Tidal Browsing and initial buffer in Roon really slow

Core Machine (Operating system/System info/Roon build number)

Running Roon Core on a Intel NUC7I3BNH, with build 1.7

Network Details (Including networking gear model/manufacturer and if on WiFi/Ethernet)

My place runs through a Ubiquiti EdgeRouter 6P with two switches connected to it, one of which also is an access point. All devices are connected via Cat6 or Cat5e cabling with exception of devices that use WiFi (tablet, phone, laptop).

Audio Devices (Specify what device you’re using and its connection type - USB/HDMI/etc.)

I will output audio using Roon on either my Desktop PC which is connected to my network via ethernet or from my Linn Majik DSM, also hardlined to the network

Description Of Issue

I’ve been seeing the browsing speed and performance of Tidal being REALLY slow when using Roon:

  • When initially launching the Roon UI, the initial page for Tidal takes 7-10s to load on my desktop, laptop or tablet
  • Browsing for an artist takes anywhere from 7-15s
  • When selecting a song to play, the initial buffer take 7-10s, once playing, I don’t experience any buffer or interruption though

If i use Tidal in it’s own native app or even when using through Linn’s Kazoo app, I never experience any browsing or performance issues. Also I don’t have any issues with browsing my own local collection that’s on my NAS.

I’m wondering if there is an additional configuration I am missing or if I need a better piece of hardware to running the Roon Core on …

Hi @Patrick_Siu,

In the past, we’ve found that this type of behavior often stems from networking difficulties. We’ve seen in prior reports that using Google DNS can help in these types of situations. Can you give Google DNS a try and let us know if that helps?

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Hi Dylan - thanks for getting back to me. I’ve already tried the Google DNS route and it maybe shaves off a second or two but without a timer, it feels the same to me. I’ve never had any network issues for any other product/service before, so would just like to understand what Roon is doing differently here.


Hi @Patrick_Siu,

Thanks for confirming that you’ve given Google DNS a try. As I mentioned previously, networking issues are often the cause of this type of behavior and, while integration in other apps might work okay, Roon’s integration with TIDAL is a bit different.

Does the slow playback occur for all endpoints besides the Linn? If you play to System Output of a remote or to a device connected to the Core via USB does the same slowness appear?

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This happens on any of my playback devices - my Linn, PC workstation or MBP. The browsing perf issues happens on any device i choose to browse with Roon.

Just to clarify, the perf issue i’m seeing isn’t necessarily about playback once the track has started, but rather the really slow initial loading after a song is selected or when searching/browsing for an artist or album. An easy example is selecting the “Tidal” option off the navigation bar under Browse, where that takes a good 10-15 s to load up. Searching for an artist can take at least 10s.

Once the track has loaded, playback is fine (no buffers), but the time it takes to get to that point is eye-watering compared to when I use Tidal standalone or Linn’s Kazoo app.

Hi @Patrick_Siu,

Thanks for the confirmation. Moving forward, I’d like to focus in on the network a bit closer since this is confirmed to be occurring for all endpoints and remotes.

What are the models of the switches here? Are they managed switches?

Would it be possible to connect the Core directly to the primary router via Ethernet, bypassing the switches entirely? It would be good to know if the behavior still exists in that configuration and would help to rule out several variables.

I hooked up the Core to my primary router directly and didn’t observe any differences in the performance. In terms of switches, I have a basic D-Link DGS-108 and then a Linksys WRT 1900 ACS in bridge mode to act as an access point and switch. Both of these are unmanaged.

Out of curiosity, should my performance using TIdal be impacted by the hardware the Core is running on? Or are those two things independent?

Hi @Patrick_Siu,

Yes, all playback and browsing in Roon is processed by the Core machine, so the performance of the Core machine can definitely impact things here.

Do you experience the same behavior if you use your Desktop PC as the Core?

I tried running the Core off my workstation and browsing and initial playback performance is definitely improved. It looks like the NUC I purchased isn’t able to handle the streaming, even though it’s listed as a “supported” device and even recommended given my physical library size …

@dylan it’s a bit deceiving that on the page outlining the supported hardware for ROCK doesn’t consider or even mention streaming from Tidal (or Qobuz), let alone the overall browsing performance. I’d recommend that someone updates that page to help others in the future when deciding on what hardware to purchase. Nonetheless, I really appreciate your help here debugging the issue. Time to go buy another NUC …

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Thanks for confirming that the PC worked for you.

Can you confirm how large your library is? What are the total number of tracks listed on the Overview screen?

When you moved to the PC did you move your entire library / restore a backup?

Is there any difference in how the PC and the NUC are connected to the network?

My physical library on my NAS is a bit over 200 albums although most of them are 24 bit. When I moved to the PC running the Core, I connected it to the NAS to pull the content there. And both the PC was on the same switch that the NUC was on.

Thanks, @Patrick_Siu.

I’m curious to know if you use a fresh database on the NUC temporarily if the same behavior occurs. Can you give that a try? Please see these steps:

  • Create a backup in Roon
  • Stop RoonServer from running in ROCK’s WebUI
  • Navigate to your Roon’s Database Location
  • Find the folder that says “RoonServer”
  • Rename the “RoonServer” folder to “RoonServer_old”
  • Restart the RoonServer in the WebUI to generate a new Roon database folder
  • Restore your database from a backup

@dylan - Took a try at this and didn’t see any changes in the performance … anything else I should try? Or should I go ahead and purchase some new hardware?

Thanks, @Patrick_Siu — One more thing I’d suggest trying is the same steps as above but this time do not restore your database at the end. Connect only TIDAL and add no local content. Does this work for you?

@dylan - there is a noticeable perf improvement when there is no local content added from my NAS. Curious to know how this might have an impact here? That said, the initial loading of the Tidal page is still very slow and periodic searches take much longer than others, so in some way the problem still persists.

Hi @Patrick_Siu,

There might be some compounding issues here.

With a fresh database and no local content, the database is going to be much smaller, which means less Core performance is needed to run quickly.

What’s interesting though is that there is still some noticeable slowness with TIDAL that you aren’t seeing with the Windows machine. With a completely fresh database, it’s unlikely that Core hardware performance is 100% (unless it was a significantly underpowered machine).

When you used Google DNS did you set this on ROCK or did you set this on your router?

Have you tried using a different Ethernet cable with your ROCK Core?

The Google DNS is set on the router - should it also be set on the ROCK as well? I’ve connected the Rock Core to different ports on the switch and also connected directly to the router with no noticeable differences.

Hi @Patrick_Siu,

You can set Google DNS on the Web UI when setting up a static IP. We typically only recommend this for those familiar and comfortable with setting static IPs, but if it’s something you’re able to do it might be worth giving it a try before looking into new hardware.

I have moved to running my Roon off a dedicated desktop tower running Ubuntu. Unfortunately, it looks like not all the issues got resolved by moving to new hardware:

  • Upon running Roon on any playback device, the Tidal page takes around 10 sec to load only to error out asking to check my network connection. I select the option to reload and then page loads instantly with no problems.

  • Search is a bit faster but periodically slows to 10-15 sec per search

  • I have configured the DNS on the Ubuntu tower to connect to the Google DNS and the results are still the same.

@dylan perhaps this error and setup alludes to something else wrong in my config?


Hi @Patrick_Siu,

Can you provide the specs of this new machine? How is it connected to the network? Any different than ROCK?

Since the same issue is occurring with a different machine, using a different OS, it looks like the common factor here is the network.