Watching a folder across a network

My setup has Roon Server and my iTunes library on a headless Mac Mini. My main Roon controller is a MacBook Pro. I use the MBP to acquire new music, including HiRes music purchases from HDTracks. Copying these big files manually over WiFi to the Mac Mini (where Roon can see them) is a rather laborious (and failure-prone) process.

Suppose I just identify, to Roon, the HDTracks folder on my MBP.
So the server now would be watching a folder on my MBP labeled,
smb://[MyMacBook Pro]._smb._tcp.local/[my user account name]/Music/HDtracks

Will that work reliably across the network?
Or is it best to have all watched folders be local (on the same computer as Roon Server)?

Hi Tom,

It really depends on the performance and reliability of your WiFi installation, given your comment that coping files from MBP via WiFiis prone to error suggests your WiFi connection is not that stable.

Most agree that local storage is best, then wired LAN second to NAS is a (close?) second.
Connections via WiFi and Ethernet over power are best avoided where possible.

I will say that if you have a good wifi connection than having Roon watch a folder over a network is absolutely no problem. I have my music on a NAS upstairs and my Roonserver downstairs communicating via Wireless AC from a wireless bridge. When I add music to the NAS it shows up almost immediately in Roon.

What issues are you having over your wifi?

What issues are you having over your wifi?

Generally, my WiFi works fine.
However, a couple of times when I’ve tried to copy-paste a big file from my MacBookPro to my screen-shared Mac Mini, the operation has failed somewhere in mid-copy. If I mount the Mini on my MBP desktop then do a copy (with no screen-sharing), it seems to work more reliably. So the problem may just be associated with the screen-sharing (and not be with my WiFi per se).

Rather than using an smb url (smb://…) I’d recommend mounting the shared folder from your MBP on the Mac Mini, then add it as a local folder in Roon. I tested this a lot on a headless Mac Mini and local mounts tend to perform better than smb:// mounts in Roon (despite both being mounted via Samba).

Additionally I’d recommend an automounter such as this:

It will automount the mount on startup, unmount it when it’s not available, and remount it when it is (handy if you take your MacBook to work etc.)

The only downside is that it doesn’t mount drives in /Volumes (as Apple no longer allow 3rd party apps to do that) but in a custom location: /Users/USERNAME/Library/Containers/ Support/AutoMounter/Mounts/ - so you just point Roon to the mounted drive in there rather than /Volumes.

One further tweak I’ve found to help speed up Samba connections on a Mac is to create a text file called nsmb.conf in your Preferences folder - /Users/USERNAME/Library/Preferences - and type in:


It speeded up my Samba connections by more than 50%.