My Roon setup behaving strangely (or at least I don't understand it)

I’m coming to the end of day one of my trial. I’m running Roon Core on my main Windows 10 desktop PC with the control app on my iPad and the only real endpoint that I care about being a pair of KEF LS50 wireless speakers. This is all connected together over WiFi. (A couple of other endpoints have come along for the ride, the system outputs on both my main PC and my iPad. I’ve tested the one on my main PC but never tried the iPad one.) My main PC running Roon Core has a static IP address.

I messed up first time around and accidentally installed the “Roon” rather than “Roon Server” package on my PC which meant I had to have the application permanently running to use my KEF+iPad in my living room. Having said that, apart from the keep-app-open issue, it was so easy to set up and the experience has been fantastic.

Anyway, an hour ago when I realised my mistake I uninstalled Roon from my Windows PC (keeping the database & settings), installed Roon Server which did then run in the systray (notification area) as I had hoped. I then reinstalled Roon on my desktop PC to get the remote and do a quick first check that all my settings and database were still there. They were. I could see all my albums, Roon Core was still monitoring the same folders that I had pointed it to when I did that first wrong-package Roon Core install, it saw my Tidal sub, it played stuff on my PC, and all looked good.

I thought all was good until I went into my living room just now, picked up my iPad, and launched Roon. It couldn’t find the Core but I thought fine, some fingerprint changed during the uninstall and re-install, so I told the iPad remote to select a different core. It immediately saw a core running on my PC which I assume is the new headless install so I connected to it.

The weirdness now starts though,. I expected it to just act as a remote control like it did when I first started the trial and pick up the Roon Core state already seeming to be in place when I accessed the newly installed headless Roon core using the remote on my desktop PC but it didn’t. The iPad remote first asked me to log in to Roon, it then took me through the select-storage-folders dialog as if nothing had ever been set up already on my desktop PC (it initially had the Music folder enabled which is not what I want and it didn’t have the specific sub-folders that were set up on my main PC). Once I’d re-set-up the correct storage folders I had a bad feeling so I went into settings/library on the iPad app and from the progress indicator I could see that it had started the analysis all over again from the beginning.

I closed the iPad app and came back to my main desktop PC (which I’m typing this on) and if I go to Settings/Library on the Roon remote running on my main PC it shows no analysis activity. I just now fired up my iPad Roon app again and went to Settings/Library and it again shows, from its perspective, an analysis in progress.

What is going on?

I’m inclined to scrub Roon completely from my PC, including settings and database, delete the iPad app, and then start again 100% from scratch. I’m not particularly upset about this because it is so quick and easy to set up and giving Roon all 8 of my cores it only took an hour or maybe 2 at most to fully analyse my library so it’s no big deal but I’d like to maybe learn from whatever is happening in my setup right now and any mistakes I made or misunderstandings I might have.

Sounds like you have roon server and a full roon package running on the PC.
The full roon is connecting to and controlling the server.
Sounds like the iPad connected to the full roon package rather than the headless server install and has started creating a new library.

As Ged says, it sounds as though your iPad is connecting to the Core in the full Roon package on your PC, instead of the Core in the Roon Server installed on your PC.

I think you can (on your iPad) go to Settings/General and press the Disconnect button showing by the currently selected Core. Hopefully, that should then give you a screen allowing you to choose between the Core in the Roon Server and the Core in the full Roon package.

Thanks guys.

Is everyone who starts a Roon trial like this? Honestly, I’m so excited to get stuff going that I seem to have reverted to having the patience of a 3 year old right now and I’ve already gone and uninstalled everything including all settings and databases, installed just Roon Server on my PC & Roon Remote on my iPad, and I’m rebuilding from scratch.

I think I’ve a theory though. Two Roons were not running on my PC, I’m pretty confident of that, but here’s my theory about what I got wrong last time…

1 - Deleted non-headless (full Roon) Core but I did retain settings & database.

2 - Installed headless Roon Core. On install the headless server silently took a look at the database and settings retained from the uninstall above, said “that’s not my database” because the one I retained in 1 above from the full Roon core had some sort of different fingerprint in it so my headless Roon Server installed with a factory-fresh database/settings folder, or at least that’s my theory.

3 - iPad remote failed to find old Roon server but saw new one, complete of course with it’s factory-fresh database.

Anyway, I’m off and running again but would be interested to know if folks think the above might be the explanation.

Edit: On my way back from some shopping it occurred to me that in the above it doesn’t explain how, when I then installed the full Roon package after step 2 so that I could have a quick check that the headless server was working, why did that remote see a Roon Core with apparently the old settings and database restored but the iPad Remote saw a factory-fresh setup? All very odd. I really don’t think old and new servers were running. When I mistakenly installed the full package the first time in Task Manager I could see 3 Roon processes running at foreground level, Roon, RAAT server (or something like that - it was definitely RAAT-related), and one other whose name I have forgotten. After my uninstall and re-install of the headless stuff I definitely only had a process called Roon running at foreground level. All very odd.