ROON not able to play songs from Tidal without hitting play over and over and over again

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

IMAC computer Late 2015 i7 Chip running os el capitan 10.11.6 with 16 Gigs of memory.

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

IMAC is attached via a hard wired ethernet network.

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

Playing a PS Audio direct stream dac with Bridge II plugged in to the ethernet network.

Description Of Issue

I have been controlling my direct stream dac with my iPad pro for around 1 year. Everything has been fine. Now all of a sudden when I try to access songs on Tidal, whether through the computer keyboard or the iPad, When I click the play arrow to start a song, it doesn’t play. it looks like it is trying to access the music, then at the bottom of the screen it quickly flashes “Select an Audio Zone” and the icon for my direct stream dac disappears. Then instantly the icon for the dac reappears and the screen flashes “Nothing Playing” and then just seems to wait for me to hit play again. Sometimes it just scrolls to try to launch the next song in the playlist automatically if it can’t launch the one I selected. I tried everything, rebooting server, dac, computer etc. I even loaded room core on another computer I have a macbook pro. When I load it on the macbook pro it finds only 9 of my 20 playlists. Some of those playlists will play songs on the 2nd computer. Some will not. So I have 2 questions. 1) Why can I not get all 20 playlists to show up on the laptop when I have them on my desktop computer? 2) Why am I having problems launching songs when it worked just fine before for nearly a year?

Hi @Jeffrey_Goldberg,

Welcome to the forum!

If you have playlists that you created from within Roon, these would live in your Roon Database, and you would need to perform a Backup and restore the backup on the other PC. Our Migration Knowledge Base Article provides some more information regarding this.

Is the PS Audio the only device impacted by this behavior? If you try to play to System Output on your iMac zone, do you notice the same issue occurring there?

When I change the zone to the IMAC it plays everything and jumps to each song very quickly.

When I get out of room and use M CONNECT with the PS Audio direct stream Dac and Bridge II, it plays everything. It jumps to each song very quickly.

I have the issues when I try to play soon through the IMAC and PS Audio direct stream dac and Bridge II. Sometimes the songs play. Sometimes they don’t start up. Sometimes they try to start then skip to the next song and the next and the next without playing any.

As a test, I loaded roon core on my wife’s macbook pro. It seems to play everything I want properly through the PS Audio Direct Stream Dac and Bridge II. However, the macbook pro only recognizes 9 of the 20 playlists on my iMac. The macbook pro Does Not show any of my bookmarks that I have that show up on my iMac. The strange thing also is when I use M Connect it only brings up 6 playlists, not even the 9 that the macbook pro bring up and certainly not the 20 that the iMac has.

The iMac is running IOS 10.11.6 El Capitan. The macbook pro is running 10.13.6 high sierra. I would prefer not to download a new operating system on the iMac for fear of messing other programs up. After all, I have been using that operating system with Roon for about a year and it all has been fine.

What do you think is going on?


Hi @Jeffrey_Goldberg,

Thanks for running those further tests.

If you created the playlists on the iMac, you would need to import the iMac database into the Macbook Pro, please review our Migration Knowledge Base Article (<-Clickable link) if you would like to transfer your database over.

Since only the iMac + PS Audio is affected, I suspect that there is something with regard to how they communicate via the network or with the Roon app on the iMac.

What is the model/manufacturer of all your networking gear? Are the iMac and PSAudio connected to a switch or directly into the router? Is there any difference between the network setup of the iMac and the Macbook?

You can also use these steps to reinstall the Roon app on the iMac, perhaps this will help:

  • Make a Backup of your current Roon Database
  • Exit out of Roon
  • Navigate to your Roon’s Database Location
  • Find the folder that says “Roon”
  • Rename the “Roon” folder to “Roon_old”
  • Reinstall the Roon App from our Downloads Page to generate a new Roon folder
  • Verify if fresh database has same issue
  • Restore from backup created in step #1
  1. I created the playlist on my iPad while using ROON and Tidal. Honestly, I do not know the difference or how to create a playlist in Tidal vs creating a playlist on Roon. I only know 1 way and it is while using the Roon ap. So is that a room playlist or tidal playlist? The 9 playlists on the macbook pro show 4 dots in a t configuration, i.e. the tidal logo I believe. So I assume those are tidal playlists. The remaining playlists don’t have that logo. The strange thing is when using M Connect and signing in to tidal, it only picks up 5 or 6 playlists, not the 9 that I am guessing are tidal playlists. Any idea why?

  2. The iMac is affected with the ps audio, but when I use the macbook pro, it is still pointed to the same ps audio endpoint and uses the same hard wired ethernet network as the iMac and works fine. Why is this? Could my iMac files somehow be corrupted? virus? I searched for viruses on my iMac and don’t find any. Could it be that Roon no longer works with the El Capitan iOS on my iMac? If that is the case, what changed, as it worked with El Capitan for a year or so?

  3. My network gear consists of 3 patch panels by Monoprice, 2 switches by Netgear (1 Netgear switch is an FS750T2. The other Netgear switch is a ProSafe 24 port 10/100 switch.), The router is the latest one from ATT for fiber optic internet service. It is model number BGW320-505. The IMAC and PS Audio are connected to the switches. There is no difference between the network setup of the IMAC and Macbook pro.

  4. I tried deleting soon and reinstalling it. They way I did it was drag the icon to the garbage folder on the mac and reinstalling it. When I reinstalled, it automatically popped up with my playlists etc. It did not ask me to sign in to Tidal. Was this a proper delete and reinstall, or did I not successfully do it? I can try your way with Roon_old, etc, and restore from backup if I can figure it out, but if for some reason my files on the mac are corrupted, would I be pulling the corrupted files back into the new reinstall?

Following up on my earlier reply from this evening, I just completed the backup and restore as you suggested. It did prompt me to log in this time and sign in to tidal. It still has the same issues. It plays some tracks and does not play others just as I described in my prior communication to you. Also, I didn’t restore yet from the backup and notice I only have 9 playlists, not 20, and have no bookmarks although I had plenty before. I suppose if I restore from backup they will come back. However, we are still left with the same issue. What now?

Hi @Jeffrey_Goldberg,

If you created the playlist from within Roon, it would have been save to the Roon database.

How was the Macbook connected?

I suspect that the switches are part of the issue. Managed switches have been known to be trickier to set up to work properly with Roon, and using an umnanaged 10/100 really limits the bandwidth.

Networking Best Practices Guide:

Managed Switches

Managed switches can be very robust, but they are often designed for professional installation, so in many cases the out-of-box configuration is not right. If your switch has a “flow control” setting, please make sure that it is enabled. Also, make sure that the switch is not performing any sort of throttling that might impact communication between cores, storage, remotes, and/or audio endpoints. Finally, ensure that the switch is configured to pass multicast and broadcast traffic. If in doubt about any of this, try temporarily replacing your managed switch with a “dumb” switch to see if things improve.

I would try to use an un-managed Gigabit switch with the Roon Core + any Roon devices.

If you still saw the old database, then it was not a proper reinstall. You can use the instructions I provided above to perform a “clean” reinstall, but I’m suspecting the switches are more likely the cause.

As I mentioned in my follow up, I did manage to uninstall and reinstall roon properly. Upon completing the reinstall, I have the same problems.

You mention try a different switch. This is the same switch i have had for years, the same switch the iMac and the Macbook pro are running off of. The iMac used to work fine just a few weeks ago. The Macbook pro with room core works fine. How could it be the switch if my iMac with room core used to do just fine? How could it be the switch if the macbook pro works perfectly fine now with the same switch as my iMac?

I feel like we are going in circles here.

Hi @Jeffrey_Goldberg,

Thanks for trying the reinstall and for the additional details.

After reviewing the thread, I agree the switch is unlikley to be the culprit, but this is an aspect you should consider upgrading nonetheless, 10/100 switches are outdated and streaming audio does use a good amount of bandwidth.

Let’s focus on the differences between the iMac and the Macbook Pro.
Is the iMac running any additional firewalls or antivirus tools?

Can you please also let me know the exact local time + date + track you see this behavior with?

I worked with it a little more and the problems also happen with my wife’s MacBook pro as well. I think at this point I am going to purchase gigabit switches and replace my 24 port and 50 port switches.

A question I have for you is what make and model unmanaged gigabit switches do you like for home and audiophile use? I will be needing a 24 and a 48 or 50.

The next question I have for you is I might just give up with the computers and simply by a nucleus. If I buy a nucleus and I still have the same problems, can I return the nucleus for a full refund?

Also, I am only using roon in one room and just with my psaudio direct stream dac. Is there any benefit to getting the i7 nucleus plus vs. The i3 nucleus? Would I ever notice a speed difference between the i7 and i3? Is there a sonic difference Are? Are there future roon enhancements planned where it would be better to run them on the i7 vs the i3?



Hi @Jeffrey_Goldberg,

Thanks for testing this further, in that case, it does point further to the network as well.

Personally I have a TP-Link unmanaged switch and it works well, but if you want to read what other users have, there are a few threads on the forum, for example:

If you purchase a Nucleus, you would still need to place it on a properly functioning network. My suggestion here is to replace the switches first, verify how the setup performs and then look into purchasing a Nucleus, that way you know the network is operational.

The difference between these two units is listed on our website (towards the bottom):

It is primarily regarding library size and amount of zones in use at a time.

I use Netgear unmanaged switches.

Thank you Rugby. I don’t suppose you have a particular model number of the 24 and 48 you would recommend? I believe there are a couple of options for the 24 in gigabit unmanaged and honestly, I have been trying to figure out the difference, but Netgear customer support is of no help!

Thank you for your response Noris. There were still several questions unanswered as follows:

If I buy a nucleus and I still have the same problems, can I return the nucleus for a full refund?

Also, I am only using roon in one room and just with my psaudio direct stream dac. Is there any benefit to getting the i7 nucleus plus vs. The i3 nucleus? Would I ever notice a speed difference between the i7 and i3? Is there a sonic difference Are? Are there future roon enhancements planned where it would be better to run them on the i7 vs the i3?

I have read your website and understand one is an i3 and one is an i7. the i3 comes with less ram than the i7. I understand if you have more than 6 zones and or want to do heavy dsp, you recommend the i7. However, that is all I know and doesn’t fully answer my questions above.

Let me know.



Hi @Jeffrey_Goldberg,

I hope you had a good Thanksgiving if you celebrate the holiday!

If you purchase the Nucleus from our Roon Store you have a 30-day money-back gaurantee, but if you purchase the Nucleus through a Roon Dealer, I would check the specific return policy with the dealer directly.

If you are only using one zone, then a regular Nucleus should perform well in your setup. The differences between the two models are around performance and amount of zones you have in use.

Did your switch by any chance arrive since we last spoke? Is the previous Core operating as expected with the new switch in place if so?

Hello Noris,
I hope you are doing well.
I have now replaced my home network switches with gigabit switches and have purchased a new nucleus. I no longer have the problems I had before. Now however in order to properly use Roon I have several very basic questions which I have been searching the knowledge base and don’t seem to be able to find answers. Perhaps it is because they are so basic. I don’t have an internal hard drive in the nucleus. I simply stream from Tidal and I think the nucleus pulls from my iTunes library on my mac.:

  1. What is saved on Roon that should be backed up vs. what is saved on Tidal? When downloading the core to my nucleus, it populated with several of my playlists, but not all of them. It did not keep my bookmarks either. This is not a big deal. I will simply recreate them, but I want to understand what Roon saves when I log into my account and what it does not save.

  2. In terms of backing up my nucleus, I have read that we don’t want to use an internal ssd in the nucleus to back it up, nor should we use time machine. I am not really tech savvy. I understand I can hook up a small ssd external drive via usb to back it up, but I am not loving seeing another box on the shelf. Is there a small SSD drive I can hook up to my home network via ethernet and simply keep it in another room? Also, if I did the usb drive, could I just hook it up, back up, then remove it and put it away until I want to back it up again? I read it is not good to keep removing it. I am not sure why that is?

  3. Finally, and very basic, what is the difference between adding music to “my library” vs. adding music to “a playlist”? If I go directly to a playlist and not to my library does that mean it is not in my library? Should I always add it to my library first, then add it to my playlist? Further what is the benefit of a bookmark? Are “my library” “my playlists” and “bookmarks” part of the metadata that gets saved with a roon backup? If I don’t back those up is it stored on my roon account? I am trying to figure out the best way to start organizing my music using the tools in roon. Is it better to be storing the stuff somehow in Tidal?

I look forward to hearing from you.


Hello @Jeffrey_Goldberg ,

Apologies for the delay! Our team’s queue is longer than typical at the moment, but we’re working to get back to everyone as quickly as we can.

Your TIDAL favorites are imported from the TIDAL service, but any playlists you created in Roon would be saved to your Roon database, which if you have a Roon Backup of, you can use to restore this info.

This is correct, you should not use the internal SSD as a storage location, as Roon automatically scans the internal SSD on a Nucleus, and Roon scanning the backup itself can cause some issues.

Yes, you can certainly leave a USB drive connected or connect it manually when performing a backup. You don’t need for this to be an SSD, a thumb drive can also perform this function, and this would take up much less space.

Please refer to the following guide for a detailed explanation:

Hope this helps!

Thanks for your response. You mention I can use a thumb drive to backup the nucleus. What amount of storage or memory would I need on that thumb drive?

Well, generally the larger the library the larger the backup; however, that can vary greatly depending on the credit volume. Generally, I would start by checking the size of your current backup and using that as a minimum starting point and multiply by the number of backups you want to keep and then add some for growth.

If you don’t have a backup available to check, you could just get a 256 GB thumb drive which would probably give you space for several backups.

Thanks Daniel. I am not really a techy. I googled thumb drive and what came up was flash drive. I then found an article saying flash drives are different from thumb drives. Could you just send me a make and model number of a good thumb drive I can plug in the back of the nucleus and leave it there? I will then program automatic backups.