Roon vs Plex - a serious discussion

Different hardware plays its part with Chromecast that’s for sure. My Naim kit is the worst for it and it’s the memory resources the stack uses that causes it as they have said so. It’s fine on my Chromecast Audio puck, takes a while but not that bad on my TV and Nvidia Shield . Once connected it’s instant from their on, it’s initial playback when device has been using something else before. Other protocols don’t seem to suffer from this.

Very interesting… Im using plex since years for movies. Long before i startet with music.
I had and still have no issues playing movies or series neither at home (LG smart TV) nor while travelling.

Thats why i starte this, because im very curious How different people have different use and experience…

I don’t on my Sony TV nor with the Shield.mainly, although time to time they add in a bug that stops direct play of audio and it transcodes for everything.

It’s a known bug on the Sammy that’s a few years old and not fixed or acknowledged by them yet loads have the same issue.

Transcoding 4k HDR is still buggy and on Linux not easy to set up and you have to make sure you have all the bits in place. Took a lot of fiddling to get it to work. Makes watching away from home work for HDR material before it would just choke as the tone mapping kills the cpu.

Some of the new features are what is causing instability. They finally fixed a bigbbug that caused new music to crash Plex Everytime you added new music and it started doing analysis.
But I give them a lot of leeway as they push changes out at an incredible rate compared to Roon, who break things and don’t really even acknowledge it
Never really had any issues with Movie playing, most of the stability problems have been with music for me at least.

The shield app is fantastic and casting has always worked pretty well for me too. I don’t use the TV apps as I found them to be fairly bad .

I never had that issue with music falling over and analysis. I remember you saying it took days to do your library. Took half a day on my i3 NuC and no crashes when I add nee music. Are you on a Nas for Plex? I used to use my Qnap but it couldn’t handle transcoding HDR and it was slow to refresh interfaces. Much better since I switched to a NuC.

Yes it turned out to be a series of bugs in the library manage process (school boy stuff processing the same files as the same time causing crashes)
Fixed it recently and it has been much better since then and I have been really enjoying the Sonically similar features.
I probably picked a bad couple of versions to update, but that was the day that the new features were released :pleading_face:

I use both Plex and Roon so I’m going to be following this thread with interest and I manage the same local library files with both solutions so hopefully I can make some useful contributions. I’m going to list some general observations and comparisons below:

  • Usage: I use Roon at home and Plex with iOS Plexamp everywhere else. I’m happy to transcode to 160kps OPUS with Plex as I feel that this is good enough for mobile devices and lower-end wireless audio gear. OPUS is a great codec but that’s a different discussion. Roon is for real listening on real equipment.

  • System performance (on Linux): Roon licks Plex here. It feels like a premium product whereas Plex feels buggier than Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers. Roon is heavier on the system when idle but I have plenty of resources to go around.

  • Search: I feel that Roon’s search only becomes wonky when streaming services are connected and as I’m only using local files I have not experienced the poor performance noted elsewhere. My library is smaller than most and I have pretty intimate knowledge of its content so my search behaviour is never fuzzy. In my experience Plex’s search is no better or worse than Roon’s.

  • Curation: Roon’s curation is neutered without a streaming service but with Tidal or Qobuz connected there are more hits than misses. Plex uses mood tags (“Honey, check out my ‘anguished’ mix”) and sonic similarity to build thematically stronger playlists even with local-only libraries. For me, this is the only place I feel Plex is the outright winner.

Plex and Roon are both good at what they do and in my humble view neither is entirely capable of replacing the other.


I didn’t mention it above , but to throw the proverbial spanner.

Don’t write off JRiver, yes the main UI is a bit old hat but look at the advantages when used via various remote apps, after all how many people really watch movies on their PC?

It may be DLNA but it’s quite simply just stable, at least for me

The big plus is the configuration features , for example

I can set up a selection of say top 10 Composers , split by Genre then Sub Genre
I can set up box sets with an overall box cover and individual artwork

No one else can match this flexibility

And so on

It requires manual metadata management but many of us have had that perfected pre Roon

I actively use Roon and JRiver, I use JRiver exclusively for video local media

Their video developer is really cutting edge

Just my opinions

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I use both of them and they are the best in their respective fields. But if you consider only music Roon is much better.

  1. The integration of streaming is much much better in Roon. It’s like local albums.

  2. The connections between artists. I have discovered small diamonds in my library without ever knowing that I have them.

  3. The UI is much much more responsive than Plex app. It’s a real desktop application whereas Plex is just a beautified web app.

  4. No bitperfect output.

  5. Roon Radio. For me it’s the best thing in Roon. I can hear days and days without any wrong song.

But Plex has 2 very good features.

  1. Remote library so I can use my media anywhere

  2. Video Library which means I can use only one program to manage my media.

If they fix the streaming integration and build a better desktop application I would consider leaving Roon.


Jriver is an excellent desktop player. But in modern connected world is something of a dinosaur. I use it as a backup but it’s never my first choice. After a few minutes the UI starts drive me crazy. Foobar2000 is much more configurable and better.


I have done my “work” on the UI. I now reap the rewards using remotes like JRemote, mConnect and Cambridge Audio StreamMagic

I suppose as a 1980 convert to PC’s I kinda like DataGrids and TreeViews

After years of keyboard addiction , I am leaning more to my armchair :joy:

SWMBO is protecting my ever ailing neck !!!

From an user with a enormour video library (20.000 movies and 2000 shows, around 600tb) on plex

Plex music is valid for a little library, Ive tried to move my roon collection (about 250k) files and it ends on disaster.
The metadata library grows in more than 50gb (versus the 21gb for roon metadata). The scanner time, took around 1 week with an i5 6600k 32gb ram, and got a lot of unrecognised or bad match files.

So, I hope roon impleted the remote access soon, and let plex for video, roon for music.

Plexamp is not bad, and the new sonic sound of plex is nice, but like a said, it works best with 10k

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What do you mean “work”. I can’t make the columns to work like Itunes. It’s my main problem. I want an old fashioned program written in a real programming language to maintain my library. It needs to be fast.

Plex and Roon are slow in realtime file management.

I can only agree with that and if you really dig deep into Foobar2000 you will see almost no reason to use any other product, unless you discover Roon.

It is like JRiver in relation to Roon. The new and better concept of Roon has to be understood first and the own discovery behavior has to be sent to the new great track of Roon before the love starts. In the end, it will then always be the case that there are situations in which one also needs the old behavior, discover, tagging, Spotify integration, etc…

Fascination and frustration are also only experienced because you really like Roon and want to use it.

When I think of Plex, video is the only thing that comes to mind, and I would make comparisons to Kodi, Jellyfin, Infuse or Emby.

Who maintains in Foobar2000 the Spotify ID with, has also always copy & paste all playlists left and right in the 1000er Pack synchronously and can replicate them with TuneMyMusic, Soundiiz & Co. everywhere to 99%.

Analyzing the one tracks by mood, genre, artist comparability, sound images, etc. is on a level with Spotify with EchhoNest, Niland & Co. that makes Plex an annoying and superfluous toy.

Instead, I would recommend linking a Spotify ID. The worldwide science on the similarity to another 50 songs is already available on Spotify, instantly retrievable and doesn’t need any other hobby analysis anymore. Roon won’t top it either and should base development on it. Just as Google dominates the browser market, so is Spotify’s position in audio analysis.


Have you investigated the Expression language, Custom Tags and Customised Views . You can really define just about any configuration you fancy.

Eg i have set up a structure using the rules engine, then you can define which columns you see by individual view


Then eg in Classical …

Artists (all)
Artists top 30
Composer top 30 including images
Composers all
Compositions - top 30 composers split by Genre then Sub Genre
Composition all

Etc …

I use category view with separation by first letter so it shows a fanfold of Album Covers

The same views are then used in the DLNA remotes

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Hello Wintermute…

Thanks for this :slight_smile:
Maybe i could think of it by myself, but i have Qobuz connected since the beginning.
I switched it off, after your post and what can i say… thats doin some magic…
its still not click and play everytime, but its now in a range where any other software also behaves, this is really acceptable speed now from roon…

A little bit of a drawback, loosing Qobuz results, but 90% im listening to my own library anyway…


Does anyone know a reasonable way to share playlists between Roon and Plex?

What would be perfect is a full snychronisation function…

I have approx. 50 Playlists and the manual way of exporting from roon to xls and then transferring is possible, but a bit too sluggish (maybe im just lazy)

Recently there was some advertismeent from roon for Soundiiz. But i found that soundiiz cannot do this…

Soundiiz or TuneMyMusic sync between Tidal and all other services. Roon syncs with Qobuz and Tidal, Foobar2000 can handle all Spotify ID and copy and paste playlists, Plex can hopefully do the same for Tidal, it should work with the playlists without Excel. I found it but also very convenient to TuneMyMusic a list of 1000 tracks only as a text file from Foobar to pass and that then with few exceptions directly to the music service (and thus to Roon, Plex…) to find.

Yes, Thanks for that… TIDAL might be the missing link for me. I quit my TIDAL subscription a year ago in favor of qobuz… I dont want to reactivate just because of playlist, but you are right this is a way which should work…

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