Multi room set up for home

(Markus Bohunovsky) #1

I would like to set up roon, so I can access my music anywhere in my home with any device. How would I best accomplish that?
Right now Roon Server runs on my MacBook Pro, which means, I cannot use the software unless I open the MacBook. So, for example I cannot use roon to listen from my iPhone when lying in bed, without getting my computer first.
So, I am thinking of getting a Mac Mini as the server and having some drives attached to it with most of the music on them.
But then the Mac Mini would always have to be on and not in sleep mode. That would probably seriously limit its life expectancy. So how do you suggest being able to have a server set up that can be accessed anytime from multiple rooms? What do other users usually do? It seems to me the great power of this system would be that I have a server running Roon and many places from which to access the software any time. But how do i accomplish this?
(I would like to stay in the Mac/iOs universe if possible as I’ve not kept up on the Windows OS for many years)


(bearFNF) #2

An Intel NUC with ROCK is a good solution for this. It is not MAC but runs a Custom Linux OS made for running ROON Server by the ROON folks. It would ONLY run ROON.
See this link for details:

(David Orgel) #3

I have Roon Server running on a mid-2011 Mac mini that’s still going strong. It runs 24/7, with the exception that when I’m going to be away for several days or more, I usually shut down the entire audio system. That happens roughly once every couple of months. This has been the case since 2011, when I first started to get serious about computer-based audio playback, well before the advent of Roon.

All that said, if I was starting fresh with a new system intended primarily to run Roon core, I’d probably go with an i5 or i7 NUC running ROCK.

(Tony Reimann) #4

Always on in some respects would extend the life expectancy. In any case it won’t seriously shorten it. However as others have said get a NUC and run Rock.

(Wim) #5

Install the Web Controller extension and you can control roon from any browser.
Check out the Roon Extension Manager.

(Markus Bohunovsky) #6

Hmmm–NUC+ROCK sounds really good, but the video specifies price at around $2000. About 4 times as much as I was hoping to spend.

(Markus Bohunovsky) #7

Oh–sorry my mistake. I guess the $2k is for some pre-configured system (Nucleus).

(bearFNF) #8

The nuc is much cheaper than that, in the KB link there is another link to the parts. cheapest one was about $400 US for the i3 version and about $625 for the i7.

(Markus Bohunovsky) #9

I see. The one thing that worries me a bit is the comment on the review on Amazon: "A little pricey, and it is certainly audible with the fan running all the time. "
It seems like I’d want something without a fan, no?

Also: Still trying to get used to the roon architecture. It seems there are 3 different components always involved: a server, an endpoint and a remote.
So, I was thinking of having the server in my closet next to the router. I was not planning to use it as an endpoint or dsp or connecting it to any audio output device (DAC/Amp/etc)
I thought that would be handled by my notebook, which is currently already connected to my amp via a DAC. Is that how to do it?
Or does the server have to be used as the audio player (endpoint) as well?
In the scenario where the server is not also the endpoint, where is the actual data actually received? For example: If I play from a NAS drive, does the server retrieve the data off the NAS and then stream the (potentially hi-res digital data) through my network to the computer that acts as the end-point? Are there then drop-outs, if my endpoint computer is only connected via WiFi and I’m streaming 192khz 24bit?
Or does the endpoint computer retrieve the digital file directly from the NAS and then play it?
How about when playing TIDAL? Does it always play from the server or the endpoint? Can I have multiple endpoints play different streams at the same time (in that case it would also be better if it played directly off the endpoint system)

Sorry–trying to figure all this out. The only other digital multi-room hi-res system I’ve used is Bluesound’s hardware with its proprietary software, so this is new to me.

(Markus Bohunovsky) #10

Allright. I guess I should have tested this before: So it looks like the server is always also playing the music. The other installations of roon are only remotes. They cannot act as the output.–is that correct?

So If I have 3 different audio systems, I would have to buy 3 roon subscriptions and install 3 separate servers, correct?
And the iPhone can only be used as a remote period. So lying in bed and using roon to listen to music off my iPhone with a Dragonfly DAC and headphones is not an option.

Do I have this correct?

(Markus Bohunovsky) #11

So the only way to do music in multiple systems is to continue to use my notebook as the server and carry it from room to room as I do now.

(Anders Vinberg) #12

No, you only need one Roon license.
You will run Roon on a computer running like a server (or use Roonserver which doesn’t even have a GUI.) It is possible to connect a DAC to the server with USB.
Endpoints play music. They can be computers, like a laptop. They can be DACs that directly support the network, either wired or WiFi. Or you can use specialized small devices with a network jack on one side and a USB or SPDIF or Toslink jack for connecting to a DAC.
And you need a user interface. It can be screen on a laptop or your server. Or it can be a tablet, like an iPad or Android.
You note that a laptop can be both the user interface and endpoint, as you suggest. Some tablets can too. The iPad can too, not directly by Roon but with an extra app called iPeng.

Combine those pieces one way and you run the whole system on one computer. Combine it another way, and you have a server, five endpoints in various rooms, plus a bunch of tablets and laptops scattered around the house, some of which can play music — I’m in the industry and am somewhat heavy on gadgets. Or some reasonable level in between.

(bearFNF) #13

might want to read this:

The core does the processing and DSP so needs a decent processor and enough memory.
Endpoints just need to receive the packets and play them.
This is all controlled by the remotes.

(Mr Fix It ) #14

Note you can’t listen to music with roon on an iOS device…short of with ipeng perhaps…iOS devices are control points.

Macmini run and run and run…I’ve had one running for nearly 8 years, bar hdd fails. You should get many years use of a Mac mini…my 3 units of 2010 vintage minis are still doing daily duties with roon :smiley:

(Markus Bohunovsky) #15

Thanks Everyone.