Thanks, Dan, great question and point. Contrary to our friend down below, I actually did what I said I did, and did have problems, but you’re right it doesn’t necessarily fit the narrative. My guess is that I rushed things and didn’t let Roon get through whatever tasks it needs to do from a fresh launch on a new core. It shouldn’t have been a networking problem as everything from audio data input to speaker output was contained on my MBPro. I do see how that might have thrown Dylan off the scent, but presumably they had the logs to show what was happening? But like I said, fair point.
This maybe shows why the investigations that the Roon techs do to diagnose problems are not always as straight forward as it seems they should be. There are so many variables to consider.
I understand that when things are not working it’s frustrating, but step-by-step logical diagnosis of a problem is what is needed and when one step is missed, or the results mis-read, this can cause you to go round in circles.
I think the Roon techs need to be cut a bit of slack. They seem to me to do a great job.
I guess I’ve been fortunate, but I find the Roon software very solid on the whole, I’ve been lucky with updates happening without issue for a year and a half since I’ve owned it.
So… is Roon at a tipping point… ?
I don’t believe so.
A few (hopefully) final comments:
First, thanks to (almost) everyone for the contributions, it’s been very helpful and educational.
Some people seem to think I am trying to bring down Roon. I’m not. I’ve likely paid more to them over more years than most and plan to continue doing so, yearly, because I think it’s a good product that deserves my paying for it on an on-going basis . . . so long as I can actually use it, and that was looking in doubt for a while there.
I also appreciate the technical education from many of you, and the defense of the Roon team. I probably failed to make this clear, but I was and am appreciative of their support, and their willingness to try to help with other, non-Roon aspects of my system.
But, respectfully to all, those are all very linear issues and defending the current status quo is not the path to success for a company such as Roon. Roon does a good job of building constantly improving software and responding to real-world user requests for improvements. The product is good and its trajectory is impressive. I don’t know numbers, but my guess is Roon’s penetration into the high-end, technically savvy market is good and that market is by its nature willing to experiment with new things and forgive mistakes. So if that’s what Roon wants to be as a mature company then great, they’ve done a good job.
But what if, in the end, all of us are just beta testers and the real goal is a much larger user base? Then I think Roon needs to be careful, because it’s really still in the valley-of-death stage of its life. And this is where things get hard and you have to be careful that things like support costs and customer experience are up to snuff to make it out of the valley.
By example, most of you have said the techs did everything they should have done. OK, fine. But my problem still took up a couple of hours of customer-facing tech time over a few days as well as time for log analysis from the back-office QA team, and even then it wasn’t Roon who solved my problem (presumably they eventually would have, but only after more time and expense on their end and more frustration on mine). How many hours was that? What was the cost? Answer: certainly more than my yearly subscription cost and much more than it should have been, since the correct, 10-minute, one-interaction answer to solving my problem was deleting and reinstalling Roon from my Roon-approved core. Think of how much money and time Roon would have saved if they had taken a different approach and looked at their own product first for the solution before telling me the problem was on my end.
Is Roon at a tipping point? Maybe not. Does it still have hurdles in front of it? Definitely. As some have observed, Roon is both successful and at risk because of its willingness to sit in the middle of all kinds of inputs and outputs. It can either provide great support or no support . . . but no support is not really an option. So then it’s great support, but while constantly keeping an eye on the metrics of hours and dollars per interaction and not allowing the support costs and infrastructure to eat the rest of the company. And the only way to do that is to learn from situations such as mine.
Roon and its team are great and I wish them well. And thanks again to the rest of you, it has been a great conversation.
I am using very basic network setup, and Win 8,1 PC as a core to run Roon and actually I believe that Roon device discovery is pretty robust. I use three different types of endpoints, never had any problems. Granted they are all wired but not to support Roon, it worked on wi-fi, but wi-fi adds a lot of system noise.
But the troubleshooting advice given on this thread to Chris_Groobey is pretty excessive: from hiring highly qualified network consultant to Nucleus as a “must have” Roon platform. That’s what we need to run a consumer product? Then forget about it, why not move to different platform like LMS or Sonos?
I like Roon a lot it is a high quality, well designed networked player with sophisticated DSP, but it is not irreplaceable, particularly for basic streaming.
I don’t believe that was ever the Roon tech’s advice.
Roon Support assist with more complicated networks all the time.
We (the Mrs. and me) started a small software company to build and sell a vertical business app.
We had to write a lot of interfaces to industry specific peripheral devices and APIs to a variety of other systems, all using different protocols, plus all the core mission critical functions of the app. Not to mention the near infinte variety of client, server and network environments it ran in. And, it’s a regulated environment, so auditors, agents and whatnot to deal with.
So, I feel Roon’s pain. It’s not as easy as it looks.
My network is one of those silly complicated ones. Although it has gotten simpler over the years it’s still not anything I’d expect someone to understand without a map or a bit of time in front of the router and wifi controller. The side-effect of that is rarely do I contact a vendor until I’ve eliminated all other possibilities and then I’ve pretty much got access to every possible knob they could ask me to flip including a wealth of troubleshooting data to support finding root cause. Sometimes simple is nice. Sometimes having all the knobs at your control is good too. Warning to the young kids out there… If you love your hobby keep it a hobby. If you get employed to do your hobby then you’ll quickly discover you cannot get away from said hobby.
No shade on you, but it seems people with networks like this are like doctors with a disease. The worst patients. Because they know a lot, they know everything better than the support they are asking for help. It’s human nature and you see it in every walk of life. Roon Support gets my admiration for their patience and attention to a problem-solving process.
You’re certainly not wrong. I started my career on the end of a support line and have always been close to playing the support role in one way or another. That’s probably the only thing that’s kept me mildly grounded and completely sympathetic to what the support desk has to deal with on a daily basis. Whenever I engage support I do try to tread lightly and find common ground before “dropping my ego”. I’ve been on the receiving end of it and I know it only disrupts and slows down solving the issue. Often times if I truly believe it is vendor issue I will rebuild my network to match their reference so they are not having to deal with my environment. Every great once in a while that step alone solves the issue and, of course, that means it was my issue all along.
That was a depressing read.
I’m sorry that many struggle with their in-home Wi-Fi, but if you want a whole-home audio system, it’s a reality you will need to deal with. I stream 1080p video to Apple TVs throughout my home, as well as 4K streaming from Apple and Netflix and it all works. But, I took a lot of time and effort to make sure I have a stable 802.11ac signal that reaches three floors (location of router, access points and one extender in a key location). In that environment, Roon works flawlessly.
The tipping point that Roon has reached is ubiquity - that is, RAAT is embedded / supported on an amazing collection of audio appliances and listenable on many more with support for Airplay 2 and Chromecast. Think about how amazing that is - Roon basically kicked UPnP/DLNA off of the playing field and replaced it with a best-in-class user experience.
I have no data to back this up whatsoever, but I’m pretty sure that the number of users of DLNA probably is a multiple of RAAT users. Maybe a very high multiple.
But I agree, RAAT is totally superior to DLNA. It would be pretty cool if RAAT became an adopted protocol outside of Roon alone as a source. Video applications, a networked DAC, whatever.
Like you, I have no data to back this up… but… I was a heavy user of, first, Twonky and then, later, MinimServer. Traffic on the MinimServer discussion board has really dropped. Only Simon could tell us how many downloads he is providing, but looking at the Roon forum vs. Minim tells me everything I need to know.
Setting up and configuring MinimServer was an arduous process - even for me, as a software engineer - and it was widely considered best-in-class for its purpose, especially with classical music. I would make the case that the audience for DLNA is the same audience for Roon.
Of course, DLNA has a long tail and CE vendors (e.g. Sony) are still providing a DLNA renderer in their BD players, et al. But I wonder how many people are actually using DLNA for listening to music.
I am impressed with the stories of the fine service you have received from the computer company. My point is that the Nucleus is like a toaster: you plug it in and it works. Period. The only task for the user is to admire how well it works.
Bookmarked. I’m in the same boat and my first year subscription is just about up. I’d be interested in following any dialog that your post might generate.