For the large and ever growing number of roon users who’s only source of music is a streaming service such as Tidal or Qobuz, the current product fails to meet user needs in many ways. For users who have a physical library stored on a network, I’m sure roon works great. But for everyone else the way the roon library works makes little sense and causes all sorts of issues for users. So if you have a physical library and you are happy with roon please move along, there is nothing for you in this post.
For everyone else, and i know i can speak on behalf of a large number of people who have either left roon or continue to just about put up with it, the roon library makes no sense at all when streaming from Tidal/Qobuz. I propose either a new version of roon, for streamers only, or a new branch, which asks users at setup time whether they want to use roon in ‘normal mode’ i.e. the current workflow, or a new ‘stream only mode’ for users with no physical library at all.
A stream only version of roon would solve a lot of problems/issues/bugs/frustrations with the current ‘Library’ based version of the product, and achieve the following:
- roons’ server or library for streaming only users could and should be in the cloud - just like all other streaming services, so that users can take their playlists, favourites etc on the road, in the car, on holiday etc without being ‘locked’ to the home. Streaming only users get zero benefit from the roon server whatsoever. I know roon makes money from selling nucleus etc, but so many users just don’t need one as there is zero benefit. offer me a nucleus in the cloud and I will buy it tomorrow. offer me a nucleus for my home at a quarter of the price and I’m still not interested. Even multiroom could work just as well as it does now if the library was web based a-la tidal connect, spotify connect etc
- roon is supposed to allow users to manage their music likes, dislikes, playlists etc in the best way possible. This isn’t true for streaming only users who have to jump through all sorts of hoops, with bugs, inconsistencies and roadblocks along the way, just to get to the point where they can like a song. Every song being played, from anywhere at any time should be instantly ‘heart-able’. or block-able. And any album should be heart-able or tag-able. There should not be any need whatsoever to first add it to library, and wouldn’t be with such a version.
- roon should sync 100% with the streaming service for streaming only users - this would be easily doable if roon was cloud based and the roon library was removed so that all songs/albums/artists/playlists etc saved or liked in roon are instantly saved/liked in the streaming service and vice versa. Keeping your music likes and preferences from the native apps in sync with roon and the other way around is an unnecessary struggle at the moment
- roon is sloooooow - roon sometimes takes ages to load an album or add an album to library or lots of other functions. I’ve tested this extensively with multiple servers of different types, multiple wifi networks and devices and conclude that this is a roon issue - often while waiting for roon to play a track or load an album i can open qobuz, search for the same content and play it instantly, while roon is still trying to load. I have never once experience a delay in loading a track in Qobuz/tidal/spotify as long as my web connection was good. I have regularly experienced delays loading the exact same content in roon
- roon sometimes gives you a message that an album or song can’t be found - an album or song that was just playing 2 seconds ago - but if you remove it from your library all of a sudden it can’t be found. this is daft. imagine tidal telling you an album you just played cant be found just because you removed a heart or moved it from a playlist. This is just one of the numerous bugs that occur as a result of roon effectively working off 2 versions of every song/album etc - the one from your streaming service and the one from your library both of which appear and behave and can be interacted with in completely different ways inside roon. This is completely daft to a streaming only user
If roon can’t deliver what many consumers want then maybe someone else will, and I will be eagerly waiting for whoever comes to the market with a smart solution first. In the mean time I will trundle on with roon, not because it’s good, but because it’s the best of a pretty awful lot of options for the ‘streaming only’ music quality and hi-fi enthusiast