Nomad/Mobile Roon Use


I’m discovering Roon and before “investing” heavily into my own setup, I have an important consideration I’m hoping for a little feedback on.

I live full-time in my camper van!

I love music, love discovering music and artists, and over the years have tried so many music environment to manage and enjoy my music (some notable examples original Slimdevices, BlissHQ, etc.) but my life has changed over the last couple of years and I’ve decided to overland around the world.

Here’s the rub - how easy/friendly is Roon for users that spend some/much of their time with limited or no internet connectivity?

I know I can manage my own music library through Roon and that I will lose some of the advanced functionality, but what is the experience like when I can connect to the internet?

How does it handle streaming music services when off-line? I use Tidal and Spotify, and can save my music for off-line use, but can I use Roon off-line with that content?

I’d say I typically have decent internet service 50% of the time - how will I use/be able to use Roon when I don’t have internet service?

Ideally, I’d run it on a RaspberryPi 4 and an SSD drive, accessing my library (3Tb or so) sitting on a couple of other SSD drives. How is the RPi experience? Is there a docker image?

Any information, guidance you provide will be appreciated.

Thank you.


Off the bat, I would say any setup will work as well as your WiFi. Since Roon is WiFi based. That has been my experience.

You’re going to be disappointed.

First, Roon requires a Core which runs on x86/amd64 based (Intel) architectures. You can run it on Windows, Mac, or Linux. The Core will not run on a Raspberry Pi (only the Bridge runs on Pi).

As far as what happens without connectivity to the cloud services? Honestly I don’t know as I’ve never run it that way. However, if you do decide to move forward I’d highly recommend you spend your 2-week trial offline as possible so you truly understand what happens running this way. The metadata the Roon uses does need a license refresh every 30days or so otherwise everything stops working (at least that’s my understanding).

Streaming services, Roon supports Tidal and Qobuz. It does not support offline content from these services. You must have connectivity to the Internet to use them.

There is a community Docker image for x86/amd64. The docker image is Core only. You’d need a remote (windows, mac, tablets, phones).

Keeping reading the Roon docs and asking questions. Roon is excellent but I think, if I were in your situation, the lack of always-on Internet may make make other software a better choice.

Roon runs on a computer device, not a Raspberry Pi 4. Roon is definitely not what you need for your situation.

Roon is a bit of a monster for bandwidth on your internet connection especially on a local library and the more tracks you have the heavier the load will be. you are probably better off without Roon in your situation, unless you can ensure good un capped internet connectivity and yes you need a core PC/MAC to run it on…RPi are ok for an endpoint only.

You might even be better off with something like a decent DAP that can store offline tracks like FiiO M11 etc and use that to line out to an Amp/speakers/Hphones

If you have a library that size a RPi is unlikely to manage no matter what software you use.

You should look for software that doesn’t require auto logins .

I spent quite a bit of time a few years back caravanning , I used a iPad and a Bluetooth speaker but I’m talking weeks away not months.

If you have a laptop try that with your external drive . Try, JRiver it. require internet to set up but then just the odd license check. The remote app runs back to pick up a server address but This can be made with direct IP address if internet is missing. It’s not as sexy as Roon but is rock solid, ( it will also handle your video needs)

You could look at Plex , but I’m no expert here

For hardware the pc is the safest route , all the processor power you need

As others have said you need a pc to run Roon…it also requires internet access to validate your license , this is not all the time but its regualr if it can’t phone home then no validated license no Roon.

Only the streaming services own apps are allowed offline content. This is due the DRM they have to use legally to allow it. This applies to all other software that integrates streaming none are given access to download the material only stream.