I recently have encountered the problem of Roon skipping to new tracks without playing them on my MacMini (also described in this thread:
Roon skipping ahead to next track without playing music (Mac Mini)). When idle for a while, Roon skips without playing. I usually have to quit Roon and get back into it, which takes some time. Usually things work well after that, until it is idle again.
Has there been any solution to this, since it can be very annoying to have to restart each time?
My system is a Mac Mini (2012) with an external Lacie Drive with my iTunes collection --> optical cable --> Marantz SR6010 --> Bryston Amp --> Magnepans. Roon is setup with directory on Lacie Drive.
Hi @Joe_Bandy ----- Thank you for the PM and sharing your feedback with us. We typically try to handle any support related questions on the “support” thread of the community site so others have access to any information or tips being shard should they provide useful. Would you mind if I made this PM a public post and we can continue from there? Let me know.
In the mean time, may I kindly ask you for the following feedback:
If you are a TIDAL user do you notice this “skipping” behavior with TIDAL content as well?
Have you tested with some media stored locally on the internal drive of the MacMini? If so, what was the experience like?
If you temporarily bypass the mentioned audio zone (i.e optical cable --> Marantz SR6010 --> Bryston Amp --> Magnepans) and play directly out of the MacMini say via the head phone jack do you still encounter track skipping during playback?
Absolutely, please make it public.
To answer your questions, 1) yes, it does happen with TIDAL too, 2) No, I have not tried it with internally stored media on the MacMini (partly because my collection is too big and it won’t fit on it), and 3) I have not tried playing directly to headphones, but I will next time it occurs (the MacMini has an optical out from the headphone jack, but I could use the same jack’s analog function to see if it works).
If I want to use headphones, do I have to switch Roon to the non-exclusive mode, so that it uses the MacMini’s DAC?
Thanks for getting back to me @Joe_Bandy, very appreciated! A few things moving froward.
“Have you tested with some media stored locally on the internal drive of the MacMini? If so, what was the experience like?”
- In regard to this proposed troubleshooting exercise, there is no need to move a LARGE amount of content to the internal storage of the MacMini. Just enough to run the test. Additionally, if you have a external storage device available (say a USB HD or flash drive) you can load some media onto that and mount it directly to the Mini for testing as well.
“If I want to use headphones, do I have to switch Roon to the non-exclusive mode, so that it uses the MacMini’s DAC?”
- For this test you will attached the head phones and in the application you will chose “built-in output” which has the option for “exclusive mode” available. “System output” will not have “exclusive mode” as an option.
Looking forward to hearing you observations!
Ok, I have been watching the behavior of Roon more closely, and it seems it starts to skip when the external hard drive (a Lacie drive connected via Thunderbolt) has gone to sleep and wakes back up. Roon then skips both in Tidal streaming and in playing files on the Lacie drive. I connected the headphones and switched Roon back and forth from the Roon exclusive device to the Mac Mini onboard mixer device, and it skipped in both (Tidal streaming and playing files from the external hard drive). Once I restart Roon with the Lacie drive awake, Roon works with no problem.
I have not tested storing files on the Mac Mini itself, but for now, let’s assume Roon won’t skip with files stored on the Mac. If it is indeed trouble with Roon reestablishing a connection to the Lacie drive, why does it also skip on Tidal streaming? And what would you recommend for this problem? If it continued to skip with files stored on the Mac hard drive, what would the problem be then?
Thanks again for your help,
If you have the Tidal app open, even if minimized, that will cause Roon to skip.
Thanks, but I try to keep Tidal closed when Roon is open.
Ok, Roon is now skipping at other times, too. It seems to be skipping (on Tidal and with my locally stored files) when it is adding to the database and when other processes on my MacMini begin, including (at least) the DVD player.
Any diagnosis and suggested fixes would be welcome.
Hi @Joe_Bandy ----- Thank you for the continued feedback and sharing your observations with us. The updates are very appreciated!
You mentioned that when the Lacie drive mounted to the computer goes to sleep the skipping behavior is occurring. Can you verify for me if the MacMini is going to sleep at any point? The reason I ask is because I did some research on this behavior and came across the following:
Apple: Lacie External HD keeps going to sleep
Tidbits: Preventing Second Drive Sleepiness
In both cases, it was recommended that in the “energy saver” settings “Put hard disk to sleep when possible” should be unchecked and “computer sleep” should be set to “never”. May I kindly ask you to please try these adjustments and let me know how the Lacie drive holds up.
You mentioned that during the “headphones” test you observed skipping with both local (i.e Lacie drive) and TIDAL content and then once the drive wakes up “Roon works with no problem.” In regard to this test, did TIDAL playback stabilize when the HD wakes up as well? Secondly, if you use TIDAL outside of the Roon application what is the experience like?
Thanks for this. Just before you sent it, I switched the settings for the computer and the hard drive to never go to sleep. It has helped, since Roon skips less often now.
However, Roon still does skip from time to time when the computer has been on and Roon has been idle. I don’t know if some other process is interfering with Roon’s communication with the external hard drive, but if you have any suggestions about what it could be, I would welcome them.
To answer your other question, I have never had TIDAL skip on me when I use it directly. And on the test with headphones, TIDAL playback did NOT stabilize when the HD woke up. I had to restart Roon for TIDAL AND local playback not to skip.
Thanks for helping troubleshoot this,
Hi @Joe_Bandy ----- Thank you for touching base with me, I am glad to hear the suggestion made in my previous has helped some.
Moving forward, I would like to kindly ask you to conduct a small test to see if we can trigger a change in behavior with the mentioned audio zone (i.e …Marantz SR6010 --> Bryston Amp --> Magnepans). In your latest you mentioned that this skipping behavior appears to occur when Roon has been idle for a period of time.
I would like you to please leave the application in an idle state and then when returning to use the software, verify that there are no other processes running on the Mini that could be interacting with the Marantz and before hitting “play” I would like you to please go to the “device setup” (for the mentioned zone) and simply hit the “save” button. Once the “save” has completed, please verify if you experience skipping upon initiating playback.
I think I have located the problem. I think my external hard drive is going bad and having communication issues with Roon, and my computer more generally. But let me do some diagnostics and experiment with a few things this week to be sure.
The problem was definitely related to a faulty external hard drive. Since replacing it, also upgrading my RAM, and rebuilding my iTunes and Roon databases, I have not experienced any skipping. I have only tested it for one evening, but no skipping occurred.
So my advice to anyone experiencing this is to…
- Set computer sleep settings to never
- Make sure your drives are functioning well and communicating appropriately with your core
- Make sure your RAM is sufficient to handle Roon’s memory demands, which can be extensive
I’ll let you know if the problem crops up again, and especially if I can localize the cause to some other factor.