Roon Server -> MacBook Pro Roon Remote = No Sound

Greetings. I’m sure this has been addressed before, but I’ve been digging and can’t find a clear-cut answer. I’m currently testing Roon under the free trial and am running into a basic issue I can’t resolve. Here’s my scenario:

Roon Server running on Windows Server 2012 R2 on my home network
Roon Remote running on my MacBook Pro on my work network

I’ve got router port forwarding working on my home network, have Windows Firewall configured fine on the 2012 R2 server machine, and have loaded the remote library it’s serving up just fine in the Roon app I’ve got running as a remote on my MacBook Pro connected to my work network. They are talking with no issues. When I open Audio Setup on the MacBook I see these Zone groups:


However, when I attempt play anything either from my remote library on the 2012 R2 box OR my Tidal account on the MacBook I get no sound. The only Zones available to select for playback on the MacBook are those that I’ve enabled and are listed in either the “Connected” or “Networked” groups. NONE of the output devices listed in the “Private” group are listed at all (in the playback/info bar at the bottom of the Roon window) on the MacBook even though I have them enabled. I have an Audioquest Dragonfly DAC/AMP plugged into USB on the MacBook and Roon Remote sees it just fine, but I can’t use this device or the other two local devices listed in the “Private” group - Internal Speakers or System Output. If I disable all “Connected” and “Networked” devices Roon Remote displays “No Audio Devices Found”.

Very frustrating! Color me confused. Am I fundamentally misunderstanding the way Roon Server and Roon Remote work together?It should be straightforward - stream the audio data from Roon Server running on my Windows server at home to Roon Remote on my MacBook and choose a local device for audio processing and output to my headphones. No dice.

What am I missing? Any help would be most appreciated.

Brought the MacBook home and its local devices in the Private Zone are now selectable and work as audio outputs. So hey, Roon Labs… I can connect to a remote Roon Server and attach to its library with Roon Remote from an outside network, but you won’t allow me to STREAM to that outside network? I have to be on the same subnet? Really???

Deal breaker.

Guess I won’t be ponying up that $119 after all. :frowning:

Hi Douglas,

I understand you do have to have Core and Remote on the same sub-network. There are reports of users successfully streaming by VPN but it’s not officially supported because the experience is so dependant on bandwidth.

Hi Andy - Thanks for the reply. Sorry, but if the “experience” is so dependent on bandwidth and that’s why Roon has this limitation, how can the company justify being a front end for Tidal? Tidal streams tens of thousands of FLAC files to tens of thousands of users all over the world on a daily basis, with no worries about the “experience”. I was looking at Roon as an alternative to JRiver Media Center which, like almost every other solution I’ve evaluated, allows me to stream my FLAC library from my home network to any computer in the world with an internet connection and a web browser. Or my phone. Or my tablet. I can load my remote library in another copy of MC installed on any endpoint with an internet connection and play my music from anywhere. Been doing it for years. There are no quality issues that aren’t introduced by audio hardware limitations at the endpoint. Individual FLAC files are typically under 50MB in size. Trivial.

This is 2016, not 1998. After only a day I’m cancelling my free trial and uninstalling Roon from my server and my endpoint. Sorry if I seem overly critical, but at the price Roon is charging for its service I expect to have this very basic functionality available, and until this major limitation is corrected the software isn’t really worth considering IMO. Too bad, because it has a lot of good qualities despite being hamstrung.

All useful feedback and the devs will see it. A mobile solution is on the roadmap for Roon, but no info yet about when. Hope to see you back again after thats implemented.

I’ll certainly keep my ear to the ground regarding Roon. As I mentioned, there’s a LOT to like about the product and I was disappointed that it wouldn’t work for my needs in its current state of development. Hopefully it will mature to the point that it’ll turn me into a customer.