Roon Server Vs. Roon App

And the support and community are fantastic. I could (do) spend hours just reading community posts.

Can’t wait to see what the mobile app is like.

Actually, during my trial I had some technical issues and support was all over it. We figured out the issue and the support was fantastic. One of the best tech support experiences I’ve ever had. Funny thing is, the problem I had actually tipped me towards going lifetime after I saw how great the support is.


I don’t think there’s necessarily an upgrade path or journey with Roon - it simply takes several forms and you pick the one you’re ire most comfortable with. That’s the great glory of it - it takes many forms to fit your circumstances. If you have Roon installed on a laptop you have full functionality - my laptop sits in my office on wired Ethernet and sends music to endpoints all around the house.

The driving force behind a decision to go for a NUC (Windows or ROCK) or a Nucleus would not be because they are good things to do per se, but because I needed to free my laptop up for other duties. I can see a Nucleus being important or desirable in a situation where silent running was important (for example installation in the listening room). Just because ROCK and Nucleus exist doesn’t mean you have to go that route.

One benefit of Roon on a laptop (with music on a portable USB HDD) is that I can take it with me to friends’ houses, on holiday, on work trips or (as I recently did) to a hi-fi dealer to audition DACs.

The reason to move over from using the all in one app, is that at that point it is normally time to integrate it into an ecosystem. If you have it on your computer, that computer always has to be on, and if you restart it, you will lose service whilst that is happening. Quite often people use laptops, that they take with them as and when, and then again, you lose the service if someone else wants to listen to Roon. it could also be that your computer is next to your bed and it’s too noisy.

A lot of people do leave their computers on all the time, but a more efficient and cost saving way of doing it, is running the server software part of the all in one app on a low powered device OR running it on an actual server that also does other things. That way Roon is always available, no matter what device you want to stream to. Funnily enough, you might only want to use it and be happy loading it up every time you want to listen to some music.

that’s the beauty of choice! :+1:

In my example i have a server that has my camera recording software, Roon, Plex, dropbox, network software and various other bits and pieces. As it’s on all the time that has large storage, data protection and battery backup, it keeps all my services running in the ever connected world we live in. I also have a family, who all like different things at different times.

You will know when it’s time to move over, IF you ever do indeed need to move over because a situation will arise when you wanted to use roon but couldn’t because the computer that you have running isn’t available

Thanks for the replies…makes sense and I already feel myself moving in the direction of wanting Roon always-on - but I do a lot of listening away from home so I need the all-in-one app.

If I have a Roon server running and want to use the all-in-one app, can I switch back and forth?

Yes, you can move between Core installations very easily. The one license can be shared between installations. The only restriction is that you can only have one Core active at any one time. See here for more info.

It’s on the roadmap, but since 2016 :rofl:


Since 2016…well it’s either forgotten about or maybe almost finished.

It’s not forgotten about, but it’s a big job. There are various posts from the Roonies in the forum about this.

Can’t wait for the mobile app.

Can someone tell me if I run a Roon server and then want to switch to using the all-in-one app, if that’s possible? Can I just Unauthorize one machine and authorize another or does the server work differently?

Yes, you can, as I said a few posts earlier.

Oh sorry, I missed that. When you said “you can move between Core installations very easily”, I guess it didn’t register - still getting used to the terminology

An example scenario:

  • I have a licensed Core running on a server in my home network.
  • I have installed the full package of Roon (containing the Core, Control and Output components) on a laptop.
  • I use the laptop as a Roon Remote + endpoint connecting to the Core on the server when at home.
  • When travelling, I will start Roon on my laptop, and it won’t find the Core on my home network, but it will find the Core present in the laptop.
  • I can deauthorise the Core in my home network (a remote connection is not necessary to do this - the switch is thrown in Roon headquarters as if by magic), and authorise the Core on my laptop
  • I listen to music on my laptop.
  • When back home, I deauthorise the Core on the laptop, and re-authorise the Core on the server.

What’s really neat about this is that TIDAL albums that I add to my library will be seen on both Cores automatically. Only the local content can vary if you wish. I have a laptop with sufficient storage to hold a duplicate of the library accessed by my Core on my server, so I have my complete library available both home and away…


Thanks! That’s exactly what I needed to know :smile:

That’s innovative thinking. Hopefully Roon stay OK with that until the mobile comes out.

I discovered Roon not so long ago. My story went like this:

I had a library of mostly MP3’s and more recently AAC’s bought off Apple when I bought a better pair of headphones (B&O H2’s). The effect was intriguing so I explored further and learned about DAC’s and got me an Audioengine D1. Another improvement. I upgraded to a pair of full sized open backed headphones (Philips Fidelio X2) and powered speakers (AE A5+). Another 2 improvements.

I then discovered and then visited our local high-end store (quite the shock) who advised me a AudioQuest Nightowl Carbon for my budget at the time. Another big improvement…

I started exploring further and realized my library was mostly lossy formats… So, I got a Tidal HiFi sub and experienced redbook versions of my lossy albums… Damn, why o why did I spend so much money on AAC’s from Apple…

And, how would those Masters (MQA) files sound?
I started experimenting with Bitperfect on my mac, and didn’t find an alternative I liked on Windows (I switch very often between a Windows desktop in my home office, and a macbook on the go and an iPhone in the car. I also needed a remote, which I had for iTunes, but lacked for Tidal.

Looking for a Tidal remote I learned Roon was getting so much praise and got a trial account. I really liked the consolidation of local files and Tidal, which is as the OP implies, one of Roon’s main selling points (it is also incredibly well done, that integration). Roon can unfold Masters files for the first part, and it was yet another improvement over 44.1kHz versions of the same tracks. I bought some 88.2 and 96kHz HDtracks versions of my favorite albums to try and get used to the quality differences. The signal path inspector is really nice in Roon to do comparisons between tracks, and endpoints.

It then looked like Roon was making my D1 stutter on higher bitrates, that or the D1 was defective. To make sure it was, I bought an AudioQuest Dragonfly Red to compare. The D1 is indeed defective, but I also found out the DF sounds much better, especially connected to my mac. I knew DAC’s would sound different but why was there such a difference in host devices??

It looks like my main desktop (rather beefy, overclocked, dual GPU watercooled machine) produces a lot of interference / noise… I hosted the core on the pc, and used the Dragonfly connected to the mac and streamed to it. That was way better compared the core and the endpoint on the same machine, but rather messy on my desk and really inconvenient for headphone use. Putting a Jitterbug in for testing reduced the noise on the pc a bit, but it was still worse compared to the mac. I also bought a camera connection kit for my iPad which works really well with the DF Red.

Macbook pro’s with touchbar often have issues with the AC / 5gHz Wifi band. Mine is terrible in our house for a reason I still have to troubleshoot. The 2.4gHz band is overloaded, so, I needed a wired dongle (that goes to sleep often and breaks connection with the core), + a dongle for the DF Red. + a power cord. I used a NAS to host my library on. I really disliked the need to have my macbook sitting on my desk connected to 3 wires to do some near field listening, controlled from my pc. I needed to solve that. I bought a lifetime on Roon, because the program itself is so good and my trial had expired allready…

The best way to remove the clutter, seemed to buy a NUC I could tuck away, and connect the DF straight to it, and into the second line input of my A5+'s. I run ROCK, for the best possible foundation on which to build. The DF on the NUC is at least equally quiet as the mac. No hissing is audible through the speakers even with it’s included switching psu. The Jitterbug is still on the D1. It’s also really nice to have a quiet space with no audible noise from a high-end pc workstation when I am listening from the couch, I shut the PC down but keep having Roon available! Awesome! The NUC’s hardware is not completely silent in it’s current factory enclosure, but nearly inaudible. A big plus for me over the normal pc.

I am slowly improving the quality of my local albums (I tend to try them out on Tidal, and eventually buy them in high res when available when I really like them. I still feel more comfortable having a local library for my most cherished music. Making those transitions is really easy with Roon where you can designate different copies from an album as primary. I do that when I have a local MP3/AAC album, for which a TIDAL lossless variant exists. I don’t delete the old one, but make the Tidal one primary until I buy a high-res replacement for the lossy files and do delete the lossy version. That way Roon allways selects the highest quality version when it shuffles your tracks…

Next up in this hobby is a solution for the defective D1, so I can use my headphones also with high res tracks again… (It is still ok for normal computing tasks but 48kHz and up creates nasty artifacts).

I got so used to the potentiometer on the D1 for volume control on my headphones and as a preamp for my A5+'s when I use my computer for most day to day things (calls, Youtube, etc… ), i find it really annoying not to have it when using Roon. When I am in not behind my desk, the digital volume control on Roon + the DF is awesome, but behind the desk, the analog knob beats it… The replacement of the D1 ideally has both. I know some DAC’s can do that…

Also: having a NUC with local storage now, I moved my library on there. It’s fast and convenient, but it also frees up my NAS to be used as a back-up again, instead of a primary storage for the music, much safer…

So, there are many reasons for me to like a dedicated Roon Server (in my case the ROCK NUC) instead of a pc / mac doing it all. My setup can be improved upon a lot. I intend to get at least a replacement / upgrade for the D1. I Started looking for better speakers and will likely get a networked endpoint for the dac that will be connected to those so I can put the ROCK in my utility room… (or active speakers with in-built Roon Readyness).

This hobby has escalated nicely so far :slight_smile:

I hope this story helps to clarify why I feel a standalone Roon (ROCK) server has a lot of extra value added for me.

1 Like

just to follow on from the questions at the start of this thread - what is the advantage of Roon server over the normal Roon app? don’t tell me Roon is like lego - tell me what the advantages of each are. Thanks!

Anyone? :slight_smile:

Ok here’s a starter …

It’s headless and runs on platforms [Linux] that the full Roon does not support.

I’ve just installed it and am trying it out. The only benefit I can see is that it’s headless and so uses less resource on the PC it’s running on.

One problem I’m seeing straight away - all the album edits which I made in Roon - they’re not carried over to the Roon Server install? I have to do it all again?

Yes and no … when the GUI is minimised the difference in minimal as Roon stops the rendering of the graphics.

[quote=“extracampine, post:49, topic:46398, full:true”]
One problem I’m seeing straight away - all the album edits which I made in Roon - they’re not carried over to the Roon Server install? I have to do it all again?
[/quote]The edits are in the Roon database, thus you need to restore your Roon backup to get them back (just like any Roon migration).