Thinking about canceling Roon and Tidal... can you help?

(Hank Spraggins) #84

Not at all, Miguel if done properly. Performance degradation is not a given — it’s a misstep in the design. Tidal does lossless music streaming today. And things will only get better with 5G and the like. Also, away from home does not necessary mean LTE or low bandwidth — it could be wired or high-end WiFi. It’s just not on my home network.

Room for file owners??
I get the whole “I own the music file” concept— I do— I feel the same way about my DVR and movie library on server via Plex. I just doubt if that’s the futurel. Case in point…

I remember a time when everyone said the same thing about DVDs and Blu-ray and Netflix and Apple came along and said “Streaming is the way to go.”

Does anyone complain about video quality via Netflix vs Blu-ray?? Who knows maybe they do. Haha. And does anyone complain about performance degradation via Apple or Netflix?? Doubt it. I know. Video is not audio but the premise is the same.

Anyway, we’ll see what the future brings but I’d imagine there’d be less people who own a large music library and more people who rent/subscribe to a large music library in the future. And… it’d be lossless / highest quality, too!

Still, even without that… performance degradation, file locking, synchronization, and all those elements are computer science stuff and can be addressed. I’m not talking from theory - I am a CompSci major so it’s possible to do without issue. Although, not knowing Roon’s design structure/architecture I could imagine it could require an entire re-write. Argh.

Anyway— I thought I read via this forum that mobile or away from home access was on the “roadmap”.


It is, and Roonlabs know how important this feature is, however, delivering a first class, scalable, implementation is a complex project.

And before people ask … Roon doesn’t disclose timescales.

(Hank Spraggins) #86

Lol. I wasn’t gonna ask when :smile:

(Miguel Barrio) #87

It’s not about that… I have a LOT of content that I own because it does not exist in streaming platforms (none). Many examples…

(Hank Spraggins) #88

I’m back… I have a little time left to decide… and I’m certain I’ll sign-up for Roon- just not sure about a year or a lifetime. I think a year and then in 1-2 months decide and roll the 10-11 months into a lifetime probably makes sense.

But, as I told someone else… I’ve been documenting my Roon Value Examination… it’s a way for me to document the most important features/uses for Roon and how well Roon meets those needs. Also, I’ve documented some Concerns with Roon over time…

Maybe this will help spur conversation or help others clarify something I’m missing…

Here goes…

* Legend
(1) - This feature will likely be a Roon differentiator for a long time... i.e., no competition is foreseen here (IMHO) - _Roon is the undisputed leader_
(2) - Competitors are likely to introduce a similar feature (again, IMHO)... thereby, I need to be careful in paying too much for this feature as it may be free/included one day soon


  • Playback control options including remote control and DSP (1) - headroom features; headphone filters, and remote control – using iPhone or iPad to decide what zone to use without having to physically touch the device

  • Colorful display (2) - beyond album art and other players… Roon’s artwork is beyond beautiful. It’s just something to stare at … and behold.

  • Discover and Music subgenres (Idk- maybe a ‘2’)- a track or an artist is tagged with multiple genres and subgenres … enabling me to discover/explore new music. It’s like a fun rabbit hole that helps me discover new music and have better musical enjoyment


  • Home network (1) - networking / plumbing / centralizing all my music into one place to be piped out to any endpoint. This isn’t the highest value for two reasons- first, with Airplay and Chromecasting and remote access tools I could do most of this myself – it’d be a pain and extra clicks but I could do it! :smiley: Second, since iOS has limited features (like no DSP access) it cripples me at times for enjoying stuff. I have to unlearn features when moving from computer or iPad to iPhone.

  • Watch / follow lyrics on screen as music plays (2)– bought $35 Chromecast to do that – had two AppleTVs – yes 2 AppleTVs that I really cannot use with Roon! cause I wanted to use them to watch lyrics… but watching lyrics on an AppleTV requires a bunch of clicks and screen mirroring… and praying to Jesus… and promising a firstborn… It’s sad to note that Amazon already has this on the same screen (computer, iPhone, iPad) whereas Roon does not have this built in-- it requires a “display” to use


  • Focus/ search (1)- showing funk from the 1980s that’s lossless quality and Sony is the label. // I guess I could do that in iTunes given the metadata but not in Tidal

  • Better view into Tidal (2)- I know Roon could continue to leapfrog Tidal’s UI but I’m certain Tidal engineers could look at Roon and copy the current UI features like better categorization of music genres… idk, it may not be Tidal’s focus, but UX is not a strong differentiator… see Snapchat/Instagram for an example :blush:

and finally…


  • Network drops - whereas Tidal and iTunes don’t have drops or performance degradation, Roon flags some form of degradation with Tidal often enough-- I’ve never had that happen in Tidal from the same house on the same network…
  • Mobile - Enough said about this but even a limited set of mobile features would be valuable
  • Hyperlinks - Tidal has even more hyperlinking to find music, e.g., Jimi Hendrick “Experience” album information on Tidal has Hyperlinks to more Jimi info. Check out the same content / album info on both and Tidal has more Hyperlinks
  • Airplay integration - Airplay 2 (e.g., have to use a workaround to play Homepods in stereo mode) and just everyday Airplay (e.g., as mentioned above cannot easily use an AppleTV to play lyrics)
  • Improved playlist synchronization - don’t like having to hear a song I like while in Roon and then going into another app to add it to a playlist-- and since my Roon playlists are not available remotely it doesn’t make sense to me to create Roon playlists // you mentioned you use Soundiiz but that should be integrated in Roon… oh well
  • Finally, regarding SQ… I honestly don’t hear a benefit in Roon. Sounds quality is as good as in Tidal or using lossless ALAC with other players (not iTunes)… and I’m fairly certain that Audirvana sounded a tad better, but who knows, right? My ears are my ears_

(Chris ) #89

Whilst I appreciate your evaluation and research as it helps you and others I find it so alien to the way I look at things.
Life has taught me that nothing is perfect and waiting for perfection wastes time and energy that could be applied elsewhere. So for me with Roon (along with most things in life) I followed my gut instinct; It’s great now (at the beginning) and it’s getting better. I get a good gut feeling about the people behind it and their motives. I’m in! Job done, deliberation over. What’s the worst that could happen? Can I deal with it? Answers, £500 and yes.

This doesn’t mean your approach is in any way wrong, it’s just different and I find these differences very interesting.

Edit, I’d probably buy a second hand car of you as I bet it’s been well looked after and researched…

(Mike) #90

Network drops should not be happening in Roon, there are reports that manually changing your networks DNS provider to or solves this issue.

(Hank Spraggins) #91

Yeah-- it’s a philosophical consideration. I can appreciate that it’s alien for you. It’s alien for me to pay a lifetime subscription without knowing if its worth it to me beyond 3-4 years… It’s not even so much the money-- it’s the stewardship over the money. So, I document what I think I’m getting and try to understand if I’m missing anything… To each his/her own… (to me) Roon is not like Tidal or Netflix. For me, Roon is like paying for Comcast/xfinity or Plex – I’m paying someone to help me access/organize the content I’ve already paid/paying for…

In my view, Tidal, Netflix are services-- they provide content. “Meta-services” OTOH, like Roon provide services to the services… and Roon and similar “meta-services” will likely always be a hesitant purchase for anyone beyond early adopters… And, for anyone in Roon marketing/sales or product development it may be insightful for them to understand that mind-view. That’s all.

(Hank Spraggins) #92

Re: network drops:

I haven’t read that but it may prove helpful. I have read that some have experienced network drops, and the problem abated (for a time) by restarting Roon on the Core… One poor fella reinstalled El Capitan on his Mac and then a few months later still had the issue. It recurred and his last post provided a network log but no resolution. Not sure how prevalent network drops are-- but my point was: it doesn’t happen on Tidal and all Roon is doing (from a user point of view-- “all Roon is doing…”) is playing a Tidal track.

I don’t know if it’s happened with my own local library. Maybe I could try to test that to isolate the scenario.

Oh well. I guess it’s not life threatening or anything.

(Chris ) #93

It is insightful and helpful to see all point of views here.

(Charles Peterson) #94

Just think of the cost of Roon as the cost of another piece of hardware in your system and it’s much more palatable that way esp the lifetime license.

(Hank Spraggins) #95

Hi @Charles_Peterson and @Chrislayeruk — I think it’s great for me— to learn other views and hopefully it’s good / great for others to hear my views. So— thanks!

And yeah, treating Roon like an audiophile grace cable or two HomePods or something like an asset is a good way of going at it. I’ll probably do the $119 and then transfer to a fulltime. It’s nice software— it’s just I don’t know really how they prioritize and as such I have no idea if the features being planned will be implemented.

I think one maybe should pay $500 and expect nothing to change. Otherwise, there could be disappointment. Again, I’m speaking from a later-adopter viewpoint.

When I was an early-adopter on things I didn’t mind paying (or over-paying)… but once I’m not part of the first group I become much more discerning. Idk. I’m crazy like that. Haha

(Daniel Beyer) #96

LOL, :smiley: Then you have probably not subscribed to online games which can have 200 to 400 dollar lifetime subs with no guarantee that they will survive the first year.

(GaryM) #97

Keep in mind that the lifetime memberships will not always be available. They could end at any time (and in my humble opinion, probably should.)

(Anders Vinberg) #98

An interesting story about meta-services: go back to the early ’90s, before the Internet. In the U.S. TV Guide had higher profits than all the TV networks together.

(Anders Vinberg) #99

I wrote up a “cost displacement” theory, which I find more practical and actionable than spdiscusding whether Roon is “worth it”:

And in that thread, I discussed the value of a well-made “meta-service” — it’s about enabling “serendipitous discovery”, which is clearly a value beyond providing the content itself:

(Music and Shawarma Lover) #100

I guess I’m starting something here, but two differences from most pieces of hardware: (1) you cannot resell a Roon license; if you go deaf and stop listening to music, you can sell your amps, speakers, and cables,but not Roon, and (2) the hardware will run indefinitely no matter the state of its manufacturer, but Roon would not be a good product if the service part stopped.

That is again not to say Roon isn’t worth it. I just don’t think that is an apt comparison.

(Hank Spraggins) #101

@AndersVinberg - I think the cost displacement theory is really cool and could help in decision-making… especially, when one has too many choices from which to choose. However, I had a hard time applying to Roon. Also, one of your going-in assumptions was curious. You wrote

Of course that depends on how good your system already is: if you have already achieved sonic Nirvana and have a huge music library, Roon becomes easy to justify.

My question to understand better: Why is Roon easy to justify if you have a great sound system and a huge library? Say for example, my headphone system alone cost five figures and it’s really good, and I have a huge library… but my library is not growing and I am not putting any more money in my audio system (hence nirvana). Does the principle still apply and why?

Just trying to understand better the principles you outlined as it applies to Roon. I get it for houses and other things where I have to live somewhere… but for hobbies I’m not so sure.

Finally, I can appreciate the “what does the metadata allow you to do…” idea but the metadata value in Roon is sometimes hit or miss. Well, maybe miss is a strong word- it’s inconsistent, maybe? IDK, I’m not trying to bash Roon. There are cases where Tidal has more metadata/tags than Roon. Again, my example is real. Jimi Hendrix. I can bop around his history more in Tidal than I can in Roon. You can see tags “missing” in Roon. (e.g., Smash Hits, Rising…)

I don’t want to seem like I’m unhappy with Roon or finding fault. Idk. Maybe I shouldn’t say anything.



(Hank Spraggins) #102

Although I must say Roon is downright beautiful, isn’t it? And, it does include Release Date and other date information that Tidal doesn’t initially display. It’s just the ability to bop around is questionable. Once I saw this error I began to wonder how Roon’s engine works and what else am I missing? Idk. Roon is downright pretty, though. Makes me happy looking at it. :smiley:

(GaryM) #103

I think of the Roon cost not as hardware or as software. Just as a momentary enjoyment. Compared to my Roon lifetime membership, I spent more on dinner last night with my wife and I taking out two other couples for a nice dinner, nice wine, and a good tip for the excellent jazz trio playing. I don’t do that every night of course. But it was an enjoyable experience. Likewise, Roon is an enjoyable experience. And I’m getting more than one night’s benefit (another 1.5 years or so and my lifetime will be equivalent to what I would have paid with yearly anyhow).

p.s. Previously I’ve reported that I also thought of Roon lifetime as similar to contribution to a kickstarter campaign. I wanted to support something that was doing something good and potentially very useful for me. I’ve done this for music documentaries (Doug Sahm…excellent and it was produced!) and other products.