Using Roon Radio for music discovery

For me, integration of Roon has been a significant improvement to both the listening experience and the user interaction experience.

After reading a number of posts critical of Radio, Qobuz, and Tidal, I thought I’d write a blog article about how I use the 3 to discover new music, build my online libraries, and track disks for purchase. You’re invited to read Music Discovery in the 21st Century.

This article describes my journey through online streaming, how I arrived at Roon, and how I learned to use Roon to broaden my listening horizon and identify music for purchase.

Before Roon and Roon Radio, I’d look up an artist or album at the Apple Music Store, preview it in iTunes, and make a purchase decision. The record went onto an Amazon wish list for eventual purchase. With Roon 1.6 the entire process now takes place in Roon.

Sadly, Roon’s marketing material at the Roon Labs website is shallow so, before my blog article, you had to figure out the process described in my blog on your own. Not everybody has done so.

I think of Roon as another component in my Hi Fi that lets me use my existing high-end components as if they were a BlueSound distributed system. This is a significant value to me as I have significant collectable equipment (GAS Ampzilla, Dhalquist DQ-10s) from the 70’s plus modern value high end equipment (Parasound P5 and Schiit Gumby) that do an excellent job of recreating a club jazz performance in my lounge.


Very nice writeup! As a fellow jazz fan who also likes to send his money to the younger generation of musicians, I’ve also used the Roon Radio + Qobuz combination for finding new music, but I also use a few additional sources because some of the smallest jazz labels do not appear on Qobuz:

And here are a few recent finds from very active musicians, on small recording labels, wide range of styles from straight-ahead to free; italicized can also be found on Qobuz:

Nice article; nice silver dog :).

The article reminded me that I need to “wander in the wilderness” more often. Just take in new artists and sounds.

When I first took up music, “sampling” music was difficult. Other than am/fm radio, which traditionally broadcast just the top 40 or so, sampling involved a trip to the – dare I say it – RECORD store, flipping through the LPs and 45s, going into the sound booth, and playing cuts until the manager tapped on the glass.

Then came tapes and CDs, which were sealed up tighter than [fill in analogy here], and sampling was limited to whatever the store had for background music. Yeah, you could read Rolling Stone and such, but much of that prose was dedicated to generating buzz.

Today, streaming is an embarrassment of riches. One can listen for weeks and not hear a repeat track or even the same artist. And, to my ear, most of the stuff in the more “pleasant” genres is of very high quality.

It’s a good time to be alive.

PS: thanks for sharing the screenshots. I had forgotten about Fred Hersch.

Once a quarter, I go to all the local music venues and see what is upcoming. I use that to inform music discovery. Additional bonus, if I like the artist I can see them in concert. :smiley:

Good article, and its nice to explain to new users how Roon can help musical exploration. I think there is room for a ‘version 2’. Some aspects of the Roon Discovery experience that have been very productive for me:

  1. Hyperlink jumping. So Maceo Parker’s ‘Pass the Peas’ in a Qobuz playlist leads me to find his bio, and many, many other musician’s he’s played with. Hitting any of those hyperlinks takes me to their music and new tracks, or even new genres. One of my favorite new albums is in a very different genre that Maceo played sax on.
  2. Similar to 1, clicking on the credits tab lists producers, musicians and more. All hyper linked. So, ‘who was the drummer on this album, who has she played with before, she does other styles of music too?’.
  3. Some songs, especially classics have been performed by other musicians. Roon highlights how many other versions of the song are in the Tidal or Qobuz database. If you click on those icons listed with the track you’ll get all the other versions. It can be an interesting way to see how others have interpreted that song. I’ve found a few tracks where I preferred the alternate non-original musician.
    I’m sure there are lots of other avenues I have found yet, and I’d love to hear how others have done it differently.
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Link following from Qobuz-sourced Radio tracks is flooding my queue.

You’re absolutely right, Scott. The about the work and about the artist information are very helpful including the follows these artists and influenced by these artists. Also helpful, the concerts near me info.

That is a good second article, Using Roon A&R data for something. I’m not ready to write that one at the moment.

It would be good if we had a place in the forums to collect these longer essays about how Roon may be used. I’m CC share with attribution licensing the stuff on my blog but that leaves it to the Duck and Google to be found. We really need a Wiki section to the forum, maybe curated by Roon staff to collect this material where the user community can find it.