I’m firmly in the less is more camp. Too many options does not help, IMO.
So you would prefer to have something different from your preference, maybe vastly different and annoying to you, but no way to change it, in the name of simplicity?
I think it depends more on how options are implemented, and there are graceful ways to do it. Foobar has a default interface that works just fine upon first installation. You only need to dig into it if you want to.
If it annoys me, I don’t use it. And annoyance is not tied to simplicity. Usually it’s tied to needless complexity. Having said that, I am a Cubase user, so there are always exceptions to the rule.
J River is/was a great product if you aren’t interested in streaming from Qobuz or Tidal. It has a search facility that is orders of magnitude better than anything in Roon, it allows you to build your own views, so you can see your music the way you want, easily change tags with or without writing them back to your files, and lots of nice things. But it doesn’t have its own remote app - JRemote is good, but J River have abandoned it - it doesn’t support streaming services, and it has none of the nice artist and album review features that Roon have, nor does it try and understand compositions. I switched from J River to Roon a few weeks ago after many years with JRiver. I really miss the search, and the user definable views, but not much else.
I tried Roon for two months. As a current user of Logitech’s Media Server with two Transporter devices in my system (using excellent mobile apps) I found Roon’s Mobile app (Android and Iphone-Ipad) to be quite underwhelming. JRiver -which I’ve been using for 6 months or so has an app that suffices. It definitely is a better choice than Roon’s. Roon’s only advantage over JRiver IMHO is is the integration of lyrics. Unfortunately it hasn’t been consistent enough so for USB Audio playback I’m going with JRiver. Jriver also has a Theater mode (that Roon can’t duplicate) that I find very pleasing on the 24" touch screen that I have in my family room.
Its fascinating how the same thing can look so different to various people. To me, its difficult to understand how the review could in any way equate the GUI of Roon to JRiver. I find JRiver to be archaic in comparison, including the iPad remote App which is the best I’ve ever seen in Roon.
I can understand saying JRiver sounds better, or on par with Roon. But the rest is like the Dark Ages vs. The Age of Enlightenment…
I’m guessing familiarity plays a big part in how one sees. Roon has a unique organizational system that takes an adjustment period, it took me quite awhile to come around to Roon’s genius, a full year actually.
A lot depends on what you use the JRiver GUI for. I rarely, if ever play music on the Windows PC its on I use the JRemote app among others.
Yes the Gui is elderly but exceeding comprehensive for library maintenance , Tagging , Custom Tags etc all beat Roon hands down but as you say for prettiness NO !!
I need a DLNA server running for certain audio hardware and for my Video streams. Roon & JRiver play nicely and to be honest the SQ is not discernible to my aging ears.
My handling of Big Classical Box Sets is all in JRiver as Roon simply can’t come up with a comparative solution. The real shame is that JRiver don’t believe streaming a la Tidal/Qobus is not viable or the choice would be more difficult
Finally JRiver allows me via DLNA to use my Cambridge Audio CXN to its fullest extent rather than the AirPlay limit placed by Roon
I happily use both and will continue to do so
Horses for Courses
I have a Chromecast Ultra grouped with a Chromecast Audio in Roon (first grouped in Google Home) and it works great. I also use each individually directly in Roon.
Perhaps they added the ability in 1.6 or 1.7 but wanted others to know if works fine now.
The search in JRiver is way, way ahead of the search or focus in Roon.
Maybe yes, maybe no.
I also have been a longterm customer of Jriver, before switching to Roon about 2 years ago.
If you do not use any streaming service in Roon, and you import a well metadata tagged music catalog in Roon, with peference for your own embedded metadata, there is a good chance Roon will be on par in searching your library.
If however, you do not take care of the metadata of your albums, Jriver will be lost completely. Roon will (try to) do its best for you.
Enter streaming services, and it is a whole new added complexity for searching.
So, very difficult to do an objective comparison
Just my personal reflection, YMMV.
Definitely yes. I have just done a search in Roon for “Beethoven Piano Concerto”. The first album it returns is for Beethoven Piano Sonatas. I have many Beethoven Piano Concertos in my own library and there are hundreds more in Qobuz to which I subscribe. The search in Roon is incompetent. Not fit for purpose. Hopeless. Frustrating. Rubbish.
It’s odd because sometimes I can duplicate search results and sometimes I can’t. I searched for Beethoven Piano Concerto and the first listed is No. 5 in E Flat Major. There are many more (all from Qobuz). In my experience, Roon’s search is quirky (most search engines have their quirks), but not fatally flawed.
I’ve given up on JRiver MC. I have Master License version 25; was using it for quite some time, started around version 17. Currently I’m using Roon and Audirvana. JRiver can do a really good job, but you sure have to work at it sometimes. With Roon and Audirvana, you just dump the files in and go. JRiver is a little messier. It’s very tweakable, but I decided to spend more of my time listening, and less time tweaking and tagging.
Were back to metadata quality
The reason JRiver can work better is that you have their expression language behind , so in your case create a Custom Tag SubGenre , make it Piano Concerto and you can set up a view
I have Genre = Concertos so it’s dead easy , BUT extremely manual
I still maintain my tags just in case , but I have slowed down with new stuff because of Tidal so it’s less onerous
No use whatsoever when searching Qobuz unfortunately.