I wrote a description in the Audio Hardware section of how I created the simplest Roon box I could think of. No network, no NAS. It is pretty neat and simple. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that it took a lot of tinkering and investigation to get it right. And I have more experience and more helpful contacts (including here) than most people. And even now, it isn’t completely right, the Roon server sometimes becomes unavailable from the remotes even though the network is up.
So how will this thing become mainstream? I once upset a lot of people at the Meridian forum by stating my concern that there was no future in this, because to be a Meridian Sooloos customer you need to be (a) a music enthusiast, (b) wealthy, and © technically savvy. I don’t know too many people like that (and those I do know have already settled on solutions). I know lots of people with one or two of those, but they couldn’t become Meridian customers.
Roon reduces the cost, disposable income is no longer a high barrier. But it does that by allowing combination of a variety of parts at different price and quality level, and of DIY gear. And the result is an even higher demand for technical savvy.
If you are even reading the stuff on this forum, you are already an exception.
How do we mainstream it? I keep coming back to self-contained hardware solutions, like Meridian did, but not necessarily at the same superb sound quality and cosmetic level. But is that a good business?
Interesting questions. I worry.