JRiver's odd anti-streaming rant

In their latest new release pre-sale email, JRiver (JimH?) once again explains why they won’t integrate streaming services. Except their own, of course. They are really stretching now. And they are formally ceding the future to Roon and others. I used their product for a long time, and sort of feel bad criticizing them here. But this seems like a turning point for them, and it’s sad. And weird. Anyway, here’s the excerpt…

Typical JimH senility.


I had already renewed to 27 I use it for my Video Needs alas no Netflix support My email was different to this !!

I have been trying to get Tidal support but it’s pointless, JimH will never agree, he just deletes posts detailing the requests

Rock on Roon


I got the same email. Utter, total tosh. A local library with the same number of new releases that I can listen to on Qobuz would cost me many hundreds of thousands of dollars! If I just add up the albums I’ve favourited this month it would be hundreds of dollars. And can anyone explain me why anyone wants their silly Cloudplay? A few arbitrary playlists of mostly old music with no complete albums. Must be the least competitive option on the market. I stuck with them out of sentiment for a year or so after I switched to Roon and Qobuz, but no more.

(And JimH’s missive is contradictory. He tells you how good Cloudplay is, then he tells you why local music is better. Doesn’t add up.)

I’m not a jriver user, but I do agree with him. Any music I value needs to be under my control. It is not with a streaming service (unless you rip it on the side as you listen to it, but you didn’t hear that from me. :wink: ). I have seen this for years with netflix streaming, titles disappear all the time and you are screwed. I don’t want to watch the latest comic book movie, I wanted to watch the thing you got rid of.

I love the tidal and qobuz integration with Roon, but I have added zero streaming albums to my library because I use it only for discovery and don’t want my library to have things disappear on me. If it’s in my library it’s rock solid and backed up all over the place.


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I have a JRiver 27 licence but haven’t upgraded from 26 yet as the early builds of a new release are always full of bugs. I only use it for video. It’s pretty good for that. I’ve also got it for the very rare occasions that Roon is unavailable, like it did with that Amazon outage a few years ago.

After three years of Roon I can’t tolerate the JRiver interface for audio.

I also don’t understand his views. We don’t want him to be streaming only but offer both of the two worlds.

I have almost 9000 albums and their software is very good at the job for offline listening. And also the video section is very good. But for some weird reason he refuses to progress.

I use Roon and Foobar2000 for music and Plex for the video. Now what do we have here. Roon is excellent with playback and streaming music but it lacks completely the editing capabilities. Foobar2000 is excellent at playback and editing but lacks streaming. Plex is excellent at video streaming but fails at music.

I can’t replace everything with a single app. I can’t deny that I want that. But it’s impossible. Jriver is the only program ready to do that with a small change. Adding streaming support. OK it wouldn’t be Roon or even Plex but it would be a very good start. But they don’t understand it.

In various social media I see domination of Roon and Plex for their network capabilities. People can not do wrong.

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Try MConnect as. Remote, it reads DLNA views from JRiver and has access to both Tidal and Qobuz

Not as sexy as Roon but you get all 3 options on one remote app

JimH is apparently one of those people who thinks that his way is always the correct one, and that his custormers wants/needs are “wrong”. He’s been VERY resistant to all sorts of needs/requests over the years, and even sort of nasty about it on forums when replying to customers.

You’d have to have your head in the sand to not understand that streaming is here to stay and that with each passing year his potential customer base is made up more and more of people who (also) stream.

One of the most compelling reasons to pay for Roon is the seamless integration with streaming accounts for Tidal and Qobuz. There’s nothing else like it if you subscribe to one of those services.

He**, even open source LMS has integrated streaming services fairly well, and it’s free.


I suspect the chap you are talking about is simply operating within the envelope of his ability to develop and support the product from which he makes a living. That Mail would seem counter intuitive to Roon customers but they pay a lot more for the product and the support which comes with it. This would be a tough space to move in to so perhaps he recognises he and his product are better of in the niche it occupies.

Nah. I prefer Roon for my in-house listening and Plex for outdoors. Why bother with something not meeting my needs?

Also we don’t want him to change completely his program. It would be stupid to to so. Especially the last 2-3 years that Roon has taken the audio world by storm it would be suicidal to try something like that. But small changes are always welcome. Not everybody is happy with Roon and you will never know the future. So why don’t you try to take them with you?

Another example of how things move. In F2K there are 2 components for video. The first is mainly a youtube-dl frontend and it also support local files. The second is purely for local files and it’s based on mpv. Now I’ve uninstalled Jriver and I play my videoclip selection through F2K.

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The chap in question, to be fair, has been in the Media Software business for years, JRiver is an exceptionally stable product. I have used it for 10 years or so. It is currently V27 (read years …)

He is getting old (75), he’s even older than me :imp:,but he has a very talented and dedicated team around him , notably his CTO Matt Ashland . It’s not a lack of ability holding him back

I am not sure what is. I believe he got his fingers burnt a few years back with Tidal , pre JZ.

He is of the opinion that streaming is not financially viable and nothing tried to alter that thought has worked.

My guess is he won’t change and neither will he retire any time soon. He owns JRiver

OK JRiver FanBoy :grinning:


Actually, they have some pretty good developers who can likely code just about anything. (Except a pretty UI.) Early on they tried working with Tidal, and had it sort of working but Tidal had issues with the UI and presentation or something, and JRiver refused to adapt. At least that’s how I vaguely remember the explanation.

I’m speculating they also have an old rat’s nest of a code base that they’re afraid to touch because it will break, and/or nobody remembers how it works. Which would explain why new features include stuff like a new button to sort a list on the second letter of artist name or some such.

I agree don’t change a winning horse

JRMC changes often , they update on an Agile basis, probably every 2-3 weeks. Most changes are around Video mainly because Audio is so stable with nothing much to add to the current offering, except streaming of course. Small features are added within weeks of request

My point above stands , they have an extremely talented team especially with video developments.

Back when I was still using it I wished they would split off the video product. They were trying to replace Microsoft’s abandoned Windows Media Center, when products like Tivo already did a better job. Now with streaming video, unlimited cloud DVR, etc., they are chasing a handful of users of products like Homerun while even established products like Tivo become increasingly obsolete.

A fair comment , they do need to move forward but …

At least 3 of the main devs have been there 20 years
, the main video guy 10 years

A lot of coding hours, it’s all in C++ so fairly stable platforms

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Agree, they a pretty good coders. I wonder, though, if they sometimes feel they are being held back by management/ownership.

But we don’t want to change 100% and be something else. We just want to be a little more modern like Audirvana. Not something completely different. I use computers long enough to know that the biggest changes are mostly disastrous for a product.


His stance that its cheaper with you own music is utter tosh, hes not factoring in having to purchase new music. 2 new albums a month cost more than my Qobuz subscription where I can get a lot more for my money.


When CD came out a bunch of old-timers kept their heads in the sand and were adamant that vinyl was better.

When playing back music from a local hard drive came out a bunch of old-timers kept their heads in the sand and were adamant that CD was better.

When streaming music online came out a bunch of old-timers kept their heads in the sand and were adamant that local playback was better.

Last week vinyl sales outpaced CD sales. Both were utterly negligible compared to streams. There’s probably a market to sell something to old guys with sand in their ears.