Several Roon users have expressed interest in using additional streaming services such as Spotify, Qobuz or Deezer and the response has always been that no one is willing to give the Roon devs the type of back-end access that enables the deep integration of Tidal.
While it is great how local files and Tidal content complement each other, Tidal’s library only partially aligns with my tastes. Moreover, I have the feeling that in the coming months and maybe even years, none of the major players will become receptive to Roon’s current requirements. I have no inside information, this is only my (perhaps pessimistic) assessment of the situation.
I am therefore hoping to start a discussion on ways out of this deadlock. Personally, I would very much appreciate a two tier approach, where there is content that has a deeper level of integration (local files and Tidal), alongside services that are supported in a light-weight fashion. Having something like Tomahawk available within Roon, seems like an awesome solution to me.
This would allow me to search for content across sources from within the same app while using my infrastructure of multiple Roon endpoints. And if, eventually some streaming provider becomes interested in deeper integration (maybe even by experiencing the great light-weight implementation), all the better.
Don’t know much about Tomahawk - looks interesting - but regardless I’m a big advocate of a two-tier type approach (in the absence of any other service willing to commit to Tidal levels of integration). Perhaps ‘premier’ services (like Tidal), and then ‘basic’ services that are simply a page into their world so tracks can be queued and played throughout Roon zones.
But Roon is a small team and there’s a limit to what can be done. Tomahawk is open source, if it’s any good - perhaps a partnership could be formed and the backend could be used to integrate all these other services in a basic fashion into Roon.
How much work it would be, and how it fits into the Roon design ethos or future plans I’m not sure, but my hunch is even if the result isn’t the ‘ideal’ product, it would bring in more customers and give existing customers access to more music.
As stated elsewhere the Roon team can only do so much - they need third parties to be willing partners to allow for a Tidal style integration. My understanding is that providers like Spotify, Pandora, Quboz etc are not willing to integrate their streaming services with Roon - they wish to “own” both the front end and the backend. In this sense the Tidal integration is truly unique and a definitive comparative advantage to most music software out there. The team at Roon can only do so much - perhaps we can see some kind of " internet radio"style integration in the future where reliance is not placed upon the third party other than the users own subscription for access to services.
Maybe there is some extra something that Roon needs, but I’m quite confident spotify integration is possible. Actually, it’s not hard to download a Raspberry Pi Media Player with Spotify support, which works quite well. Going into my spotify account gives me a list of all the systems I have given permission to integrate with, including my Sony Phone’s native music app. If Sony can do it, it must at least be possible. So i don’t think that particular excuse is a valid one.
I agree, Tidal put’s a lot of focus on the Genre similar to it’s owners own brand, but there’s a lot missing and it’s also an awful lot more expensive.
Except I am not that excited about a Spotify integration with Roon - why would I want less than Flac quality for Roon software to playback on my system(s) - Spotify is best suited to my boom boxes like Sonos or B&O in my BBQ area which can be rendered via Bluetooth - which works well for us without Roon - I don’t see the point for Roon in a Spotify setup
There is a lot missing on all streaming services!
Except for Apple - we get the Apple Music subscription with our mobile (cellular) phone account for gratis - pretty well has all the artists.
Btw I would not use Tidal on my iPhone or a Boom box - Spotify or apple is more appropriate. Tidal for me only works (with Roon) on my system(s) that requires a source (Flac files) which can supply information that is equal (close too) to my CDs/ sacds/ dvd - A- for my amplifier (including & excl. DAC) and speakers.
I gave up my Tidal subscription, and use Google Play to have on the go, and listen to music before I purchase it. Am happy using Roon just to manage my music library.
There is a lot missing from ALL services. Of course, you may not be aware of it depending on what type of music you listen to…
Moreover, the quality of streaming is unequal.
However, I do think it would be nice to be able to stream through a Roon device - without necessarily having the database integrated. It would make things simpler.
I guess for some here, Roon covers not just their high-end hifi but various casual listening zones around the house. Plus from what I’ve read over the time I’ve followed these forums, music doesn’t have to be high quality for everyone - to some the choice of material, convenience, cost, and needs of other family members is just as important…
Well being able to stream to a Roon device from another app would be nice. Or being able to stream from Roon to a Chromecast would also be convenient. Sticking everything into the Roon app is not really the solution, IMO. There are bound to be some limitations.
The “definitive comparative advantage” can also become a week point in the case of a Tidal disappearance. Roon rely a lot on the ability to expand our libraries to enable the easy discovery of new music. It was for me the main appeal. And it’s not necessarily related to sound quality on absolute terms because I do most of my music discovery when working on a pc environment.
So it should cause a lot of concern in Roon the question “what to do if Tidal falls?”.
If you are worried about streaming services disappearing (which is legitimate) then the best advice is to build your own library.
I like to, but as european I cannot get the cheap $5 mp3 classical downloads from amazon.com. So it will take same years.
The more people who support Tidal, the more chance there is of them surviving.
We have to pay for quality or we won’t get it.
If people just want something for nothing they can’t complain when they get nothing.
Just a thought, Chris
Your point is nicely made. Thanks.
I have often contemplated that - In my case I will keep Roon to manage my music library on my NAS should the TIDAL option become unavailable.
I think we also forget, Roon will be coming with mobile access soon. This would allow us to keep playlists etc in one place again across more than one service, use the cheaper spotify for my kids accounts and use a Tidal for me if I wanted and have the missing artists.
I edited this reply as I was reading in the wrong order and it made no sense.
Bluesound and Sonos (and other hardware companies) manage to integrate Qobuz, and other services. I don’t know about the IT issues, it is a disappointing update.
Exactly what streaming services Quboz and others want - own the whole software experience and deal directly with the hardware manufacturers, they see Roon software as a competitor - that aspect is more disappointing