I’ve been a Roon user for about five months now. I wanted to try out Tidal and tacking Roon on top seemed like a logical thing to do so I assembled my own Rock box, cleaned up my collection, fixed folder structures, tidied up tags and sat on my hands waiting for Raspberry availability to improve.
Generally speaking. I love it. Love the focus function, the wealth of artist information. Love it…
Except for one thing. The one thing that I assumed would be exceptional. Curated “radio” based on my play choices a la Spotify.
Roon Radio. God Almighty, what’s wrong with that thing?
So like many, I like a lot of different types of music. Lately I’ve been on a blues kick and specifically I’m listening to Boz Scaggs self styled trilogy - Out of the Blues, Memphis and A Fool to Care.
No matter how I play them - order, combination with some other artist etc. Once complete, Roon radio plays a Jackson Browne song. Almost every time. It’s obsessed with Jackson.
Now I don’t really like Jackson Browne. I don’t have any of his music in my own library nor have I added any from Tidal but Roon Radio makes sure that I get some. Once Roon is done with it’s little love-fest and devotion to JB, it moves on to some real choice curation based on my initial spin. Today I got this…
Me: Boz Scaggs - Out of the Blue - entire album.
Roon Radio: Jackson Browne - Off of Wonderland - Wow, that was unexpected.
RR: I’m Not the Same Without You - Donald Fagan - Yeah, I see what you did there…
RR: Layla - Derek and Dominos. uhh
RR: I Shot the Sheriff - Eric Clapton. uhhhh no.
RR: Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy - Elton John. I am not s******g you.
Wow - talk about a mood killer.
And then this…
RR: If I could be Anywhere - Jackson Browne
So it would appear that the Roon Radio algo is not that deep and pretty much stuck on not so much Genre but a very basic XM Radio “Decades Greatest Hits Stations” with a clear stalker bend towards Jackson Browne. I even spent a couple of late afternoon hours with a Sazerac and my thumb poised over the thumbs down icon so that I could educate Roon on my preference that it not play any Jackson Browne however it seems to think that I just don’t like those particular tracks and would prefer to hear many of the other wide selection of Jackson Browne tunes it loves.
I dread playing something like Cecilia Bartoli’s Cosi fan tutte, opera, K.588: Temerari Come Scoglio or even a little Bill Evans for fear of what it will do.
Lately I’ve decided to just turn it off.
You have this brilliant piece of software with loads of metadata about the artists, tracks, producers, session players, genre and your not using it with regard to Roon Radio.
If I play Boz Scaggs - Out of the Blue, Roon Radio could play me something from Steve Jordan - He produced all three of the Scaggs blues trilogy and has been deeply involved with American blues/roots music for years. It could play me Al Green’s So Good to Be Here since Boz covers it on his Memphis album and Al spent a bit of time in Memphis. But there’s not an Al Green track in sight. Instead I get Gregg Allman’s Midnight Rider and…
Yeah Yeah - Jackson Browne.
Looking forward to seeing this improve…