Roon 1.6 Feedback Thread

Btw, @Mike said casually in some thread that performance has improved because they have added more servers.

If you have not been involved with modern cloud-scale computing (but have been involved with classical database processing), you may not appreciate what a radical statement this is. With classical techniques, such as relational databases, you would speed things up by getting a faster computer. But there are limits: we can’t make computers faster because they melt. But they are cheap so we can have many of them. But structuring the code and infrastructure so that it can divide the work up on many computers, and not get stuck on some unforeseen bottleneck, is very difficult. More than difficult, it is a new skill — the demands of cloud-scale makes the old skills obsolete. Just like the demands of client-server made the previous skills obsolete.

This is why we must keep learning, until we die (or at least retire). There was once a mindset that you go to school, learn a skill, get a good job, and then coast on that skill. Today, skills are a perishable commodity.

So the Roon team already knew how to do audio processing, but they have to learn to build and operate cloud scale stuff, and machine learning, and…

I’m impressed, @danny and @brian and @mike and everybody else.

5 Likes

See my detailed explanation above. You have provided another example of a gross failure regarding the Roon automated method of hatchet cropping of photos. Ironically, in this case even their automatic face recognition failed.

When will Roon wake up and admit that the automatic hatchet job of cropping photos and then massively enlarging them is a serious failure in many cases? As documented by others above, it is even worse for older artists with old square photos.

Roon, it is time to restore the original photos as they were intended to be seen from version 1.5. No hatchet crops. No huge enlargements that look ugly on older photos, as shown in previous posts in this thread.

Please, no more enlargements of only the eyes and nose of an artist. Let alone the top of the bald head.

No one from Roon responds to any of these posts on the issue of the automatic cropping and mauling of photos and the massive and often fuzzy enlargements.

3 Likes

Just because they don’t respond doesn’t mean that they are unaware of the issues…

Roon has been quick to respond and acknowledge problems that they intend to fix. In this case, we have had complete radio silence from the beginning.

Complete silence on one of the most egregious and obvious failures of the new design. Just turn on Roon Radio and start with older classical or jazz and watch the results roll by. This happens in the case of far too many photos.

I’ve commented on this multiple times above. I know that 1000 posts is a lot in this thread…there is also a holistic element to this–we are working on a new iteration of the now playing design that among other things changes the aspect ratio of some of the screen areas in way that will help with this. There’s not a whole lot to say about that until you can see it.

8 Likes

Regarding the artist imagery for displays, I think it’s too flawed a concept to be worth keeping at this point.

Cover art is a known asset. Sure there are very poor cover files out there but at least we know covers are, for the most part, square or shallow rectangles. Let’s make cover art the large centerpiece of the display functionality. Maybe on one side of the display area with supporting info and lyrics on the other.

Artist images are too numerous to even consider curating for dynamic inclusion unless some type of very advanced machine learning were in play.

3 Likes

Ok. Many thanks for the response and I look forward to seeing the new design.

Please test your new design, prior to rolling it out, using older classical and jazz artists and albums with photos that are 50 to 70 years old and were in the square format of the time. (Photos that are 60 to 70 years old must be addressed – that picks up any of the great jazz and classical artists from the 1950s and 1960s.) Those photos are of lower quality and not suitable for severe crops to turn them into rectangular slices for huge enlargements to fill rectangular televisions.

If your new design works 90% of the time with those photos, it will solve the problem.

Do you have a few example artists in mind?

I like new UI. Nice photo :slight_smile:

4 Likes

I get a different photo — I don’t remember if I edited that.
In any case, this highlights the problem that the Now Playing page shows only one artist, while the Chromecast Display cycled through them all, which was terrific.

Artist photos are affecting sound quality!

I’ve noticed that photos showing severely cropped or aging, wrinkled artists make the sound more distorted and lacking in depth.

Good photos cause the sound to have more dynamic range, clearer mids and highs, punchier bass and a wider soundstage.

I’ve tried different power cords and ethernet cables and various dsp settings, but nothing helps.

When will this get fixed?!?!

16 Likes

Strange :frowning:

and mood! :slight_smile:

1 Like

This too, actually.

After using 1.6 more, I must admit I’m liking they way the Now Playing works overall. It does need some tweaking; cosmetics (big grey bar at bottom, yuck), picture cropping issues, and I’d prefer the album art be the main picture, not the artist, or at least let us choose.

1 Like

A post was split to a new topic: Roon lost control of playback device errors

I’ve read most of the comments in this thread and it seems like most people like the changes in 1.6. I like the changes in 1.6 very much. I believe the problem lies with peoples expectations. Most people were anticipating much more significant changes (improvements?) and so when their expectations are not met, of course they’re disappointed regardless of how much work and improvements the team accomplished here. Despite the level of ranting of the now playing screen, I think it’s an improvement and will certainly get better over time. Roon is currently expending significant effort to improve metadata. Artist images and album covers are getting better every day. Continue the good work Roon. You’re doing great and it’ll only get better.

6 Likes

I guess I’ll add the images that made me stop using the display feature.

Artist: Rafael Kubelik / Berlin Philharmonic

Image 1: Clearly the Berlin Philharmonic (with Simon Rattle) but looks good.

Image 2: A heavily pixelated image showing the back of a conductor and a musician.

Brian, I appreciate the fact that you’re seeking input. But your question is, respectfully, misguided and erroneous. The automated engine of Roon provides photos of, literally, thousands of artists to your subscribers around the world. And that is on a daily basis. A few examples from me, or any user, barely scratches the surface. I could give you a long list of artists where the photos provided by Roon now fail, but that would still be only a faction of what Roon must process on an hourly or daily basis.

Your automated UI and engine must work 97% of the time on the presentation of photos and should not have a failure rate of higher than 3%. Seriously, there is no excuse for a failure rate of higher than 3% since the UI for how the photos are presented is 100% within your control. The presentation of photos is easy for you to replicate at your end when you design software; and the presentation of photos can be fixed at your end. We aren’t talking about something that you can’t always account for like end user configurations. Photos should work 97% of time since you can replicate and tests the results prior to releasing new software.

(And just to cover one issue posed by some. No is suggesting that Roon needs to edit every photo. That is my point above – it is impossible. But the Roon UI and design should work 97% of the time on the photos that it processes. That design is fully within the control of Roon.)

Please thoroughly test your betas before release. Especially since you charge for, and presumably profit from the service. That testing was indisputably not thoroughly done for version 1.6 when it comes to photos. Your own subscribers have been able to find problems in ten minutes or less. I spent only 30 minutes to find and save the examples below. You can do that as well.

That most likely won’t be enough, due to the hatchet cropping of square photos to fit the upper half of rectangular screens, with the resulting grossly inflated enlargements, but only you can test it. And not by asking all of us for for examples. There are too many artists and too many variables. But if you and your staff turn on the Radio, and try clearly different artists from different genres, sub genres, and different decades and look at the artists – in THREE types of windows – the “regular window,” the “Now Playing” window, and the search results window – you will see enough failures to know what you need to correct. The problems are even worse in the “regular” windows. I provided an example from the search results window in my last post below.

Just spend one full day endlessly clicking through one choice after another using Roon Radio. You’ll be able to replicate the problems – and then change the design and SOLVE any problems.

(And after you get tired of looking at your dumb pop up in the Radio asking why you forwarded past a selection, maybe you’ll give us the option to turn it off, as several of us have requested. It is useful when we have the time to use it, but otherwise it is very annoying.)

But with that said, I will post examples below for you focusing on types of problems that now occur.

4 Likes

Please see my explanation above for how Roon can solve these problems, in part by more thoroughly testing their beta designs prior to release.

This problem occurs in both windows, and it would be a mistake to focus only on the “Now Playing” window. The regular window, with type, has even more problems. You need to focus your testing on BOTH types of windows. And do a major redesign that accounts for both windows.

My apologies for long posts, but you asked for examples. And your web page presents only one option to upload photos as far as I can tell.

Here is original version of Wayne Shorter as downloaded only last night – an example of a more modern artist, and like all of them, he also has a square photo to start with:

Here is what happens when the new design applies a hatchet crop to the photo, blow it up, and then buries Wayne Shorter behind type in the regular window.

This is just plain ugly by any definition:

And here is the result when face recognition fails and the head is cut off in the Now Playing window:

The original 1.5 version of Herbert von Karajan, one of the most important conductors of the last century, again as downloaded last night:

Von Karajan with the sledge hammer crop applied to the top of his face, then massively enlarged, and finally, butchered behind type in the “normal” window. This is beyond ugly. Words escape me. Again, downloaded last night.