Roon Software and Roon's Forum - problems / solutions

(David) #1

Hello,

I am into my 3rd year with Roon and love it to bits. No great problem at all with the software. That’s good. It’s such a fun product to use, I am constantly finding new ways to use Roon to improve my experience. It could be so much more of course and will be I am sure… and it does have a lot of flaws. But that’s not really my problem. My problem is the interface with Roon itself, as a development team…ie these pages…I am going to try and elucidate on my problems and make recommendations as to how they could be simply solved. I want to clarify that I admire the team and the forum team of moderators and operators, I am doing this all in the spirit of trying to improve the experience…

I’m a sometimes regular poster here, and have been less and less interested in participating as there several main problems as I see it which make posting here with ideas for improvements, and highlighting rough edges, etc really seem irrelevant, pointless, a waste of time.

Now… I had been quietly (until recently) accepting of this but Roon is such a great product overall and I want so badly to see it improve, that I thought no, I must try to improve things via the only format I have, ie. these pages.

Therefore, going through the problems with these pages I am also suggesting solutions which could help somewhat in overall morale with all customers using Roon.

So… to highlight the problems specifically, here goes…

  1. There is does not appear to be a specific format to officially log problems with Roon.

There are these pages which Roon (says it) reads. There’s often no acknowledgement that any post highlighting an issue has been digested by Roon.

The problem is that Roon has given the public a forum to make suggestions and such but then have no official system in place to acknowledge the effort that people go to to make these suggestion. Everyone is busy, everyone has limited time and resources to make posts to forums, especially to make someone else’s product better. With the Roon format for feedback, it’s entirely arbitrary whether a suggestion or notification will receive any response from Roon at all.

In addition, there is no specific way to differentiate between bugs, rough edges and requests. They are not the same thing.

  1. There’s no way to collate and show all the problems on an ongoing basis so we get the same old stuff coming up over and over again simply highlighting to old dogs that the software appears stagnating (or new gloss being applied to old cracks) and to new users making the comments again, it makes Roon appear unfinished or with cracks in the armour underneath the shiny veneer… illusions are shattered :frowning:

  2. Luddites or Roon fanatics in these pages are so keen to flame people making suggestions or deride them that it’s hardly fertile ground to make suggestions or highlight problems.

  3. Problems and Bugs are taking many years to fix. I don’t know why this is, but it’s a fact. Take the … export bug. Still there. Take the truncated text problem, still there. The terrible Edit mode, still there. Some stuff is just so…ingrained, that we don’t even notice it any more. 1st generation poor execution ergonomics needs revamping deep in the software functionality, but the forum format just doesn’t allow us to explore this consistently.

How to solve this…?

To my mind, there’s really not a lot which is need to greatly improve morale here and hopefully focus minds on ongoing issues which need resolving which will give old users really good reason to big up roon to Newbs and would-be customers alike.

In the first instance I would dearly like to see Roon officially acknowledge areas of concern by creating a specific category for “Debugging and Rough Edges” where long-term (what else are there?) problems are listed and can be revisited and bumped by newbies when they come across them.

Also, ALL posts highlighting fresh bugs or rough edges should be simply acknowledged officially to enhance customer service and a feeling of being part of the solution, and this should also apply to feature requests.

These 2 areas need to be moderated very strongly to improve collation of ideas, to keep subject matter together in the correct place for ongoing treatment. This can only help decision making as to which issues are receiving most traffic and also to collate ideas for development.

Finally, any negativity from Luddites viz suggestions needs to be jumped on hard. A real feeling of positivity needs to exude.

The moderators and all at Roon do a great job with this forum and of course with Roon itself, and I think with these tweaks, the whole experience can be elevated.

Thanks for reading and considering!

14 Likes
Bye Roon, why I am not renewing my subscription
Bye Roon, why I am not renewing my subscription
An idea to achieve A ∩ B with "Focus" - (eg. Classical AND voices)
(JohnV) #2

I would have put this one first…and second. Well put.

1 Like
(David) #3

haha. I rewrote it several times to get my ideas straight as it is. Not easy with the audio-elite breathing down yer neck, lol.

(Music and Shawarma Lover) #4

Hi Sallah well put!

I agree there is some of that, however at the same time much could be fairly characterized as others expressing their opinions freely. Where it gets frustrating is when it appears to either represent a form of trolling - i.e. interfering with the discussion without adding anything to it, or worse to imply that Roon is perfect and such enhancements and fixes are inappropriate. I think it gives Roon a false sense of security rather than urgency in fixing certain things.

That said, I doubt that any group of forum users has much to do with the lack of fixes for the problems described. I think it’s just Roon’s own setting of priorities.

From that perspective, I too would like a bit more transparency from Roon on where their priorities are. Not by inference from each release, but with some level of road map from Roon - not meaning they have to commit to time frame or even to success in a given development initiative, but at least some level of understanding priorities and estimated timing.

This is important (acknowledging that global warming is an important issue…this is a hobby) because it takes a ton of effort to work around some of Roon’s peccadilloes, and I’d sure love to know whether those efforts are necessary or if Roon ever plans to offer the appropriate feature to obviate those efforts.

(David) #5

Quite right, James. My post was cathartic, as for a while, well, since the beginning really, I’ve failed to put my finger on what’s been bugging me with these pages and Roon’s ethose herein. It’s the dichotomy of the open forum and mingling with the “gods” so to speak, but not having a formalised procedure in which to log and follow requests, gripes and possible developments. I just hope this doesn’t fall on deaf ears.

#6

This was a great post. I’m one of those newcomers you mention. I had the same sense in my brief time here of exactly what you’re talking about, and I also feel a lack of official communication makes for a fairly confusing support structure. You can scream feature requests and bugs into the void, but nobody is necessarily listening. So then you want to keep repeating them until you feel like somehow someone noticed. Meanwhile some of them aren’t actually even problems but without official responses, nobody tells you that.

I’m still on the fence for buying in. I’m leaning yes, - lifetime. But less enthusiastically than I would hope I were. Communication is a big part of that. My early communication emailing pre-sales questions was met with GREAT response…and made me feel really confident in the product and it’s progress. The forums give kind of the opposite feeling. From that early contact, I know the staff is really enthusiastic and committed. But if I started with the forum instead of that email, I would probably have a really cynical impression of the product.

1 Like
(Music and Shawarma Lover) #7

Just to be fair, there definitely is quite a bit of interaction with actual Roon staff on the forums. My gut feeling is that it’s part of the job description for the support and product development staff, and then for those in higher roles, many still communicate pretty regularly.

However, the insights into product timeline and priorities have become quite less over time. I believe that this has to do with Roon prior having made but missed commitments and thus Roon feeling its better to be conversational without indicating much in terms of tangible product plans.

I can understand the swing of the pendulum in that direction. I just hope it swings more to the middle, where we have an idea of what is in tangible stages of development without feeling like if it wasn’t launched on a date certain that we’ve been let down.

It’s those darned lawyers. I’m sure they’re the ones that tell Roon not to commit to any release for fear of lawsuits for refunds when developments don’t materialize.

2 Likes
#8

Definitely! I think a “roadmap” matters. In my case I’d requested a feature (that gets no acknowledgement) of something that’s supposed to already work, which I found out via Tidal support, and today posted as a support issue for Roon which got quickly responded to. But that could have been addressed a week ago, if there was a way to get feedback on questions rather than misunderstandings becoming feature requests which then get ignored unless you discover externally it’s a support issue. Roon seems very responsive once you get out of that “void.” The gap between “support” and “feature request” seems to be the weak area.

1 Like
(David) #10

Thanks @MusiPhile, you’ve hit the nail on the head succinctly there. Far more than I, haha :slight_smile:

(David) #11

Dontcha just love 'em :wink:

(David) #12

Ok that’s 24hrs since I made my post. Ironically there’s been no comment nor acknowledgement by Roon about issues which are manifested by a lack of comment or acknowledgement, lol.

@evand

You were right.

I am no longer going to partificipate herein with suggestions or feedback. I resign my efforts. Will check back periodically to see how things are going but it’s simply evident that things are moving in “other directions” with Roon, which is fine.

It doesn’t stop Roon from being a great product, just not worth investing time in as regards feedback.

3 Likes
(Music and Shawarma Lover) #13

I think they didn’t reply because they’re hard at work adding Boolean logic to Tag Focus!

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(John B) #14

It’s a difficult line to walk I’m sure.

If “Roon” spend loads of time replying here they’re not coding and improving the product.

If they jump in too early to a thread like this they risk losing some good input from members.

I don’t spend as much time here as before. I feel a lot of my work has been done now that there are more threads about Roon on the Naim forum than there are about Naim on the Roon forum!

It would be probably worth Roon considering how to make this place feel more like the community it did feel like previously.

Perhaps a state of the union adresss once a month by Roon’s leadership, Danny, Mike, Brian etc. where they run with the tread and respond?

But then would I prefer Roon leaders to do this and have the next big advancement delayed? Probably not, but I think the better business plan would be to be a week late with an enhancement and cultivate a “club” feel. This loyalty and feeling of being part of a team is what most brands salivate over, Roon has/had this. Water it and let it grow.

.sjb

2 Likes
(David) #15

John,

My point is simply that… either you give customers the ability to offer ideas, in which case simply acknowledge them (Every other company which offers the ability for feedback I know does this), OR you don’t offer the format to feedback, period.

Right, and my suggestions could do that.

To my mind, it would be more viable to make suggestions and bug reports 2 separate and clearly discrete things and to make it clear that suggestions are NOT just feature requests, they can be also to refine what’s there.

Either this or take the whole format of suggestions and requests and bug reports off this forum and use 2 feedback forms on the site.

Personally I am not specifically bothered about feedback viz build status or what’s being developed. It is what it is. Roon is a growing company and does make improvements. That’s great! But for me it’s just a lack of any response to acknowledge stuff being highlighted, that’s all. Although what you are suggesting would be nice of course, but I can see it going more in the opposite direction as Roon grows, and customer base also. I’m just asking for a bit more of a “pro” and consistent response specifically (even if automated somewhat) which reflects the growth in customer base.

There, I’ve gone and been drawn back into the discussion when I said I was done :slight_smile:

(Music and Shawarma Lover) #16

Sallah, don’t leave us! It could just be a busy week at Roon…

1 Like
(Daniel Beyer) #17

I personally think that an automated “Thanks for the suggestion” every time someone posts in the Feature Request section would be tedious and unnecessary. Now, maybe a permanent sticky post at the top of Feature Request section that pre-thanks anyone for their input and defines what they should expect from said input, would be the right way to go, imho.

The Feature Request section, as I see it, functions like a more open Suggestion Box. One that allows other users to comment (both for and against) your proposed suggestion. The back and forth by users on a request provides insight for the devs, like the suggestions popularity, or, its use case as to why it should be added (just because someone makes a request does not mean it is a good one or feasible).

I also see the Feature Request section as an informal, “Hey, I think the software should do this…”, in a discussion amongst friends rather than something heavily formalized. I realize that you are arguing for just such a formalization.

Some way of keeping like requests together. I was musing that maybe sub-sections of the Feature Request would be a way of focusing like requests together. However, people are still reading the old requests. I just got a like a couple days ago for this one from July of 2015:

(David) #18

Fair enough. If there’s some protocol which is clear to all participants then that’s cool too. I do think there should be a separate section for debugging & refining, which are clearly separate to Feature Requests also. And imho this should be acknowledged and nurtured. Customers are basically doing the work of beta testers in this regard and for detailed pointers to assist Roon to iron out these issues to be apparently ignored is what irks (me).

Thanks for your reply, and considering the issues in any case Daniel.

(A. dN) #19

This is the post I wanted to write for some time but didn’t, for reasons you so clearly stated. Thanks for did doing this!

(David) #20

Thanks for your support. Even if I was the only one who felt this way, I just wanted to get it off my chest, lol. However, it is clear that I’m not alone. It’s too easy to get precious and overprotective about a beloved product, or the people who develop it, and cut them slack by saying “oh but they do work hard or but they did reply here about this…look…” but it does them nor the product no favors :slight_smile:

(Robert Leavitt) #21

Is anyone listing a problem or offering a solution, or is this just a place to figure out how to do the mentioned without mentioning. I’m a lifetime, love roon. The only bug I have is when my iMac as a remote boots, sometimes roon closes or I need to reboot the remote, or it’s fine. No biggie but that’s all from me.