Roon Arc Smart Playlists

I love you Roon. I truly do. I recently tried to leave you, but after finding no suitable alternative I doubled (or quadrupled) down on a lifetime subscription. However, the release of Roon Arc (which I applaud) has made it even more glaringly obvious that we need a true smart playlist solution. Yes, I’m aware of the common refrain of “Focus does this. Use focus and bookmark it.”. That is a valid response to a point, but it doesn’t fully satisfy. Not least of which because Arc doesn’t contain this functionality. I understand that Arc is in its infancy and more features are coming, but its mere existence has moved smart playlists to the top of my Roon wishlist.

I’m an albums guy. I have been for most of my life. However, I recently discovered the Marvis app on iOS. Using the Apple Music API, it provides a plethora (thank you Three Amigos for teaching me that word) of options for creating smart playlists. They aren’t even smart playlists so much as smart views…which reminds me of…you guessed it…focus views.

As an example of what I’m so desperately seeking (in addition to Susan)…I have a playlist set up in Marvis for each of my favorite genres that pulls together a mix of songs in my library that I haven’t heard in a year (and have never skipped) along with songs from a set of Apple playlists that aren’t in my library. The simple ability to combine a filtered list of songs from my own library with songs from curated playlists that I follow provides a wonderful listening experience. For some playlists I’ll throw in a set of songs that are also rated three stars or above. BTW, remind me to tell you about song ratings sometime Roon. They are a wonderful thing (yes, I know I can set up tags to do this also…but much like focus views…they don’t quite scratch the itch thoroughly).

These Marvis playlists offer one click shuffling when I jump in the car. One click and I’m listening to a playlist of one of my favorite genres that contains a mix of library songs I haven’t heard or skipped lately, songs of that genre I’ve rated 3 stars or above, and new songs from playlists of that genre that aren’t in my library. It’s truly a beautiful thing. It has fully replaced SiriusXM radio for me, because I never hear the same song twice (within a year at least). If I feel like the playlist leans too heavily towards one of those categories I can adjust it so there’s only 10 songs from my library, 3 I’ve rated 3 stars or more, and 5 new ones from other playlists.

So in conclusion, I believe smart playlists is a feature that should be moving towards the top of the todo list. Roon Arc has made this even more apparent in my mind. When I’m home I mostly listen to full albums, but on the go I strongly prefer playlists…of the smart variety. Making manual playlists seems so utterly boring now that I’ve experienced the doctorate level of playlist creation that Marvis provides. Roon, please send your playlists to university…