UI Discussion, Is the Signal Path Indicator Light accurate enough?

Excuse the potentially silly question - I understand data, not audio…

With the signal path, is it accurate to distill it down to a single indicator? In business folks love dashboards. They love the sense of security of looking at it and seeing everything green (unless they’re colour blind in which case red and green have no meaning) and figuring “everything is ok. Carry on”. The problem is you’re aggregating things up to a higher level and losing the detail. So while something might be green overall it’s hiding 3 red things underneath because something skewed it.

In this case I look at my signal path indicator and it’s purple. I pat myself on the back and somehow enjoy my listening more, safe in the knowledge that everything is great. But it hides potential issues underneath. I get that with MP3 the argument is the lower the quality the closer to the source the worse your overall signal will be. But does the single indicator still hide areas where our system could be better. Enhanced is just that - it loses some detail that we would have had if we hadn’t enhanced it.

Any thoughts?

(You need a new thread for this.)

The colour coding of Roon is unambiguous. Nothing is hiding under the colour they use for lossless bit perfect transmission. By definition.

And on the other hand the lower quality and “enhanced” colours can be clicked on for full details. The colour gives you the information that the source and/or path is not bit perfect and that clicking on the dot will explain why.

Thanks. Not sure why I need another thread for it. It seemed related to the original question. And secondly I was trying to encourage discussion whereas your response seems to be “this is how it is. No discussion”. So it would be a pretty short thread.

As far as I can see, the signal path indicator on the play bar is not aggregated up to the highest level, but down to the lowest in the chain…

Isn’t this what you’re asking for?

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Thanks Geoff, you are correct - it is showing the lowest level (in terms of quality). My question was more a UX / philosophical question arising from @brian s response about trying to get people to have the best experience. In my case I have volume levelling and convolution filters. On a lossless source this changes it to “enhanced”. If I play an MP3 it still applies those things and shows “low quality”. Does that mean the filters and levelling have had no effect?

So it is more a question of distilling n things into 1 representation. Is there a better way of giving an expression of the feed? Should there be? It was a discussion.

Thanks for your response - it does make sense that it shows low quality. Not sure what my applying filters to low quality means in practice :slight_smile:

Hi @anon73739233

I split your discussion into its own thread. Why? Because you posted in a Feature Request thread where the discussion is supposed to be focused on the specific request. While that feature request may have triggered your discussion and may be related to it, your ideas and hoped for discussion of them are different than the specific Feature Request.

Having built executive dashboards, I completely understand the trade-offs made in data presentation to try and distill it all into quickly reviewed data points. I, too, agree that , the desire for quick look data points can potentially end up not having the desired results.

Taking your idea further, I would like it, if there was an “advanced” signal path view option, with an indicator light for Source, Processing and Output. There is plenty of room for 3 small dots instead of 1.

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I was thinking along the same lines there could be a selection of more or less detail depending on what you want or need to see. I think most people would want one light, but some may want to verify that the light is being honest. Or they might just be curious to see the man behind the curtain so to speak. Then when you are tweaking the path you can see more details as to the effect of your changes.

Maybe next to the color dot , a small icon indicating the source format such as hirez/cd/mp3 would help.

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That’s a fair point. These days we seem to like fancy gauges and charts when a simple number conveys the message more accurately. Have it a bit like an lcd screen where hires or mp3 or similar light up. Equally enhanced. So you have enhanced lossless, enhanced mp3 by virtue of 2 showing.

It would actually be quite useful (for me) to see what the tracks are in the track listing. So having 16/44.1 or similar in a column in the track listen.

Another question on the signal path - this time the dialog showing the signal path…

I turned off all DSP because I was playing MQA files to a renderer, and forgot to turn it back on. roon knows what my source is (file type, bit depth, sample rate) and it also knows what my endpoint is and its capabilities. It would be great under the signal path for roon to make suggestions to me of things I could try to improve my signal path. It would have reminded me that when I was listening to FLACs that I hadn’t turned back on the DSP.

I am also thinking of folks who trial roon. Download it. Install it. Connect it to a library or Tidal. Search for some music. Play it. Hmmm it’s a pretty neat version of Sonos. Or more likely install it on your laptop/desktop, play some music directly on your machine (single zone) and compare it as a media manager / player. Either favourably or unfavourably.

Make the signal path jump out at you. Make suggestions to what you could do (known source, known endpoint) to improve things. And let the user click on them to take them to the relevant parts of the UI so the trial user doesn’t have to learn the UI first to do it. Let them hear what roon does to their music… now compare that to your (insert generic multiroom system here) or your (insert generic audio player here)…

of course not… it never was meant to be the finality in truth; it was meant to be a distillation down to a single point of many steps of the signal path, each of which could be debated at length.

think of the light as “marketing”, think of the signal path popup to be the detailed truth. it was our way of not cluttering the ui, while still trying to explain what was going on.