A note here about your earlier statement: “We view the RPi as a platform for DIY’ers and tinkerers–I’m not sure that our goal is to be 100% turnkey on that platform.”
While that seems to be an accurate summary of the current user base, classifying RPi as only for DIY’ers and tinkerers is short-sided. Such a view overlooks the potentially large demand for RPi / Roon in the future from main street people. There is a major market for multi-zone, syncable streamers or streamer/DAC’s that cost $200 or less. RPi gives Roon the opportunity to nail this market and sign-up many $120 PER YEAR Roon subscribers in the process (the combination of your TOP user interface w/ cost-competitive hardware should be a knock-out). Roon has a major advantage over other RPi software players (businesses) to date. Roon has a great economic model tied to RPi software that others have never had. If Roon invests resources into making RPi easy to set-up and stable, Roon should receive significant profit from its investment.
Diving one-step deeper, Roon is in position to bring in far more revenue than any other RPi software player to date, and with those resources, I would expect Roon could come up with a Roon/CPU (Roon running on a MAC or PC) > RPi Streamer/DAC software solution that is easy enough to install to grab main street users. If Roon creates the software build, others will flood the market with cost-competitive, quality hardware (RPi Streamer/DAC’s for $200 and RPi Streamers for $100). Those price points are game changers when coupled with software that an average Joe can install/run.
Without RPi, the market has made quite clear the entry point for the Streamer/DAC unit will stay at $400 per unit. The Squeezebox Touch, Sonos and the forthcoming Aries Mini are all at $400 per unit. That makes the multi-unit/multi-zone price point too expensive for the majority of the average joe market. Years ago, I set-up three different friends with a Squeezebox Touch. They all still use it and see it as far better than any prior system they had. Unfortunately, they all have a need for adding additional units for additional zones but aren’t willing to spend $400 for a used unit w/ no warranty. Further, while they all find the Squeezebox UI/apps better than anything previously, they all find it clunky and frustrating in some respects. Provide this market with a $200 per unit Streamer/DAC and Roon or $100 Streamer and Roon (connect to AudioEngine or KEF powered DAC embedded speakers and you have many happy joes), and Roon should see an explosion in main street subscribers.
Maybe AudioQuest is secretly designing a $200 Roon capable Streamer/DAC (certainly would fit with their current hardware model - high volume hardware sales + upsell Audioquest cabling + strengthen brand). Even if they are, it would still benefit Roon to come up with user-friendly RPi software and blow the hardware market wide-open.
I LOVE what Roon is doing for music playback (i.e. enjoyment) and am very impressed with the effort invested in these forums. Thank you and keep up the great work!