What is Roon - Just a marketing promise?
THE ULTIMATE MUSIC PLAYER FOR MUSIC FANatics no longer brings me joy.
I’ve been walking between frustration and fascination since August 2020. When everything works, Roon has the crown on, but before discovering old favorites is the safe scanning of the library. If the connection to the music services and involved devices is not stable, it’s game over.
Finding new music you like is no great feat for many music services today. Valence and/or Roon radio has remained a disappointment for me. I no longer expect Roon to learn my personal taste in music. Roon can stay in the genre. Roon knows the proximity of the artists to each other. Roon knows the popular tracks, but just not my taste, my mood or a radio function that is free of fast repetition.
Automatically diving into photos, bios, reviews, credits, lyrics, tour dates is possible for me at a very low level of fulfillment. This then looks great and is a joy to use. However, to ¾ I have to do it manually. Wikipedia and the internet offers much more than Roon. Tagging is a pain in Roon, so I continue to rely on MP3Tag, Foobar2000 or other programs. That gets the thought back to the roots. What is really helpful?
The connected music services (Qobuz/Tidal) soon have 90 million high resolution tracks. If you try to connect 2-3% of them to the library, you have nothing available in a performant way, because it simply does not respond acceptably and is overwhelmed. Certainly libraries in the range of 10,000 to 50,000 titles make more friends if logging into Tidal and/or Qobuz works out. Local inventories can take on a multiple of this size and remain performant longer. Unfortunately, those who succumb to the seduction of the music services still reach their limits far too quickly. However, this also happens without Roon in the apps of Qobuz, Tidal & Co. themselves.
In the current state of expansion, it is advisable to transfer as little as possible to the library and primarily choose the well-maintained local collections as a starting point. If you embed album images in OGG files, for example, you should not expect that these will be transferred in every case. Surely one may complain that the already embedded artist images will be unfortunately missing regardless of format.
Even with small collections with Tidal and Qobuz, the expectation should not arise that everything always runs flawlessly and smoothly. Disappointments are pre-programmed, but others can not do better! Do these providers promise less? Marketing always runs full-bodied!
Roon originated in the audiophile environment of local libraries, where it was strongly anchored in the niche. In the growing streaming market, it became more aligned with Tidal and Qobuz. This is understandable, because these two small providers also follow the philosophy to good sound and need niche partners who are committed to the best sound quality.
The connecting line Qobuz/Tidal - Roon - customer shows technical limits in the forum, which are not always provided with stable solutions. This is not only at the customer end, because there is a lively community that helps each other a lot.
The customer desire to expand the support is addressed, the implementation takes time. Therefore, much remains marketing (pipe dream) for affected customers.
Of course I would like to have ALL MY MUSIC, TOGETHER. A networked digital library with up-to-date and extended metadata creates friends. Roon is not yet able to do this, what stands conceptually convinces me. Full implementation in artist breadth will take years and even Tidal and Qobuz don’t deliver everything that is propagated in the glossy paper. Roon simply doesn’t have enough sources to fill all the gaps.
So I’m seriously considering whether I want to continue like this or need a longer break. This is not the end, because everything can improve. It’s a good thing I have until August to make my next annual decision. Some moods and attitudes hang on daily problems, which can already be brought to a solution in a new week.
…and despite all day problems I love Roon, because I recognize what is wanted.
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