Roon Radio 1.6 Feedback Thread

(Andrew Cox) #250

Starting Roon Radio with a Genre will play the popular Artists in that Genre. Try starting it with a particular Album.

(Tony) #251

I am not testing exhaustively but with 1.6 I am noticing repetitions after +/- 35 tracks (starting with a track rather than a genre). With 1.5 that used to be much shorter. With some genres maybe 5/6 tracks.

(Ged) #252

If you want variety seed with a track and not Sting etc.
What you are experiencing is that people tend to keep to the mainstream and the algorithms learn that. If you want off the mainstream then start there.

(David Mohr) #253

you don’t understand the problem. I don’t want off the mainstream, I just don’t want to listen to the same 20 albums every time I start the radio and when it’s through that albums it mostly starts over again with the same albums. Also when starting Pop/Rock genre for example I get a lot of albums that I wouldn’t call mainstream at all, it’s just that it’s the same albums over and over again. I’m not complaining about getting this albums, they fit mostly, it’s simply the fact that it’s the same albums over and over. Not only artists, from every artist played it’s always the same album it plays from, even if the artist has over 20 in Qobuz or Tidal. If i want to hear just songs from 20 different albums, and only that, i don’t need a radio.

(Tim Chapman) #254

Roon Radio simply isn’t working for me - spends an age trying to find things in Qobuz and never succeeds. Equivalent of mac OS spinning wheel - just seems to be stuck.
Any fixes for this?
Based in the UK.

(Tony) #255

I’m afraid I have to agree. I am getting very mixed results. With some seeds the repetitions are kicking in after +/- 2 hours. That seems ok to me somehow as that is the average length of a physical radio show. But with other seeds the repititions are kicking in much quicker.

So for example, I am new to Qobuz so I am tending to pick artists I am familiar with but maybe Qobuz has their entire catalog and albums I am not familiar with. So Norah Jones would fall into the category of mainstream I suppose. But I picked a track from a more recent album I didn’t know compared with the famous 2004 blockbuster. So far out of 23 tracks, I have got Kate Bush 3 times, Peter Gabriel twice, Liane de Havas twice, Norah Jones three times, Patricia Barber twice, Diana Krall twice, Gregory Porter twice. You get the picture. These are all good picks. I get the “fit”. But not only are the artists repeating they are repeating from the same albums when Qobuz has such an enormous catalog. I think that is what surprises me the most.

On the other hand there has also been a single pick from a Herbie Hancock album of Joni Mitchell covers which I thought was a rather inspired choice.

(Joseph ) #256

Fortunately, for me, Roon Radio has been nothing but a pleasure while adding an entirely new listening experience. I’m enjoying Smooth, Contemporary, Lounge, Chill, etc. Jazz along with new artists and studio musicians that I’ve wasn’t familiar with in the past. I’ve added a new Album each night from the selection Roon Radio has offered since installing v1.6 which has worked flawlessly for me since. I couldn’t ask for more.
Again, excellent job Roon!


I’ve run into something about this… Play a track, let radio run for a while. Get the itch for a particular track and play that, when it is finished, radio seems to pick up where it left off. Intuitively and preferably, seems radio should start with the new manually played track (or last of the bunch if more than one are played). The trigger would be the “play” or “play next” buttons. ?

(Brian) #258

Adding a track, or play next, doesn’t directly affect the radio. “Play now” resets the seed.

(Jim) #259

The problem with that is, it’s more disruptive to have to “Play Now” rather than letting the current song finish first.

My suggestion: maybe allow either “Play” (now or next) to reset the seed.

Otherwise you have to interrupt playback to switch seeds (“Play Now” in the middle of a track) - which sounds abrasive to anyone that’s listening. Or, you have to wait for the exact end of the track, which is pretty awkward.

Thanks for all this info about Radio. It’s very interesting.

(Brian) #260

Another way is to hit the blue “end” button at the bottom of the Roon Radio part of the queue screen. This doesn’t stop the radio, but will restart the seeding with the current track

(Tony) #261

That’s more or less what I do. I put the “new” seed on the queue and then hit the “end” button. That will cease the existing radio stream after the current track, play the new seed and initiate a new radio stream. All with no breaks. If you just end the current radio stream then roon will start a new radio stream without an abrupt break but the new radio stream will likely sound very much like the one you just killed.

(Brian Luczkiewicz) #262

Kicking off radio on a top-level genre is going to be a super broad “best of” type experience. Pop/Rock covers about half of published music–you’ve given the system almost no information about what you want, so it’s going to do a sort of summary of greatest hits thing.

I know that it can’t be playing the same albums over and over because we force a very long spacing between picking tracks off of the same album within a radio session (at least a few hours under normal circumstances). More on repetitiveness below–

I think you are going to get a better experience by picking a more specific seed. Even stepping down to a sub-genre like “Hard Rock” will open things up I think, but picking an artist will be even better.

We studied the topic of repetitions (at artist, album, track, and composer level) exhaustively and did comparative analysis with other radio products. We tuned Roon Radio to be by far the least repetitive of the industry standard implementations (Pandora, Spotify, etc). Pandora is more repetitive than Spotify. Spotify is more repetitive than us. The gap between us and Spotify is much larger than the gap between Spotify and Pandora.

During alpha testing, we found that a few people seemed to be easily triggered by hearing even the same artist 100 with 80 tracks in between, and others were fine with the Spotify experience, which will allow the same artist showing up 8-9 times within 20 tracks. The results that you are complaining about are about 1/3rd as repetitive as Spotify.

Not trying to discount your feedback–just saying, we’ve had comments all over the place on this topic, including some which would push the algorithm into a crazy low-performance direction if we acted on them. It’s pretty clear that radio products can be successful without taking as much care about repetitiveness as we have. We judged separately that our users would want a less repetitive experience than mainstream users and already have the knob pulled pretty hard in that direction.

Forcing lower repeat rates means the algorithm is more often made “desperate” to find good picks. It’s sort of like the knobs discussion above–adding manual constraints is a tradeoff against letting the underlying learning model do its best work.

It also may help to put this in context. Radio is one of many exploration/discovery features we are going to build on this infrastructure, but it is also one of the most conservative, because it’s meant to be safe for you to turn it on and walk away from the remote without getting shocked by something awful.

We can be more adventurous with other recommendation systems that are more suggest+approve oriented–for example anything that displays content for you in the app instead of just picking + playing stuff.

Some of the people who complained about repetition backed down once they understood that the purpose of radio was not “force feed me recommendations”, but more like “safe background listening for everyone in the household”. Not sure if that framing will help you–but the same thing that makes 80 different artists in a row a good active discovery experience for you might be exhausting when your spouse picks “Beyonce”.

That album is an all-time favorite of mine, and definitely very relevant to a Norah Jones listener–this is the power of learning off of usage data.

(Reader of the Internets) #263

I have to say… I tried local-only radio this morning, starting with Vashti Bunyan’s “Train Song”, and all it plays are Thompson songs (Richard, Teddy, Linda, Richard & Linda, Teddy & Linda…) interspersed with various second-rate Celtic cuts – odd that it doesn’t pick any Altan, as I’ve got quite a number of Altan albums. Playing “Nine Stone Rig” right now, soon to be followed by “Four Strong Winds” (one of my favorites) by the Wolfe Tones (far from my favorite version).

Now another Richard Thompson #… No Joni Mitchell or Dylan or Edith Piaf or Beth Wood or Rosalie Sorrels or…

Good Lord! The Dubliners’ “The Rebel”. Still no Steve Goodman or Lucinda Williams. Or Altan.

Hah! As soon as I posted that, I got Leonard Cohen “Famous Blue Raincoat”, followed by Rosalie Sorrels “Ragweed Ruth” (not “Rosemary Sorrells”, senior moment there).

(David Mohr) #264

If it would work the way you describe I would be fine, I want a super broad best of experience. But what I get is the same albums, believe it or not. It’s not so much during one radio session. But let’s say I listen to that radio for two hours, then walk away and restart the radio from scratch, I will be given the exact same albums I listened to the previous time. That’s not only happening in Pop/rock, it was also happening with Folk for example or some sub-genres. Not only the same artists, it’s only ONE specific album of them, every single time I start the radio.

(Brian Luczkiewicz) #265

Thanks, that is a useful distinction.


I’ll give this a try. Thanks.

(Tony) #267

Thanks Brian. Very informative.

I also think that 2 hours, the average length of a radio show is a good compromise for spacing of artists. So that would be about 25 to 35 tracks before an artist repetition depending on genre. And I am certainly seeing that with some seeds. So thanks for that. It’s really great. I am a long way from the edge case of noticing a repetition at 80 tracks. But it’s by no means like that all the time. I am also getting spacing of a few minutes. A single track for example:

(Ged) #268

That’s because it local only.

(Reader of the Internets) #269

Not really. I’ve got lots of local music that I’d think should be showing up, but it isn’t.