Portable ROCK and Roon


I’m a complete newbie to this stuff so I thus have many ideas and questions.

I’m about to start ripping my collection of CDs to FLAC. Music files to be stored on one of my Synology 216play NAS units. Figure I’ll then setup a ROCK server to manage the music files and deliver them up to various sound systems about the house. Control via Roon Bridge on an Android tablet dedicated to the job.

Now here is where it gets interesting. Music on the move is important to me. Can I use Roon on the move? That is, in the car, on a plane, in a hotel room, at work etc.

I can sync/copy the music files onto a portable USB 3.0 drive. Can I sync two ROCK servers? Or does the second ROCK server have to build its own database from the music files on the portable USB drive?

How could I create a portable ROCK server? Would a battery powered Raspberry Pi with a USB 3.0 SSD drive be powerful enough? If not, what would be?

Plug the portable drive into the portable ROCK server. WiFi connect the ROCK server to a portable Roon Bridge, e.g. another Android tablet. USB out from the tablet into something like a DragonFly Red. Line out to line in of car audio, or headphones on a plane, or portable speakers in a hotel room, or fixed speakers at work.

Is this something one could do, or am I just dreaming?

Will I just have to put my FLAC files onto some suitable portable music player, e.g. FiiO X7 mark II, and use its less elegant interface?

Best regards, Lloyd Borrett.

Roon is pretty much (at this point in time) a home or fixed location setup…i.e no planes trains or automobiles or other mobile operation without a great deal of infrastructure to move around with.

having the core run in different locations or locally on a laptop is doable if your music is accessible (USB probably) but you will need internet connectivity so that rules out a lot of options…and speedy internet is desirable.

the core lic is easy to move from machine to machine but will build its own database for each setup.

you should probably go and read the knowledge base and look in more detail at the connectivity of the core and endpoints etc.


Some folks are using their laptops as a portable Roon system (a full Roon installation with the Core, Control and Output functions). Permanent internet connectivity is not required (unless you want integration with TIDAL, of course).

A Raspberry Pi hasn’t got the horsepower to handle a Roon Core server.

Do you Export a subset of your library to your laptop? I’d be interested in the workflow. I have not yet exported from Roon.


It’s all starting to happen. My Acronova Nimbie USB Plus NB21-BR Blu-ray/DVD/CD disc autoloader arrived today. So soon I’ll be ripping my CD collection to FLAC files and start having some lossless content for Roon. Not planning to point Roon at any of my existing MP3 files.

The hardware for my ROCK also arrived today. An Intel Mini PC Kit - NUC7i7BNH, with an an Intel Core i7-7567U Processor, loaded with a single 16GB stick of Crucial DDR4-2133 RAM, and a Samsung 250GB 960 EVO M.2 (PCIE) SSD, plus an Intel 2.5" SSD 520 Series 240GB. So I’ll be able to upgrade to 32GB of RAM later if needs be. The main Samsung SSD has twice the capacity suggested, so again, plenty of future proofing capacity. The Intel 250GB SSD has been lying around doing nothing for the last year so thought I may as well bung it in and see if I can use it for something.

Plan is to have Roon pointed at my music files on one of my two Synology DS216play 2-bay NAS units. The other NAS, plus some main computer hard drives will have backup copies.

Tomorrow I need to get a Roon licence, update the NUC BIOS and start the ROCK software installation.

I’ll be using an Apple iPad Pro 256GB as my main Roon control device. Might also put it on my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 smartphone.

Plan to point it all at an ultraRendu with a Gieseler Audio Power Supply and a new upcoming Gieseler Audio DAC that will be attached to my Yamaha RX-V733 7.1 receiver.

I’m excited!

Best regards, Lloyd Borrett.

Wow! Christmas came early — or late :smile:

Let us know how the setup goes. This group is good about helping people new to Roon.

Purchased a lifetime Roon licence. Upgraded the Intel NUC BIOS from 54 to 60. Installed ROCK. Got to the network IP setup and decided I’d better continue that part on the home network, not the work one. Then found I didn’t have a USB keyboard at home.

Have a Raspberry Pi 3B with HiFiBerry DAC+ Pro, Steel case, and 16 GB memory card coming. Will be setup running RoPieee OS to create a RoonBridge. That will bring network digital media to my mixture of vintage and modern stereo gear on the sound system in my home office - NAD 3020e amp, NAD 4020A AM/FM stereo tuner and Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 speakers. If it sounds okay, I can see at least one more of these being used on another one of my sound sytems.

Hey @Lloyd_Borrett,
I’m planning to have a roon setup for my car. I’m using a 5i5ryh nuc that I plan to remove from the case and set it on a bigger box (takachi enclosure if I can find one, otherwise I’ll have to DIY) together with this DC-DC PSU: http://www.mini-box.com/DCDC-USB-200?sc=8&category=981
This PSU is great because it is made for car use and can send on-off pulses to the NUC based on the car key position.
I will use a USB to toslink converter most likely this one: http://www.m-audio.com/products/view/micro-dac
The optical output will go to a audison processor amp combo: http://www.audison.eu/products/ap5-9-bit/
Also I’ll have to have a mobile modem/wifi so I can connect the NUC to my phone and have internet access to authenticate the Roon user and maybe use tidal if desired.