all audio based network connections are wired via. Cat.6
Ethernet connected dedicated CAPS music server> FLAC files on Samsung SATA SSD’s > SoTM soundcard > dCS Debussy USB DAC
1000 albums all local to music server on multiple SATA SSD’s
I can’t ignore the praise this program has garnered in computer audio circles. Because of this, I finally decided to give it a try with the caveat that it would have to work in my existing system and provide an interface and sound quality at least equivalent to what I already have. I’m running J River MC version 23. All of my albums are organized as Playlists (Genre; then alphabetical by artist last name). I prefer using the Tree to select music as opposed to an endless mass of album cover artwork. I’ve tried to keep things fairly organized, but would be open to any improvement Roon could offer. My music server is rather limited in terms of processing power (it’s a CAPSv3 with 4GB RAM running Windows 8). I understood from the tutorials that Roon can be fairly demanding of resources, so I installed the Core on my desktop (64bit OS, 64GB RAM, Xeon 1270 processor). I wanted to use the Roon app on my phone to play music, have the desktop do the processing if (I decide to go with a streaming service), and use Roon Bridge on the CAPS to stream to the Debussy. I was also considering a streaming subscription, but I don’t think I’m set up properly to get the most from MQA files at present.
After downloading the Roon software on the appropriate devices, I went about the business of setting up the Library. Selecting the DAC as an Output Device was easy enough, but I’ve encountered a major problem loading music. Unless I’m missing something, the way to accomplish that is to point to a network folder that has been mapped as a drive. I have all of my Music folders shared on the Network. They are readily accessible from the Core computer, but they are not mapped as network drives. When I mapped one of the drives, it came up in Roon as “unknown network folder; K”. There are 16 folders that would have to be loaded. Obviously, memorizing the drive letter isn’t going to work for me! I thought I could simply point to a location on the Network, and Roon would do the rest, in fact, I’m sure I read that somewhere. Even if I could get Roon to display the correct names of each of the Shares, that’s not an acceptable way for me to browse music. The source folders reflect where the music came from (ex. HD Tracks vs. CD Rips), and the approximate time period. This is why I spent so much time creating Playlists in J River. I do have a single NAS folder mapped as a Network Drive: where all my music is stored as a back up. The problem is, I don’t want the files bouncing from the NAS to the desktop, back to the CAPS, then to the Debussy. There’s no way to convince me that would provide better sound quality. My CAPS doesn’t meet the requirements for a Roon Core, and would not be easy to upgrade. If I can’t play my files from the local machine, I’m thinking I’ll just delete Roon and stick with J River. Since I have 13 days remaining on my trial, I wanted post here and see if there’s any way to accomplish what I want with Roon.