Roon Bridge fails to work correctly when using two systems

@support

Running the latest version of Roon Bridge on two different iMac systems. Core is on a Nucleus at version 1.4 with Bridge at build 141.

When I choose About Roon I see all of this and both Roon Bridge instances are shown with their correct IP addresses. However, only one of the IP addresses show up under Networked.

If I attempt to play on the one listed after the System Output is enabled the play button quickly reverts to stop.

If I wait some time and try again I get the iMac listed to play.

If on the iPad Roon App (where I manage everything) I disable System Output and go back into settings for Audio the same iMac is listed. However, if I kill the Roon app on the iPad and restart it I now see the other iMac IP address listed.

If I then enable System Output on this iMac, as I had done previously the iPad app shows that it is “enabling” via the icon in the center of the screen but never returns with any completion (seems to happen for either of the iMacs whenever listed).

While that is going on if I tap save settings this seems to have an effect on the screen behind, likely noting some change. If I tap away to see the Networked screen the Zone Name is now listed for System Output but the IP address has changed to the other iMac!

However, if I wait long enough the Networked section changes to show the other iMac. However, even if I think things are enabled and attempt to play any albums, Roon starts at the first song and quickly moves from song to song until it clears the queue. Bizarre!

I’m baffled. The one system is Ethernet connected to a switch which is wired into a WiFi access point that is finally wired into my cable modem. The other system is wired into another WiFi access point which is on the same network but is WiFi connected. This is a mesh network. The Nucleus is similarly wired through a switch into another WiFi access point that is also in this mesh network.

The only way I can get anything to work without issue is to disable Roon Bridge on one of the iMacs. I’m beginning to wonder if Roon’s networking is not working correctly with the mesh standards or the implementation is incorrect for either Roon or my Eero network of WiFi access points.

Please advise. I’ve also always had problems with the Roon IOS app losing connection to the Core both with the Nucleus and prior MacMini, which is why I’m thinking this is a networking issue.

Update: installed Roon Bridge on another laptop in the same network and it immediately revealed itself in the list of Network devices. That clearly suggests a problem with the iMac I’ve where I’ve removed Roon. Certainly would be great if I could track down the problem somehow.

And just put my old MacMini into service, installed Roon Bridge, and it too is seen by Roon’s Network device list.

So, the question remains: why is the suspect iMac not functioning correctly? Certainly would like to fix this.

@stevebythebay What are the specs for the iMacs that are having issues? OS version and processor specs etc and network settings too. While running Roon Bridge should work on even the most basic of Macs, it seems that something is perhaps not able to cope…it could even be the wifi network. so some more specific details there might help too.

The one with the issue is the latest iMac, with fastest processor and 8GB memory. Latest version of macOS and only Ethernet enabled (no WiFi). Nothing special about network settings other than additional DNS addresses which I use on all my Mac and IOS devices.

Hi @stevebythebay ---- Thank you for the report and sharing these observations you have made with us. The insight is appreciated!

Moving forward, being as the RoonBridge device that is not appearing in your “audio” tab but is appearing in the “about” section means that Roon can see it , so my sense is that this behavior appears to be either a network related issues OR potentially an issue with the RoonBridge install on the mentioned iMac.

Can you please verify for me that there are no active firewalls OR antivirus applications running on the iMac that is exhibiting this behavior. Additionally, from your report it sounds like you may have already uninstalled RoonBridge on the iMac having the issue, is this correct? If this is indeed the case, did you reinstall the application itself or did you delete the previously used “RoonBridge” folder in your “library” directory?

-Eric

The only difference between the problematic iMac and all other Mac systems that work is the presence of Avira antivirus. I’ve gone ahead and uninstalled this on the “problem iMac”. All systems have the Firewall enabled. I’ve also removed all of the Roon and Roon Bridge folders in Library on the “problem iMac”.

I then reinstalled Roon Bridge and started it once more after disabling the Firewall on the problem iMac system. Once I started Roon Bridge it immediately took the place of the existing iMac in the list of Networked devices on the iPad Roon app. Others that had been active (Mac Book Pro) stayed active. About Roon shows all three Macs: the other iMac, problem iMac, and the Mac Book Pro (the Mac Mini is shutdown). As soon as I terminate Roon Bridge on the problem iMac, the other iMac shows up under Networked list.

So, what else is a likely culprit?

Is there a chance your router is handing out the same IP address to both iMacs?

Go into ‘System Preferences’, ‘Network’ on each iMac and have a look at what IP address has been assigned.

Just a thought…

No. Each device is getting their own IP address. And without any need to do any IP reservation, none of the systems are receiving different IP addresses at any time.

Hi @stevebythebay ----- Thank you for touching base with me and providing the requested feedback, both are very appreciated!

Continuing forward, I am curious, during your handling of this issue have you tried completely uninstalling Roon bridge on both iMacs to see how the system behaves with both devices in a “fresh state”?

Additionally, we have other users that are working with Eero based mesh networks without issue so my gut is telling me that something else is causing the problem here. Can you please verify for if the problem iMac is making use of a Wifi or wired connection?

Additionally, I would like to have a better sense of what chain of communication looks like in regard to your network configuration and as such may I kindly ask you to provide a brief but detailed description of your network topology.

-Eric

Yes I’ve done the uninstall and removal of Library folders on both systems a couple of times. Always the results are the same. The older iMac works fine, but when the new iMac is brought into the picture, by activating Roon Bridge, it effectively hides the older iMac from the list of Network devices.

As for how both of these systems are networked:

a) older iMac is physically Ethernet wired to an Eero which is WiFi connected to other Eero systems;

b) newer iMac is physically wired to a switch which is then wired to the primary Eero which is wired to the cable modem that is connected to Comcast.

As a test, unplugging the newer iMac from the switch and enabling WiFi and then enabling Roon Bridge results in the appearance of the new iMac with newly assigned IP address and associated disappearance of the old iMac again.

One thing that I was thinking may be the root cause of the problem: when I purchased the new iMac late last year, rather than simply using what Apple gave me and then starting fresh by installing apps and setting up the environment, I did a migration install. It was not smooth, to say the least, and required senior level Apple support to get things working. So, I’m suspicious of this new iMac’s underlying settings, etc.

Can you suggest ways to see if what may be picked up when my new iMac starts up Roon Bridge and communicates to the Core on the Nucleus? I’ve checked under System Preferences…Network…Advanced for both iMacs and find only one significant difference: the WINS/NetBIOS names reflect the different host names. And the common entry I find for all systems are in Bypass proxy settings box which shows *.local, 169.254/16
If Roon Bridge is collecting info from macOS on hostname and passing it along to the Core I’m wondering if there may have been duplication between the two iMacs in some way. I don’t know enough about how name resolution is done on a Mac with High Sierra. Where primary info is kept and how it gets transmitted. I’m guessing some .local or Bonjour related means. If there’s a way to validate whatever Roon Bridge is getting and passing along, that might help solve this mystery. I did check under File Sharing that the computer names are different and correspond to the WINS/NetBIOS names.

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I was about to ask if this was a new setup done with migration or perhaps a drive clone, but you seem to have twigged on my thoughts…using the force you are :slight_smile:

In the system prefs the name of the system can be changed under the Sharing icon, I’m not aware of any normal situation where this name would be identical other than a drive cloning type setup, and even then I think macOS is able to modify to avoid conflicts where one has many machines with the same names…like Wizard Mac (2) or (4) etc as I have seen in the past…I have a lot of macs :blush:

I’m not aware of macs being able to use or clone a MAC address so I doubt that would be a possibility either. This would be very rare indeed anyway as you are trying different network connections anyway.

While it’s been a while since I was running Roon Bridge on several Mac mini’s that I replaced with RPi units, I don’t recall any issues with those older setups (pre 1.4 roon days) but as I am currently living out of a suitcase in hotels for a few more days I don’t have the luxury to do any testing until early next week. But if it’s still an issue then I will be happy to do so.

@stevebythebay One other thought is to down the whole network …power off everything for a few minutes including all the switches and routers and wifi etc, plus all the connected pc/macs etc. just to clear any caches of ARP and whatever else might in play…if this hasn’t already been done…but it won’t hurt to do it again.

I’ll give that a go when I have some time to devote to doing so. The steps would be after all are off for some time, I’ll start the cable modem, WiFi access points, then switches and finally the two iMacs. If that fails, I’ll be more tempted to reinstall High Sierra on the newest iMac, after doing a hardware check (just for grins).

If you can backup the new Mac using time machine to an external drive. The you can try perhaps splitting the drive into another partition (not sure of your level of Mac expertise) and install a new os on the new partition…thus leaving the old one intact…then install Roon Bridge alone on a test account, (not importing your old setup) and see if in isolation that solves the issue. Then you could try importing using the migration app in utilities to bring in your old user from the original partition.

A point to note…I always install a fresh os with a local admin account then I add the users as needed…so that I always have a bare bones user account on the machines I have that I can know is good and clean as can be.

It was Time Machine that failed during my initial setup of the new iMac. So, I’m less than enthused using it (seems that the Time Capsule with Time Machine was simply not doing its job, corrupting backups and failing to prune as storage was being eaten up with ongoing backups).

I’d rather allow Roon support suggest ways to uncover the problem than starting all over.

Hi @stevebythebay ---- Thank you for the continued feedback and more importantly thank oyu for your patience here. My apologies for the delay.

I discussed your report with our tech team this morning and the team informed me that the “RAATSever” folder should be deleted before reinstalling the application. Can you verify for me, when you performed the reinstall that the RAATServer folder was also deleted along with the Roonbridge folder?

-Eric

RAATs…once I found the right library (user) and removed the RAATServer folder (along with the RoonBridge folder) and reinstalled – both iMacs are visible as Network zone devices. Tested both RoonBridge and Roon Server installations (after cleanups) and seems all is fine now.

Might be worth creating a script or some means of removing/uninstalling Roon from Macs which would do this cleanup at a minimum, or add in a bit of “fix” scripting/processing in future. Or at minimum clear documentation on how to do all of this, including which libraries (core macOS and/or user) which need cleanups.

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