Tidal Playback Issues on macOS

Roon Core Machine

Primary Core Machine #1: macOS Monterey 12.0.1/Roon 1.8 Build 831 - Mac mini 2014/2.6 Ghz Intel Core i5/8 GB RAM/500 GB SSD

Test Core Machine #2: macOS Big Sur 11.6/Roon 1.8 Build 831 - Mac mini 2018/3.0 Ghz Intel Core i5/64 GB RAM/500 GB SSD

Test Core Machine #3: Windows 10 Professional/Roon 1.8 Build 831 - HP Z2 Mini G3/3.4 GHz Intel Core i7/16 GB RAM/256 GB SSD

Networking Gear & Setup Details

All CAT6 ethernet connections: xfinity Cable Modem Apple Airport Extreme 802.11 ac (6th Generation)/tp-Link TL-SG105 unmanaged 5-port Gigabit switch/ethernet to computers.

Speedtest results on all computers typically about 300 Mps download/10 Mps upload 20ms latency.

Connected Audio Devices

KEF LS50 Wireless via USB, Optical and wired Ethernet / Audioengine DAC-1 USB / Airport Express A1264 wired Ethernet

Number of Tracks in Library

1700 Albums/24,000 Tracks – Local storage and Tidal HiFi Plus

Description of Issue

Playback Issues with both Mac computers #1 and #2:

When attempting to play an album using the big primary ‘Play now’ button, a long delay is typical. Sometimes get the “Tidal Media is loading slowly” message. After a long delay, plays the first 15-20 seconds of a track, then skips to next track on album. After one or two more tracks, playback freezes… “Playback was interrupted because a track failed to load”. A minute later, playback of the next track begins for a few seconds, then stops with “Tidal Media is loading slowly” message again.

Clicking on individual tracks, sometimes selecting ‘Play now’ from the dropdown works to play that track immediately, sometimes the track doesn’t play. Selecting ‘Play from here’ usually does not work.
This behavior occurs during playback of FLAC and MQA files from Tidal almost all the time. On rare occasion, playback works normally for an album or two, then the issues begin again.

There are never any playback issues (as described above) for albums and tracks from the local storage library on either Mac computer.

Search and Display Issues with both Mac computers #1 and #2:

Most of the time, issues with slow searching functions… search terms don’t autocomplete while typing in, if finished typing and hit enter, long waiting while Roon symbol pulses.

On artist pages, slow loading of OVERVIEW and DISCOGRAPHY tab contents.

On rare occasion, these search and display functions behave normally and reasonably quick.

None of these issues exist on the Windows computer #3:

Playback and search/display functions are always solid and fast, with no delays or degraded performance. Since all three computers are connected to the same 5-port switch via ethernet, I think this would rule out a network hardware problem.

Additional comments:

I’ve been using Roon for a couple of years on Mac mini 2018 (computer #2) with no issues on Build 814. Issues started on that machine with Build 831. I acquired the Mac mini 2014 (computer #1) as a dedicated Roon core, only have had Build 831 installed on that one.

Please let me know if you need any additional information, thanks!

I just tested changing the Tidal Streaming Quality Settings:

Normal – no issues

High – skipping tracks

HiFi – skipping tracks

Master – skipping tracks

Using the desktop Tidal App installed on the same computer, there are no issues playing back any tracks or albums at Master quality.

I’ve also noticed Roon takes a long time to load when I first start the program… the Roon icon pulses for over 60 seconds before it slowly starts to populate my home screen content.

Unfortunately that is not a real world test that the network is robust enough for Roon.
Roon is a lot more bandwidth intensive than either Tidal or Qobuz standalone apps.

With the test you did on streaming quality it does sound like a network problem I am afraid.

Do you have a VPN running? I noticed similar behavior to yours when I have a VPN running, which seems to be in conflict with Roon. As soon as I close the VPN Roon is snappy again.

Thanks for your response! I’m not sure if it’s a network problem… I regularly see speeds over 350 Mbps and latency under 20 ms on the Core computer. I also tried connecting via ethernet directly to the router, with no change in results. Also, 4k HDR video has no streaming issues over the same wired network. Do you think it might be a problem with my network settings? Both Mac minis are set up with Using DHCP to Configure IPv4 using DHCP and IPv6 automatically. MAC address is also set to configure automatically. Thanks again!

I don’t have any VPN running… thanks for looking and for your suggestion!

1 Like

Good morning! Has anyone from Roon Support been able to look at this issue yet? Please let me know, thanks!

Still waiting on a response from Roon support, I must have gotten lost in the que. I upgraded all core machines to Build 882, but Tidal keeps on skipping tracks on the Mac mini cores. I can play one track at a time at full Master resolution, including files up to 24/192. However, I have to change the streaming quality all the way down Normal (the lowest setting) for a whole album to play without skipping or freezing up.
Important to note that performance is solid all around on the Windows machine, connected to the same switch on my 100% hardwired network.
I’ve rebooted and reinstalled Roon on both Macs, also changed the DNS to for both. Please let me know what else can be done to resolve, thanks!

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