"Roonify" your USB drive or NAS with the sonicTransporter

(Andrew Gillis) #41

Copying over the Roon database is a bit of a complex process at the moment. Contact me via email and I’ll help you with the transfer.

(Anders Vinberg) #42

@Danny @Mike Andrew is offering to help with copying the database, nice of him but this is not a scalable solution, and my server is behind a firewall. And going into the OS level is not right, that’s for geeks – and not because it is Linux, that’s not the right answer for Windows either.

So I would encourage you to make exporting and importing a library from one machine to another a first class function. I don’t think it is that rare. Ok, I’m doing it for the third time because I keep experimenting with computer configurations. But even normal people may want to copy their library to an office or vacation home location, or may want to upgrade their computer, or replace it after a failure.

As a first step, you could say “import the content normally, then import the old library in an advisory mode, where the old metadata adds to or optionally overwrites the existing one.” Or you could do the opposite, import the old library first, showing all the content missing, then add the new storage and let Roon match up the library metadata with the files in storage (as we know you can do, with the recent improvements in recognition) – this option is more robust, but constrains the workflow. We could continue tinkering with this, supporting various options. But one way or another, “export catalog” and “import catalog” are important functions, should be done at the Roon level and not the OS level. Consider them part of the metadata improvements.

(Danny Dulai) #43

We are going to do this with the upcoming backup/restore feature. This was meant to get into 1.2, but we needed more testing and didnt want to hold up the release of 1.2.

(Anders Vinberg) #44

Great. Can’t wait.

(Anders Vinberg) #45

@agillis Andrew: haven’t completed my network endpoint setup yet, but in the meantime, I tried plugging the Geek Pulse and the 818 into USB ports on the SonicTransporter. Neither shows up; both worked in the same configuration with the Windows-based NUC. Before I start troubleshooting, is there any limitation on USB audio output from the Transporter? Both Geek and Meridian distribute drivers for Windows, but I had been told (by you?) that this is not needed on Linux. Nor available…

(Andrew Gillis) #46

You can use any USB 2.0 audio spec compliant DAC with our microRendu or Sonicorbiter SE without drivers.

The sonictransporter is a server not a player and does not work with USB attached DACs. You need a player such as the microRendu or Sonicorbiter SE.

If you have direct questions please email me.

(Anders Vinberg) #47

Makes sense.

With the Windows NUC it is different, the Roon Server can also act as a player. With the new RAAT-based architecture, I guess it has a Roon Bridge on the same box and plays to it.

(Andrew Gillis) #48

You could get the sonicTransporter to work as a player but the sound quality would be low compared to a microRendu or Sonicorbiter SE.

You can try to use it as a player if you want but don’t expect great sound. The quality should be about the same as a NUC.

(Anders Vinberg) #49

No need, I was just curious.

(Anders Vinberg) #50

@danny, I know you can’t pre-announce schedules. But can you hint something?

Practically, I now have the SonicTransporter set up and it lacks the metadata cleanup I have done on the other machine. A lot of it.

If the database backup/restore function is reasonably close, i’ll just wait. If it is longer, I’ll take @agillis up on his offer to migrate over, in spite of my desire not to do special stuff. How long is “reasonably close”? A couple months, maybe.

And one other note: backup is easy, but for the restore operation you have to address the merge problem, if the restore target has updated content that is not in the backup.

  1. For entirely new content (albums and artists) that is not in the backup, leave it in place
  2. For existing content that has been updated, overwrite.

But if both have been updated, are you going to try to merge updates? Requires date stamps on every field, probably overkill. And in any case, such a merge may leave internal inconsistencies. So what are you going to do? Ask the user? That’s most powerful for a power user, but the least attractive for most mainstream users. I think the computer industry’s habit of asking the user is annoying. Think of what happens if you step into an elevator on the third floor and press button 3. Nothing happens, the elevator ignores the nonsensical request. It doesn’t beep. It doesn’t pop up a modal dialog that says “Invalid entry. Ok.”

Merge is tricky…

(Ronnie) #51

Surely Migration of the existing Roon Database has to be the easiest answer here…seems like looney tunes to waste the undoubted hours which have already been spent on grooming your existing library??

(Anders Vinberg) #52

Yes, but currently that involves OS-level operations: shut down Roon on one system, find the location of the Roon database, shut down Roon on the target system, find the location of the Roon database there, copy it across, and restart Roon.

I’ve done those operations on Windows, because I thought of Roon as a piece of software running on a general-purpose computer.

But now I’m trying to use the Roon SonicTransporter as a single-purpose device, and I never want to see the operating system. The vendor does not even mention the OS that it runs on, and does not provide any tools for doing OS operations. Sure, I can find ways to break in, but I don’t want to. And I don’t think Small Green Computers wants me to either, because then I may mess it up and then they have a support call.

It was the same with the Meridian Sooloos gear, never visible what OS they ran. In fact, I think some were Windows, some Linux.

I wrote in another thread, in answer to a question from @rbienstock :
The short answer, I have no idea. Ask @agillis.

Long answer: I have no idea on purpose. I don’t want to know anything about this being a computer. I don’t want to work with it at the level of Linux. To me, it is a single-function music server device, it has certain functions that are exposed in the control panel for the Roon server, and I don’t want to know about anything else.

I work with computers, but I don’t think there is a future in using general-purpose computers (Windows, MacOS, Linux) as home electronics. All that stuff has to be hidden. Like it is in your car, which has hundreds of computers.

I have a perfectly good Windows-based NUC. But being a general-purpose machine, it requires management. I have no problem with it, I know Windows, but I don’t want to do it. So I got the SonicTransporter to replace it, as an experiment in a trend that I believe in and that I want to encourage. I have no commercial interest in it, but I think it is the right thing and I want to see Small Green Computer and Sonore and the others succeed exactly because it is the right thing.

And I want to see Roon succeed because it is the right thing. And for the same reasons, I get worried when I see Roon get sucked too deep into arcane computerish stuff.__

(Andrew Gillis) #53

We will be happy to help you import your database. We will not longer need to do this once Roon provides a way to do it. But until then we can do it for you.

(Anders Vinberg) #54

Yes, I know, and I appreciate it.
I’ll be in touch.

(Ronnie) #55

Understood…but having done this on several occasions across several OS’s, this is about a 10 minute job to transfer about 8Gb to 20Gb [larger or smaller depending on your Library Size]…and I’m sure that Sonic can do the transfer [even remotely] in a small amount of time

To me, there is no substitute for having a Library that I KNOW is in the state where I last left it…the thought of having to even CHECK that everything is as it was, is off-putting to me…and against all the “user interventions” objections that you’ve raised several times recently…and it would be even more distressing if I thought I had to invest more time on Re-Grooming my library again!!


(Robert Bienstock) #56

@agillis, I’m trying to figure out how I would integrate a sonicTransporter into my current system. Right now, I’ve got a Sonnet Echo 15+ dock with two 2TB SSDs and a Blu-ray optical drive. It connects to a dedicated Mac Mini via Thunderbolt. I use the optical drive to rip disks to the internal drives (formatted in OSX Extended format) which is where my Roon library lives. Everything is super fast, and the only software running on the Mac right now is dB PowerAmp, DVD Audio Extractor, makeMKV and RoonServer. It would be nice to replace the Mac Mini with the SonicTransporter (or SonicTransporter AP) but I’m not sure how I’d integrate it. First, I assume that since the SonicTransporter is running Linux, that it can’t read any of my OSX formatted drives. Is that right? I could, I suppose, keep the Echo connected to my Mac and just point the SonicTransporter to it as a network share. Will that work, and, if yes, will it perform as well as what one would get from a directly connected (or internal) SSD drive? I have a gigabit network and all devices are using wired connections. Next, what CD ripping software us the SonicTransporter AP using? Is there any user interactivity in the ripping process? Do you get tools to work with metadata? If the AP had a Blu-ray drive and ran DVD Audio Extractor (or another program that can extract audio from DVD, DVD Audio and Blu-ray) and makeMKV (you need to make a backup copy in order to extract audio from Blu-ray disks), it would be ideal (product enhancement request).

But maybe I should just get the SonicTransporter and leave my media extraction to my general purpose machine. One thought I had was that I could keep using the Echo in the same way I do now and put all my music files on it. But I could connect an external drive formatted in whatever os works best and mirror my music folder on the Echo to those drives. That would save me the trouble of backing up my music data (which I do now). Thoughts?

(Andrew Gillis) #57

The sonicTransporter is designed to eliminate boxes in your music setup and make playback much simpler.

Typically you use the sonicTransporter to run Roon Server on and use a USB attached drive or a NAS. In your case I think the Echo can act as a NAS. So you would only need the sonicTransporter and the Echo. You would still use your MAC for CD ripping.

Another option is to attach a hard drive to the sonicTransporter with a mirror of your collection.

Or you could go with the sonicTransporter AP. This will greatly simplify the process as the AP will do all the ripping/storage/playback plus Roon Server. The sonicTransporter AP only rips CDs using our own ripping software.

You can do tagging from a computer over the network or use Bliss installed on the sonicTransporter AP.

You did not mention how you are getting the sound to your DAC. I would also recommend a microRendu or Sonicorbiter SE attached to your USB DAC.

(Robert Bienstock) #58

I’ve got a complicated setup that is cobbled together from several systems. In my main listening room, I’m using a Meridian Sooloos MS200 into a Lexicon MC-12HD. In my master bedroom, I’m using a sonicOrbiter SE into an Oppo HD-1. In all the other rooms, I’ve got a Squeezebox Touch into various PCM only DACs .

(Roger norden) #59

Has the backup/restore feature been incorporated yet, if not what build will it be in ?

(larry green) #60

I’m trying to understand how this all fits together. I just ordered a micro rendu but like the idea of the sonic transporter with the roon core. I have my music on a Synology NAS. I also have a standalone Schiit DAC. So I plug the sonic transporter via Ethernet to my hub. The micro rendu connects via usb to my DAC. I connect my NAS via Ethernet to the hub also. Now, I will be able to use my iPad with roonremote to play files from my NAS and my squeezebox app to play Spotify. Is this correct?