After a rather disappointing search for a nice alternative for iTines on a Mac, I finally found roon . I have one more week to test it, and I’m a bit hesitating subscribing for it.
I currently use iTunes on a Mac mainly for the following…
Organizing all of my music on an NAS.
Mainly lossless music files for listening at home.
Ripping CDs to tagged AIFF.
Occasionally buying music through iTunes Store
Converting selected titles (play lists) to mobile-friendly file formats like mp3 or AAC.
Synchronizing titles to iPod nano
I like the ease of use of iTunes and its visual interface. But it has two major drawbacks.
It can handle only very few file formats.
Separating title sets of different file formats for home and different mobile devices, e.g. car and DAP, is a mess.
At the moment, roon seems to be a very promising app which may be a real alternative to iTunes in the future. It supports many file formats I’d like to use, like FLAC. It has a very nice user interface, although, I still fight with merging albums .
What I miss so much with roon…
CD ripping. Not a big deal - could use separate ripping tool exporting to roon library watch folder.
No integrated file converting - essential for synchronizing titles with different devices.
No synchronizing with other devices.
No export of playlists as e.g. m3u.
For a real all-rounder roon currently lacks some very important functions that are important for listening music on mobile devices, off-line. To circumvent this you have to use a set of additional tools making it mor complicated to really organize your music for the different needs at home and on the go.
Currently, roon seems to concentrate on listening at home. And - I’m not absolutely sure - it may not support more generic DLNA/UPnP renderers .
So, what are your plans here ? And what about ‘roon extensions’ for Mac?
Two points with the user interface…
Is there any way to play a title through the Mac client - with a single click?
Cover art is rendered a bit over-saturated in the Mac client compared to other music apps.
I’m hesitating… a roon lifetime subscription is rather pricy… it looks nice, can handle many formats, but it is very limited in generating new music files for synchronizing with mobile devices, mainly concentrated on listening at home.
I’ve already found the ‘export’ function. Seems to generate an Excel list or a complete 1:1 title file copy of a selected playlist - including a playlist file. But it seems to be impossible just to save a playlist file for the original files within a roon playlist.
File conversion tools could operate on the original music files in the roon library without copying gigabytes of input files that are deleted after conversion.
That’s a real pity. There are so many A/V receivers or digital amps for home by e.g. Onkyo, Denon, Yamaha… which can easily be used as DLNA renderers. Equipped with a nice set of speakers the sound quality is outstanding.
Look e.g. at Synology’s own NAS DSAudio app. It’s a nice music browser for e.g. iPad or Android devices. It tells Synology’s music server to stream music to any DLNA compatible renderer, even to modern USB headphones, lossless .
This doesn’t work as expected on my system. I get an .m3u playlist, but it only contains the tracks in the playlist that have matching files on my computer. The TIDAL tracks in that playlist don’t get listed.
This is probably a result of the fact that the function in Roon is called “Export Music Files To Folder” instead of “Export Playlist”. Because in addition to the truncated .m3u file, in the chosen export destination I get copies of the music files that are on my system.
I’d like to be able to export an .m3u playlist of all the tracks in my playlist, regardless of source or location. The .csv export option isn’t that great, and requires me to select all of the playlist tracks before it becomes available.
I think there’s definitely room for improvement here, both in user-friendliness and function.
As for my personal music library workflow, it’s quite straight forward.
Whenever possible, get the desired titles in (near) lossless quality, i.e. by ripping CDs or getting high quality downloads.
Organize titles and albums based on the high quality files, e.g. AIFF or FLAC.
Create playlists for mobile devices. In my case it’s one for my car, one for my Android based mobile DAP, and another one for my iPod nano.
My integrated car player reads from an SD card with limited memory. High quality files in a car are rather - senseless - so, I use AAC files here.
The mobile DAP has lots of internal memory and can use two SD cards with up to 256 GB each. I use the DAP with a good headphone. So, I want HQ sound with a bit less limited memory. That’s why I use FLAC in this case.
The iPod nano has internal memory only which is very limited. It’s good enough for AAC.
iTunes simply cannot handle that. roon seems to be a future candidate for it .
An M3U playlist is a list of file paths – I’m not sure how we could do better for TIDAL streams when generating M3U files.
You can still export the CSV list if you select all the tracks, like on other screens in Roon.
[quote="Matthias_Dauelsberg, post:5, topic:23389"]
There are so many A/V receivers or digital amps for home by e.g. Onkyo, Denon, Yamaha... which can easily be used as DLNA renderers. Equipped with a nice set of speakers the sound quality is outstanding.
Our issues with sound UPnP aren’t about sound quality – have a read over the link I shared above.
[quote=“Matthias_Dauelsberg, post:4, topic:23389”]
Seems to generate an Excel list or a complete 1:1 title file copy of a selected playlist - including a playlist file. But it seems to be impossible just to save a playlist file for the original files within a roon playlist.
That’s true – if you put in a feature request we can look at this, but keep in mind that many users are running Roon in distributed, multi-device setups. If you’re on a laptop, but your files and Roon Core are on a Mac Mini in a closet on the other side of the house, an M3U listing file paths you can’t access won’t be helpful.
The current export is designed to give you something you can drop into another player or into your phone or car and it will just work, but it could also work the way you’re asking. A feature request thread would help us gauge interest in that feature.
I agree in most of your points. DLNA, if being used, is only as good as its implementations on both sides. That’s why many DLNA servers offer a conversion to PCM. But, that’s far more than nothing .
IMO, any other protocols are more bound to special H/W by isolated manufacturers, thus, even more proprietary .
As to UX of DLNA/UPnP implemented on compatible renderer H/W, I totally agree. But - I don’t care about that. I use my iPad to let my NAS stream music to my A/V receiver. I don’t press a single button on my reciever’s remote . With Synology’s DSAudio for iPad it’s a pure joy.
Using HQ files for listening at home I don’t need any DSP functions or fading. And many DLNA renderers offer enough sound improving functions for files with lower bit rates, if needed.
Maybe I had luck, but I’m totally satisfied with my DLNA solution . Ease of use, compatibility, and sound quality are more than I’ve ever expected .