Roon and Aries; Airplay, Songcast and USB drive

Hi Guys,

I have been enjoying Roon very much and decided that computer music was the way to go, so invested in an Auralic Aries.

The Aries doesn’t appear as an endpoint in Roon, but I understand that Auralic and Roon are working together and we can expect (possibly with Roonspeakers) native integration between the two.

That’s OK, I thought. I will make do with Airplay. But after activating Airplay on the Aries, Roon didn’t show any Airplay endpoint. I found this thread. Has there been any advance in Airplay integration with the Aries since May ?

That’s OK, I thought. I will make do with Songcast. But after activating Songcast and making it the default system output and verifying that it was working with the Aries through Foobar, I can’t find it in Roon. Whenever Songcast is chosen as the system output, Roon either won’t start or won’t recognise any system output. Disabling and enabling doesn’t help. Rebooting the PC and restarting the Aries doesn’t help. I also found this thread where two users report a similar problem. @Kirk, however, seems to have Airplay working, albeit with unsatisfactory SQ.

Any tips as to how to how to get Roon to talk to an Aries ?

Should I just use a wired connection and bypass the Aries until Roonspeakers arrives ?

I was able to get both Songcast & Airplay setup pretty easily, it only took a few minutes, just selected “Airplay” from within the Auralic Lightning DS iOS app (version 2.0.1) on my iPad, then went back to my MacBook, started Roon, went into settings - audio setup and the Aries was listed as available device within Roon.

Oh, and this is setup over WiFi.

While the Aries was simple & easy to setup, I actually had problems initally with an Apple TV3 … Roon could not find it at all. Can not remember the exact setting, but I had to go to the Apple TV3’s settings, and I think it was under Airplay settings, think I had some type of security setting enabled.

Not really a fan of the sound quality of using Airplay/Songcast from Roon to Aries.
Not really a fan of the Lightning DS iOS app, nice interface but it crash’s a lot.
Utopia will be when RoonSpeakers is available on the Aries, then I will have the very best software (Roon) paired with an exceptional piece of hardware (Aries).

None of the above really helps you, except to let you know Roon to Aries is doable.

One thing I have done, is on my router (Apple Airport Extreme) is provide a fixed DHCP address for the Aries (I made that fixed address even before the Aries physically arrived), not sure if that will help you & I could be just suggesting a wrong turn.

I truly wish I could help you further, but not sure of what else to suggest.

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I have been able to set up Airplay fairly easily as well. As @Duke pointed out in an earlier post, it will limit your resolution to 16/44 (until we get RoonSpeakers on Aries). So I switch between using Aries talking to an instance of minimserver (when I want the best quality sound for critical listening) to using Aries as an Airplay endpoint from Roon (when I want the convenience and I’m not doing critical listening).

I’m really looking forward to the integration of RoonSpeakers in Aries (hopefully the Auralic folks are prioritizing this high). While minimsever is great, it’s still a major hassle to use the Lightning DS iPad app to select and play music when compared with the amazing Roon interface.



Thanks for your replies. It sounds like AirPlay is possible, at least from a Mac. I’m running 64 bit Windows 8.1 with Roon (v.30). Is there anything special I need to be doing in order to get AirPlay working on a PC ?

I’ll also create a fixed DHCP address. It may not solve any AirPlay issue, but might help stability generally.

I’m very impressed with the SQ and stability of the Aries - Vega using the AES connection.

In my dreams I can control Roon from my iPad, and use it to send the Aries:

  • Local files from a watched SSD on the Aries USB input;
  • Tidal;
  • Radio;
    in all resolutions and formats, without changing between AES and USB, and using the Vega’s Exact clock without dropouts.

One day …

Hmm, I’m using Roon v.30 on Windows 8.1 as well. What I did was to enable Airplay from the Aries iPad app and when I went to the Roon app, it appeared as an Audio zone.


After giving the Aries a fixed DHCP, hard resetting it and reinstalling it through Lightning DS, the Aries now shows up as a networked zone and AirPlay is streaming Roon fine. Haven’t checked Songcast yet.

Thanks for your help guys.

Further questions if I may:

  1. Can I specify a USB drive connected to the Aries as a watched folder
    in Roon at the moment ? Will it update automatically ?

  2. Until Roonspeakers is released I will access that music through
    AirPlay, does that mean the data is firstly streamed by the Aries to
    the PC, played through Roon, and then streamed back to the Aries ?

Thanks !

Answering the first part of 1 above. Yes. I used the static IP address assigned to the Aries and the usb folder in the network path box in Settings/Storage. In my case the Network path was:


Others may have a different IP address for the Aries.

Will revert with any news as to other answers to the above.

To answer your part 2. Yes. The music data is streamed down to the Roon Core and then back out from the Core to the Aries.

It would be a whole lot less network time (and potentially lag time) If the storage was attached to the Roon Core computer. If you have not thought about a NAS I highly recommend one.

Thanks Rugby,

Yep, the Roon AirPlay SQ with the USB drive hooked up to the Aries was unlistenable. Very laggy response, lots of pops and clicks. Exactly what you would expect from attempted double streaming.

The Lightning DS play was fast and clear and didn’t require the computer to be on. It had problems with tracks not appearing in some albums, however, when Roon picked the tracks up.

Roon did pick up additions to the watched USB on the Aries in real time, so that’s good,

A NAS is very probably in my future. At the moment, however, my collection is well under 1 TB so I am going to play with the USB SSD for a little while longer. My next move will be to try hooking it up to the ASUS router.The router is Ethernet connected to the PC with Roon core on it.

Eventually I will probably go back to the USB off the Aries, but that can wait until Auralic and Roon can play nicely together.

I’m curious as well, as I am planning my main listening room and am beginning to audition a whole lot of different solutions.

So… @mike or @brian

When Roonspeakers comes out, will that allow me to play music local to the endpoint without having to stream the data to Roon Core first?

The data will always go through the core. See this post for some insight into why.

Given the cost/density of hard disk storage these days (there are 6 and 8TB 3.5" drives out there now, and 2TB SSD’s if that’s your cup of tea), I changed my setup a few months ago, and am now storing music directly on the server machine (with periodic backups to a NAS in case of drive failure). I’ve been very happy with that decision. Local access out-performs my NAS, and my network is doing way less work.

When I get some time, I think I’ll find a cloud backup service, use that instead, and turn off my NAS for good.

Thanks @brian,

In my case I’ll experiment with hanging the SSD off the Asus RT-N66u router, so I have the option to play from it outside Roon through Lightning DS without starting the computer.

I am concerned, however, that Auralic is about to release the Aries Mini, which I think will be huge as a Squeezebox replacement, and a lot of people will want to use Roon with it, because Roon is great. What they will find, however, is that Roon won’t enable them to use the internal storage on the Mini (or rather, using it is likely to create double streaming problems like I experienced) and this may result in dissatisfaction, or close off a segment of a potential market to Roon.

I know that you are talking to Auralic and that they immediately saw the benefit of establishing hardware compatibility with Roon. (In fact I’m kind of puzzled why I don’t see the Aries in Roon as an endpoint, because it is recognised by the operating system as on the network, which I thought was the criteria for being an endpoint).

Anyway, I read the thread in your post but wasn’t able to identify the part where data had to come through the Core. It may have been point 4 in @danny 's post where he spoke about the intelligent things Roon and Sooloos can do when the data comes through the Core.

I wonder, however, if there isn’t scope to allow the user to trade off those intelligent things against using local data without streaming the data back to the Core. Some people may prefer to do that, and it does seem more consistent with Danny’s coments about preferring top-end electrically isolated devices (Aries with storage) as against a general purpose computer.

Songcast still not working with Roon.

When I select Songcast as the System Output, Roon stays with the previous System Output and won’t update, even if I toggle Enable/Disable.

If I quit Roon and open Chrome, then I can play Tidal to Songcast as default System Output just fine. If I then quit Chrome and restart Roon, it shows “Failed: Audio Device not Found” for System Output.

@brian - so on this point of your’s, is the basic logic here that ideally, you want the Roon server directly connected to music file storage, so that the only networking you’re using may be the data you’re sending to endpoints? So in your NAS scenario, you’re pulling in data over the network to Roon, and then sending the processed back out to endpoints?

So, in a multi-endpoint setup, a NAS would make sense, perhaps ideally if Roon server were running headless on it (assuming sufficient resources on the NAS, of course)?

Actually, I think my question is addressed in this thread.

@brian - so on this point of your’s, is the basic logic here that ideally, you want the Roon server directly connected to music file storage, so that the only networking you’re using may be the data you’re sending to endpoints? So in your NAS scenario, you’re pulling in data over the network to Roon, and then sending the processed back out to endpoints?

This is always going to be a matter of opinion, but yes, that’s how I prefer to do things, and that’s my reasoning.

So, in a multi-endpoint setup, a NAS would make sense, perhaps ideally if Roon server were running headless on it (assuming sufficient resources on the NAS, of course)?

Yeah, that would be great. NAS’s have started to become powerful enough. If only we had linux builds…

Indeed! :wink: