I’ve been browsing the message boards looking for the perfect solution that would apply to my situation, and haven’t found it. I’ve found that the Roon team and the community are both very responsive, so I’m just typing out what I’ve got going on. Probably it makes sense to move this post to an existing thread, but I’m not sure whether the one about navigating file structure, or about exporting playlists, or something else.
At home I use a Roon setup that I think is totally conventional. Roon Server is installed on a headless Win10 machine, and I mostly access it via my laptop for play to 3 Sonos speakers. Music content is 80% AIFFs after a decade of ripping CDs uncompressed, stored across 2 4TB NASs. Sometimes control it from an Android phone or an iPad. All works fine.
Spent some time looking for the right “portable” solution. Amazon music was okay but no longer allow one to upload files. Plex has a terrific interface but didn’t read the AIFFs. JRiver I don’t remember what I didn’t like about it. I’ve settled on Subsonic, which encodes the AIFFs to MP3s on the fly for streaming to my phone, and which serves MusicBee on my desk at work. I also like that for a bucks a month, I can “rent” a custome subsonic URL, so that when I’m at a new location, it’s easy to get to my jukebox and saved playlists (I work at a school where I sometimes manage public events and play preshow music while the room fills up).
If the Roon team ever expands their product so that it can follow me around the world from my home server, it will obviate the above setup. But as long as they don’t, I’ll use the setup I’ve described, and I’m pretty happy with it.
That real-world example is meant to illustrate two things:
1 - The reason I organize the folders on my hard drives.
Even though Roon is a totally rational interface, these files are watched by a second process (Subsonic is installed on the same CPU as a service with read-only rights to the NASs). When I settled on this, I took a weekend to “right-size” the storage, including breaking a lot of the classical recordings out by composer, consolidating compilations, and standardizing file name conventions using Mp3tag and batch editors. I wouldn’t having the option to using Roon’s smarts to further improve that process.
At the same time, I totally respect the “keep your paws off my files” aspect of Roon’s design, and I’m not sure I want that to change. I’m mostly typing this paragraph as an example of why I care about the file structure. What I would love to see, though:
2 - The ability to export playlists without music files attached.
This, I’d gobble up in a minute. Roon and Subsonic both read the NAS contents via the SMB file system (file data from either of them reveals \NAS_NAME\Music directory\Artist Name\Album title\Song title.aif ). I absolutely want - right now - to be able to sit at Roon using its variety of Focus tools, play history, artist tags, etc., to make twenty-song playlists and export an .m3u over to Subsonic.