Can you provide a bit more detail to help appreciate the difference between “why does it take so long for Roon to retrieve and play a track” and “plays instantly”?
For example, I just pulled up a local album, selected a track and told Roon to play it. I didn’t use a stopwatch but my best estimate is that it started playing in 2-3 seconds.
I also played a Tidal track and it appeared to take the same amount of time, maybe a little bit closer to 3 seconds than to 2 seconds but basically the same.
My Roon core is running on a Windows 10 i7 NUC with local files on a SATA spinning disk. Plex is also running on the NUC. The NUC connects to a Cisco SG200 switch and on to a Netgear Orbi router which uses WiFi to connect to a Netgear Orbi satellite and then on to a Pi 3 B+ also using WiFi.
Well, it seems to be variable. On the LAN I get between 3 to 5 seconds, on Tidal I get 6 seconds.
I would be OK with 2 seconds on the LAN or variable UP TO 2 seconds. So I want to know where the delays are being occurred. Is it on the Roon Server starting to stream/buffer the track? Is it searching for the track at the point I click Play?
And by the way, Tim, how much RAM you have on the NUC? Also, sounds like you have no SSD on the NUC or Optane memory?
My NUC is a NUC7i7BNH. It has 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, O/S and Roon DB are on a 512 GB Samsung 960 Pro NVMe SSD and my local music is on a 2 TB SATA Seagate FireCuda SSHD. I bought it in September of 2017 to run Plex and then added Roon in May of 2018.
My ISP ( the Internet Provider From Hell as I like to call them ) is Comcast / Xfinity and my download speed is supposed to be 150 Mb.
My Netgear ORBI router allows me to setup 3 DNS server entries and I use Cloudflare ( 184.108.40.206 ), Quad9 ( 220.127.116.11 ) and Google ( 18.104.22.168 ) in that order.
I don’t think we know enough about your system currently to say why.
Music is stored on the NAS (what spec?) but what is running your core and what is acting as control? Is this all wired together via unmanaged switches?
Can you play music from the same device that your core is running on and how does this impact the timings?
For me, Tidal doesn’t take long at all to start playing (don’t have any timings to hand - edit just tried it and tracks start playing in about 3 seconds from clicking play) so you may have a network issue of some sort slowing everything down.
For comparison, tracks from my wired ROCK with USB storage start in about 2 seconds, Both timings when using a wireless mac control playing to a network connected Pi endpoint running Diet Pi and Roon Bridge.
I don’t know this for fact, just an educated guess (Roon correct me if I’m wrong) that with Roon being a client/server architecture, when you select something on a “remote”, it sends a message to the core to start playback. The core in turn has to communicate with the endpoint and then start shoving bits to it. That is not the case with foobar.
I’m really going out on a limb here, but based on what I see, there are no shortcuts if your core/remote/endpoint are one in the same system.
I’d love it to be as fast as foobar, but then foobar isn’t the architecture I want, so it’s the price you pay.