Using Surface Pro - both as Core and Remote, or Not

Help! Wow am I having issues. Please someone tell me wtf is going on here. This is where I am at;

  1. I originally had roon core installed on a laptop running windows but with nothing else open except roon. I was using my Surface Pro 4 as the remote. I enabled DSP and things were fine until I selected a new track to play, an MQA track. The software froze. Nothing played. I shut down Roon several times and reopened it. To no avail. So…

  2. I figured maybe it would be best to install the core as well as the remote onto my Surface Pro 4. After doing this, I got thinsg working again. Until…

  3. The sound started skipping, I got a message saying Roon is having trouble downloading data or something. Ugghh… So I closed and reopened Roon. Problem temporarily solved. I start Steely Dan’s Aja. Things sound fantastic. I mean really good. Like the best I have ever heard this track. Until…

  4. The sound flattens out, loses its dyanmics, its timbre, sounds disjointed, ordinary again. …

  5. Question; Does DSP on interfere with MQA playback in any way?

  6. Separate Issue; Albums not showing up. I switched the settings to show all duplicates. Yet, when I select Rush as the artist, it shows me 10 albums as “MAIN ALBUMS.” Rush only has like 60 albums available on Tidal. Under TIDAL ALBUMS, no better. It says 33 albums available. Nowhere in these 33 albums is the MQA version OR the non MQA version of Moving Pictures, their most famous and popular release. The shitty MControl app I have on my iPhone that I was using to control my PSA DirectStream DAC did a better job of displaying artists albums. After searching and playing around, I finally am able to find the MQA album by selecting OTHER VERSIONS when I select the regular version which I somehow find.

  7. I cannot seem to make Roon forget I ever had a library on a USB attached hard drive three months ago.

  8. Why does Roon differentiate between MAIN ALBUMS (whatever the hell that is supposed to mean I have no idea), and ALL ALBUMS? And why do NEITHER of these categories show me ALL THE ALBUMS?

  9. Sound just stopped right in the middle of a track just now. Skipping again. No idea why. No idea what to do to fix it…

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Otherwise I just need a refund if my experience is going to be this aggravating.

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I’m using Roon 1.5 on an i5 Surface Pro quite happily. However, I’m not doing DSP, and am using the Surface dock for wired Ethernet connectivity. Where is your music stored, and what does your network configuration look like?

BTW, phones really are too small to be regularly used as Roon remotes - the tablet experience is much better.

Good luck!

Hello @Fredric_Hamburg,

Thanks for contacting support, I’d be happy to take a look over these issues with you. I will try and address them in the same format that you have posted them:

  1. Can you please expand on the method in which Roon froze here? Did Roon close completely or did the app just stop responding to any navigation/playing music? Are you able to open the Roon application at all since this occurred?

  2. Yes this seems like an acceptable solution as the Surface Pro 4 meets our minimum specs

  3. How is your surface pro connected to the internet? Via WiFi or do you have the Ethernet adapter?

  4. This could be caused by the internet connection dropping out, can you please let me know what your endpoint is here? (ex. The DAC you intend to have the analog signal come out from)

  5. DSP does not interfere with MQA in the common sense, the MQA decoding is done prior to applying DSP on the track, but DSP does require more processing power, can you please post a screenshot of your Signal Path while playing the MQA track? Please make sure that you are actually playing a track before posting the screenshot as I want to take a look at your Processing Speed to verify if it is suitable.

  6. I see that there are currently 39 Main Albums listed under Rush in Roon, not sure why you found only 10, but is it possible that those are from your local library and are not from TIDAL itself? It may have been because we group CD quality versions and MQA versions, it will show less albums than are available on TIDAL but all of the same content is there.

  7. Can you please access your Roon Settings -> Storage tab, there please click the 3-dot drop down menu that was previously linked to your USB storage and click “disable” or “remove”, disable to temporarily disable it if you plan on ever attaching it again

  8. Main Albums are albums from the artist you have added to your library. All albums are albums from the artist you have not added to your library.

  9. I would double check your internet connection and network setup to verify that you have a stable connection. Connecting the Surface via Ethernet will help minimize connection issues. I can also enable diagnostics mode on your account which will hopefully provide some more information on why the playback is randomly stopping. What this action will do is next time your Core is active, a set of logs will automatically be generated and uploaded to our servers. Can you please let me know the local time when you noticed the playback stop (ex. 3:50PM) and I can check to see if your Roon is reporting any failures at that time.


Hi Noris. Thanks for your reply. Here are my responses…

  1. It stopped playing music. I could navigate and select songs etc but Roon would not play them. After multiple attempts, Roon worked again.

  2. Good.

  3. SP4 is connected via wifi. I have a 5G and a non 5G network available. Initially was connected to non 5G. Later I connected to 5G and problems lessened, performance improved. I will stay with 5G wifi connection.

  4. PS Audio DirectStream DAC. Has always been a solid endpoint before.

  5. I have over 20 Rush albums in my library. But the extrenal HDD is not even attached to the network, nor to any PC. When I select all albums under Rush, why wouldn’t I just see ALL THE ALBUMS? Or, equally satisfying, Roon could present one category that is clearly just the albums ripped to my personal library, and another category that contains all the albums on Tidal? Or even a third category containing MQA albums by Rush (if any). How is this not occurring?

  6. Already disabled “Music Folder” (my usb attached storage).

  7. This could NOT be a more confusing and non-intuitive naming convention! OMG. Who came up with this? By “added” you mean actual files I have either ripped or downloaded to a NAS device, correct? Also, going back to the Rush album catalogue, under MAIN ALBUMS, again, it shows me only 10 albums. And under ALL ALBUMS, it shows only only 33, with NONE of the albums in the MAIN ALBUMS category appearing in the ALL ALBUMS category. And NOWHERE in either category can I find the MQA version of Moving Pictures. It is only when I select “Moving Pictures” from my MAIN ALBUMS category, that I must click on the VERSIONS tab in order to see if there are in fact, any other versions available, and in this case, there is, and that version is the MQA version, which I can select. This is frankly ridiculous. Not only do I have to search two sections to find the album I’m looking for, but even after I find it, I’m not sure if other versions are available unless I click the VERSIONS tab. I mean I’m no software engineer, but here’s an idea. Why not, when a user wants to see all the albums available to him by Rush, wouldn’t you just display ALL THE FREAKING ALBUMS AVAILABLE BY RUSH in one section, placing a little icon in the bottom right of the album cover to let the user know if that album is; a) ripped to his library, b) from Tidal or c) an MQA version??? And if that is too difficult, then at LEAST let him see ALL the albums available on Tidal when he selects ALL ALBUMS?? (MQA included).
    I want to make sure this how Roon is designed to work (working as intended). If I should be having a different experience, I would like to know. And, if it is working as intended, will there be a fix forthcoming to address what is just a terrible and confusing way to select content?

  8. Ok. And it would have been around 5pm Pacific Time that Roon stopped working yesterday 7/19.

Thank you Noris, for your detailed reply. I appreciate it. I hope my answers (and my rant) help to clarify the issues, and motivate you to design a better interface (if in fact, Roon is supposed to function as I am experiencing it).


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Hey @Fredric_Hamburg – Noris will be able to work with you on the other issues here, but with regards to the versions, I would suggest reading our documentation on how Roon handles multiple versions of the same album.

Many features in Roon are built around your library – Focus, Discover, Radio, and other aspects of Roon are built around the content in your library, so once you add content in your library you should have complete control over which version is the “primary”, and which versions are “secondary”, meaning they are a click away under the versions tab.

In general, Roon is focused on music, not files, so generally the app is going to present a group (Rush) that released an album (Moving Pictures), for which you have X number of versions (including one you consider “primary”), as opposed to just piling every version of every album on top of each other.

There are ways to disable some of this in your library, but read over the article I linked above and let us know if you’re still not getting what you want. Also, the information in this article gives you a little more background on how Roon is different from applications that simply manage files and tags.

Hopefully that helps, but if you have more questions, please post some screenshots and Noris and I can make sure we look into what’s frustrating you here.

Thanks for the feedback @Fredric_Hamburg!