Question slash Idea - Eliminating metadata scrubbing to reduce cost?

I know one of the biggest costs for roon is licensing the metadata for the music aside from running and backend servers. The background art, the genres, all that stuff, costs money. If roon were to simply serve your files and playlists to you remotely, and/or serve as a syncing engine to get your music onto your android/iOS powered mobile devices, would that reduce the cost of roon?

Then Roon would not be Roon. So, who cares? If we want cheap, there are other alternatives.


Really? I haven’t seen a breakdown anywhere of Roon costs, could you point me to them?

Without knowing details of how the metadata is licensed, it is not possible to speculate on how costs could be reduced by not using it in certain circumstances.
For example, it could be an annual ‘all you can eat’ access charge, in which case no savings are possible. Licenses may also differ between artwork and textual data sources.

We do know that Roon have to pay a fee for every MQA track played. That too could be just as significant a charge?

Not as many as you would think and not as seamlessly as you would like tbh.

I think Apple Music is only $11 per month and you don’t need Tidal or Qobuz. I even get it free with my Verizon cellular plan.

I can’t remember the specific quote but it was in an interview with one of the higher ups at roon and they had mentioned it as the reason for the high cost. This was a year or more back when I first tried out roon. The artwork and stuff was cute, but for a service that provided no content of its own and was for all purposes a dumb pipe, I considered the cost of admission rather high, especially considering Spotify is 8 usd a month where I am.

So as someone looking for a practical way to get music around my house and on my mobile devices on the go and not need to maintain my playlists on multiple services and systems, roon looked promising, but all it ended up being, was a roll your own streaming service for your home… So it didn’t really work out.

So far my only working solution has been to use a basic music manager like music bee and good old mtp file sync to my phone, free file sync to my laptop and Bluetooth to my litany of speakers peppered around my home and office.

What I dislike most is people who would rather shoot down ideas instead of finding solutions. Your hard hitting criticisms don’t play as friendly in my head. It could just be your wording or my state of mind. Needless to say, my original question still stands, if you eliminate all licensed metadata from roon and utilize the user provided tag data, album art and playlists, I wonder how much more affordable roon could be?

Ah, so roon 2.0 has remote access. One of the things I was waiting for.

That’s a moot question because that is not what Roon is or what Roon wants to become. Obviously, Roon is not for you.

But yes, if Roon removed all the things that make it Roon and attract customers, they could significantly reduce their cost and they would have to reduce their price because who would buy it? It’s a silly proposition.

That’s like asking if Porsche removed all the things that make it a Porsche, could it become a Honda?


You posted in your first post what you want and that’s not Roon and never will be.


On January 1st, 2023, our pricing will be changing as follows:

• $12.49/month, billed annually • $14.99/month, billed monthly • Lifetime billing for $829.99, one-time.



Plex and PlexAmp gives you what you want for a lot less. Have a look.

I have that and no it doesn’t.

Doesn’t do what it’s significantly cheaper than Roon gives you remote access to your files and still has half decent metadata. If you don’t want metadata at all then why bother with Roon at all as that’s what gives it the advantage to do what it does if not it’s the same as any upnp software. If you don’t want bells and whistles go for LMS it’s free.

If all other solutions don’t do what you want then that kind of explains the price of roon?

What is it that Roon does that Plex doesn’t do for you ?

Sounds like the op wants the world on a stick and for nothing.


The op brought up an idea to try and bring roon’s ability to play your own personal music and cast said music around your house while also letting you take it on the go when you are not in your house for a lower price, because he remembers being young, not rich and wanting an easy way to get his music everywhere. I have have cousins who i got into the music hobby who want to do the same, but unlike me, are still students and can’t afford what roon is charging.

PlexAmp does this it’s £3.99 a week, lms does this it’s free.

Tidal and Qobuz do not operate in the Caribbean, and unlike my music collection, they don’t have a lot of the tracks i curate in my collection. Spotify is pretty good here, but the sound quality is lacking and music i add to my playlists go missing far to often as their licensing period expires. I would get apple music but then thats another place i would have to go to manage my playlists. So a hard no on that.

You say Roon doesn’t want to be a dumb pipe for getting your music around, but that is the literal skeleton of the product. That is at the core of what roon does. It gets your music to where you are.

It think it is very basic business decision, to have one product with a lot of features at one (high) price or to have diverse products with specific features for lower prices.
One has to run the numbers if a smaller user base at a higher price per product is more profitable then a bigger user base at a lower price.
For me it seems Roon has done this and came to an answer, they are for quite some time now in this business.

This is what Plex does. If you want that, you can just use that instead.

Roon has multiroom, DSP, deep library manager, tags, metadata etc

I need to clarify this for some people who seem to only think that I am bring this up because I am cheap. I pulled out my credit card a year or so ago to buy the lifetime roon license. But then i remembered, yeah, i listen to a lot of music in the car. It didn’t work outside of my house. Then i went on the forums and realized that this was a feature that people were begging for, for years and Roon were more focused on ‘other things’.

After posting this and hanging out in the forums and checking darko’s yt page, i realized Roon 2.0 is a thing and that thing brought mobile listening. YAY. However, it also took away guaranteed offline listening at home. BOO. So where I had gotten super excited about finally having a product that did everything I needed, Roon had taken one step forward and one step back. Now darko tested Roon 2.0 and it worked offline for about 5 hrs which is good. But Roon isn’t guaranteeing it will work more than 0 mins offline. So ‘disappointing’ is the word i have in mind.

I live in the Caribbean, one of the islands with really good power and internet. Better than most US and European countries, and having grown up poor with terrible internet and power, I appreciate it when a company understands that, and puts things in place to take care of customers who are in these precarious situations.

As it stands, aside from my offline qualms, Roon covers everything I need which is great. And I can pay for it as well. But that will not stop me from positing questions about ways to bring Roon’s price down for OTHER MUSIC LOVERS, who are not as fortunate as me.

Things i personally need:
Offline Music access (lan) :negative_squared_cross_mark:
Mobile Music access :white_check_mark:
Casting/Airdrop/DLNA Push to device/Bluetooth :white_check_mark:
Playlist management (backing up, importing, accessing them everywhere) :white_check_mark: (im not 100% sure about this)

Yes, but the ‘flesh’ of Roon, and arguably what makes it ‘Roon’, rather than some other streaming product, is the metadata. If you removed the metadata you would lose a lot of functionality … the stuff that makes Roon, Roon.

1 Like