Initial setup advice, smb afp

OK, so I’m getting ready to take the plunge and would really appreciate some pointers on initial setup. My system: 1TB external hard drive<—USB—>2015 Apple Airport Extreme<’’’‘wifi’’’’>2015 Macbook Pro OS X 10.11.5 El Capitan 8gb RAM. All music files, mostly lossless AIFF, in a folder called Music on the external hard drive, approx 19k songs 700gb. Currently using the latest version of iTunes for music management and playback. iTunes media file location is /volumes/owcmercuryelitealpro/music. Keep iTunes media folder organized and Copy files to iTunes media folder are checked. Would like to continue to use iTunes for CD ripping and file management.

Edit: The iTunes library xml file is in the “usual” place on the Macbook, and the preference to share the file is checked. Output is via digital (usb, toslink, hdmi) from the Macbook to existing receiver or future nice DAC.

Any hints, tricks, or warnings in the setup process for Roon, given my configuration, would be greatly appreciated since I am a total newbie. I assume I will be using watched folders?

I’m stuck on the network drive protocol issue, i.e. smb vs afp. I see that smb is a must. Given that most of my Apple gear is pretty new, I would assume that everything is smb, but when I do a Get Info on the folder with the music on the external hard drive, afp shows up in the path. I’ve done a lot of googling on this subject and I have to say I am more confused than when I started and have no clue how to determine what is running where and/or how one can change it.

Many thanks in advance and am excited to get up and running!


Tim, welcome to the forums. Roon definately has a lot to get excited about. :D.

Just a couple of quick comments:

  1. Use watched folders
  2. Connect the external HD directly to the machine which is running Roon Core.

Thanks, Daniel, for the input. Curious on your recommendation to hook up the external HD directly to my Macbook Pro. Is that for sound quality issues and/or being able to play very high resolution files, or is it for connection and dropout issues? The hard drive makes a very slight but noticeable amount of noise and so I prefer not having it in the listening room, and I don’t have ethernet through the house, so that’s a reason I do wi-fi. I have a very solid wi-fi signal with the new Airport Extreme, and I’ve been using this configuration very successfully for several years now. Still very open to your opinion here, if you see something unique to Roon and my setup that would benefit from direct connection.

Appreciate it.

Hey Tim,

The way Roon works is more like a server than a music player. When you play a song, the music file is first streamed to the Roon Core Server (This is the primary installation of Roon whether you are using the Roon or RoonServer, which is just Roon without the UI). Roon does any processing and then sends it back out to the endpoint(s) for playback. So, in that instance, moving the files locally to the Roon Core would halve the in/out network traffic since the Core would not be pulling the music across the network.

Secondly, upon initial setup, Roon will analyze all the audio in your library as well as start pulling all the metadata. This can take some time all depending upon memory, cpu speed, local network speed, internet speed, etc. For larger libraries, it is not uncommon for it to take up to even a day or two. That process could stress your WiFi, especially if there are other things you are doing over WiFi.

I usually recommend that the music be as local as possible as that gives the best response time, imho. In my case, I’ve gone from using a NAS to hold music, to moving all my music to local SSDs and relegating the NAS to holding my music’s backup.