Two machines each with a separate Roon license, with one NAS Syncing playlists etc

I’m running Roon on two machines, each with a separate license. They are both attached to the same NAS file storage and they are both connected to Tidal. I’m interested in ensuring that both have the same playlists. Can I copy the Roon database from one machine to the other? Is there another way to export/import Roon playlists? My only other choice is to create playlists on another music server software like JRiver and copy that over which is very cumbersome. Eventually it might just make sense to move back to JR given that it’s far more flexible in creation and sharing of those critical playliasts we spend hours creating. Especially if someone comes up with a Roon lookalike presentation. The same logic holds for song ratings which, together with genre which you do so well, are as well critical to assembling music playlists. Maybe this belongs on the wishlist for the next version but this topic caught my eye.
Thanks… and Roon is the best system out there …

Why two licenses looking at the same NAS? That does not seem necessary.

If you really want to do it then these instructions should work fine.

Not sure what use case would see Roon with two licenses looking at the same NAS. Remember that one Core can handle multiple Queues simultaneously and you can have as many Roon Bridge or Roon Ready outputs as desired under the one licence.

Having said that, there is no convenient way to keep two Cores synchronised at the moment. In theory you could copy the database over the other Core after closing either Core, but in practice that kind of arrangement can readily result in coorruption of the database requiring reversion to a backup or resulting in loss of data.

I’m simply setting up a second system to eventually move to my other home which will have a duplicate NAS source. From time to time I synchronize the music in each as I add music. When I do, I would like to synchronize Roon playlists at the same time. Using something like JRiver, smart playlists can use genre and rating to stay current as new music is added. All that’s needed is synching files from one location to another. Alternatively, the playlist in m3u format can be used. In Roon, I create a playlist of say great jazz or music to use to demo new equipment or whatever but the way Roon works now, that playlist is unique to that instance of Roon. I have music systems in three locations. With JR they are easily synchronized consistently across each. The Roon interface is compelling but I want music to play and I don’t want to sit at the iPad to make it happen in the sequence and combination I’m interested at that time…great jazz, seductive classical, sexy sultry female voices, Hendrix and Stevie Ray like. Musicophilia…it’s all about the mood. We can’t just play anything!
Thanks for thinking about it with me.

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And BTW this is on some really great sounding digital based gear so it makes a difference. Roon is a big part of making that sound quality happen.

OK. This makes total sense and is similar to my own use case. I have copies of the same library at home as well as at the store and I periodically sync them up. You’ll need to be careful in how you do it, but it’s totally doable.

First off, you don’t need two licenses as one would assume that you won’t be actively using Roon in two separate homes. In fact, I’m not sure if the method I’m going to describe will work with two licenses (or activations) as the database is tied to the activation. When I tried this process using two licenses Roon wanted to re-import everything (with a total loss of edits) on the second machine.

  1. Setup Roon on Core A (for house A) and get everything the way you want it.
  2. Shut down Roon on Core A and backup the database.
  3. Transfer the database to Core B and start Roon. You will be prompted to deauthorize the activation on Core A. Go ahead and do that.
  4. You should now have a fully functional copy of everything you saw on Core A on Core B. Core A will be non-functional at this point.
  5. Create your duplicate NAS and make sure that the share names are all the same. Don’t point Core B at this NAS yet!
  6. Move Core B and NAS B to House B. Rename NAS B so that it has the same name as NAS A. This way when Roon fires up it will see all of your music on the same path (the NAS name is part of the path)
  7. Light up Roon on Core B and enjoy.

When you move back to house A then Shutdown Roon on Core B and make a backup of the Roon database on Core B. If you’ve added any music to NAS B then be sure to bring a copy of those files with you.

When you’re back at house A then:

  1. Add any new music files to NAS A at the same path that they was used at NAS B.
  2. Replace the database on Core A with the backup that you brought from Core B
  3. Fire up Roon on Core A and enjoy. It will be exactly as you left it when you departed House B.

I’ve done this process myself and it works very well. You want to keep the music folder structure the same between homes, but even if you don’t Roon should sort it out.

Syncing between multiple homes is something we’ve discussed forever, and is a feature we’d like to do in a truly first class way at some point – it’s on our roadmap, but I don’t have any firm timelines for when that might happen.

For now, backing up and restoring databases between two locations should work, and that is something we’re hoping to make a little easier soon :wink:

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Thanks for the meticulous detail Andrew. I’ll try it. I also like Mike’s subsequent post that the folks at Roon are looking to make this process a little easier or maybe use a Dropbox approach. I know Roon is expensive but I don’t mind two licenses if the functionality comes along with them. Sometimes both houses are playing music - the 20 something kids tend to arrive when we leave - and although they’re not audio tech savvy, picking up the iPad with the Roon interface in the audio room is as natural to them as using an iPhone so the party just happens. Roon appears to me to be one of those thoughtful products that adapts to life rather than requiring the opposite. I’ll keep pushing for a little more innovation!
Again thanks for the thoughts.

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FYI, I did exactly what you are looking to do, except that I never had both systems running at the same time. Basically what I did was to simply create a total clone of my existing system (database and music library), change the activation on the second system and that gave me basically two identical systems each in a different location with separate licenses. Then I use GoodSync to keep the music libraries of both systems synchronized. When I set that up there was still a possibility that the two systems could be different because albums might be recognized differently in each system. To solve that, I have one rule, which is that I only edit data on one system. Because you can’t backup or overwrite the Roon database while it is running, I have been using various techniqhes to manually shut down both systems and then manually copy the database from the machine with the edits to the one without. My next step is to automate this process in GoodSync. My final goal would be to enable the database syncing to be completely automatic and bi-directional. Thanks @mike for the heads up that this could get easier.

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The methods outlined by @AMP and @rbienstock are helpful workarounds where there is a single licence being swapped between two Cores, but I am concerned but they may not be suitable where there are multiple licences.

The reason is because each database has a unique identifier. That doesn’t matter when there is a single licence and different Cores are being authorised without simultaneous use. I don’t know, however, if it will create issues where there are two licences for separate Cores that might be used simultaneously.

Let’s drop a flag for @brian or @mike to let us know before Jim strikes an issue in that regard.

I have separate licenses on each core, but I haven’t tried syncing the databases yet, which is probably why it worked.

I also use GoodSync to be sure the music files are identical in each NAS and I set the reference drive to be the same. So when I set the storage device in each Roon instance, it’s looking for the same drive - m:\ music hd - for example. If I had a playlist download synced from one server to the other, the references would be identical. The great thing about Roon is adding tidal tracks to the playlist whereas with JR it’s limited to the owned music library. I suspect the only real solution is a Roon download or other way of syncing playlists. The Dropbox option has potential but i suspect the rule of identical drive reference has to be in place.

There’s no real connection between how many license “slots” you have on your account, and the database identifiers. You can move a single license back and forth between multiple installs, regardless of the database ID. If you have multiple licenses, you can run the same database in multiple locations at once.

To be clear, I think what you’re all looking for here is what I referred to above as “handling this in a truly first class way”, meaning that you can freely edit and sync across multiple locations. That’s a big piece of work on our roadmap, but it’s not something I can really give any timeline on.

For the moment, you’ll still want to designate a single location as the “master”, and our forthcoming backup feature should make it easier to run those backups on a set schedule. Restoring them to other locations will still be a bit tricky, as you’ll have to restore them manually and ensure your storage is setup properly at the “slave” locations.

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Lesson Number One: Always Check the Support KDB First! :sunglasses:

I know this thread is old, but it appears to have answered this question. I just want to be sure before I proceed…

I just sent in a request to Roon on the “Contact” page asking something similar, although my request involved being charged first for an Annual License and not having that credited when I purchased a Lifetime License.

In my case, I have two homes. I’ll never be both places at once, so the license will never be used on more than one machine (or IP/MAC address) at the same time. I haven’t dug into the EULA, but what I’m reading here is that installation of ROCK on more than one Intel NUC, even though they will be in different locations on different networks, is permitted.

Is that correct?

I already have the music/NAS sync down via Synology’s built-in tools, although I will take a look at Goodsync since it’s mentioned a few times here in this thread.

But my bottom line is whether I need to purchase a second license for my second home. I need to know ASAP, as I am flying there tonight with a shiny new NUC in my backpack!

TIA for any help!

As long as you transfer the license and only use one at a time this is a supported use.

You will need internet at 2nd location to activate core license if activated at that location.


“a feature we’d like to do in a truly first class way at some point”

Yes please.

I’m about to set up a system in a second home in another country. I’m thinking to copy the NAS contents on a 5TB disk and just use that (back and forth), but it makes it a pain to sync the 2 systems. I need a way just to add the incremental changes to the 5TB drive, otherwise it will take forever. The changes/additions will mainly take place on the NAS which is feeding my main system.