I am in the middle of my two weeks trial and thinking of NOT applying, in spite of my initial hopes about Roon solving my issues with digital audio library.
My attempted move to Roon was initially prompted by my digital library exceeding Sonos capability (after dematerialization of all my CDs - a great idea I thought), leading me to use a (free) Plex server for a short time. Despite lots of improvements (layout and of course the access to my whole library), I got very frustrated with a few things which got me looking for a better solution.
Although a bit repelled by Roon’s pricing I first thought of it as a ticket to a flawless, friendly and smooth listening experience. Alas !
Main point (probably the only prohibitive one) : why cling to such an album-based way of thinking musical media ??? This was the reason why I am unhappy with Plex in the first place. Sonos app (well, since one doesn’t exceed its capability) does it way better.
Roughly 1/10th of my library is “albumless”, for many reasons : music either directly exchanged with musicians, obscure tracks gathered here and there (e.g. 45rpm from the world around shared by enthousiasts on the Internet), etc.
Considering a mean 12 tracks per album, the result was that more than half of the items showing under the “Album” category consisted in single tracks, what’s more bearing artificial album names including folders names as well as wrong artwork (basically the first alphabetical jpg in the concerned folder). A nightmare for one who had spent weeks thouroughly tagging, naming and organizing musical files !
Why not just exclude these “albumless tracks” from Album search ? At least put an option to tick somewhere in the settings…
Secondly (this is linked to the above), how tedious, even impossible is it to access any artist’s complete track list ?. Trying to solve the aforementioned problem, I ended up tagging all my albumless tracks with a “< singles >” album tag, then gathering them all in a < singles > album which pollutes a lot less the Albums page than several hundreds (thousands in fact) single tracks (or at best groups of single tracks from the same artist). So I have a < singles > album with 4300 tracks or so, fine !
Alas… there is no complete track list on one artist’s page… At best “Top tracks” and a “View all tracks” link on the desktop app, which is fine but only a bloody “Main albums” category on the android app !!?
In my situation, there are hundreds of artists which only have tracks in my (unsorted of course) < singles > album so without the track list filtering possibilities of the desktop app there is NO WAY of accessing these artist’s (any artist in fact) complete track list on the mobile app… Very frustrating !
Apart from these big flaws, some other serious disappointments including :
- Connection via android app requires a server restart. All the time.
- Rather poor artists pictures database. Plex is way better, probably because of its use of Discogs.
- Single tracks artwork (in file tags) replaced with album artwork, even if the latter is completely artificial and/or wrong. (see main complaint above)
- Absurdly painful track rearranging in the “Identify album” menu. One has to move tracks one by one and step by step. Horrible ! I was happy to have 98% of my library properly tagged before I tried Roon.
- Maybe not enough explored yet : artist linking does not seem to be as effective nor relevant than Plex’s.
A few good points though : (once one is connected), interface and responses are quick and smooth. Multiple artist tag support (maybe the only reason why I might apply after all). The desktop app offers many possibilities of exploring but I would like them in the mobile app too.
Thank you for reading me, maybe bringing answers to my concerns,