I come from a family where saying something is “not bad” was high praise. So I thought that what I wrote before was me being effusive But I’m happy to share some more of my thoughts here …
The space-mouse, talking to Roon via roo6D, is for me a really big improvement in my enjoyment of music at my desk because it makes things more direct. I sit at my Mac most work days, getting stuff done and listening to music with Roon. The audio zone is a powered speaker in my office, which is connected to a Pi running ropieee. It’s easy to imagine, skipping tracks and adjusting volume in the Mac Roon app, that the Mac is playing the music. It isn’t, of course; the Mac app is just a remote control that tells the Roon Core what to do, and the Core sends the music directly to the ropieee endpoint. The space-mouse is another remote control, but one that feels natural to use, and doesn’t require me to find the Roon app window among all the others, locate and click on the volume slider with my trackpad, etc. etc. Instead, I just reach over with my left hand and use this thing that feels like a BMW iDrive knob. I realized how non-essential the Mac app was the first time I came back from lunch and tapped the top of the space-mouse to change it from pause to play. Music started playing, then I realized the Mac had turned itself off while I was away! No problem though. Aha … this Roon thing - with the core and extensions, and zones and endpoints - is starting to make more sense to me.
I’ve got the space-mouse settings so the rotation sensitivity is reduced. At the default setting, for me it jumped up too fast. Probably because I listen at low volumes and I generally only want to go from quiet to a little more quiet, or from quiet to a little less quiet. And I set both shift forward and pull backward to mute. It’s pretty common that someone comes in and wants to talk to me, and I don’t want to have to remember if mute is forward or backward. I’ve seen some discussion here about problems with scrubbing, but it’s been fine for me. I don’t use that function too often, though.
So the Pros for me: the super-high-quality feel of the hardware, so it’s a pleasure to use. It doesn’t move around. It doesn’t rattle. It doesn’t look garish. It doesn’t get fingerprints. But the software connection to Roon is also high-quality (now that I’ve got the rooExtend Raspberry Pi connected to my network via an Ethernet cable). So every time I touch the knob, it works.
Not too many Cons for me: The space-mouse certainly is not cheap, but every time I use it I think the company deserves their money. I do have a second Raspberry Pi to find a place for now, another cord to plug in somewhere, another LED glowing in this small room. I will have to charge the space-mouse at some point, but it’s going down pretty slowly. I didn’t notice the Lifetime option when I purchased the license for roo6D, so now I have to remember to renew it. Really, though, nothing to complain about!
A bit of a paradox, I guess, but adding a complex bit of hardware and another tiny computer to my network has made my music listening seem more analog. For me, the less my music listening seems like just another thing I do on the computer, the more I get engaged with the music and really appreciate it. So, thanks very much!