Roon catering to Dinosaurs?


(Yiannis Kouropalatis) #22

I appreciate and value your view and concerns. I found your post well measured and respectful. Certainly not forceful in any way :-).
Roon’s appeal to different people is something I also think about on a regular basis. Mainly because I love Roon and I would love to see it become more widely established.
I partly agree with what you wrote. Most people I know stream their music. Some people use really good equipment to do so while others are happy with Sonos etc. I buy music (lossless and some iTunes tracks) and appreciate owning and curating a library. I am 44 but most of my friends (younger and older) prefer to stream Spotify / Apple Music. Very few will be going for Tidal / Qobuz and another minority are Vinyl only. I agree with you that the majority of music lovers will go for the convenience of Spotify connect or Apple Music. Were it possible for Roon to become Spotify connect enabled, market share would certainly increase. Having said that, I value that Roon primarily caters for people who prefer to tinker in order to achieve / enjoy the added sound quality. I agree with you though that this group of people feel like a minority. I feel like that whenever I interact with the majority of my friends and family. I am hopeful though as I believe that a minority will always exist that will appreciate higher sound quality (above Spotify) and Roon will cater for us :-). Assuming Roon has adopted a niche market segment targeting then this might be enough for it to sustain financial success and even growth. While I agree that a lot of people don’t have the reference point of quality above mp3 / Spotify, some do seek it. Myself and one or two good friends of mine included. I am therefore hopeful that the niche market segment will remain a good target for Roon :-).

Now, if somehow Roon managed to expand and include multiple streaming services then it would grow beyond this niche.

Thanks for sharing :slight_smile:


(Dominique) #23

Thanks Sloop_John_B, you actually got my post. Those who got very irritated and thought I was forcing my opinions upon others, must have overlooked the ? in the title and somehow misread the post.

It was actually quite innocent, a musing as you wrote - about where we all might be going with music and the changes. These will probably also affect Roon.

In a way it is good to see how much some people love Roon and immediately start fighting for it. But, the fight is not needed, I am already getting hooked on Roon, grooming my library and trying to solve problems.

I am a collector, so I only stream stuff from Tidal that I actually don’t need to keep - like Pop Jazz etc.

I wrote young people I know use Spotify and do not collect or buy music anymore - not that all young people on this planet are using music that way. There is a difference, actually a pretty huge one. Since I don’t know all youngsters worldwide :wink:

Yes I am a dinosaur. I always thought you learn a lot about a person, when you come to their place and see their music, book and also video collection.
Nowadays often there is nothing at all to discover- Netflix, Spotify and Kindle have taken over, times change. Maybe in the future there will be no one left that is running a Nas streaming their own music, who knows. For me personally that is not going to happen, I have too many recordings that are not available anywhere anymore.


(Daniel Beyer) #24

Knowing tons of late 20s and early 30s music listeners, yes they listen to a streaming service. Yes, most, at some point, were caught in the Apple walled garden. Also, more than half of them have left Apple. And ALL OF THEM are buying vinyl. And consequently discovering album based play-back.

Had a discussion over Christmas Egg Nog on how they were discovering music more by “being forced to listen to it” and “not just click past songs which don’t immediately click” when using vinyl. My response was Cheers! The feature that they wanted from Roon was for some way to push their vinyl playback through Roon to use throughout the house.


(Chris ) #25

I was just reading an article about half speed cutting. They stated that they digitised the tapes first and used that audio to cut the disc. This is fine, but it’s not really analog either in the true sense.
So, a decent High Res digital copy, be it MQA or not has to be a shorter route to an analog sound…


(Ralph Pantuso) #26

Ah yes the worst of both worlds - digital sound (that is if one doesn’t like digital sound) and all the issues of analog sound (like wow and flutter, pops, skips, surface noise, reduced dynamic range, etc). Now really what could possibly be better than that? :roll_eyes:


(Chris ) #27

Well,you could feed the lot through Roon for some reason…


(Antonio Bendezu) #28

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.


(Ralph Pantuso) #29

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.


(Andrew Cox) #30

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.


(Chris ) #31

I go to Tracks when I want a list of favourites to swim through. It’s great.


(Malcolm) #32

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.


(Sean) #33

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 ! :wink: 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.


(Ralph Pantuso) #34

Hey I represent that remark!

But you are correct it is often the metradata providers who are lacking and not Roon, which is not to say that Roon is NOT without issues of its own.


(Malcolm) #35

I think that’s fair enough. I’d say, though, that Roon is the best around - and it is an evolving platform / service.


(Jared Devers) #36

I use Roon because

  • 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.


(iamoneagain) #37

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.


(Scott Grossman) #38

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?


(Pete Wilson) #39

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…]


(Dominique) #40

yes, you are right - and that is why I am now stuck for life :wink:


(Joe Whitesell) #41

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.