Roon compared to JRiver

Having used both, this seems like a pretty fair comparison. (Apologies if already posted elsewhere.)


This is a very nice and thorough review. I use them both. JRiver to import and add art, and some metadata. Then Roon for playback. Also use JRemote which is the go-to app for streaming your library outside your home network. All I could do is smile knowing I’ve been using these both for years. Absolutely necessary for the best in computer audio.


I started a new thread to discuss a specific thing mentioned in that article:

Yes, that didn’t sound right to me. I just looked in Google Home, create group. It doesn’t see any roon zones. It doesn’t even see Chromecast hdmi, just audio and the home speaker.

Agreed! And thanks for posting the link.

First comment at the end by @Sloop_John_B I see…

One error, he stated that jremote is no longer on the App Store, it is

Also no real comparison on “on demand” streams like a Tidal, JRiver offers effectively Radio Stations, no choice of content. Also JRiver doesn’t support internet radio as Roon does

Otherwise a fairly accurate review, I agree use both, I do

The author is really being kind to JRiver. It’s as if JRiver pulled off to the side of the road when it saw Roon coming and let Roon have it. I’ve used JRiver for music for a long time and truthfully after using Roon for only a few weeks I was kind of wondering why anyone was even going through the trouble of comparing them. I kind of felt like JRiver had fallen behind the times. I just didn’t know by how much. Roon makes it abundantly clear.


I would be interested to see how many people use both, I do

A comparison is actually not that valid, they have a small amount in common but each has features that the other doesn’t, not quite apples and pears but …

Customization of views with Custom Tags is a massive plus to JRiver, metadata display etc a plus to Roon and so on

I need to keep 2 systems to feed my wi fi soundbar and my mygica tv streamer so I can pick and choose

JRiver solves the big box issue but it does look a bit tired. JRemote is a bit unloved but still good software

The biggie is that Cambridge Audio CXN now supports Tidal, albeit not a sexily as Roon , so the balance is levelling a bit. JRiver server CA end point, and control?

It’s kind of correct, to group Chromecast endpoints for sync play you have to group your Chromecasts endpoints in Google Home. You cant group Chromecast video pucks as they don’t support it, only audio devices such CCA , Google assitants and Chromecast inbuilt on certain hardware.

Never touched jriver it always looked so old and backwards, I choose LMS instead.

Been using since I went digital, 8 yrs, it’s old school visually but ticks a lot of boxes for flexibility of display views

Depends if you share Roon’s anti DNLA thoughts

I’m 3 parts deaf anyway :face_with_thermometer:

I do can’t stand DNLA never worked properly or consistently across my devices thats the other reason I went LMS before Roon.

I used to use JRiver. My journey through the music management universe went something like this:

Windows explorer with folder.jpg as thumbnails + Winamp
Windows Media Player
JRiver Media Player
Foobar 2000

See my blog here for more details:

In terms of comparing JRiver and Roon - I think that Roon is in a class of its own; the other apps (including JRiver) are glorified file tag/metadata managers, whereas Roon is something else - especially the user interface and the metadata scraping. That’s not to say that JRiver is better in some regards - as the Computer Audiophile article says, if you’re more interested in curating your own metadata and tagging/organising it yourself, then JRiver might be better.

This is the one thing that frustrates me about Roon at the moment - with some improvements there would really be no need for JRiver or anything else. I have long put in various feature requests relating to improvements in the Roon interface/organising abilities (as have many many others), though these have thus far not been acted upon or acknowledged by the Roon team. It would be nice if Roon could be made more customisable in terms of the interface. I still hold out hope however that these things will come (and not just because I spent around 500 bucks on it)!!

Funny I have used it for years with no issues

I used various end points, i3 laptop, Mede8er and currently a Cambridge Audio CXN and a MyGica 1960

Never a jot of problems , JRiver server just works …

Are the audiences diverging? jRiver is increasingly for those who care about metadata with their own libraries and increasingly video. Roon is going more to the streaming masses and turnkey solutions.

I find the 2 complement each other, I use both actively

They are sufficiently different to do that, in essence they both play music (and video in the case of JRiver) but the rest is sufficiently different to allow easy coexistence

I value having both although For playback I primarily use Roon.

Jriver is still helpful for viewing and editing tags

The comparison is helpful for those deciding if they want to take the more expensive plunge into Roon.

I’ve been on a similar journey, except that I only ever used Mediamonkey for its metadata editing capabilities (I continued using WMP as the player), and skipped JRiver and Foobar going straight to Roon.

I did actually try JRiver twice (in 2012 and 2014), but it struck me as being too full of knobs, switches, bells and whistles that I would never use. Like Topsy, it had “just growed” into something that did not suit me. A cursory glance at Foobar gave me the same feeling.

I still keep dBpoweramp around for ripping and metadata editing, but Roon is now at the heart of our music experience here.

Agreed. And for me it’s been so long that horse is almost already out of the barn - I still try to maintain parallel metadata in files to what I’ve done in Roon, but I fear I am behind in that. I would just like what I do in Roon to translate to Foorbar and JRiver (or MediaMonkey, whatever) and there are easy ways to do that if Roon would play nice.

I’d really love it if Roon could finish their UI and tagging capabilities. What I wonder is whether it’s a deliberate strategy – make Roon a silo and force users to lose their curating work if they want to leave, or a lack of development resource, or an architectural corner Roon has painted themselves into.

Sure, but this is how you keep people from complaining about the footer color and horizontal scrolling. Make it an option.