As Roon becomes more AI aware, I think that there can be even more interesting options than just powering Roon Radio based on user selections.
I want a big red Roon Radio button that I can just press and Roon will know what I want to listen to at the moment and just go. No need to select a seed track.
How could Roon do this? Well, I tend to listen to different music while in different locations and at different times, so it could use the intersection of location and time preferences to start a radio stream.
Learn Roon Radio preferences by playback zones.
I have different zones in my house and I tend to play different music back to the different zones. I usually listen to one style of music in the kitchen zone, another in the fireplace zone, etc. I want Roon to learn what I usually prefer in each zone and populate Roon Radio based on that.
Learn Roon Radio preferences by day/time.
I usually listen to various music at different times of the day, depending on the day of the week, for example, I have a faily narrow focus on Sunday mornings, which is different that a work day morning. Roon should be able to figure out what styles of music I prefer at which times.
My spouse usually only listens to music while cooking, so always in the kitchen zone, and only listens to 80s music and nothing else while cooking, doesn’t matter, could be Journey or Whitney Houston.
In this case, Roon could know (if it tracked that sort of thing) that during 4pm to 7pm, the kitchen zone only plays the 80s genre. The Roon Radio button would take a look at the genre’s played for a zone during a specific time frame and make a random start guess. If the user doesn’t like the choice, press the button again, until a desired song is chosen.
The resistance to the spouse using Roon Radio is down to “having to pick something to start the damn thing”, “having the music not varied enough” and having to start the app.
Right now, the Sirius XM 80s station is preferred because no thinking or choice is involved except saying “Alexa play Sirius 80s”. Roon needs to be as simple to get a convert. I can get around the voice convenience by always having a Roon tablet interface ready to go in the kitchen, but, not the 1 button push to start a stream.
I could just setup a Internet Radio that focus’ on 80s, but, at that point, why have Roon start it when Tune In can do the same thing, again via voice.
The point is to leverage Roon to provide a better alternative to generic radio; to provide a stream that might be a little better focused and more wide-ranging.
I tried to generate a long 10 hour playlist via Roon Radio and that kind of works, but, after awhile it degenerated to the same 8 artists/albums over and over again with only occasional deviation.
Picking a start song can actually cause anxiety to some people. Will this track give me what I want? What am I in the mood for? Just having to make a choice and pick a start song can trip people up.
Radio stations get around this by not giving people individual selection choice other than to turn off the station. However, people ARE selecting which genre they are interested in when they tune into a Radio Station. If they are in the mood for jazz, then they would start a jazz station
As for listening habits, Roon already knows exactly what song is played to which zone and when and by which profile, my suggestion doesn’t require any new data points to be collected. I am just pointing out that that information is harvest-able for potentially different uses.