Why does Roon Radio favor streaming?

This is not really a complaint, more of a matter of curiosity.

It has come to my attention at times that I have a 24/192 version of a track and yet Roon radio will be playing a 16/44 or 24/96 from Tidal/Qobuz. Not that I necessarily mind, but I’ve never understood why Roon would both ignore a “higher quality” (not trying to start a debate here) file AND waste bandwidth that takes away from my son’s precious fortnite game.

Then I looked at the history of Roon radio through about 100 tracks. 90% were streaming tracks, many of which I do have locally as well. So this really splits to two questions:

(1) Why does Roon radio choose streaming tracks over higher or same quality local tracks?

(2) Does Roon radio have a bias towards streaming vs local content?

For question 1, I will reinforce it by noting that Roon is clearly “aware” that I have the local track version - the streaming album it chose to play from appears in the versions tab of my local version.

For question 2, could it just be a matter of probability since the streaming services have thousands or millions of albums and I only have about 8000 in my collection?

Other than #1 seems a waste of bandwidth at times, I can’t say it bothers me. But I am curious.


If I had to guess, Roon has a bias toward streaming choices because it generates revenues for its business partners – and perhaps generates cash for Roon as well.

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?? How do you figure. If anything, Roon would help streaming partners by not prioritizing them, thus saving them then very real transmission costs.


Man you do like to bang that drum. You have to be signed up and therefore already paying to get streaming recommendations. In fact the more you stream the less the streaming services make so they should be paying roon Not to stream.

Sorry, I’ll bang more gently. I was just surmising that anytime a track got played, cash flowed to and fro. I really don’t know.

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I have noticed that when this happens, Roon doesn’t consider the local library version the same as the streamed version. E.g., if you view “Versions” on the album, it doesn’t show them as equivalent. It thinks they are separate albums entirely. So metadata analysis of local library is probably at fault here.

I think its a fair question. Maybe @danny could offer us the reason, or explain its a random decision. The correct answer would be better than a guess.

True, but my guess is this…you already know what music you have in your own library. Why not let Roon Radio stream from music you might not have or know about?

I wish it flowed to us! Unfortunately we get nothing, and it flows away from TIDAL/Qobuz too. We get nothing and TIDAL/Qobuz get your subscription fee no matter if you play or not. They pay a large part of that income to the labels and use the rest to pay their bills. Every time you stream, they pay bandwidth out of their share of your subscription fee. Playing streaming content costs everyone.

It doesn’t. We’d need to see your situation with logs to investigate the scenario more closely.

Yes. There is a lot more music outside your library than inside it. Roon Radio looks at all the music it can play, not just your library’s subset. Given the large scale difference in the amount of content, I’d characterize that as a bias.


Well that begs the question of why streamers would work/partner with “a Roon”. Does the incremental subscription revenue (to the streamer) more than offset the increased streaming costs that Roon induces?

One would hope since they are setting their own subscription pricing

Thanks for the response @danny.

Yes, appreciate the feedback on the original question.

I’ll make a note of when it’s an obvious one - see how many I can come up with.

Which is actually great since I want to hear new stuff if I go Radio. I’ve mentioned before, and I know that there is counter-logic in terms of the experience with such a feature, but I’d love a slider to be able to balance in-collection vs. the world.


Partnering with Roon would bring additional paying subscriptions. I’m not sure there is any reason to think Roon subscribers would stream proportionally more than non-Roon Tidal and/or Qobuz customers.

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Personally, I would prefer for Roon Radio not to play any of my own music or my own linked music. I want to hear 100 percent other, but related music. An ability to control a mix of the two would be a nice feature for some people.


That could be the other end of the slider!

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I second the notion of a “personal library bias” slider

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Suggested years ago, as soon as Roon Radio expanded from just the library to include Tidal.

It can be done manually by disabling any local storage locations, and/or Tidal/Qobuz services. I often turn off Tidal when I want it to focus on Qobuz’s catalog. I rarely drop my local library though.

It’s not elegant but it works.

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I’ve noticed that too; Roon Radio does favor streaming - almost exclusively. Playing in Shuffle mode though just uses local library (I think) so thats how you can get “Roon Radio” just using your library.