"Roon Lite" / "Roon Light" - Roon with limited functionality (and potentially less expensive)

I love the Roon interface, its integration with streaming services and its tracing of the signal path, but I simply do not need its music library management functionality or any of the advanced functionality provided by its expensive servers. I need something strictly as a centerpoint to control my streaming and pass it to my DAC.

How about you release a much less expensive “Roon Lite” or somesuch that simply provides a front end for streaming?

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This is exactly my use!! But Im liking Roon so much that I am now ripping my CDs just to have them in my local library for the extreme case when there is no internet access.

Wouldn’t the streaming services’ own apps provide that limited functionality?

Nope. If I had a separate music computer connected to my DAC, then I suppose so but then how would I remotely control it?

But the mobile apps don’t provide the ability to cast the data to an external player (most importantly, over WiFi).

Yes, good point. I’ve used only Roon since I moved away from media-based digital so I wasn’t sure.

Spotify has a feature called SpotifyConnect that does this. Very similar to how you would cast/control a Netflix/YouTube stream from your phone/tablet on your TV through Chromecast or other device. But, Spotify doesn’t even do CD quality.

Tidal doesn’t have this feature. Not sure about Qobuz.

Only concerned about HiFi services like Tidal and Qobuz.

Spotify does have this feature, though.

There have been feature requests for something like this before. The only problem with it being that some would see their ideal version of Roon Lite very differently to the one suggested here. On financial matters I’d wager that Roon’s biggest expense is not servers but people which then raises other spectres.

Volumio looks like it might fit your bill (sic!). Does Qobuz and Tidal, costs <30 USD / EUR per year.
I am using both Volumio and Roon, depending on the usecase.

Roon Lite = Tidal/Qobuz integration + RAAT

Make a Roon Lite, the version without streaming. That makes more sense to me.

I’m thinking Roon has to pay for access to the metadata database, AllMusic (for the artist summaries and album reviews) and maybe some sort of fee associated with the Roon Radio service (having never used it, I don’t know how it works). These features are nice, but to me I would not miss them either.

Just having the software catalog my ripped collection (which is already properly tagged–I find too many errors in Roon’s metadata to trust it), integrate the streaming services and use RAAT to get the digital audio safely to my components is all I ask. It’s the transport that sells me on Roon. Unlike other software I have tried.

Could Roon consider a Roon Lite software version for those of us who do not need any DSP or upsampling or some other fancy features (which make sound worse to my ears)?

I intend to have and use only native WAV files processed by a NOS R2R DAC. The current Roon software is bloated for me and the kind of music (100% classical) I listen to. A Roon Lite version will consume much less CPU power and respond faster to less powerful CPU (like i3) (which therefore reduces heat issues).

Ideally, I would like to use rechargeable battery power for all my digital components (server, player and DAC). (I have found rechargeable battery-powered renderer/player and DAC; all made by DIY purists.) Only the server poses an issue for its 4A power rating (which would drain battery power quickly).

If we could have a server with power rating under 1A, it would be ideal provided if it could run Roon in the way I describe here. Roon could also vastly improve the interface for classical music. I like Roon because I could upload PDF documents for each album (sung texts and librettos). Since I already purchased a lifetime license, I have no interest in trying other software.

Please help in this regard.


I’ve measured my 7i5 NUC/Rock: it draws 15 watts when booting up, though a fairly constant 10 watts both idle and while serving music (to one endpoint). That’s under an amp (0.6-0.8A) at 18Vdc.

And again. This is all digital here. PS flavor just doesn’t matter. Any collection of data packets containing some J.S. Bach piece conducted by von Karajan is just the same when processed by the same software (Roon) using the same parameters (no DSP) processing the same source (Qobuz xyz123), delivering to the same destination (dcs Bartok w/ streaming option). Does not matter if done by a $60 Pi on a $5 walwart, a $600 NUC or some audiophile super computer hooked up to a battery. It’s I-DEN-TI-CAL.
Start throwing serious money at the DAC, the amps, the speakers and room treatment. Don’t get fooled by clever salesmen.


Hi Mikeb, This is very helpful information. That kind of power current consumption makes rechargeable battery power a viable option. Contrary to nay-sayers and skeptics here, very ethical DIY guys I trust have made their experiment and the sound improvement from an all battery-powered digital equipment (all home-made purist devices) is real and clearly audible. We all have different tastes and it is important not to be judgmental.

If he were the first to ask for those things then you might have a point. He hasn’t been the first though.

Mikeb, could you point me to a sale site of your i5 Rock compatible NUC? Roon site seems to list only an i3 and i7 version. Think I should get an i5. Thanks. You could email me at removed. Thanks!

I once had a software company. The salesmen/distributors wanted a lite version for a lower price point (to make their jobs easier, I guess). We can get them on board and upgrade them later they said.

We reluctantly and stupidly (in retrospect) agreed. We used the same code base, with a few simple (we thought) flags and switches based on the license type.

The end result worked great, but getting there
was a nightmare.

Going through the code, disabling features etc. based on the license type seemed simple at first. Until we remembered how interrelated all those features were.

Then there were the multiple builds for multiple platforms. Then there was exponentially more work for regression testing all those builds.

It got really complicated, and wasted a lot of R&D that could have been better spent making our software even more awesome for customers willing and able to pay, instead of spending resources degrading it. What were we thinking?

Then there were salesmen coming back with requests to add just this one or that other full product feature to the lite product. No problem, right? It’s just software. It’s not like you are actually manufacturing a physical thing, right?

Then there was the clever distributor we caught reverse engineering the license switches and whatnot for a major feature to enable it in the lite version. Caught when a customer called us directly about some weird problem they were having with our hacked software. Lawyers got involved.

The lite versions sales never panned out as promised. No full version upgrades materialized. (Until later, see below).

We ended up firing some distributors/salesmen and giving lite customers free upgrades to the full version, eating the cost of the migration, and discontinuing the lite version. It was a happy day for me.

Then we retired, so I don’t care any more.


So Roon can do exactly what you need now, but you don’t need all of the other features.

There are so many advantages to having one single product to develop, maintain, support, especially when there are only ~40 employees in a company.

I would honestly freak out if there was a second flavour of Roon offered as all that means is less time invested in the core product that already does what is being requested.

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