Roon as a full front-end for digital players

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…

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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.

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.

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

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.

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