Roon please show us albums with a watermark

It is known fact that the UNIVERSAL gave Tidal music impertinently cheeky by the watermark, which destroys the sound. Please, report here to everyone who want to see in Roon Aps, that the CD has a watermark. We have to avoid these CDs


What is a watermark and what does a watermark sound like and why?

please see for example:

Thank you. I had a listen and found it was hard to make out the watermark sound above the other distortion in the track, which was a lot more intrusive. It was there but maybe it’s more audible on cleaner Classical material?

It’s just how the artists intended!


I think artists at UMG do not have much to say in this matter. This pseudo security favors only piracy in real

Problem here is there are multiple watermark systems in use by the different publishers. You can also basically assume that anything published by one of the big three will have a watermark on it these days. There is no way to get around it, short of boycotting them entirely.

So not only Universal cheats and sells something that is not a CD as a CD quality?

Sony makes Universal look like stand-up pillars of user rights by comparison… Remember when Sony music CDs were installing rootkit malware on user’s PCs to try and block copying?

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If Roon says that the Tidal stream has a watermark, what will you do with this information?
Stop listening to it or go and buy a CD or download and hope that that doesn’t also have the watermark?
If you have a CD / download and Roon says it has a watermark, what will you do with this infomation, stop listening to it or ask for a refund?

It’s not clear to me how this will fix anything unless the hope is that by “shaming” UMG, this might encourage UMG to change their minds? This is not going to happen unless the likes of Spotify and Itunes take the lead on this initiative. The only way that UMG will change their policy is if they get hurt in the pockets by people deciding to puchase music from another label or pressure from companies such Apple to remote their watermarks or develop a better sol. That opens the market for another label to market that “their music does not contain watermarks that affect the sounds quality” (destroy is perhaps a strong word).

I’m not sure if this is something I would like the Roon development team to be spending time on (at the expense of other new features). I think any petition should be directed to UMG to campaign to solve the problem at source.

Just my own personal opinion obviously.

I’ve shifted this into Feature Requests and deleted the “Petition” reference (because Feature Requests aren’t popularity contests). I also amended CD to Album in the title as you are talking about streaming content as well as local content.

If there is a way for Roon to detect watermarking, then I support the request. It is something I would like to know about when selecting which version of an Album to make primary.


Apparently the watermark is only on the files they rent to streaming services, to discourage piracy. Apparently not on discs, legal downloads, or MQA files.

Are you sure about that? Have we really arrived at the ridiculous situation whereby MQA processing/processed music is the only way to get our hands on unadulterated streamed music?

And if streaming is taking away physical media sales, then what ‘piracy’ are they trying to stop?

I’m sure that some would argue that MQA is its own form of adulteration… :grin:

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Well if I had to choose, I’ll take the ultrasonic distortion I can’t really hear too well or can filter out over inband distortion any day.

I’m repeating what I’ve seen online from others who’ve checked it out. What piracy are they trying to stop? I can only assume they think someone is going to go to the trouble to record the streams. It does seem sort of stupid, but apparently they don’t want to give an unadulterated stream to people who are only “renting” and not “buying”.

But because of streaming, buying is much less likely anyway, so there is no lost sale.

This is incorrect. Purchased digital downloads are all watermarked at the time of download to indicate who purchased them. iTunes, Beatport, etc., are all obligated to perform this watermarking task if they want to offer the music from the big labels for sale on their music store. Thus, if you them share it with your buddies or the Internet, they know exactly who to come after.

Pressed CDs are about the only chance you won’t have a watermark, as there is no way for them to link the CD to a purchaser.

CD’s are not the only chance, they are dying! EMI or Warner and many others do not mark their albums on streaming services. If Roon shows watermarks it will be high pressure on Universal Music Group.

Now unfortunately UMG supports pirates in peer to peer networks, because their pure music is only there.

Has anyone heard of any prosecutions as a result of watermarked audio being identified and the original purchaser taken to court? Unlike with peer to peer, how can they prove that you knowingly shared/distributed the music?