Multiple homes, core & endpoints in each home - how do you do it?

I have recently been changing up my approach to how I keep my Roon my life in sync across multiple homes, and I wanted to conduct a survey of those who actually have multiple cores in multiple homes. I’ll commit to write a summary up if there’s enough variety and I think it’s useful. Please note I’m not talking about those who bring ARC to your second home / cabin, because I think that’s a wonderful solution for those that don’t need or want multiple cores because you have don’t have multiple endpoints / DSP needs / etc in each home. I should also add that this is different than having multiple licenses, which allows you to have two cores active at the same time, but doesn’t keep them in sync.

So the starting list I’ve seen are:

  1. Physically bring CORE from location to location, so you really have a single Core that follows you around
  2. Multiple completely independent Cores - you run a Core in each home and ignore the fact that you have Cores with different tags/playlists/history and just let them keep running in perpetuity or occasionally copy the library from one to another
  3. Sync process from a single master / primary home where you ignore the fact that your secondary home(s) get their playlists / history obliterated periodically (could be automated or manual)
  4. Bidirectional sync process where you are running a process for always maintaining your most recent total master of all data across all homes
  5. Site-to-site VPN where you have a single core in one home and use it to send music to endpoints in that home and your other home(s)
  6. Something else I haven’t heard of

If I can refine this enough and figure out which solution works best for which needs, I’ll try to synthesize it into a guide. But for now, if you can respond with what you do, why you do it that way, and what the challenges are I’d appreciate it.

For what it’s worth, I’m personally switching from #2 (totally independent cores) to #3 (master home blows away everything that happens in the secondary home every time I go there) as I begin to use tags & playlists more. My version is Synology rsync to ensure that my primary home daily backup gets sent to my secondary home overnight every night, and then every time I reach my secondary home I do a full restore. I tried #5 site-to-site VPN with a single core, but Roon streaming is delicate enough within a home and my capability to maintain the subnet crossing was inadequate. I still am going to try to explore it, but I think that having music served from a core to a second home is probably going to be hard to get working satisfactorily even if it means that I have more work to do.

Basically I want to hear everyone’s solution to the challenge, and I’ll do my best to ensure others facing this have the benefit of collective knowledge.

Thanks!

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I think a guide would be helpful. I ran Roon at two homes for about a year and a half when I was a new user. It would have helped to read what others did.

I did a form of your #2. Two independent cores, one license. Local library stored on Synology and synced between the homes. I used Syncthing to sync because I use it for a variety of things and there is a Synology package available. Client VPN to help with administration - can’t imagine doing any of this without minimally having client VPN working.

That’s the whole story.

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Tagging a few folks who have posted on this topic. Sorry if any of you were being helpful but don’t actually do this. Wondering if you’re still actively running cores in two homes and how they do it / have done it. And I know there are various feature requests including the very smart ROCK-R but I’m really wondering how you make it work today! Appreciate your sharing.

@David_Fenton @mitr @James_I @Jason_Brown @Rick_Talaske @xxx @Mark_Laufer @ged_hickman1 @Martin_Webster @Binky

And a few more folks:
@Steven_Hansen @Philip_coffino @Bjorn_Sigurd_Johanse @Brian_Cory @Hugo_Sharp @Mike_O_Neill @CRo @Simon_Arnold3 @R1200CL @Julian

And a few more:
@Fernando_Pereira @mdconnelly @Ian_spector @Anders_Thulin @Tom_Hash @jacobacci @starcat @ipeverywhere @Ben_McGuire

Sorry I must the poor relation I only have ONE House :smiling_imp: :rofl:,

I have in fact only one real system apart from an iPad running BT in the kitchen so no help …

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I’m planning on running a point-to-point vpn (using ubiquiti endpoints). Watching here for input from anyone who has done that.

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I run two cores (one license) but each does its own thing. I initially set up our weekend apartment’s core with a backup taken from the home core, but since that first install they’ve each gone their own way. I’ve been thinking of taking a backup from the home core to the second one regularly, but haven’t yet thought of a tidy way to do it.

Michael

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We just set up two subscriptions on two separate systems and treat them as islands. It sucks, and definitely ruins a LOT of the Roon experience, but apparently after 5+ years these guys still have no idea how to sync 2 houses.

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I’m afraid that I don’t think my answer is going to be very helpful but I’ll answer anyway.

I run my Roon Core in 2 homes by having my Core installed on my main desktop PC which happens to be a NUC-sized device (not actually an Intel device but the same concept). I’m already geared up to move that PC between my main and holiday home anyway - I have an identical mouse, keyboard, monitor and 19V power supply in both homes so all I need to do to move my entire environment complete with all of my working data is to pack the PC itself into my hand luggage whenever I travel between homes which makes everything 100% seamless for me.

  • Julian
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For what it’s worth @Julian and others, I don’t think any solution is unhelpful or not right. We’ve all worked out some version of this. I wish I could remember to bring my ROCK with me; then the environment would be guaranteed identical. But I’m lazy and forgetful and so that wouldn’t work for me. But I’m jealous of all the benefits you get via “full core sneakernet”. I’m mostly interested to see the full diversity of solutions (and if anyone has made any of the fancy ones work on an ongoing basis over a long period of time). And to see what the more popular ones are and why.

Thanks for all the input so far…

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Unless it’s all on same vlan its likely endpoints won’t be visible on the VPN side remote will connect but just not see them only the ones at site of the core. There is a way round it with forwarding the UDP broadcasts required but it’s not simple.

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Mildly interested but in reality for this to have any meaning I’d first need a second home, and second I’d have the extra money to put another high-end system in that second home. Right now I only have one home that holds all my fancy gear. But if my stocks ever recover, I’d just move my core with me simply because you can only be in one place at at time. Problem solved.

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I’m not sure why that would be. I have two subnets running on my current network, and Roon runs fine across both. Adding a vpn would simply add another subnet, as far as topology goes, it seems to me.

Perhaps I have some inter-subnet routing going on that I don’t remember setting up, but if I’m doing via Unifi on my network here, I should be able to do it via Unifi on a Unifi point-to-point vpn. We shall see.

In any event, there have been cases of vpn success, like here.

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I have a suburban house and a studio apartment in another city. I run all my personal, business and Roon Core apps on my primary laptop, an HP Spectre 360. That laptop slips into a backpack which goes wherever I go. Both homes have desks with docking stations with ethernet ports. I have USB and multiple Chromecast endpoints in each home. Everything works well without needing to think about it. All I need is one plug to the docking station to use my laptop for all personal, business and Roon applications. I have a small volume of local music stored in OneDrive, so storage of local files isn’t an issue for me.

I have 3 vlans full unifi RAAT endpoints will only be seen on same VLAN. AirPlay and Chromecast which use mdns for discovery work on any but RAAT wont it’s discovery is via UDP broadcast which does not traverse subnet routing without a lot of config and it’s not in the controller it’s all command line. Yes it can work but not without some bespoke setting up. The more recent changes to their VPN on the latter routers might work but on my USG it doesn’t.

Multiple homes does not fit my lifestyle (see signature above), but I do spend lots of time at my 99 1/2 year old MIL’s home. I recently added a second Roon subscription in December so I could keep Roon ARC active on my Nucleus at home while using Roon on my laptop at the MIL’s house.

I use ROCK on a NUC at home. Prior to ARC, when going on an extended vacation, I would install Roon on my laptop, pack my USB music drive and just transfer the Roon license. But in this scenario, I never needed more than one endpoint, so now, I think I’d just use ARC via my iPhone or iPad.

I suspect if I could afford a 2nd home that would be used concurrently with my primary residence, I likely could afford a 2nd Roon license. Using a point-to-point VPN sounds intriguing but I suspect it might prove to be more of a headache than I’d want to deal with.

Thanks Michael & Jim. The post (or at least my original intent) was really about how to keep two cores in sync (same playlists, focus tags, etc) rather than active at the same time. Even if you have 2 licenses, your two cores operate independently from one another, and neither knows what the other one is doing. Create a bookmarked focus on Core A, and Core B will have no idea about that and vice versa. Play an album on Core B and your play counts on Core A don’t move. Some things happen automagically, like if you add an album on Qobuz or Tidal from one house it’ll get added to the other (because they are really just “liked” albums within each platform). Obviously some people care enough about that to cart a core with them, while others just let the two locations diverge over time.

But if you add a second license, that just means that you don’t have to deactivate your core in your other location, so that you can have endpoints in both locations playing at the same time (or really so you can have remotes / ARCs accessing both cores simultaneously - it’s just the playing that comes to mind).

So to me the question of having two licenses is kind of orthogonal to the question of how to have two cores in sync. Unless I’m missing something about how having two licenses works? Thanks.

I have two subscriptions on one account. I use Tidal and Qobuz with essentially no local files. Tidal and Qobuz keep both subs in sync with albums I add. I don’t worry about play counts and that stuff.

If I was trying to keep both subs in perfect sync, I would try backing up to a USB drive and carry that to the other place for a restore.

Another option would be to keep my main Roon core at my main house and use a smaller, lighter NUC or Mac Mini at the second home and haul it back and forth to sync it up when back home at the main house. I think this option would be my choice.