Using iPhones as remote to play on Mac Mini

Hello. I’ve installed Roon as my “Core” on the Mac Mini that’s a central entertainment device, connected to my speakers. When I am home I’d like to use my iPhone as the remote though, so Mac as “headless”. I haven’t been able to find where to do this. Downloaded the Room app on iPhone, but it doesn’t show cleanly the playlists from Tidal or the music on my Mac Mini. I expected all of the music on my account to be available from all devices where I login as myself. Am I missing something in the UI?

Have you logged into Tidal through Roon? Not sure you will see the same playlists but Roon will have access to Tidal and include it with your local library for presentation on the Roon Remote screen.

Roon needs to know the location of the music on your Mini. Is it monitoring the file(s) with your music?

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Yes, inside Roon I am logged into Tidal. Hopefully I only need to do in the “Core”. In every other remote device, the library of all this consolidated music from the Core should be seamlessly available. Yes? Or did I misunderstand the pretty spiel on Roon’s home page?

Inside my remote app on iPhone, I expect to see easy access to all my Playlists. Including Tidal playlists, my own files from Music folders, etc – as they are on the Core. I expect not to login to Tidal on every single device, that’s not the point. It’s a remote. I’m not recreating my Core everywhere. Where can I see this in the iOS app? Instead, I see all the random Tidal playlists and genres – from Tidal in general, not my TIdal. I don’t need all this jazz from Roon at all. I have Tidal for all that.

All your Roon Remote devices will have the same consolidated music from the Roon Core as long as they are on the same internal network. I don’t think Roon has access to the playlists you created in Tidal. Maybe someone else will chime in with help on that issue.

The UI for phones is different than the UI on desktops, laptops, tablets and Ipads due to screen size. You get a much better remote presentation on a larger device.

I use the remote on my desktop and IPAD for most of my Roon activity but I can use my phone to pick zones and music.

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Roon already shows my Tidal playlists, but only on the Core machine. Without this feature, I really would find Roon pointless. (Even there, it loses basic features like Filtering songs for specific keywords.)

Anyway, thanks for the info. Even after reading the Knowledge Base, and now personally digging through the abysmally designed Remote app on iPhone, I think this is not ready for prime time. Much better to have Spotify and its stellar Spotify Connect, which also allows Local Files to be made available anywhere. No wonder they don’t see the point of partnering with Roon. Hopefully at least in the Tidal world Roon will work on a more user-friendly and sensible UI.

PS: there’s no need for confusing new jargon like “Zones”. It’s pretty simple: we set up a hub or core. That’s Device 1. We then have other devices like iPhone, iPad, etc, which we use as remotes. We can call these Device 2, 3, etc with a name. Any of these devices should:

  1. Show me in an easy UI, all the music thats set up on the Core. My playlists, searchable, easily playable.

  2. Allow me to choose WHERE to play. This is called in Roon world as “Output”, in all the pretty charts. But in actual UI, this is way too confusing.

Perhaps roon is not for you.

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The reference to zones is the many “Where to Play” setup configurations you can have. Roon refers to them as zones and I follow suit.

I have 6 zones in my house but 4 of them are component connections in my living room surround system. So I basically have 3 zone locations, Elac Z3 speaker system in the kitchen, PC/DAC in the bedroom, and whichever component connection I want to use in the Living room. I can play something different at each of the 3 locations, at the same time, or group them together to play the same music queue throughout house.

That is the wonderful thing about Roon for me, the ability to play music anywhere on my property that I can get my network connection too, house, patio, garage, shop, Pool (if I had one) etc., and control it with multiple different devices. That is in addition to the fantastic interface that presents me with all the music in my library and integrates Tidal and Qobuz so I have an endless selection of music with a couple of clicks or touches.

It is probably more impressive to folks, like me, that have little or no experience with streaming music. If you already have all that mentioned above then you probably don’t need Roon.


If I understand your objectives, I think you can get to where you want to go by patiently working through the “Storage” and “Services” settings.

Below is a snapshot of some of the playlists I access in Roon.
I took this snapshot on my MacBook Pro “controller”.
Note the different icons, which distinguish whether they are Tidal, iTunes, or Roon “shared” playlists.

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Thanks for the patient messages. I’m glad people find it helpful, given the myriad ways we can set up audio in our homes these days. I still believe Roon can be a focused music centralization and playing app, which at the moment its UI is definitely not. Confusing the whole thing with artists, albums, etc is…well, it’s not for me. Anyway, thanks everyone.