Roon Arc stops playing with Third-Party App Notifications (Audio Focus issues with S20 / Android)

Roon Core Machine

My server is a sonicTransporter i9
Roon server version 2.0
I also run hqplayer server version 4.32.5

Networking Gear & Setup Details

Not provided due to security concerns in a public forum.

Connected Audio Devices

Galaxy S20 phone with a mcsper usb c to aux audio dongle. I plug wired earbuds into the dongle.

Number of Tracks in Library

Description of Issue

I frequently use the arc app on my phone while riding/playing zwift. When playing zwift I run the zwift companion app on my phone as well. The zwift companion app is the primary app and roon arc runs in the background. The phone is connected to the wifi. Occasionally (1 out of 40 times) when the zwift app chimes the roon app will stop playing music. I know that this happens with local tracks, I believe it happens with tidal tracks. It is possible that the zwift app increases its load at the time of the chime but I do not know that for certain. The issue seems more pronounced if the chimes are within about 10 seconds of each other. The tidal app does not have this problem. The old roon app has this problem. The problem on the old roon app was seen on a galaxy s8 with wired earbuds plugged in directly. I can restart the music by switching to roon arc and tapping the play button.

The problem does not occur when the zwift app is run with audio notifications disabled. When zwift audio notifications are enabled and a notification occurs, the arc roon phone app music pauses, I hear nothing for a short time (< 1 second), I hear the chime, I hear nothing for < 1 sec, and then either Arc roon phone app resumes playing music or I hear nothing.

Hi @Paul_Curtis,

Please accept our apologies for not responding to your inquiry earlier. Have you been able to reproduce this issue on the latest version of Roon and ARC?

The tech support team is standing by to promptly pull diagnostics and provide more granular troubleshooting steps, but I wanted to confirm you’re still experiencing a problem first. Thank you!

I will update and test again.

1 Like

It happened twice in the span of bout 30 minutes today. Worse than I remember it happening before. Roon arc is at version 1.0.26

Hi @Paul_Curtis,

Thank you for the report and I’m sorry to hear that the issue is persisting. After reviewing diagnostic logs from both ARC and your Core, there appear to be several underlying issues that might be affecting ARC performance more generally beyond the audio dropout when using other apps.

Logs seem to suggest there are ARC failures either when 1) attempting to play a local file, or 2) while you were visiting certain artist pages and ARC was attempting to load images.

If so, please let us know, and the team can take a look at a particular file or artist page for corrupt data or transcoding failures.

If the issue isn’t with a specific file, then underlying network connections might be to blame. Logs indicate that your Core often has difficulty reaching our server for basic requests, like updating the time. Do you have a VPN or other network security enabled that might be filtering Roon’s upstream/downstream connection?

I don’t know if what I have is an arc failure. It is like somebody hit the pause button, forcing me to go press the play button if I want to hear any music.

I will repeat myself in saying that the problem only occasionally occurs when the zwift app sends a notification sound. Disabling the notification eliminates the problem. At the time of the issue arc is playing music in the background and the zwift app is in the foreground. Arc stops playing music, silence for a brief time, I hear the zwift sound, then on a good day the music starts playing where it left off, on a bad day the music is paused and I have to press the play button.

I suspect that if it was a network issue it would not be synchronous with the sound notification.

All networking in the house is hardwired and the phone connects to it with a relatively new wifi router that is 10 feet away. Fios is our isp and no other apps have issues (other than around the time of power failures).

I am not using a VPN.
To the best of my knowledge the network security is what ever Fios is doing for me.

Even if it is some network issue shouldn’t roon arc just start playing music as soon as it resolves itself. (Why do I need to press the play button after 4 minutes of no music).

Thanks for further clarifying @Paul_Curtis. It sounds like the system mixer for this Android device is prioritizing Zwift notifications in certain conditions. Please note that there’s ongoing development related to Audio Focus on Android phones with ARC, and certain notifications from third-party app audio will be sufficient to pause ARC entirely.

Please see this feature request thread, where users are making their voices heard: Focus ducking in ARC

There’s ongoing design and testing to provide improvements here. In the meantime, you may be able to alleviate some of the interruptions in the system notification settings for the phone, or in Zwift’s own app settings. Thanks for your patience in the meantime.

If you continue to experience issues with playback in either Roon Remote or ARC, please let us know in a new thread, as there might be underpinning issues with your Core local file storage, per my post above.

Happy to answer any questions!