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.
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.
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?
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.