They are a walled garden, group only among themselves.
Like Apple, Meridian, Kef…
I don’t have a Chromecast, but am happy hearing that it’s supported now. I’d like to see Roon working on more platforms and devices in the future, regardless of whether someone considers them high end or not.
At the top of my wishlist with Roon would be Spotify integration. I know it’s probably not going to happen, but that’d make Roon absolutely perfect for me. Not only having access to Spotify’s music but also the playlists available there and the ones you can make.
Same boat here Chris. Im a one man band, have been all my working life. Tough times good times, but no real overheads. Watched my father go bankrupt back in the 90’s tring to hold together a staff of perhaps 10 people with premises, cars, etc. Had he rationalised early, he would have avoided it.
As an owner of both Chromecast Audio and Chromecast TV pucks (2 of each), I welcome the addition of Chromecast to the Roon fold and the implementation is elegant and solid, which is great! I had mothballed my 2 audio pucks since getting Roon 18 months ago, so it’s really nice to dust them off and get them in the system again.
However, that is a selfish endorsement
I can fully understand Kenneth’s OP, and can only say we need to continue to +vely lobby for other streaming service integrations and UI/UX improvements. The way Roon dropped this Chromecast bomb on us very stealthily gives me great hope for the future
I addressed this point early on
There’s a lot in this thread…but a few points:
I’m not going to rehash the discussion about UPnP. Our viewpoint has been made clear enough times by now. However, there is some ultimate consistency in our treatment of UPnP and API-only streaming services: we can’t make good product out of either, so we won’t.
Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play are non-starters, compromise or not. They do not make available an API/commercial arrangement that we are allowed to use. It’s not really interesting to mention them further.
Streaming services are about 10x as much work as something like Chromecast, and involve substantially more work on the business/relationship side, too. Once there is an order of magnitude difference, things are no longer suitable for direct comparison.
That said, we are working with another streaming service, (and doing it the right way). We are also working on mobile, a UI redesign, and a set of tightly coupled improvements related to browsing, algorithmic radio, and recommendations. And an internet radio directory, and a couple of projects related to our metadata/imagery subsystems. And some other stuff that we are not ready to talk about
We are trying to release things when they are ready. Chromecast was done so it went out this week, but most of the work done over the past 2 months (since 1.5) was not released this week, because those projects are still in progress. This is in contrast to how we used to handle major releases, at least up to 1.3, where we’d pretty much wait till everything was done and do a huge synchronous release, then start from 0 working on the next one.
It is one of the highest value/effort features that we have ever released. The base cost of a turnkey Roon zone is now $35, or $50 with ethernet. Less than $100 for a speaker, and $300 for a decent sounding speaker. Roon just became viable for a whole new class of users and dealers/installers.
$35/zone for something that can be driven from Roon, and also from most any app on the phone of your guests/spouse/children. Plus, it can drive a TV, too, and supports convenience switching with TV’s/AVR’s, so it is brain-dead-simple and unobtrusive.
For some classes of installations it will be game-changing. It’s an incredibly lightweight, cost-effective, and flexible solution for lighting up a bunch of rooms in a house, while providing good usability for “pedestrians” and the music-lovers in the household at the same time.
Google did a great job designing an interesting, flexible, and powerful platform. We are happy to support it. It goes places where high-end products running RAAT firmware cannot go.
That’s exactly what’s happening. Chromecast is a significantly smaller project than another streaming service, or mobile support. Work is happening in parallel.
We’ve been working on another streaming service in some capacity since about the beginning of this year. Much of that work is business development, another decent chunk is technical infrastructure/scaling work to cope with increasing the size of our data set.
Mobile has been in some stage of work for longer. It’s more than a technical/product improvement. It also requires careful consideration for pretty much every department in the company. We made some major progress earlier this year in terms of defining what mobile is going to mean and how it’s going to work architecturally. This took weeks of discussion/debate and many design iterations, but we are fairly confident in the plan now. That allowed us to map out a series of infrastructure projects that are needed to get there, and that work is in progress now.
Thing is–that project is going to take a while. It’s not reasonable for us to make zero software updates in the mean time while we go in a hole and work on mobile. We can’t afford to be so narrow. So stuff like MQA, and Chromecast, and other medium sized features like them are going to be released in the mean time. There are enough people working on Roon now that keeping multiple balls in the air is possible.
Astute observations. Both of these issues are being worked on, but since they aren’t specific to Chromecast, we didn’t see fit to hold the feature back over them…
As we old folks used to say, you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. These days, people are more likely to say it would be like putting lipstick on a pig…
Or you can’t polish a turd… but… you can… roll it in Glitter…
It’s great to hear that work with another streaming service is proceeding. The heart of Roon is the linked metadata. Rather than spend resources to play further sources that aren’t linked, I’d prefer to see existing sources (such as Internet Radio) linked in. If the radio station doesn’t provide enough metadata then music ID software like SoundHound might provide a solution. In my view Roon should always work towards more linkage, not dilute itself into a generic player.
Chromecast won’t make a big difference to me personally, but it’s a big step towards an inexpensive Roon endpoint.
Full HQP integration?
Well, my Sony Bravia Android TV is getting pretty excited. It has just shown up and been Enabled in Settings for Chromecast. Will test it later today before the football kicks off.
The connection is not as useless as you might think because it is connected via HDMI to my Arcam AV amp in the living room. I use this connection for TV sound duties sometimes using the ARC HDMI function. It will be interesting to see if it works and what the sound quality is like.
Thanks for this extensive post Brian.
You have me 100% back on track
Really great to hear, reading between the lines, about all the +Ve stuff going on, not just with the specific things mentioned but within Roon overall.
Great news and a real boost to all Roon subscribers.
@brian, thanks for your extensive post. You elaborate on most development areas (Streaming Service, Mobile, Chromecast etcetera) in separate paragraphs, but touch upon the above one only briefly and generically, again. It’s the only area deserving just one single sentence, again suggesting a lower priority, whereas there are entire threads dedicated to it. Could you at least spend some sentences on the intended roadmap or development progress of this particular area in the same way you address the other ones?
it’s quite easy to write more sentences and say even less…
True. But I think it’s quite obvious that this is not what I’m asking for
Just saying it’s not suggesting anything. Have faith my friend!
Oh, I do have faith, Dick! I know it will come eventually. I also know and appreciate it takes a lot of work. That said, I think it deserves the same attention as the rest (to be honest, given the focus on “tech” until now, I think it deserves even more).
In the meantime, Brian’s post yet again suggests it has the least attention of the team. This may not be true, and it may be difficult, sensitive or whatever to say something very specific or detailed. However, in those cases, it’s always possible to say something about the process.
I still don’t think Brian’s post suggests that. But I do believe that the priority list is not a static one. When an opportunity comes along to add another streaming service, that will probably hit the top of the list.
What sample rates and formats are possible with Chromecast? 24/192? DSD? MQA?
PCM up to 96/24.
Which also means that it can function as transport for an MQA DAC that accepts Toslink.