Trying to leave iTunes - music management alternative?

I am finding my system for managing and playing music too complicated. I have my library connected to a Mac mini so that I can manage the music using iTunes - playlists, ratings etc. It seems to me that thus far Roon is not the best place to be doing this. I’d like a solution like a NAS or Rock or something else that connects directly to my DAC/Amp but still lets me work with my files easily (like iTunes). Any ideas?

My suggestion would be a NUC Rock. Use an exterior drive (USB) local to the NUC to hold your music. The folder in which the music resides (Storage) is made public by ROCK and is accessible by your mini. Just mount it like any network drive via the Finder.

Any tagging/management app can do whatever heavy editing may be required on your library. Roon’s tag editing capabilities are not its strongest suit. Also, know that iTunes has better playlist creation features (nested playlists, more criteria metadata such as BPM, and smarter playlists in general), but its playlists can be imported into Roon.

As I re-rip and replace my MP3s, I will gradually transition away from iTunes entirely. In fact, I don’t think I’ve used it once since acquiring Roon. But a shrinking portion of my total library is still available, with the setup above, to both Roon and iTunes. [Having just written that, I will say that editing and accessing the same files with two different apps is not a real good plan.]

Best of luck to you.

Hi, do Roon and iTunes both reference the music stored on your USB drive attached to your Rock?

Gerald, Yes, I have two folders in Storage. Roon consists of new, hi res rips and FLAC files that aren’t compatible with iTunes. The second folder, aptly named iTunes, is actually the complete folder created by iTunes at inception. When I identify this as my iTunes library, iT will open, play, and edit as usual, and of course, it knows not of the Roon folder. When I crank up Roon (not at the same time), BOTH folders are enabled and Roon presents a consolidated library. For the iTunes folder, Roon ignores the extraneous stuff (Mobile Applications, Movies, Home Videos, etc) and reads the music files only. So far, knock on plastic, I have not created any database gremlins with this approach.

So again, for my iTunes library, I simply copied the ENTIRE iTunes folder from its old location (a NAS drive) to the new USB drive. Then holding the option key down when I start iTunes, it will ask which library I’d like to use, or create a new one. I point at the USB version, and I’m set.

I intend to eventually use iTunes just to populate my iOS gizmos.

@John_V cool, got it. That sounds like a very clever approach. I think I might adopt it as I’m tied into the Apple ecosystem, like yourself it seems - but not paticularly thrilled with the latest versions of iTunes.

On an aside, I have been using Plex a bit, in that it has an iOS app with a very nice appearance and it will play FLAC format audio.