I suspect during playback of a TIDAL track ROON first buffer the content (over Internet), and on my system ROON then streams the content it buffered over ROON’s real-time RAAT protocol over (local) Ethernet over TCP? UDP? to my Mytek Bridge endpoint for rendering digital stream into the DAC interface for analog playback. I guess the network bridge would hold a small buffer (1 sec or so?) but would not for the entire track. With TIDAL native app I suspect it buffer the enter track (over Internet) and at the same time does decoding and rendering on the same device for analog playback (lots of guess work here) if my theory holds then it explains native TIDAL app is insensitive/less sensitive to (Internet and local) network quality. For reasonable performance comparisons of (local) network quality sensitivity, I would probably pick mConnect (I have it on my iPhone which is on WiFi access), as I seem to recall it does real-time streaming as well over Ethernet to the remote endpoint.
It sure has. While tailing the Roon server log file in real time one clearly sees whenever Roon looks for new or updated metadata and images, etc. That is not all the time, but occurs near daily. This traffic is small in comparison to the streaming traffic, but if you’re constrained with 2 Mbps to begin with, this will break streaming.
Other than that, there are the continuous claims by users that Roon breaks streaming to an endpoint on their LAN, but the native Tidal or Qobuz apps have no problem. There seems to me something which I have not been able to grasp as yet. I am not sure how much of those problems are attributable to networking inefficiencies by Roon, and how much to incorrect LAN configuration. But to me it seems that it clearly doesn’t help when home users set up overly complicated networks lacking the knowledge and experience to configure those networks correctly.
For what it’s worth, during the Corona crisis I have been stuck in a rather small apartment in a little town in rural Colombia, and my WiFi router has performed perfectly well in this setting. My Roon core is on WiFi and never have I experienced a problem because of this. While my Internet access sucked, I had daily dropouts while streaming Tidal, but never caused by WiFi. So I fully agree with @PeterD when he on this thread states that “A proper network configuration can be wired or wireless, but MUST be stable.”
Some of the endpoint problems stem from other apps sending flac to the end point and relying on it to do the transform and some using adaptive streaming.
Roon unpacks the flac to pcm on the server and then chucks the uncompressed stream at the end point.
Well, out of curiosity I tried a comparison, being quite surprised by the result.
I played the same track via Qobuz and via Roon app, with my iPad Pro as output device.
CD quality output I set in both apps and deactivated the cache in the Qobuz app.
Having a 100 GB mobile data plan, I can control data consumption by viewing my router (Huawei B529s-23a).
The left-hand side shows the amount of data left.
It is true, Roon pulls only the next track, not the complete queue. It does pull the complete track and not just 1 minute ahead for example.
I live in Germany where the DSL net still consists mostly of an ADSL backbone. I have one place where I live 2 km from the next distribution box, and I get 50 Mb/s ( out of 200 Mb/s living next to the access point). I have another place where I live 6 km away from the access point, and I am down to 2 Mb/s. My network gear is fine, it is rather doing a fine job streaming 44/16 without break.
I had used a 4g router before and bandwidth was much better. However, Roon does not allow Qobuz downloads the way the Qobuz app does to save bandwidth, and Roon’s cache does not even remember the last track played. So I was a 3 GByte per evening streaming which is too expensive for an LTE contract.