The future of Roon for non-streaming users?

I sure didn’t take it that way. I agree with @jim_f

Spotify is not lossless. I’d far prefer the course ahead stick with at a minimum CD quality 16 bit 44.1 lossless.

Thanks for engaging in this thread, Brian. Looking at this list of 1.8. features I’m still struggling to see how they improved my life compared to 1.7
I have asked in a spearate thread about what users think are the improvements on classical and I have really hoped for a Monty Python “What have the romans ever done for us” experience. But apart from the new focus I have got nothing. The new focus is a way forward, but the xperience is still patchy for me. Lot’s of hit and miss albums (especialla boxsets) that don’t show compositions at all, although the compositions were identified. This probably is a bug and wil be sorted out, although I did not get any response whethere a ticket was created after reporting it in the beta section 10 days ago and flagging support 5 days ago.

But aside from that individual thing that may be solved quickly once it’s been tackled. I really wonder what the improvements are that I and quite some other classical music users don’t see. I even see other users complaining about their 1.8. experience not getting better because you guys focused so much on classical with 1.8

I really want Roon to improve my classical experience, I really do. And I’m happy that Roon is the only tool I know that deals with the “composition” object unlike any other tool. But this was there since the very beginning and made me join the club in 2015.

What do I see with 1.8.

New Focus - a good idea that needs some tweaking (hope some of the bugs wil be sorted out). Do nout understand why it is presented vertically in some places and horizontally in others. Do not understand why you can focus on album release date but not on on composition date. Neither you can focus on Instrumentation. Does not look logically to me as a layman.
Focus across streaming/Non-streaming might be nice. Doesn’t improve the experience for non streamers, so I will non accept it in this thread :wink:

Boxsets. I think this is a big deal with local file people, since the big lables are throwing so much on the market. Focus has the potential to make the boxset experience better, but I don’t think the problem has been tackled in a way that most guys would have expected in 1.8. I need to test focus in more detail once the bug I described aboved is solved. Currently a big part of my boxsets is not navigatable using focus since the compositions are not in the focus list.

Composer/Performer problem. This was a big problem and I’ve seen you tackled this with 1.8… However, I’m not convinced yet it has been bettered. Again we’ll need to wait for the bugs being solved. With the old switch system I could easily identify the albums that wrongly had a performer or primary artist assignment for the composer. and I could correct those. With the new feature, well I don’t know… I had hoped for sections like “albums as composer” vs. “albums as performer” but that doesn not seem to be the way it’s been done. So for composer/conductors the experience is not there, yet. Need to wait and see how that develops.

Recommendations/Discovery. I don’t need those in the current state of things and I don’t think they are terribly useful for “novices”. I may be wrong there and Valence will improve with time. But it’s been there for quite some time already, hasn’t it? What I dislike is the top tracks section. Does not bring anything to the table and interferes with my navigation on mobile devices.

UI/UX. I think I see where you want to go with the new UI. You can’t argue about taste and there are things I like in the new UI and things I don’t, just as with 1.7 For my personal use case, however, the UX has degraded in some places. Indentation of compositions, new playing now display being shortened for the track title. No number of compositions on track overview. No extension of user-provided metadata to be incorporated. This in fact, would enhance my user experience big time. To be able to add things to some of the great structural elements Roon provides us with. Being it composer/artist biographies, album reviews, composition descriptions/metadata. Making Roon my Roon without changing its structure. Making 3rd party metadata the starting point, not the endpoint.

Again, I am open to others pointing out things to me that have been vastly improved for local library classical navigation and experience. I really want to understand them and use them. I’m repeating myself a lot lately, but I’m not getting much feedback, so I keep asking.


Streaming is where many audiophiles are gravitating to. Many probably have a reasonable collection of High Res audio files, but have changed to companies like TIDAL and Qobuz to cater for all there listening and exploration and discovery of new music.

This is where Roon Labs fills the niche sector.

This triangle of three companies are well placed. TIDAL has between 2-3m subscribers, Qobuz 200K subscribers in EU and 25-50K subscribers in US running a beta service.
Meanwhile Roon posts that they have 100K+ subscribers.

The big financial risk and viability to this is that the pricing of all three platforms have been quite high to maintain healthy margins with TIDAL £20 pm Qobuz used to be around £25 pm now reduced to £14.99 pm to compete with Amazon Music HD also priced at £14.99 pm

Spotify has 200m subscribers and Apple nearly 100m subscribers with Amazon at 40m subscribers.

Now that Amazon Music HD is a High Resolution upto 192/24 platform with around 70m tracks the gloves are off in the price competition.

So far TIDAL has resisted reducing there pricing for HiFi Master service. But likely will be forced to when there numbers refuse to grow, Qobuz may win more subscribers but can they remain afloat as they received a 10m Euro input by acquisition of larger holding company back in 2015 when they faced uncertain future.

Roon meanwhile has never dropped its prices but actually increased lifetime membership from $499.99 to $699.99 just when Amazon Music HD was launched!

They have stated they want to end the lifetime and have only subscription at $120 pa but the problem is if TIDAL or Qobuz goes out of service due to the price war of competition with number three top tier Amazon.

Roon could find it has no services to partner with. Amazon would refuse to play ball as they would never allow daily access to its servers as Qobuz and TIDAL does. Instead offering only standard API access which would not fit into the Roon concept of complete integration.

The real question is what is the future of the triangle niche group of companies and especially Roon Labs who are very vulnerable to a future buy out by companies like Amazon needing a UIX fix to compete with Apple and Spotify.

Perhaps the future for Roon is with Amazon, which would unquestionably put Roon into a very strong position with up to 40m + subscribers.

Some very interesting toughts here. There is always the risk of partners going out of business as this market becomes increasingly competitive. But there are also new players entering the game.

I’m just investigating Primephonic. Its a classical-only (which is my main focus) service, very nice catalog and an App thats well ahead of what Qobuz has. There is also HighResAudio and other smaller players. Companies like this could clearly be / become partners for Roon to look at to extend their offering.

A company like Roon could never “partner” with Amazon, or Spotify or any other of the giants. They would either just turn them away straight away or dictate to them the terms on which to do business.

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I have tried Primephonic for one month, cool service but it has such a small catalogue of music as to be embarrassing. Only 3m albums max. Classical only. I could only find around 50% of my existing Qobuz Classical collection and no Jazz or other genres.

While it is clear to me that the future of Roon and music listening in general is streaming, I still love the fact that I can combine downloaded music and streams in the same software.

To me, this is quite a severe problem:

So, currently I use streaming to discover new music, but once I want to own an album, I’ll buy it on Bandcamp or somewhere else. Having access to locally stored music is a crucial feature of Roon to me, and I can not imagine, that they will neglect this, as the OP feared.


yes. they’re just starting, so I would guess that catalog will grow. But you’re absolutely right, it will be classical only. But curated at that.


I have a large local library plus a Tidal subscription. If it weren’t for Roon Radio always going to Tidal first I doubt I would play more than a few hours a week from Tidal.

I have been collecting for 50 years, now I am retired I get a chance to listen my collection.

All that said , I haven’t found Roon wanting for local libraries, (4 years so far). Yes there are failings, what software is perfect, I honestly believe I could turn off tidal with no ill effects.

Investigate what Roon has to offer, I see you’ve been a user for a while.

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The real question is do we as audiophiles wait for small companies to perhaps work! Or perhaps one day add more music to there collections?

Or do we switch to use a successful large platform like Amazon Music HD that has 70m tracks in there collection with nearly 50m+ in CD quality and the largest so far 10m + in High Resolution upto flac 192/24. Where music is more permanent and removed every few weeks like some other streaming companies.

Oh and one more thing AMHD carries all of the same Music Videos as Apple Music not only for pop genres but classical. DG recordings of Berlin Philharmonic in full HD video with HD sound too.

The one thing AMHD needs is Roon front end.

Think of the benefits here. AMHD for 14.99 pm and Roon provided free because Amazon buys Roon and rebrands it as a delivery interface.

Compared to Paying 120 py for Roon, plus 20 pm for TIDAL and/or 15pm for Qobuz.

Which would you take ?

How do you link into your hifi system ?

I tried both Primephonic and IDAGIO. Both worked well but there was no means of piping the output to my streamer/headphone amp system other than AirPlay or a direct USB cable to my DAC/headphone amp. Indeed IDAGIO recommends the 3.5mm headphone jack, to the Aux input of your amp ? Hardly what we need ?

As an aside I did several comparisons of new releases , in a very high % Tidal had the same recordings. 95% or better.

Both services have “own content” , podcasts, interviews and the like.

Primephonic have recently started putting booklet PDF’s on their albums , very nice

IDAGIO when I tried it was not gapless is it know?

PS Amazon does not have a presence in South Africa, not even as a purchase site. Indeed I believe Africa. Add the same for Qobuz so we need to stick with Tidal. Both Primephonic and IDAGIO have a SA presence

All Apple Macs feeding direct to DACS and with Roon ready endpoints and for local devices as DAC portable into Chord Mojo etc iPhone or iPads all running Roon and acting as a endpoint.

AirPlay is used only for things which do not run Roon. AirPlay works well enough.

Qobuz also has PDFs and more of them than Primephonic and on other genres. That is one of the best features of Qobuz which is why I have and will continue to support Qobuz.

AMHD does not have any PDFs cd booklets nor textual information, which is why they would be perfect fit for Roon system.

I can’t see Roon staying as is should Amazon buy them , just a thought …

Clearly if Amazon or Apple were to make an acquisition of Roon it would likely be absorbed into the corporate eco system and would probably not be maintained as a individual service.

I would imagine all subscription customers be offered discount to move over and lifetime subscription customers made some kind of discount offer to compensate for loss of service.

But who knows how it would go.

There again it is equally possible that as well as the above happening that Roon as a separate product would still exist.

In other words to take the example of Amazon Music HD they could have a Roon exclusive version that ONLY supports AMHD and Roon as we know it today would continue to market a version that is premium and supports Qobuz, TIDAL and AMHD, etc.

I would prefer this approach

From feedback I have seen roon seem to have succeeded in surfacing Classical access and navigation features that will benefit a much larger group of more casual Classical listeners. I like to be able to access content in other genres I know little about as well so I get that. It would have been better though if the improvements were presented in a more balanced way rather than creating and disappointing expectations. A new generation of roon Classical listeners after all will end up grappling with the same old unaddressed issues as they gain more experience.

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I think many here would pay more if there was a clear path that the artist was getting the “more” vs going to the streamer company, the record label, etc.

I would love for Roon to support some of these alternatives that are more artist friendly.

Roon + Amazon path:


I have been exploring the new Roon Version. I must admit I am not into suggestions and new discoveries, new music etc. I play my music and hardly let myself be persuaded to try this or that.
I hardly do playlists. I am glad Roon makes its fans happy with these features, but I am not so amused.
I guess that perhaps one day I will embrace them after all (I mean the features, not the fans)

What I miss:

Looking for an artist you click on the artist’s name and get lots of albums.
First the library items and then the Qobuz ones
The older Roon versions put the library or Qobuz sign under the albums in the list, so that that you could quickly see what is what.
Now you can only find out library or Qobuz by clicking on the album and opening the three vertical dots. This is a minor thing of course, but is there a way/will to repair this.

I still find it strange that, when I ask for an artist, quite a lot of albums of this artist are not shown.
For instance. I click on Karajan. Not even half of the albums appear.
I click on Herbert von Karajan. A few albums more but by far not all of them.
Yet Roon says: All album search results of Herbert von Karajan. All??? No.

However, let me praise the Roon technicians.

Visually it is breathtakingly beautiful and lots of information on artists and composers etc. are there to be consulted (or not…)
Thanks a lot for all your efforts.


I was just put off a bit by the comments made by one of the Roon’s member in that thread. Regardless who was right or wrong, his message or the poor choice of words, didn’t help his point.

Really like Roon as I stated previously. Just a bit worry on how to proceed with my subscription, as I was planning to buy the “Lifetime Subscription”. I know that everything can change, and I also understand that “streaming” is the future. But that being said, I also have a large collection of FLACs music files, and that was one of the main reason I decided to do the Roon trail.


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You can turn on these markers under Settings/General/Customize album display.
Turned on icons:

Turned on album format:

Album format is always shown on the album page:

More likely than not, Tidal and Qoboz won’t be around in 5 years. Napster died, the iTunes music store died, and the streaming market is 80% owned by Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon and Google. Neither service even has over a 2% market share today.

At a certain point you have to have paying users to keep up with the overhead of providing a streaming service. Tidal has almost folded on a couple occasions since they began, and the additional investments both companies received are not going to get re-upped in the current environment.

The big boys won’t be buying either service. So while I respect Roon for giving the streaming services a role in the app, any functionality offered to one/either should have parity with local files. Statistically these services have little chance of long-term survival. Roon only has access to these services because they are NOT doing big numbers. If they were, they wouldn’t cede control of their product for marginal additional subscriptions. The same reason Spotify and the rest will never open up to Roon or anyone else.

I see the model as completely flawed in the long-run and if Tidal folded next week what would a lot of this Valence stuff do for users currently? Next to nothing. That’s the shame here: catering to fleeting use cases while not designing a data model that provides discovery and learning regardless of the content source.