Re-design Playback Screen - The let-down of Roon

Yea I tried J River and didn’t like it. It also doesn’t really have a dashboard. So maybe I am a bit confused on what Roon is all about. I thought that Roon is all about presenting detailed information about the music in our digital collection? A solution that looks at the music library and what’s playing and presents photos, bios, reviews, lyrics, concert dates, similar artists, etc… and makes connections between artists, composers, performers, conductors, and producers – a true searchable, surfable magazine about the music. Isn’t Roon about that? If that is what Roon is about, then presenting that information for the currently played song seems like it would be in line?

The software is very fast now and I too wouldn’t want to do anything to jesporidize that, I am sure for a software that costs 400 per license, they probably have soon good coders…

Well… alas I have a feeling that this idea of a currently playing information dashboard is not something the developers see value in. So to get this information, instead of just glancing st the screen, I’ll just have to click around the app to find it. When I have parties and display The Muso now playing, everybody always comments how awesome that is…

Yea I love the simplicity and ease of navigation of Roon as well. There’s a saying some of my friends and peers say, It Ain’t Easy being Easy. I would guess there are thousands of lines of code that make Roon look at feel “easy”. This is a good and important debate and I hope we continue to give opinions to make Roon as good as it can be.

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I see your point and think it’s great that you air your point of view. :slight_smile: Thats why these foras can be of great value to both company and clients alike!

I’m firmly in the roon is for listening camp. When I’m in a data dive mood, with a multiple screen set-up it’s no problem to surf allmusic, lastfm, discogs, etc. I’ve used mediamonkey, musicbee, groove, jriver, and just about everything else but I wouldn’t trade roon’s sq and its’ ability to integrate tidal with a local library for any of their window dressing.

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Roon as in their main home page marketing material as both being for listening and bringing back the vinyl experience. The graphic shown and the journey they lead you too there is around converting vinyl information from the sleeve into rich metadata. If Roon for you is only for listening only and you didn’t want the Metadata, then Roon can still be for you. You can switch off your monitor or minimise the app. No hassle. If you want metadata while playing, then hey we could have that too, and this should be expected since it’s the Journey Roon have sold us as being on. Roon aint’ perfect and we are all just trying to help get it there. It’s our feedback that does this. Other opinions are appreciated but don’t have to be exclusive.

I don’t think different opinions are a bad thing or that we all need to speak with one voice. The more opinions we have the more the Roon guys can see how folks use their product. They’re a small team but have over a decade experience in the field - they can distil the opinions, add their knowledge and deliver great features. It is where folks may be disappointed when they write “I need feature x”. We may know what we want. We may even have an idea of how we want it. These guys will figure out why we want it… and may deliver y, not x. And in doing so build a better experience. So bring the opinions. The community isn’t about us coming up with y. And it’s not about beating other people down until they agree and then we say to Roon “WE have decided…”. We aren’t the product managers. We are the customers and they give us a place to voice our opinions. Respectfully. Decisions are up to them :slight_smile:


(Hand gestures from

Been playing around with the Roon UI for mobile. Any thoughts on something like the following. Some of the thinking.

  1. The menu and “undo/back” button are consistent with the other screens.
  2. On the main screen, tapping the album cover opens the cover larger, while during playback tapping it takes you back to the previous screen. Here the UI is that you tap the undo button to go back, and tapping the album cover here opens the album “booklet” - cover page, credits, bio page, lyrics page per song. The user can swipe between them as per the media browser in Roon today (take a look at it if you haven’t already). In this way the user can see lyrics on the playback screen (requested feature).
  3. To the right of the current album you can swipe left / right to see the playlist as a “carousel”.
    Below the album are the usual controls as per today.
  4. Below the there is a divider and the section beneath that has the currently playing song details. Below are 3 ellipses. This playback screen is the “middle” one. Swipe left and this section shows the zone controls so you can switch zones, control zones - only the bottom section changes. The left ellipse will light when the zones are the active section.
  5. Swipe right from the now playing and you get the playlist as a list as per today. So the current playing album at the top remains, the play controls at the bottom remain, but the middle section now is 3 pages, which the user can swipe between.

Any thoughts / comments welcome :smiley:


What you describe is pretty much what the Naim Audio app offers. Their “booklet” page is far superior to that offered by the Roon “play screen option” and is superb when view on your TV screen.

This would be a major improvement IMHO.

I’m going to jump in here, mostly due to the fact that there has been a notable lack of controversial posts on this forum lately. Have we all gotten fat and happy? I find myself less interested in checking the forum when all the questions are about drivers and network settings…

So: yes, I agree, from where we currently sit with Roon, other than greater inter-operability with embedded metadata, the most obvious spot where Roon hasn’t yet equaled or surpassed the more established media software is in the playback screen. Album cover is nice. Playing next is handy. But this definitely lacks sizzle especially on a big screen.

I would ask the Roon team to consider configuration options for both the Now Playing and the Overview screens (or implement a configurable Home Page).

Since this is about Now Playing, I’ll only include detailed comments on that page. Here are the items I think ought to be included (optionally configurable - I know many are more minimalist, so give us choices…):

—Basic information: artist, album title, song title, progress bar.
—Album front cover.
—Album rear or gatefold if the user has that image in the folder - perhaps use a naming convention so that Roon can easily find it
—Playing Next
—smaller picture of artist or artist picture used as grayed out background
—Direct links to album review, artist bio
—Now some bling: VU meters, spectrum analyzer, other visualizations – if Roon doesn’t want to implement this (which may differ by platform?) then perhaps a means to park a third party visualization over a designated blank area in Roon
—Other metadata membership: genres, tags, playlists including this item – this could be a series of links so that you can go surfing through your music from this screen

Any other ideas?


Thanks for the info, I haven’t tried searching for it yet being on my phone, if you have a good example could you post a screenshot? I’d love to have the option of a vinyl like cover while playing with some info to read - booklet sounds along those lines perhaps it will give some food for thought to any Roon guys whom come along. Thanks.

They’ve teased a couple times that a new UI is coming soon, in the next big update.

I think all the tada around mqa slowed the real progress of getting us closer to the experience of listening to music.


As requested, here are a few screenshots starting with the index page. Roon, alas, doesn’t currently compete in this area.


I like these views very much. Much more like the LP experience.

Agreed, Naim had a head start but this does show the possibilities. It could also increase sales of CDs & downloads.

Thanks those are quite nice and a definite improvement over what room does. I personally feel it’s more like a CD cover than a vinyl insert. Being 43 now I only vaguely recall the vinyl days of old, but did enjoy reading about the artists and things in the cover. Contextual and live information is where Roon could take this a step further than others have I think. A good place to start looking for ideas might be existing sites that offer this information already like lastfm and trakt.

Getting some good comments and ideas through though aren’t we!

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Why is it that in this digital age where music is primarily stored on computers there is this idiotic hang to album covers and inlays. Don’t get me wrong, I do like album art but why does it have to look like a CD or LP, why not like a cassette, a DAT tape, A USB stick then? I like the album information but there are better ways nowadays to present it once you get rid of the idea it has to resemble something from the past. Personally I find the examples here but ugly.




You could say that Nucleus is an example of this. It’s a computer dressed up as a hifi component to make it more acceptable to the audiophile elite.

Nothing wrong with skeuomorphism when your value proposition is that we love browsing LP sleeves and computer interfaces don’t match up :slight_smile:

Surely we aren’t talking about retention of, possibly, archaic information & presentation but more the fact that there are opportunities to present that information more effectively. As we know Roon is a complex piece of software surrounded by a culture of end user involvement to facilitate change. In the last couple of years it has been demonstrated that user feedback in these forums influences development.

Artists use PICTURES (AKA Album Art) as a means of visually identifying their work, they also provide much additional information (Text in Sleeve Notes, or what ever you prefer to call them) for those that are interested. The additional information is often absent from Roon but present on the CD (or supplied with a download), with the Naim App there appears to be, currently, far more information available.

As long as the information is available & easily accessible I don’t mind what the template is. The current display of additional information (Notes) is not as effective as I would like it, hopefully viewing other options and stimulating discussion here will eventually result in an improvement for the end user.

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