I think the example of vinyl disagrees with one of the premises you posed: that collecting/hoarding music is a think of the past. That has been said about vinyl for how many decades? And yet, a new vinyl record store just opened about a mile from my home. If one is in the market for a record player, the options are huge!
I think music files will be just as, if not more, resilient. Anyone using Roon, or anyone who would use Roon, to play locally stored files is not going to delete those files when they get a Qobuz or Tidal subscription. Storage is cheap.
Also, there are possibilities in the horizon that might strengthen the value of keeping locally stored music files: improved bandwidth will make it easier to access the files from more places; the music industry might make pricing or marketing decisions that result in more frequent and extensive removal of music from commercially available streaming providers; the transformation of music into commodity that we seem to be experiencing might make streaming access to less-commercially-successful music more difficult than ownership of the music; maybe the concerns about MQA being a trojan horse for DRM will play out, and young people will be compelled to go back to illegal downloads…
At the very least, it is WAY too early to write off locally stored music files in preference for streamed music. For me, I distrust the music industry too much to drink the streaming kool aid. If you’re a fan of music that doesn’t ever get very popular, you might notice the role that bandcamp seems to be playing and the way it seems to be clarifying the distinction between “streaming” and “subscription-based music.” I just don’t think subscription-based music is guaranteed to stay. It is still being vetted. Music ownership was vetted a long time ago.
This is a very real possibility since a variation of this is already happening on the various video streaming services (Netflix, Prime Video, etc.). The movie/show is available one day but gone the next.
I was a Tidal subscriber before discovering Roon, so for me one of the main virtues of Roon was the seamless integration between streaming content and local library. It was as if I was living in a giant record shop.
I think the dichotomy between Track/Album listening is greater than between local/streaming. It was interesting to read @rugby speak of vinyl introducing young listeners to album listening.
Streaming is and will be a central part of the Roon future, but I would like to see some changes to accomodate Track based listeners. Not being one myself, I’m not sure what they would like. I very rarely use the Track browser, it just doesn’t feel as much fun as the Album browser.
Other than the hardware integration (RAAT, AirPlay, Chromecast, Meridian etc.) and DSP capabilities that are just as powerful for TIDAL content as they are for local, there’s one other key benefit 5hat I can see.
That is the metadata overlay. Sometimes contentious for a small number of users (it strikes me though this isn’t really Roon’s issue - it’s often the metadata providers) Roon makes connections and opens musical avenues that are based on what you actually listen to and is in your collection. And it never suggests you listen to “Lemonade” - unless you’ve actually added it to your favourites.
When the “streamers” want to move beyond all-in-ones and Bluetooth headphones and put down roots, Roon will be a premium audiophile option for better quality playback with a superior UI - whether streaming or local playback.
As a music lover this is very cool to read this but I don’t think we can read too much into this small sample size of 20’s/30’s people you know.
The stats show streaming revenue is growing faster than vinyl (and faster than anything else).
To add another datapoint to the convo - I’m 30 and nobody I know around a similar age cares about buying vinyl and I haven’t been able to convince anyone to join Roon - not even Tidal. Everyone I know streams Apple Music and Spotify. And you can forget about a music server or NAS. 99% of what they (and myself) listen to is available on the streaming services.
The vinyl sales growth is real and I’ve heard comments directly from retailers themselves saying it’s mostly driven by 20’s and 30’s people (in their stores) but it’s a small slice of the pie. Will be interesting to see/watch if the growth stops or continues on.
The improvements in the native Tidal app this year have really surprised me. They provide better meta data than Roon in MANY cases - see here for numerous examples:
And the personalisation is getting better with My Mix and recommended listening.
Plus there is often a 2 day delay with Tidal albums showing up in Roon. This is something my friends laugh at, especially for highly anticipated releases each week. Fortunately I have a way to go around that with Audirvana but it’s not ideal. See here:
I know the Roon Team are working hard to do what they can though. And I know they are aware of the improvements in other music listening experiences and I know Roon will continue to get better.
I’m a lifetime member too so Roon don’t care if I find a better experience elsewhere in future anyway - they already have my money ! At the same time, if a better overall experience does come up, I won’t hesitate to move to that. But I’m not there yet. I’m happy with the overall Roon experience, for now.
Not all music is on streaming services (TOOL for example)
It allows me to combine streaming and personally owned music into one library.
It has multi-room functionality so I can stream music into multiple rooms with vendor agnostic speaker solutions.
My Internet offline goes offline (every 1-2 months) and I hate not being able to listen to music
Also throughout my 20s/30s I stopped buying music because I had other priorities and the likes of Spotify has been “good enough” at a low price. Now just turning 40, despite it making little logical sense, I want to physically own my favourite albums of all time, and I get great pleasure from having them on vinyl or my local media server.
Roon is certainly a niche product though, my wife is not a fan of the search functionality and never being able to find anything. Hopefully it has a big enough of a following to sustain itself. It doesn’t need to take over the world to be a successful product that audiophiles like to use and pay for.
I originally got roon so I could play my local library ripped as ALAC with HQPlayer. I loved the way my music sounded thru HQPlayer but didn’t want to re-rip my whole library in FLAC.
I then subscribed to Tidal and was also able to stream that thru HQPlayer as well. Since then I haven’t bought any CDs.
Then I was able to use old iphones and computers as end points to setup the whole house for music. I do my main listening on high end headphone setup, so rest of house is just for casual listening.
So the next phase will be their mobile release where hopefully I can listen to the same music and have same interface I use at home while at work or vacation. Even though Tidal mobile app has greatly improved, roon has much better music discovery. I could also use a dac setup at work when this happens. Also interested in Qobuz integration to see if offers more than Tidal.
For me, the joy of Roon has been music discovery. I can start out listening to one artist in one genre and end up loving another artist in a somewhat different area of music. The meta data, how Roon farms it and how they frame it make this possible. I have a decent sized music collection integrated with Tidal, but all the new discoveries come from Tidal’s library not mine.
It’s also fun to see what other artists have done with a particular song.
Maybe you can get that through streaming but I don’t know how, This isn’t about collecting music but letting Roon take you on a journey. If you are just a little bit curious, how could you not love that?
Not to be a harbinger of doom, but I’d not want my precious computing assets (even those dedicated to just music) to be open to streaming data all the time. The machinery that receives the stream may be a ‘proper computer’, with all security in place - but even those have many chinks in their armour. And the “IoT” universe (of cheap, perhaps single purpose, computerised things which hook up tot he internet) are vastly less reliable and secure.
So, nope; I’d like my Big Pile o’Music sitting at home on a trusted server or two with backups. As for streaming, oooo - wait: FM radio!
[No, I’m not really as paranoid as that, but - relying on an unpaid network with malicious actors is just not a very wise thing. There’s more chance of surviving if you download rarely things which could only have come from somewhere safe - in principle, like iOS and Roon updates…]
What version of Roon and Devialet firmware are you using? Perhaps new releases have been distributed. My Roon/Devialet can’t stream across bitrate changes without needing a restart. Not can Roon start the Devialet or select proper modes.
@Jeugen Joe, I have a Devialet 200 (non-Pro), so the most recent firmware is 10.1.0. I am running Roon 1.5 Build 363 (most recent firmware). You might check with the Roon staff as any Devialet should work fine as I described.
I’ve been using Roon AIR since it first was released to replace the flakey Devialet AIR app. Devialet did get their Devialet AIR app to work most of the time with the latest release, but it still has problems whereas I have no problems at all with using Roon AIR including continuous Roon playback across bitrate changes. I’m using the latest version of Roon and Devialet’s firmware for Expert Pro with CI board. The only way it could be better is when Devialet finally supports Roon RAAT (work in progress as I understand it).
You might want to post your issues on DevialetChat.com. Lots of good folks there that may be able to help.
While I get what you’re saying, when I’ve demonstrated Roon to my kids and set them up a profile, they totally get it. From my college son to my 17 year old daughter, to my 12 year old daughter, they all saw Roon and GOT it. Those that still buy CDs asked me to add their CDs. The ones that stream use Tidal. They like the linking. They like the lyrics. They like the deep connections.
So, dinosaurs? I’m not sure I agree.
PS. I still have four more kids to show it to here but those kids tend to listen to music using the speakers in their phones…so maybe that makes your point. But if you can grab half a market…