Roon Through The Eyes of a Noob

I’ve been using my Raspberry Pi with a Digione as my digital source for about a year. I have tried all of the MPDs(Volumio, Rune, and Moode) and Logitech Media Server.

In the spirit of leaving no stone unturned I decided to sign up for a trial of Roon.

Huge paradigm shift, but not in a good way I’m afraid. Based on what I’ve experienced I would say that Roon is more geared towards the AOL/Apple crowd. THe kind of people that are willing to give up features and pay huge money to have something that is just dead simple to use.

What do you mean my resolution isn’t high enough? I’m running at 1080P on a 55" TV. Works fine in full screen, which only adds a few more pixels on each side .vs a maximized window. Switching between full screen and a window, you know like if I wanted to actually use my computer for other things while I’m listening to music, is a pain and kicks me back to the message about my resolution being too low which means I can control bupkis until I go back to full screen again.

Ropieee- Not Roon’s fault, but just a general FYI for anyone tempted to take this path…don’t. The setup takes forever and the sound quality is very lackluster. I was able to connect Roon to Volumio and then the sound quality was fine. So at least Roon itself is neutral in terms of SQ(didn’t try DSPs or EQs. That just isn’t my scene)

The interface is really terrible in every way possible. First huge fail…two words FOLDER VIEW. It doesn’t exist. Virtually every media player for the PC and phone has some form of this. I even had an Android player that locked this option out until you bought the program for $3. $119 a year or $499 for a lifetime of regret(or blissful ignorance depending on the user) and you get NO FOLDER VIEW OPTION!

Would you like to shuffle or do radio play? I will admit that the radio play option is kinda cool. Hell no not $119 a year cool, but alright. The fail here is that the feature is forced down your throat. Yes you can disable it, but when you restart the program. Boing! it back. From almost every view the only option is to shuffle the album that I just selected. This is actually two fails in one. Shuffle always begins on track 1, so if I was actually going for shuffle I would be screwed until the second song. As previously mentioned from almost every view there is no option to just play the album from front to back.

I found a whole host of other things that ranged from Why? to WTF?, but I think you get the point. This software was obviously designed for people who are okay with a product that marches to the beat of its own drum, and completely ignores the progress that other music players and made over the last several decades, and have money to burn.

FIRST! lol

…and the argumentative crowd chimes in… lol
(Note: I am not one of them)

I am an annual but plan to be lifetime subscriber. But I agree with 75% of what you say. ESPECIALLY the No Folder View thing. And the resolution thing. Getting that error on a 1080 display with window maximized but not when fullscreen is just plain absurd.

Disagree mostly about the RoPieee comment. As a noob to RPi who works long and hard as a software developer, in this context I just want something that streams and works well w/o having to learn & hack things. Just don’t have the time or patience anymore. The RoPieee with remote display in a small case is ideal. But yes to what you said too about usb quality. Use an ALLO DigiOne not USB from the RPi for quality (requires customization of the case). OTOH I really hate my ALLO USBridge. Haven’t gotten USB2 to work with any DAC I have.

The whole user experience et al and remote control of multi endpoints is what outweighs any criticisms for me.

(Edit: oh, and the integrated Audeze DSP for my iSine20. … only reason I ever heard of Roon, from KMann of Audeze on Head-fi)

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Roon isn’t for everyone that’s for sure. However, if you need folder view then it is definitely not for you. This requirement makes me think you have missed the point of the interface; you don’t need folder view with Roon…


I was skeptical too at first and questioned the value but I am slowly finding the value for me (better integration with Tidal and my library, single interface for multiple hardware, MQA accessability, etc.).

I have been a file folder person for years. After using Roon, my thought is while it’s “comfortable”, it’s an antiquated view.

You can’t bring an innovated product to market if you constrain yourself or base your product on what other have done.

Again, my view of what’s valuable to me.

:popcorn: :grinning:


Is Windows using a scaling factor ? That can cause issues with screen resolution requirements, see here.

I’ve used Ropieee and DietPi on the same DigiOne and can’t recall any SQ difference. I’m surprised you found installing Roon Bridge on Volumio easier than Ropieee configuration, it’s usually the other way around.

Folder view has been discussed extensively in other threads. The devs have confirmed that Roon will not be implementing it because it is incompatible with the fundamental design of the software. The Library browsers and Focus tools are intended to replace file system views, not accomodate them. For me this is a big attraction, others find it problematic. I think it does require using Roon for a while to understand the power and capability hidden under the hood of the Focus tools.

When you browse a particular Album the default action button is Play Now unless changed to Shuffle in Settings.

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It is most certainly an issue with the scaling setting being used.

You are both correct. I am using a high DPI on my 55" monitor. Super hard to see text from across the room otherwise. This one is really a non issue since most reasonable people are going to be using this on a tablet(more likely an I-Pad given the user base I suspect) anyway.

The no folder access is great as long as you are okay browsing your entire music collection by artist, album, or hard coded genres. Volumio at least recognizes custom genres that I created in ID3 Tag which would be another way of separating my music by not folders, but NOOOO, I’m not even allowed to do that.

There is a tag option which could accomplish the separation and control that I’m looking for. I even created a couple of tags as a test and started adding albums under those tags, but quickly ran into an unsolvable problem, BARRING THE AVAILABILITY OF FOLDER VIEW.

I created a rock tag and a rap tag. I put two albums under each tag and is started to feel like the sorely missing folder view feature, despite the hours of work it would have taken to create tags and then tag each album to match the folders I have my albums in that this totalitarianistic program refuses to let me see. …but but but. I ran into a HUGE unsolvable (without folder view) problem. I added two rap albums “2 Live Crew- As Nasty as They Want to be” and “2 Pac- All Eyez on me” 2 Live crew was perfectly playable, but 2 Pac, which happens to be a 2 disc set, was not. Inside the folder I had tracks 1. 1. 2. 2. 3. 3. 4. 4. and so on. So no multi-disc sets on Roon unless you want to hear them in a very strange order.

A couple of weeks ago went to a listening session at someone’s house who was using Roon. He had people bring their music on flash drives. He added everyone’s music to his Roon music directory and then we all had to remember exactly what we had brought in order to hear it. Kind of like playing that variation on Rummy where you can only have a card out of the discard pile if you can remember what it was. How much more enjoyable our night would have been if we could have browsed into the “Jay”, “Bill”, “Chris” etc. folders, but no no mister. Roon has a philosophy to protect.

So yeah. I think part of the problem is that I already know how to manage my music collection and just need a music player. People that are less tech savvy require a media center. What feels clumsy and heavy handed to me probably seems more convenient and user friendly to the technologically infirm. Just like AOL. Just like Apple products. Very similar price to value ratio as well IMO.

To the OP, if you don’t like it then just move on.
To be honest I find your generalizations about Roon users to be quite rude and unnecessary. After using it for 10 minutes you think you know it all. It is what it is and as it evolves it may or may not suit different peoples expectations. Just because you (or others) don’t like it does’t make it a load of crap.


Re: multi disc sets. Your metadata tags and/or folder organization scheme are wonky. Or they just do not conform to Roon’s multi disc handling guidelines.

Re: group listening session. Your Roon friend may be a “noob,” too. Recently Added view in the Album browser would have brought up a chronological sequence of all of the other listeners’ newly imported music. Alternatively, he could have set up separate Watched Folders for all other listeners’ drives, then used the Inspector to drill down to specific Storage Locations. The latter might not have been possible, though, if your Roon friend was copying all music to one of his drives, sponging music off the other listeners.

Takeaways: the professed obstacles are not insurmountable.



I’m with @jumbuck, the rudeness is gratuitous.

Many of us have significant industry expertise and experience, as do some other software designers who have similarly broken new ground that you may have heard of, such as Steve Jobs.
Among modern software that has broken free of the folder paradigm are the Kindle, and iBooks, and iOS Mail, in fact all of iOS. And Adobe Lightroom CC. And Microsoft OneNote. And we can go on and on.

A lot of software is unable to abandon the old ways because of legacy investments, like Microsoft Windows and Office, Adobe Lightroom Classic.

But this not because the owners of the classic products are stupid. Nor are the owners of the new systems that move forward stupid.

To each his or her own. Make your choice. And shut up about us.


As far as your tags issue goes, The focus feature lets you filter by genres, so no need to create special tags for them, as long as you have the metadata correct in your files or The albums were identified correctly when they were imported.

There are so many small things with Roon which range from minor irritation to full on frustration, but as I’ve found over the last year and a half nearly, Roon work to their own agenda and timescale for the most part and I’ve given up venting on these pages as it’s all just hot air. But then I get drawn back in, start reading posts, and can’t stop myself, like now, lol.

All I’m going to say is that, for me, there’s simply too much that Roon does right that I try to ignore the frustrations and just to use it as is. Oh and to ignore this forum as much as possible :slight_smile:

As far a the friend listening party goes… leave their drives hooked up, add the locations to the library, use focus and inspector to show the locations and give them tags based on your friends names. I’ve found answers to every one of my concerns in this fantastic community and Roon has opened up my listening experience.

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Delve deeper into the Focus tools. You are still only scratching the surface. Anything that can be accomplished with folders can be accomplished in Roon. The difference is that Roon can do it regardless of what folder structure has been actually used.

The listening party without Roon goes like this:
Each guest brings a flash drive.
The contents of the flash drive are copied to a separate folder on the desktop with each guests name.
Guests use a file viewer to browse that folder.

There are multiple different ways to have a similar listening party with Roon. This is what I would do:
Each guest brings a flash drive.
The contents of the flash drive are copied to separate folders on the desktop with each guests name.
Each such folder is made a new Roon folder.
A custom tag is added to all albums in each new Roon folder using Focus/Inspector
Guests use Roon to browse the tags.

Other people will have different ways of creating tags, Andrew’s (@WiWavelength) suggestion to use recent Albums added is more convenient where the number of albums is small.

Why the snark ? People who like Roon aren’t necessarily dumb because you don’t like it. I use Windows and Linux and have never heard of AOL.

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Another strength of Roon is the ability to control which id tag takes precedence, yours or Roons. I bet you could have accomplished what you wanted. I did when at first my meta data wasn’t showing up in Roon. I changed some library settings, and viola, there it was. Then there is genre mapping.

Neither of these things are the key functionality of Roon for me. The thing that immediately grabbed me when I first used it, combined with Tidal, was the music browsing and discovery experience. Following band members, influences, performer relationships.

Yep fully agree on that one. After two years of using Roon this is one of my main critisism. I allready have my music organized in a way that makes sense to me. Adding new music to Roon ends op in a big pile. Not very handy, in fact utterly frustrating. I find the whole tagging system a hussle to be honoust.

Roon Through The Eyes of a Lifer

There are several issues that simply do not make sense to me either but at the end of the day the reasons I keep using Roon because the good out ways it’s shortcomings.

++ Plus for me

  • Networkable
  • Bit perfect
  • Upscaling
  • End Points
  • Multi Room
  • WAV Files
  • The Big and Main Reason - Sound Quality is 2nd to none.
  • Lifetime membership. I dislike annual or recurring fees even though this is where a lot of software is moving to.
  • Their involvement with their customers. They truly are engaged. It is very easy for anyone to get a response from multiple people in this organization at any given time.

– Minus for me

  • No Folder View
  • No CD Ripping
  • No Safe Mode for Alternate Profiles. Alternate Profiles should also be able to setup their own library and not have access at all to other librarys. Safe Mode means that they cannot delete any file however a separate DB should be setup for their own Tagging.
  • No direct playing from a CD or USB
  • Tagging. Just not simple enough and it is scattered to many different screens for editing.
  • Album Focused and not setup for individual tracks. Cannot edit individual album art for folders with nothing but singles.
  • Tidal integration. Although it has improved and the Roon team is serious about correcting it’s shortcomings, my overall view about the Tidal integration is I am usually more times than not frustrated and disappointed way more so than happy about it.

I know that there are probably more short comings that I am forgetting, but at the end of the day Roon just sounds so dog gone good. It is the best that I have come across. Once I select something to listen to, I really enjoy the quality of the music that it produces and it can produce it in multiple locations at the same time at the same quality. For that I give it a pass and wait for whatever improvements come along. In the last couple of years alone, there has been quite a bit of improvements and it is obvious that there is much more coming because of their continued involvement with their community.



There seems to be two types of people in this discussion. People who are honest about some of the major flaws in the software, but still find it useful(yearly) and people who throw back every weakness I point out as actually being a strength, something that I just don’t understand because there are actually super convoluted work arounds for all of the deal breaker situations I ran into, or something that the programmers are still working on.(lifers) Looking around the forum I see that the issues I pointed out were just the tip of the iceberg.

Many people have pointed out that the main reason for sticking with Roon is the SQ. As I originally pointed out, Roon is SQ neutral (good, but not special or unique in any way) and can sound great or awful depending on what other software and hardware is being used.

Anyway. I’m happy that many of you are happy with this software. I assumed that for the price it would be the best around, but IMO there are cheaper and free alternatives that run circles around this. :sunglasses:

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