Using Roon at Work (multiple Roon Core licenses)

Not a feature request, just thinking out-load about how I could use Roon at both home and at work (or on the road).

At home, I run Roon server on a Mac Mini + NAS holding my library (about 1.25 TB on disc).

I would love to run Roon at work, but (a) my MacBook doesn’t have a large enough disc to hold my library and (b) I don’t want to maintain two versions of my library on an external drive (nor do I want more than one “curated” version of my Roon library).

I’ve really gone all-in on TIDAL and Qobuz, to the point where I’ve added about 400 albums from these services to my library. And, yes, I’ve stopped buying physical/downloaded media.

What if I could go all the way? Roon Core could crawl my iTunes library and look for the matching version of every track on the available services, choosing the best available replacement for my local library. For now, let’s ignore the discussion about which version has better mastering, et al.

Then, Roon could make the streaming version “primary” and, optionally, remove the local iTunes version from Roon. Yes, there would be some misses for unidentified albums - but right now, my library has only 12 unidentified albums, which are all singles releases or bonus material from other albums.

Then, my Roon library would be based entirely on my streaming service catalogs. After that, it’s a simple matter of syncing playlists and metadata adjustments. Maybe this could accomplished via Dropbox? I know I am over-simplifying, but it seems doable with some caveats.

Now, I purchase a Roon Core license for each machine I want to play from and everything streams from the cloud, with the same metadata updates and playlists I’ve created.

Finally, in the stream-only model, it would be far easier to add Roon Core services to appliances, like Bluesound, with only a Dropbox account, along with your TIDAL/Qobuz accounts.

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@Krutsch here here on adding a solution for use at work and home. I too want just one external drive for a database and then take just that to work. Or even better, ability to mirror a an external drive to two and then have two systems running in sync. Personal metadata stored on the external drive also. Or something to that effect.

I’m still taking my laptop and external drive to work every day for the sole purpose of Roon. I raised it here but have made no ground on a solution. Good to see I’m not alone as i thought it would have been a common issue before I approached the forum and got crickets. Using Roon both at home and at work. Is it possible?

[Side note, a solution to this (dual locations) would also solve my issue at home where my roon is on the laptop in the study and can only connect to endpoints in bedroom/lounge via wifi or not at all. And sorry but wifi doesn’t cut it for sound quality. Mirrored multiple locations would allow a NUC at hard to reach locations.]

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This was my solution.
I used to update my hard drives at work and home with my own collection additions but it became a pain in the ass.
So I went through my entire personal library and matched each album to the equivalent Tidal album. Got about 90% on matches.
I then stopped syncing my own libraries and started just using Tidal exclusively.
It saves so much time and effort and everything is perfectly at sync when I log into my works core or home core. Best thing I did library wise.

I only have one Roon license so authorise and deauthorise each core as needed.

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I came close to doing this with Spotify, as their library coverage is quite good (and their user curated / up-voted playlists are easily the best in the industry and crush anything that is generated algorithmically).

Spotify even has a public API for accessing their services and I considered building a macOS app that would automate the process (the Spotify desktop app used to allow this, but doesn’t seem to anymore).

The advantage Roon has is that their UX has already encouraged users to correctly identify albums, so the matching aspect would be quite accurate.

I am afraid that Roon will be focused, instead, on remote access to user’s local libraries.

Absolutely. A few years ago I started talking about the requirements of mobile/multi-location Roon, and different storage size, and different bandwidths, and offline use, and all kinds of conflicting desires, and it became very complicated. But a while back, I suggested exactly this: stream-only playback with library sync and version matching.

We give up disconnected play, but for every year, connectivity becomes more ubiquitous, everybody relies on streaming services.

And we give up our favorite non-mainstream music that’s not at Tidal or Qobuz. Tough. That’s the advantage of your own, local Roon, but in the meantime the world is happily using streaming.

It’s about not making the perfect be the enemy of the good.

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I have to disagree on the merits of streaming. I’ve tried and been burnt by streaming. Roon is my solution to get away from the pain of long-term streaming.

I chased quality and moved from spotify to tidal but quickly became frustrated with tidal’s lack of coverage (only 75% of my main music) and also final quality (yet to beat quality of direct connection between my source and DAC). Furthermore, every time I move streaming provider (itunes rips> spotify>tidal) it’s a nightmare with the library - playlists messed up, track versions unavailable (release version matters greatly!). Most of my reasoning to take up Roon was to go local files to secure playlists and versions. I can’t see a matching solution for a transfer of streaming provider that doesn’t loose hundreds of hours of library curation.

Furthermore Tidal has a questionable longevity and qobuz isn’t available in my country.

I still use spotify for some playlists and discovery but that’s it.

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I know this thread is about trying to find a practical solution right now and I’m sure you already know but just in case others reading this thread aren’t aware, a mobile solution for Roon has been confirmed by Roon to be coming. No timeline but Roon have said it’s a major goal, so it’s a good bet it will be solved:

Just out of interest, what’s your source and DAC where you’re hearing a noticeable difference between Tidal and local drive files?

Is your Roon Core USB connected to your DAC?

Stop changing streaming services! :grin: Just kidding of course. Soundiiz is great (better than nothing) but missed a lot of things for me too.

I use a US Tidal account and found it’s library is bigger than Tidal AU for stuff I listen to. Could be an option to try out?

I’ve been using Qobuz for a while. You just need to use a VPN to initially setup the account, which is easy. Once you’ve setup the account, no VPN needed anymore for playback. Worth a try, especially with Roon integration now.

Yes, understood. I know they are working on a more complex version of what I am suggesting (my last line).

It was one of their major goals for “this year” in Mar '17.

So it means we’re much much closer hey :grin:

Innuos Zenith II as a core to two recent DACs (Naim Arom and Oppo 205) has been the best. USB from the Zenith for both. A Schiit Eitr between the Zenith and Atom.

The above better than Zenith as an endpoint connect to DACs same way.

Time and again direct connect to DAC is better for me with Roon. Even when i borrowed a Nucleus+ it was much better via hdmi to the Oppo 205 than any other way. And that was against Roon over network via both ethernet and wifi (through a switch with linear power supply).

I’d be keen to refresh my memory on tidal vs direct connect local files but just rejigged all my gear and could take a few days.

The tidal move was for quality but if i could only choose one streamer for life it would be spotify. To hell with quality if the file doesn’t even exist. But even spotify doesn’t have it all. Ppl say the first thing they grab when their house is burning are the photos. For me songs from my youth are just as important. Literally yesterday i bought another CD to rip as i remembered a song from way back and couldn’t find it on any streamers. Australia has a rich local scene from waaay back and a lot of it isn’t on any streamers as they’re not based here.

So really it’s 3 things that now have me running away from streaming:

  • limited libraries (for me)
  • hundreds of hours invested in ratings, playlists and organising (eventually thousands of hours)
  • (from my experience) dimished SQ

Enjoying the debate though. Clearly no easy solutions but good to hear how other ppl are managing it.

I hear ya. I’m exactly the same

I’m a lifetime Roon member and I’ve said it in other threads, if Spotify offered CD quality streaming (like they were actually testing with selected users a while ago) my day to day usage would significantly shift to using Spotify mostly.

Roon would still be valuable for me, for listening to my collection that isn’t available on streaming but the bulk of my day to day listening would be on Spotify as 90% of my stuff is on Spotify and their radio and playlists is killer (for my music interests).

No debates here. Just friendly discussion :wink:

I love trying to workout why things may be, but there’s a lot happening for me to have a guess as to why Tidal sounds so different to local drive files. Interesting problem though. Gotta be a reason/s.

Lots of great gear there.

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Only trouble with Spotify is they limit your library to 10,000 tracks.

If your matching against your own library this soon gets eaten up.

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Agreed @Wayne_Bull1, I hit my Spotify limit long ago… :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

Only today I learnt Tidal has a 10k album limit.

10k albums is a lot but I’ve been going bonkers for 2 years favouriting albums in Tidal.

Hopefully that limit gets doubled (or better) before I get close.

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This issue (and/or that Tidal playlist edits don’t get save to Tidal) is a problem for me. I sometimes restore a copy of Roon database and then use it at work, other times I just use Tidal, and sometimes I use Sonos and Tidal.

There are definitely features of Spotify I miss!

In the car or other traveling I use Tidal cached on my phone, about 6 Tidal playlists.

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All the services have plus points but none of them have everything unfortunately.

I do think the My Mix addition to Tidal works very well and is even better than Spotify Daily Mix.

Also creating a track or album station in Tidal is very good indeed.


Until Roon has a remote/mobile solution I use Plex to achieve this. Plex points to the same library as Roon, plays FLAC and now integrates Tidal so I see my Tidal favorites as well as my local files no matter where I am. Of course, I don’t have the full Roon experience but it’s good enough for now and a lot less hassle than syncing external drives etc.

I have not tried this… where in Tidal do you do this? Can you only pick one track as the seed?

Yes, just right click any track and click Go to track radio

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Ha! Since I am mostly in Roon, I hadn’t even tried that in Tidal.

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