I’m not sure if this is to do with my set-up, the seek times of my external hard drive or some such, but the main app will very often pause, give me a warning about an audio file loading slowly and then (rather puzzlingly) skip on to the next track. Or, it will just stop playing altogether and I have to push the play button to get it going again.
This will usually be either:
a) When my laptop is doing something else. Right now, I’m using Handbrake to batch process a load of video files in the background which I would imagine is using a load of system resources.
b) When my laptop is using my internet connection for something other than Roon.
It’s not always possible to go in & tailor those other resources so, for example, I can tell Roon how many cores to use for analysing. I can tell Dropbox (or Megasync / Transmission or similar) how much bandwidth to devote to their tasks.
The fact is that when I have anything at all happening alongside Roon, it will occasionally stumble & stutter. I almost never get uninterrupted playback unless I close all other functions and just let Roon run all by itself.
To be fair, the bandwidth issues are the most troublesome. I just played a whole album while Handbrake was doing its thing & Roon only stumbled once but you can bet your bottom dollar that if I’d left Dropbox syncing the new files that Handbrake is creating, Roon would’ve become effectively unusable, even with Dropbox’s bandwidth throttled.
I guess it’s not possible to make an app that can realistically ‘speak’ to the OS or other apps & “arrange” how they’re going to work together. To have Roon say to Dropbox, “wait a sec while I buffer some more of this audio… Right, I’m good for another few minutes, you carry on”.
I also gather that there are rights issues over how much audio can be buffered with streaming services.
Personally, it would suit me if Roon just paused for a few moments after I hit play and buffered the whole CD before it started. Or kept an eye on bandwidth availability and grabbed more audio whenever it was able to do so, in order to keep the buffer above a certain level, rather than just grabbing the next track as the previous one ends (at which point, the signal may have dropped off for some reason & Roon is screwed).
Obviously I don’t know how Roon actually works, from a programming point of view, but I would’ve expected it to have “seamless playback” at the heart of its functionality and to be able to deal well with all of the other things we each need our computers to do while we’re listening to music.
I suppose my questions are:
Is it my set-up?
Is there anything I can do to help this situation?
Why would Roon elect to give up & move in to the next track? However slowly the audio is loading, is this something that’s going to be solved my moving on to the next track, which will surely be most likely to be affected by the same thing, would it not? Suffice to say, I never, ever want Roon to skip to the next track. I’d rather it just stopped (like it sometimes does anyway) and I just hit play again.
My set up, for reference:
Apple MacBook Pro (15" 2017)
3.1 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
16GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3
Western Digital 18TB Elements Desktop External Hard Drive (Music library storage)
*Virgin Media Hub 3 connected to laptop via ethernet using Powerline plugs. *
M350 Fibre Broadband (362Mbps down, 36Mbps up)
Raspberry Pi 4b with Allo BOSS DAC connected to router via ethernet & to analogue amp via standard phono.