What I like about music via a PC and ROON in particular

A couple of my classical music loving friends have big problems with computers so doggedly stick to disks. I did persuade both to invest in a SONY player but they are ignored as a source of enjoying music.

Over the last few years I’ve assembled an insanely big library of over 35,ooo albums, with 85% being classical fare. The most frequent setting is for classical items played is to us the random selection of Shuffle. This uncovers many, many tracks of music I would be unlikely to play if it was only accessible via CD and ensures I’m exposed to a variety of works from different composers. And this has me enjoying and appreciating some modern works which I would (unreasonably) otherwise avoid. And the bonus is the audio quality via a good system (mainly Audio-gd fed from an Aurillac G1) into Focal Utopia headphones is generally superb, and very listenable even on 50+ year old recordings. And yes, there is quite a heap of hi-rez material but I fail to perceive it any better than standard 16/44. IMO the skill of the recording engineers is far more critical than big numbers associated with the (bloated sized) files.

About the only downside to PC music files is the lack of digital booklets with many but Roon does give notes and easy access to the net as compensation. And if one can be bothered (and I frequently have) Roon offers the opportunity to add one’s own notes in a PDF file and insert better cover graphics if bored with the standard offering. All that can be an absorbing hobby in itself!!

OK, Roon is not perfect and can be very frustrating at times as most PC programs can, but it has offered me a much better vehicle for musical enjoyment than I had in the days of snap, crackle and pop vinyl with all tis geometric arm and cartridge problems. Been there, experienced that and have not the slightest desire to return. And digital technology has improved significantly from its early harsh CD days with very acceptable financial savings bonus extras. Roll on Roon!!!


My own CD collection contains just over 200 CD’s. But even though I love dropping a disc into my Cambridge transport from time to time. It just doesn’t beat the ease of using a system like Roon.

Last year I have ripped my CD collection as uncompressed FLAC and copied them to my Roon Server where they integrate with my Qobuz and Tidal collections.

Something you just can’t do when using physical media.


I agree that roon is brilliant and so easy.
As you says, its got peculiarities. The tagging is a constant issue as roon tries to impose its own.
I just go with the flow now and sort it out.
I go for upscaling to dsd256 and its sublime.
I do have a good cd player that I used as a transport into my DAC. The player is packed away now and all discs ripped. Thats a lot of ripping. I always rip at highest quality.
MY vinyl is also done and I also have my best mates stuff as he has mine.
My Turntable inner voice keeps talking to me, telling me to set it up again.
I do like first analogue pressing from the golden era of recording quality. Sadly those days are long gone and quality has gone dramatically downhill with digital and endless streams(oops) of remasters and remixes.
I am a roon convert. It was so easy to set up, less than one minute, after a roon chap on youtube deciphered it all for me. Prior to that I couldn’t work out what roon was etc.
I use roon every day and will subscribe year on year as its so good.
Nothing is perfect, including us humans


Agree. Since I started using Roon (8mo ago) I find no use for my CD Player.

Turntable though is different, I still use it alot and buy Vinyls. On certain material it’s still on another league, if turntable, head, pre are good.


My vinyl went 27 yrs ago , my CD’s about 12

I have been 100% digital since , I have never been tempted to physical media since.


Use cd, vinyl and digital playback. I had stopped using all physical for some time but returned to it over the last 2 years or so and happy to have choice. One is not necessarily better than the other they all have their place. Bought more physical media in the last 22 months than at any other point in time. Filling my back catalogue with stuff I had only streamed previously. I no longer have a virtual library only use streaming services to discover new music and buy what I like either physically or digitally.


The only physical media I am still occasionally buying are BluRay movies such as the 4K UHD version of the Dune movie that was released in 2022.

Music purchases are all digital these days.

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I have also found Roon to be the perfect way to enjoy my classical and jazz collection (now almost 10,000 albums), and the superb integration with Tidal and Qobuz allows almost infinite choice. I am also a headphone listener, but primarily via a Smyth A16 Realiser (which can emulate a variety of speakers and rooms) into Sennheiser HD800 headphones. Currently listening to a Beecham 1957 mono performance of Symphonie Fantastique, upscaled into a concert hall environment with 11 virtual speakers. Definitely better than mono! For anyone interested in using normal headphones plus Roon MUSE to process old mono recordings into virtual concert hall stereo (an A16 is NOT required), check out Ambient Stereo from Mono - enhancing headphone listening for classical and jazz

As you say, many PC music files lack digital booklets, but I can recommend Archive.org as a fabulous source for older CD booklets, as well as the original LP booklets for recordings from the 1980s and before. DIscogs.com often has a good selection of original covers, back inserts and (some) booklet pages for rare classical and jazz CDs and LPs. It is also worth downloading PDFs of the original reviews from Gramophone and other magazines as a useful addition to the existing Roon reviews, and an inspiration for further listening to their “recommended” alternative performances.

This!!! :grinning::+1:

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