I wonder if Roon has thought about building an extensible framework that would allow a vendor to completely replace their own UX with something built on top of Roon.
I was thinking about this when using CarPlay in my car - great for music, maps, messaging - oh, you want to change a climate setting? You need to go back to your car’s UI to do that. Stupid, but I know that the car makers are desperately trying to preserve some distinction in a competitive market.
The current crop of digital players have their own user interfaces; examples I’ve played with are pretty sad in comparison with what Roon has built. Yes, you need a separate machine to run Roon Core and host your music, but I think most people do that anyway (e.g. NAS box in another room or something like a NUC).
When I think about my Bryston BDP, their “Manic Moose” software is very difficult to use, has lots of file compatibility restrictions, etc. (as does anything that is MPD based) - just read the customer commentary on AudioCircle.
Similarly, uPnP/DLNA has been a complete failure; again, it’s difficult to use, setup correctly and there are many compatibility issues (just ask Simon over at MinimServer).
So, along comes Roon with a fantastic user experience (classical music will get there, don’t worry ). More importantly, it manages your library and handles the complex tasks of streaming to multiple end-points, in a format that anything can play (well, anything that is “RoonReady”). It even includes bi-directional communication so things like end-point displays and buttons work as expected.
What’s left? Not much: initial network setup for Wi-Fi end-points, end-point firmware updates, end-point hardware troubleshooting, maybe customer registration? And… that’s about it.
Food for thought…