Stuttering, dropout

Bit of a Eureka moment there for me, Jim, thanks!

I think :slight_smile: !

Yes, I can now see how to move from one Audio Device (= Endpoint?) to another, playing and not playing.

But when I switch to certain of my zones, I see ‘Nothing Playing’.

Is that because I haven’t ever configured zones, and/or because zones are synonymous with devices - and I really do need to set up zones, even though I have everything in one room?

Secondly, does this way - internal to Roon - remove the need for me to control audio output by using macOS’ Sound > Output System Preferences?

I don’t know the answers to some of your questions. You need to go to Roon - Settings - Audio and enable any of your devices (zones) that you want to use. Basically, they are all the possible output devices that Roon is seeing, but each one needs to be enabled to be used as an output device.

Then, you can choose which device you want to play music to by clicking on the device in the lower right corner of the screen. You can play to multiple zones at the same time if you want to, but to play the same music to multiple zones, you would need to group them. That’s something I have never done.

You can control Roon from any connected device that has the Roon software or app installed. That includes a computer, iPhone, iPad, or Android device.

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You may not do - but you’ve moved me forward significantly. Thanks so much!

Yes, I have all devices enabled. But still not sure whether these are in ‘Zones’, or are themselves Zones.

For example, I now get the purple ‘star’ for all devices in my signal path - and can hear the difference :slight_smile:

What you directed also cuts out macOS’ Sound > Output System Preferences.

And - thanks to @David_Snyder’s advice, I’m not complicating things with SoundSource.

That makes me think I’m taking the shortest path from the FLAC files to my stereo system/headphones - which has to be what I want.


I would completely quit SoundSource when you’re using Roon. That works best in my situation, although “No Redirect” should, in theory, do the same thing.

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Each device is a zone. Normally, that would be an endpoint such as a receiver or some other device with speakers attached. For me, it an Oppo feeding a Bose system or a Raspberry Pi 4 feeding a Meridian Prime headphone amp, or another RPi4 feeding a Dragonfly Cobalt, etc. My Dell laptop also shows up as several different zones that I don’t totally understand the difference, but I never use any of them.

I don’t know what SoundSource is, but I would not use any other apps with Roon unless there is something about your system that requires that.

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Yes. You should not be using macOS Sound Output Preferences to manage Roon. You should use Roon directly. Roon covers the correct settings in some detail in the following links:

I recommend getting a nice cup of coffee/tea and taking the time to carefully study all three of these and then implementing these recommendations to the best of your ability in your system. You’ll be glad you did.

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The only time you should use either of these is if you, for some reason, want to play music out of the headphone back or built-in speakers on your iMac. Never use them for playing out to an external DAC. Instead, enable your Parasound, Behringer, and AudioQuest DACs as independent outputs that are under exclusive control by Roon.

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@Jim_F - I see. Do I have to do anything more than set each Device up by itself, given that all my devices, all my output goes to one room?

You need to enable any that you think you might want to use. For instance, I have a few different ways I can send music from my Roon Nucleus to Bose sound system. I can use Apple TV 4K, Oppo connected by ethernet, Oppo connected by HDMI, etc. So, each of these is a zone in Roon. I have enabled each of them and can choose whichever I want to use. Obviously, the Apple TV 4K is inferior so I rarely use it. I normally use the Oppo connected by ethernet option so I can view Roon on my TV screen. I can’t tell any difference in SQ when using the Oppo connected by ethernet vs HDMI.

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How kind of you to take so much trouble and spend so much time helping me!

Thanks so much… I believe I’m OK now - I haven’t had the stutter/dropout for hours. I hope (so to put it!) it was SoundSource that was causing that. Still find it a useful app, but can manage without it for Roon.

Any idea how SoundSource could be causing stutter/dropout… just its presence in the chain, do you think, David?

I have taken Roon out of SoundSource; and written to Chris at Rogue Amoeba for confirmation… if he knows Roon.

Thanks again. I’ve read through all those FAQ pages - and made myself notes against one day memory loss :slight_smile: !

Too late in the day for stimulants. But I’m already glad I have.

Now that I really understand these; and - thanks to @Jim_F - know how to switch between them, I can see yet another advantage to Roon. I’m still in trial. But moving closer still too subscribing.

And what a great community. Sunday solutions. I hope I can soon start paying back by contributing to help others. Thanks so much!

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Thanks, Jim!

As far as I can see, I currently have no actual zones defined as such.

Anything to be gained by at least defining one - and putting everything in it?

These are all zones. They are individual devices that I can choose to play music. If you have gone into Roon - Settings - Audio and enabled any devices, these are your zones.

I think you are confusing yourself and maybe thinking about grouping of zones. You can group like zones to play the same music to multiple zones simultaneously. You would only do that if you have end-points in other rooms of your house. I don’t.


Very likely, Jim; so thanks for making things plainer.

Yes, I have all devices enabled and configured - largely, as far as I can see, in accordance with advice here… Exclusive Mode etc.

I guess I’m a little confused that switching a device (= switching a zone) as you showed me, can result in ‘Nothing playing’ in the list of devices.

Normally, you would only play one album or track to one zone or device. You would want to see “Nothing playing” to all zones except the one you are listening to. As a matter of fact, you want to make sure nothng is playing to any other zones or you are unnecessarily using resources. When I finish listening, I make a point to ensure nothing is playing to any zones when I shut down my Roon control app. I don’t want my Nucleus streaming from Tidal or Qobuz to some zone I can’t hear all day or night.

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This is what I see:

Other zones are paused, which is good, isn’t it?

Maybe I can assume that it says, for instance, ‘Nothing Playing’ for/in Behringer because I haven’t so far switched there to output any track to it?

And that Roon remembers which music has been directed to which Devices?

(As you can see, still learning… :slight_smile: .)

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Yes, Roon will keep playing to a zone until/unless you pause that zone. Roon will remember where you paused it unless you click on Queue and clear it. You will only see the bars jumping up and down if Roon is playing to that zone. So, you only want to see the bars jumping up and down for the zone you are listening to. The other zones will show where you previously paused them or will show “Nothing playing” if you never played that zone or cleared the queue for that zone.

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Terrific! Thanks, Jim - all clear. Very much appreciated :slight_smile: .

I’ve been listening for about six hours now. Not a single drop out or stutter.

I’m beginning to see why Roon has the reputation it has.


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