Roon as a full front-end for digital players


(Kenneth F Krutsch) #1

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 :wink:). 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…


(Henry) #2

There are a couple of things. Roon themselves have been reluctant to be too closely linked to hardware. That is where they came from and I detect some reticence about getting too deep back in that ecosystem. Secondly I doubt any hardware manufacturers want their product compared too closely with the cheap and cheerful open source hardware Roon could otherwise be installed on.


(Kenneth F Krutsch) #3

Of course, you are right about that. But, for people like Bryston, they are not differentiating on software - they are all about build quality, clean power, and jitter-free delivery. My belief is that Bryston would love nothing more than to be completely out of the software side of things. I suspect there are many other vendors in this camp.


#4

Well, it sounds really exciting!
Or perhaps you shouldna meddle in things you doesna understand? :slight_smile:


(Andrew Gillis) #5

Roon does have an API that allow you to add dialogs directly into Roon itself. But your right you don’t need much. We have a simple web user interface to get our Roon servers setup then it’s all controlled from Roon.

I guess we could add our other setup stuff to Roon. But it’s just as easy to do it in a small web UI.