Even, the Foobar UI is way too much for me when I just want to find something and play it. For local content I often just browse the windows explorer folders and rightclick to play in foobar. Unfortunately, Microsoft have managed to complicate things with windows 11 which forces you to go through several menu layers now before you can right click and play. So I installed Explorer++ which works like an old school windows 10 explorer. So far, it works great.
I understand there will never be a right click and play option for roon in explorer. Doesn’t stop me wishing it was there though.
Moderator edit: see this linked topic further discussion on Windows 11 file browsing …
I agree with you on some level; I could care less about Valence (recommendations) or Art Director (fixing the artist forehead problem). I’ve disconnected from streaming services, I know what’s in my collection, so I search on ‘Money’, click on Pink Floyd, and listen to Dark Side of the Moon. Or, I browse recently added/played albums and go from there. That’s all I need.
But I think you are missing a crucial design accomplishment of Roon: ubiquity. I can use Roon to stream audio to a wide variety of devices, knowing it will sound as good as that playback system is capable of sounding. In 2022, I doubt you can find a commercial streaming end-point that doesn’t work with Roon. I can buy what I want and mix-and-match endpoints, even for simultaneous playback, without worrying about using their sad user interfaces (yes, I am talking to you: Bryston and Bel Canto).
But, I also have a dedicated Mac Mini that I use to host Roon + audio files for streaming to my seven endpoints throughout my house (a mix of Sonos and the endpoints from Bryston and Bel Canto). You are happy with a Windows PC directly connected to a DAC with a USB cable, so it sounds like you have everything you need with Foobar2000.
That’s two that are not roon certified that I personally own. I must be coming up to 5 years now with roon and roon certification has never really been a purchasing consideration. I do have a bunch of Chromecast audios as a fall back though.
I think you will find non-compliance is quite common. Even where there is planned to be compliance, the certification process can take years for niche manufacturers without the resources (Hegel) or other larger manufacturers are evolving their own eco-systems and are not necessarily interested (BluOS). Of course roon bridge can provide some glue to a certain extent. But I think “ubiquity” overstates.
I can’t help but wonder whether, if the OP was given exactly what he asked for, he would then complain that it was too expensive for the use he made of it.
As various people have said, if those are your key requirements then Roon is not the product you need. That’s not a problem, there are a number that will do exactly what you want on most platforms, many of them free or shareware.
The goal of software designers should be to meet users’ goals. Sure, you can have principles, but they should not become obstacles. I like my keyboard with arrow keys and my mouse with at least two buttons. If I could browse folders in Roon, I’d do that quite a lot. Currently, I have to check track location to make sure I’m listening exactly to what I want.
This is like going to a Wordpress forum and complaining that Excel is a horrible word processor. Just a bunch of confusion all around. Roon not for you. See you on a music forum or gear forum or somewhere else. I hope you get back to the music using whatever tool brings you happiness.
When I understood how metadata works, my reaction was: Great! Now I don’t have to mess with those damn folders anymore. In fact, for playing music, when metadata is properly set up, all the music can be in one folder. I find for classical music in particular, it is always an issue as to what folder an album should be in; one based on title, composer(s), artist, orchestra/ensemble, conductor? If by title, how do I find something by Patricia Kopatchinskaja, etc. If by artist how do I find tracks where Fazil Say accompanies her? Metadata allows me to store the music files in any old folder and still find music by Kopatchinskaja and Say (such as her amazing performance of the Kreutzer). Or even more difficult to find by using folders, how would I find her recording of Dowland’s Seaven Teares? It is one track on her recording of Death and the Maiden and Dowland would never appear in a folder name for this album. And roon found all this using Search, which worked well for me even before the recent upgrade. The only reason I still have multiple folders at all is because my backup program works more efficiently that way. (For the record, I file albums by title as that is the only thing that is always the same for every track on a release.)
I know that the Platin is seeking roon certification. The ML I see no indications of, but it is rocksolid on DLNA and I use one of several LMS bridges with roon. The Platin has a gapless Chromecast implementation.
Both work well with a variety of players which was my main consideration. For example, seamless integration with foobar and a windows explorer front-end for large box-set handling as it is clear roon has no interest in a solution.
I’m not exactly sure to be honest what advantages are gained by roon certification for these devices? I know I would get RAAT but they are both rock-solid so I assume its something else?