Roon remote app stability on iOS/MacOS?

Roon Core Machine

Model: Dell PowerEdge T410
OS: Unraid OS v6.9.2
Roon Core: Roon v1.8 (Build 884)
CPU: 2x Intel Xeon CPU X5660 @ 2.80GHz

Networking Gear & Setup Details

Router: Ubiquiti Dream Machine Pro
WAN: Verizon FiOS Gigabit
LAN: Gigabit Ethernet for all devices with Ethernet ports; WiFi via per-floor Ubiquiti Access Points for wireless devices

Connected Audio Devices

Output Destinations

  1. Living Room: Denon AVR-X4300H; hardwired 100Mbps Ethernet, AirPlay protocol

  2. Living Room: AppleTV (tvOS 15.2)

  3. Kitchen:1x HomePod Mini (v15.2), weaker WiFi

  4. Office: 1x HomePod Mini (v15.2), strong WiFi

  5. Master: 2x HomePod Min (both v15.2)i, strong WiFi. Stereo pair via HomeApp, planning to try the linked zone work around for these.

Remote App Devices

  1. Apple iPhone 12 Pro (iOS 15.1.1… updating to 15.2 shortly)

  2. MacBook Pro (MacOS Monterey 12.1)

Number of Tracks in Library

150 tracks
Active TIDAL subscription

Description of Issue

I’m a few days into my Roon trial. I’m generally very impressed with the product/service. However, I’ve had stability problems with the remote app on my Apple devices. I have observed:

  • Sporadic app crashes where the app restarts itself
  • Sporadic app hangs where I need to restart the app manually
  • Weak integration with iOS/macOS “now playing” lock screen widget

My question is: is this sort of frequent crash/hanging expected on iOS/macOS? If not, how do I troubleshoot this (beyond updating all the end points, which I’m working on)?

Additional Issues

HomePod Destinations

I had some trouble adding my stereo pair of HomePod Minis as a Roon destination. I’m planning to try the recommendation from here: AirPlay 2 Support in Roon for Paired HomePods

One motivation for trying Roon was that Spotify + AirPlay from my iPhone to the Kitchen HomePod mini was not reliable because the WiFi isn’t great there. Roon’s server-first approach has been much more reliable for this.

AppleTV Destination

I haven’t been able to use AppleTV as a streaming destination. Looks like another user had the same issue, discussed here: Unable to use AppleTV Endpoint from Ubuntu 20.04 core

No comment from support?

I’ve been trying to get the stereo HomePod minis working. So far Roon won’t even play to them as a grouped zone, never mind the DSP. It will play to either one individually, but not both of them together.

Did some more digging through the forum. Apparently the AirPlay situation (and AirPlay 2 especially) is just not in a very happy place right now. This is largely due to Apple keeping the core libraries close to their chest. There are a couple open source efforts to reverse engineer and implement the protocol. It would be reassuring to know if Roon was partnering with these groups. I’d be delighted to pay for Roon knowing that part of my subscription fee went towards moving the whole ecosystem forwards.

1 Like

The iOS app is pretty stable in my experience. I do experience somewhat frequent client issues on my Mac, but I attribute this to local hardware issues between usb dongle and DAC. What are your audio outputs from the mac where you’re experiencing instability? When Roon isn’t working on the mac, does it continue working normally on your ios devices?

Thanks for the reply!

I’m generally using both the MacOS and iOS client as remote controls for Roon rather than destinations themselves (except this evening, when I’ve been trying MacOS/iOS clients to get around the HomePod problems). For example:

  • I use the iOS Roon app to play a file from my NAS to my Denon AVR-X4300H
  • I use the MacOS Roon app to play a TIDAL playlist on my HomePod Mini

Things generally work well when I first start the app and get moving. However, when I switch away from the app, do some other stuff, then switch back, resume is often rocky. The app loads slowly and sometimes freezes. I have to quit the app and re-launch it to wake it up. This does not generally effect playback, since that’s between the Roon core and the destination device.

It’s been tricky to untangle bugs from missing features. I guess the airplay problems are feature issues and the freezing/crashing is a bug.

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