Roon server on a Mac mini


I am running the Roon server on a Late 2014, Mac mini with 8GB of RAM core i5, 2.6Ghz processor.
The collection is being pulled from 3 different Netgear NAS drives. There are constant gaps in the play and it eventually just stops playing. Then I get the indication at the bottom of the Roon server screen saying, “Roon: An audio file is loading slowly. This may be indicating a performance or hardware problem”. No other apps are running on this Mac mini computer. The Roon server app seems to be consuming the CPU utilization.
I am prepared to purchase a more beefed up Mac mini with 16G of RAM and maybe an i7 processor.

What is your recommendation?

Hi Fritz,

To avoid unwanted attention, I’ve removed your personal information from your post.

This is not neccesarily related to the MacMini. It could also be the network connection to your Netgear NAS. Have you tried to monitor the cpu workload (with the in macOS’s utilities folder) when this happens?

Thank you for your reply. I do not believe the issue to be with the network nor the NAS. While the Roon server was experiencing problems, I launched iTunes and accessed the same audio file from the NAS and played it with no issues.

With an i5 CPU and 8 GB of RAM in your MacMini it is quite above the minimum hardware recommendations.

How are all devices connected (wifi/ethernet) and what file format do the audio files have?

All are connected via hard wired gigabit Ethernet to Cisco 2960 switches and communicating on layer 2. Same subnet, no routing.
The music library is extremely large and all WAV files.
I updated the server app yesterday and noticed some improvements. The app still consumes about 30% of the CPU but it was previously as hi as 114%

Hi @Fritz_Rey ----- Thank you for the report and the feedback. Can you verify if you are noticing the same behaviors (“gaps” and “play stops”) when playing back local content from the Mac Mini?


Right now, aside from the CPU utilization for Roon jumping up to about 25% I’m not experiencing the issues. They stopped since I updated the server app. I’m still concerned that it will return as it’s cleared up In the past only to return.

As for the playback of the content, all my WAV files are on the NAS storage. Note that when this problem occurs I am able to play the exact same file from the NAS using iTunes on the same Mac mini. I also have an older Audio Request (ARQ) system that I’m trying to retire which plays the exact same track from the exact same NAS with no issues. I do not believe that there is a network issue considering those 2 comparisons.

Do the CPU utilization issues persist after a system restart? If not shutting down Roon or the system after each listening session, I recommend restarting the Mac mini at least once per week.


What OS are you running Fritz?

I use a 2012 i5 Mac mini (8gb ram) so a slightly lower spec, and very very rarely have a dropout. Only since upgrading to 10.11 have I experienced the odd dropout. It’s very infrequent - prior to that on 10.10 it was error free for over a year.

I would be surprised if it was the mini itself.

That said most of my music is on a local SSD but I do have a fair bit on a basic NAS (more likely DSD or highres) and have never seen the warning about slow loading.

Ahh. Sierra 10.12.1

Turn off the audio background audio analysis and maybe the immediate too. This can take a long time to run on a big library

Is your core mini using ssd or hdd?

Great and thank you all for your input. I shut off the background audio analysis as recommended. I’m not clear on what the “immediate” is? Also, The system seems to be much more stable with the most recent Roon server app update.