Roon Core for iPadOS?

iPad as core/music storage/end point/remote all in one would work for me for a number of reasons:

  • I don’t need blazing performance (e.g. rarely if ever use multiple end points)
  • I have a couple of other specific uses for an iPad that combined with Roon would make it a better value proposition.
  • It offers plenty of storage for my music library
  • Portability would give me all my music in 1 place on the go

Sounds like a non-starter though @AndersVinberg ?


Not necessarily.
The iPad is designed to be ok doing stuff while you are using the iPad.
It just would have trouble being a server for other endpoints.

The other side is that end code on the Roon endpoint, the user interface and play, does not include the server side code, so there would presumably be a lot of work to move it and adapt it,

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Core Machine (Operating system/System info/Roon build number)


Network Details (Including networking gear model/manufacturer and if on WiFi/Ethernet)


Audio Devices (Specify what device you’re using and its connection type - USB/HDMI/ect.)


Description Of Issue


I don’t believe that there is a Core package that would run on an iPad.

This is such a good idea! It would be really cool if it is possible. Looking forward to see if it can happen.


New 2020 iPad Pro has plenty of horsepower:


Being Wifi you will likely find it will have issues as well as the storage limitations. Your stuck with what Apple give you, also rather expensive option when a regular computer would likely perform way better. I guess for a standalone portable system it would be nice but i can do it with my laptop without any of the iOS limitations.

They have 1tb iPad pros . That’s a lot of storage

While RoonServer does not run on iOS, there’s nothing that really is stopping it from doing so. It’s just work to port over. The problem is that it would be a pretty foul experience.

The good news is that the latest iPad pros are comparable to core i7 processors from just a few generations ago. They should be able to be a capable server and even do demanding DSP without a hiccup. Even the latest iPhone is more powerful than most Roon Cores out there.

That said, iOS stinks at background processing, so you’d have to live in the “Roon Server” app. Additionally, your iPad would have to run at all times. I believe that includes having the screen on. If iOS decided to kill off Roon Server because you turned off the screen or switched to apps, you’d have to go through an entire boot up of the Roon server. That takes time because of all the in memory indexes.

There’s another problem that the primary networking of the iPad is via Wi-Fi. If your music is sitting on a NAS, that means putting quite a burden on your Wi-Fi network. Same goes for multi-zone or high-res streams. Yes, you could use a lightning to USB to ethernet adapter, but now you are starting to bolt down that iPad. You might as well get something far cheaper with more storage.

The most interesting part of this, is how quickly our perception of the tablet or phone being a weak device is becoming obsolete.


Not really and it’s ridiculously over priced as Apples policy for storage always seems to be.

As a sometimes iOS developer I have to say that Danny is spot-on correct here. The iPad hardware is more than enough to run Roon, but the iOS operating system is designed in such a way that makes that kind of application very difficult. Any application running on an iOS device has to accept that it can be ruthlessly killed without warning by the operating system, and when not running in the foreground it will be relegated to a minimalist subset of functions which create the illusion of background processing but only for a limited suite of functions which the OS provides for background tasks.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that this “stinks,” though. It’s precisely this inflexible environment that allows iPad users to enjoy good battery life and an enjoyable experience when interacting with one (or two) foreground apps. It definitely does stink for anyone who wants to run a server on iOS, though.

Trying to run a Roon Core on an iPad would be fighting the platform at every step along the way. Even if Roon Labs did get it running satisfactorily, it would be particularly vulnerable to future OS releases rendering it unusable due to some small policy shift or API change on Apple’s part.


I have my music sitting on a NAS drive and would ideally be able to use my iPad Pro as the Core device.

Maybe iPadOS will evolve to make this a possibility.

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why would wifi be such an issue? I have skyq (with mini box) which uses wifi (and powerline) to stream HD content, without issue. Music files are significantly smaller than this…

Because it’s not full duplex. Which is essential for a server which is constantly recieving and sending data to be stable. Using WiFi for Roon core is the single most failure point common to users. File size has nothing to do with it, it’s the way wireless works and the fact your throughput is never consistent and susceptible to outside influences of every other wifi system in the immediate area.

What an interesting discussion. I have been thinking about using Roon, but I have been using a 1Tb iPad Pro as a music server (mostly with Qobuz hires downloads but also uncompressed AAC files from ripped CDs). I’ve been plugging the iPad into a Chord Hugo2 DAC via USB and getting very good results. It’s especially useful for me as I have 4 different systems (Barn in garden, Kitchen, Bedroom Office, second home). Most places have different generations of Quad power / preamp. Of course the advantage is having the mobile library available everywhere without any extra effort.

Which is why I was wondering about Roon on an iPad, but it looks like it wouldn’t be a good solution, which is sad.

Well, they’re gonna have to do it now.

Apple will move to proprietary chips, so all the apps will need to run on Mac OS and iOS, it will be a requirement in less than two years. So, if Roon is going to support Apple, they’re gonna have to make an iOS server app.

I think you misunderstand what is meant by a server app in the context of this discussion.

This isn’t even remotely correct.