitivity and choppy scrolling [Improvements released] it seems then.
But I thought the development environment these days is better to generate cross platform apps?

I am sure Plex will be cross development, makes no sense to not be unless you only release on one platform.

Using PlexAmps TimeTravel radio this morning, really good journey through the ages. Another neat PlexAmp trick is it remembers where you where in songs and can return to that point of you skip or move on by mistake. Handy for audiobooks.


My experience exactly. Radio very quickly limits itself to not only a small subset of artists but also a small subset of their albums. It’s awful.


I just tried Plexamp radio using Dua Lipa as a seed. There was lots of repetition of both the seed artist, radio artists - Harry Styles, Doja Cat, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber etc and also albums from within this artist group. It seemed a little better than Roon Radio but not much.

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Does the radio algorithm behave differently when skipping tracks versus letting them play through?

This can only be answered by ROON. @noris might be able to help or provide a link etc

I too gave Plexamp a try and had a similar experience with radio. Lots of artist repitition with pop seeds. Unless I’m missing something, it also seems like you have to rely on AirPlay or other phone/tablet streaming to the endpoint (unless you’re using a computer or AppleTV, etc.), which I don’t care for. I’d rather have tracks stream through the endpoint like they do with Roon or Tidal Connect. Stil holding out hope that Roon will eventually sort out the issues with radio.

Yeah I’d say that PlexAmp radio (a) requires a big local library and complete Sonic Analysis, and (b) is much more “lean forward” than Roon. When you teach it by clicking on “up next” it learns fairly quickly and can seem kind of magic even though you’re helping it more than you realize.

That’s why I put this feature request in, I think it is the core of the difference - part interface, part more data collected on expressed preference, Pat options available. If you agree, welcome your votes:

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Been running all day not a single repeat. It is more DiY but lots of users for Roon are to, plug in a pi and you have a streamer to a DAC. There are others who prefer turnkey and this is where Plex falls down unless you go Chromecast or AirPlay or Sonos.