What is Roon? My thoughts

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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Another view


Roon, Tidal, and Qobuz provide everything I want and need in a music system. I am a little annoyed that after 2 1/2 years of flawless listening, I have recently started having a few issues with Roon and Nucleus.


Even for a fee, I couldn’t have written it that well. :rofl:

…and I still have plenty of opportunity to read further reflections here.


I’m waiting for the day that the Roon team finally gives in and incorporates crowd sourcing of metadata. Qobuz and Tidal provide less and less useful metadata with each new release and this a big problem for Roon going forward. Allowing Roon users to share their metadata with other Roon users would go a long way in improving the Roon user experience.

When Roon works as marketed, and it very often does work as advertised, it can be a very enriching and rewarding listening experience. When Roon falls short of that lofty goal it becomes just another music player, no better or worse than all the other players including the native Qobuz and Tidal apps.

That’s the software side of Roon but on the hardware side of things nothing even comes close to Roon. Roon easily manages multiple endpoints, whether they be Roon Ready, RAAT, Squeezebox, AirPlay, ChromeCast, etc. Roon also excels at managing local music libraries spend across multiple drives.

While the software side of Roon is work in progress, the hardware side truly shines and taken together they make Roon worthwhile.


I don’t know why I would want to add 3 million albums to my library


I wouldn’t even know until when it could be done manually. 3 million albums would be 3 million clicks and between 30 and 60 million tracks.

However, Roon’s advertising claims are attractive especially for music addicts who want to dig through large inventories.

1 Like

The advertising is “the ultimate music player for music fanatics”, not “a big data miner for music”


I have a different perspective. Do any of the competing streaming services get me? Not really. Does Roon? Better than any streaming service individually. Roon Radio & The Daily Mixes are fantastic. For me.

Does Audirvana get me? 0%. In my opinion it is a very competent music player with questionable UI for me.

For me it comes down to the intangibles. Roon is the only streaming music player that doesn’t treat music like a commodity. Everyone else says here is a pile of stuff, Enjoy! I love the curation and the UI. I love the music suggestions. I love the music discovery. I appreciate the subtle tuning one can do with DSPs. It often feels like Roon was tailored for how I want to discover and listen to music.

That is my two cents worth.


I’d be happy with links to the Wikipedia pages, these days.



Roon offers a very unique platform for streaming, content aggregation and DSP. I don’t know of any other Music streaming platform which delivers a full suite of DSP functions, multichannel audio DSP and user experience.

Sure it’s not perfect, but show me a player that provides similar functionality and performance, with multichannel audio support, music discovery engine and a full DSP engine.

I will confess it’s frustrating that some updates introduce issues, but my understanding is Roon are trying to address these short comings via smaller and more regular updates.

I particularly appreciate the latest GUI updates to the DSP engine, which has improved tablet control of the DSP engine. The scaling issues also seem to be addressed.

Roon are trying… but I suspect they operate a very small team.
I suspect more randomised focus group testing would help solve many issues with updates. Additionally greater forum participation & communication would also go a long way.

My only other big wish, is streaming integration with a larger music service.
I currently use Qobuz, I won’t touch Tidal…so an additional CD quality streaming platform would be amazing, as Qobuz does lack Electronic titles.

I’m just happy Roon exists. For me it ticks alot of boxes.

  • Streaming control platform
  • Music Discovery solution
  • Speaker crossover
  • DSP room correction engine
  • Song/playlist manager
  • Supported by community and updates
  • Hopefully Roon server will come to arm soon…

In user acceptance testing, these are mutually incompatible. The bigger the group you use for testing the bigger the team you need to get any benefit.
The problem with roon is the vast capabilities across many platforms. There’s no way testing can pick everything up, even the seeminly obvious on one combination of platform, OS and use case.
Yes things will be missed but they have made the sensible decision to mend things quicker and seperate fix from feature. Mostly…


It’s actually sad to note that people like @Jim_F and @Uwe_Albrecht aren’t happy. People may come and go, but when you start losing long time advocates, you perhaps need to ask yourself why.


Maybe because Roon lost a lot of quality? Customers pay a lot for Software that gives them the experience of being part of a beta test squad and official support is also far behind requests - for a long time already. Some corrective actions may have been introduced but it will likely take another 6 months or more to really remedy the current deficiencies. :slightly_frowning_face:
Reading the forum it seems that customers bitten by bugs in Roon during the last year or so need a lot of passion and patience to stay with Roon. But all of this doesn’t affect customers that enjoy their working Roon installation and probably never signed up for this forum - but I’m sure these customers are still the (silent) majority.


“The ultimate music player for music fanatics”
The issue here is that many music fanatics are not fanatical about music. They are fanatical about (their) music culture. Music culture exists because music is a marketed commodity.

Bold statement, but consider this - if music is ‘organised sound’ what specific need is there to display the album artwork? It doesn’t add to the sound in any way, it can’t even be altered through DSP.

Even musical jargon has changed as a result of marketing. Performers are no longer called performers, they are called ‘artists’. Additional artists are featured artists. Music is then associated with the market who it is sold to, with each generation having their own music. Many people like their generation’s music because it is part of their culture. Which makes an oddity of people who like classical music simply because they like the sound of that type of music.

Roon is not immune to all this. In some ways it can’t avoid it as the metadata providers are heavily influenced by marketing. An example is how Roon insists that the ‘Album Artist’ has to be a primary artist (ie performer). In the past classical music albums usually would have had a cover listing the composer, the work(s), and then the performers. The cover usually had a nondescript image. Today, the cover features a sassy image, the name of the (principle) artist, and almost as a by-the-way, the piece of music they are playing. The cover is to sell that album for that artist, not the music per se.

Enough ranting… time to listen to some music (or perv at some artwork, or maybe both)


Bask in, surely? :smile:


Slept a night, recorded the music joy with Foobar2000 and stopped Roonserver today. Let’s see what comes in the week. In any case, I see a dedicated community that also gives a lot of good reasons for Roon. These are better than any marketing promise, because it comes from the community with many years of experience.

I also suspect that the vast majority are silently very satisfied and have good reasons to use what they consider the best music management and discovery system. The frustration always comes only in a few dozen cases publicly here in the forum, if it does not work out so perfectly in individual cases. In these cases, the community is quick to offer comfort and advice. The small team should have a free weekend and start motivated on Monday.

As far as @Mikeb describes it, it must not come, long-time advocates should think just as long whether short-term problems mean a long-term and final parting. I speak therefore rather of break, that gives to all sides opportunity to catch breath and to start with fresh energy again and better. Who like @Blackjack is supporting on the way, may also raise the word beta test, the painful support gap and quality issues with great technical background. It remains correct that 250,000 complaints do not accumulate here and in the per mille range not all problems are brought to a solution. Individual departures, even on a permanent basis, are unavoidable, but do not interfere with the large increase in customers if the larger volume is otherwise handled very reliably.

Unfortunately, the good handling also lies with Tidal, Qobuz, Amazon, just those who consistently see themselves not only as business partners, but also competing platform. Problems in the cloud are also experienced by Apple, Microsoft and Google as major players, and the service chain is so interwoven that only one partner has to have problems for this chain to break to the end customer. In times of war, sabotage is added to the mix. It is wise to set up independently of this with a second solution.

@Jim_F says it all with his first sentence, but doesn’t hide his problems either. He had taken a trip to Audirvana and continues to be here. It’s not just the 10 reasons @ged_hickman1 passes on marketing style.

Crowdsourcing of metadata/Wikipedia is controversially discussed and yet the thought of @Jazzfan_NJ or. @Bill_Janssen is not far from my mind either, that it could help to eliminate some problem areas. Others will be new for it, because more mass does not mean more class. The fan community of classical music will hardly profit from it. Here other sources help, which still have to be tapped.

The strong hardware side, the audiophile is certainly brand core of Roon. No one who wants to be taken seriously will disagree.

@Südkiez brings it to the point: Does it always have to be the really big collection?

@David_Albers and @grizaudio are two of the many who, despite occasional problems, are completely satisfied with the problem-solving mechanisms and even discover a uniqueness in Roon. Curation, user interface, music suggestions, subtle tuning/DSPs, however, have a divided echo overall. This also applies to the update policy, which I very much support. Improving many small things I think is necessary even at this stage.

The announcement that Roon is overall far ahead I share with all criticism and I appreciate the complementary view of @Ralf H, which again can not be shared by all. That doesn’t make it any easier for Roon to find the right path.

I thank all who participate in the discussion, it is also especially the satisfied customers are called to share your joy about Roon, because that gives a broader picture of the state of the software despite current problems.

I wish you all a nice musical Sunday. If it goes with Roon, but also other solutions may be tried or further used.

Translated with DeepL Translate: The world's most accurate translator (free version)


The most frustrating thing for me is the fact that many problems would have a fairly simple solution.

Metadata, for example: many of us take care of the tagging in a maniacal way by transcribing in the files all the entries written in the respective booklets. It would be enough for roon to have a real option to choose only the data written to the files. But no: even if you select this option, roon will still depend on its data providers as the main option (ex: I have two artists with the same name that roon associates them with the same album and there is no way to correct this behavior).

Many “music lovers” want to curate their own collection. Just like many car or motorcycle lovers spend hours and hours in the garage to tune the vehicle, change parts and settings because when you take it to the road, it gives you the emotions you expect.

Many of us do just that. And it would be enough for Roon to take that into consideration to make many of us much happier.


Isn’t the real bonus of Roon that you don’t have to fanatically spend hours tagging ? Not using your tags is probably because the code is easier to look up from AllMusic than to try and blend several sources . If you wish to override that you can.

I have a large library , I dread to think how much time I spent in front of a screen grooming metadata before Roon arrived. Now (if I wish) I can drop an album into my watched folder an Roon does the rest. This is the case with Rock and mostly with Classical except the real obscure stuff.

Roon is worth every penny to avoid screen time and replace with chair and headphone time

Obviously if you want to groom or get satisfaction from grooming then go ahead . Roon does a 90% job without effort . As long as Roon exists the need is optional . I only groom to future proof (and make it DLNA compatible) my library but the bulk was done pre-Roon

My 2p


@Mike_O_Neill Roon only works as well as its own data maintenance allows. Matching of data only works if they are recognized and assigned. Here I have 3/4 without identification and where it worked, deficiencies remain, but I have learned to live with that. Tagging and Roon is a no go. There are better and also necessary solutions, because without metadata in the files Roon is helpless.