I am absolutely in love with Roon. Markus_Derflinger posted in such detail why he doesn’t like Roon, and that generated an interesting convo with lots of opinions and insights. I thought I’d start fresh and say why I’m completely in love with Roon.
- Library. Roon’s library is a wondrous thing. First, I subscribe to Qobuz, and Qobuz keeps me well informed about new releases and old releases and everything in between. I like that I can search by artist, by composer, by label (!). And I can "favorite anything that looks like it might interest me. Then I come over to Roon and all those favorites have been added to my library. What’s more (a) There’s tons more information about each recording. I haven’t see another program that even comes close to providing this much information. Having information in the form of mostly detailed and comprehensive essays about composers, conductors, etc greatly enriches my listening experience. And I can quickly click through to PDF’s and other websites. (Though I’d really like to be able to edit metadata and add pdf’s or other web llinks.) And (b) Roon lets me know if there are alternate versions available. Maybe the recording I favorited isn’t the most hires available. I can readily change the library listing to the alternate version if I like. I don’t have to buy any of those recordings. The fees I pay to Qobuz covers the streaming costs and reimburses (although not very satisfactorily I’m afraid) the artists.
If I favorited a new release in Qobuz, and then upon listening in Roon decided I don’t need to keep it, it’s easy to remove it from the library.
Tagging and genre-ing are also helpful. I’m passionate about Bach Cantatas - lots of different performers - so I’ve made “Bach Cantata” a genre, and then I can tag the specific series or performer. (It did take me a while to understand and appreciate the difference between genre and tag.)
I truly do not understand the comment that “having a library is worthless as soon as you have an account with one of the streaming platforms.” In my view, the Roon library greatly enhances the value of the streaming platform. Or, “Your library represents your musical past and only a small fraction are the tracks you actually hear.” My Roon library is where I live. It’s the center of all my Roon experience.
In short, the Library is an awesome virtual collection of all the music I could possibly want, and more. And so long as I stay subscribed to Qobuz and Roon (andI don’t plan to ever leave either), it’s more or less permanent.
My iTunes collection. Over the years, I accumulated a collection of music on CD. Now it’s all digitized and in my iTunes library. Roon watches the iTunes music folder on my computer and brings whatever is there into my Roon library. Then all the above advantages apply again.
Albums. I don’t see the problem with tracks that some have mentioned. But I think mainly in albums, so whatever the problem is, I haven’t experienced it.
Overview. I’ve discovered this is a great way to monitor my own listening. Having an immediate list of what I’ve listened to recently and new releases that relate to my listening is a great way to stay on top of things. Also, having the Qobuz lists here is nice too. I’ve seen the criticism of Valence about its not making the best of recommended music choices. But I almost never rely on an algorithm to pick my music, so it’s a good starting point. I have yet to plumb the depths of Discover, but I’m impressed by how much information there is.
Live Radio. The collection of radio stations available is growing. But what’s especially appealing is that I can create/add stations. Then, I can add descriptive information to stations I add. I can even “add” stations that are already in the approved stations list, thereby editing my own information. And I can listen to radio in distinctly higher quality than I’ve seen in any other streaming radio program.
I’ve done very little with Roon Radio, but like what I have encountered. It’s quite easy to reject or change tracks coming up. And so far Roon has produced a fairly “accurate” queue to match what I started it with.
Playlists. Playlists are a big deal for me. First, it’s easy to make new lists in Roon. Then, Qobuz provides lots of playlists which I can save in Qobuz and then they’re available to me in Roon. I can make iTunes playlists (mostly older, since I don’t do much in iTunes any more) can easily be transferred using Soundiiz. Finally, I keep a free level of Spotify and occasionally look in there for any new and interesting playlists. If so, I save them, and then again transfer with Soundiiz or TuneMyMusic. Then, they all get saved together in the Roon My Playlists list. (The only thing I’d like here - a lot - is the ability to add my own descriptive comment. Often, the name of the playlist tells nothing about what’s in it. That would greatly enhance the playlists feature usability.)
My setup. This is a testament to the idea that you don’t need to spend a fortune to listen to quality audio. I have Roon installed on my Macbook Pro. Occasionally, I will access Roon remote through my iPad. But otherwise, all of Roon is on the laptop. (I know, I’ve read the suggestion that roon components be split across different devices, but I’m not applying for “Golden Ear” status, so it’s ok.) I listen to a lot of music through headphones; I have Beyerdynamics which play through the Dragonfly Red, and the sound quality is extraordinary. Then, since my living quarters have shrunk somewhat, I no longer have extravagent speaker systems. I have Bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin and find the sound quality quite good. Then there’s a handful of other bluetooth and Appleplay things around the house. I listen mostly to classical music.
Audio. Another area in which IMO Roon really shines. With the combination of device configuration and the ability to have multiple digital signal processing profiles, I can custom tune the sound output to what I’m listening to and on which device - Highest possible quality with upsampling to the headphones, upsampled and enhanced for critical listening to the Zeppelin, mixed down to mono and flattened (or mono and enhanced, depending what mood I’m in) for radio and other less critical listening to the Zeppelin. And all those profiles can be saved and accessed with a click or two.
So, I certainly appreciate that everyone has their own tastes and preferences, and Roon may work better for some than others. But I love it. Count me a very satisfied Roonie!
I’m going to join in because I’m a little tired to see some people drop threads ‘why roon sucks’ in this forum while they obviously never gave it a proper chance or misunderstood what it actually can (or can’t) do for them. Also, it’s sunday and I’m bored
This is why I love Roon:
centralized library of streaming services and local media presented in a uniform album or artist view, no matter the origin. I have both Tidal and Qobuz, plus some extra local media I ripped from my CD collection. I can access it all via Roon.
Possibility to edit all the meta data to have everything like I want it ! (I hate it when they put ‘remastered’ in the album title !)
integration with hardware: I don’t have Roon for that long but I already streamed music to an iFi Zen DAC, Bluesound Powernode 2i, Cambridge Audio CXA81, tablet and smartphone with Sennheiser Bluetooth headphones, MacBoook Pro, Win 10 PC, … and I’m expecting a Cambridge CXN v2 streamer any day now which is Roon Ready, it all just works and I have music available wherever I am in the house.
DSP functions : since I have slight hearing loss in my left ear, DSP allows me to lower the volume of only the right channel with 3 or 4 db’s, so that the stereo field is centered again ! Without this, my enjoyment of music would be halved. In the future I might even fine tune this correction by applying an appropriate EQ curve to perfectly compensate for my hearing loss.
Audio quality: bit-perfect or enhanced, volume levelling, DSD, upsampling … usually I leave things like they are but always nice to have the potential or play around with it .
Search functions in album or artist view: from simple filters to full queries with the FOCUS function, it’s always easy and fast to find the music that I want.
Roon ROCK on a NUC in a fanless case ! It’s like having my own little super computer dedicated to music. It runs completely silent and never needs any form of intervention. I love that little thing !
A long list of little bonuses like bookmarks, tags (to group albums or artist fitting a particular occasion or mood), play history to easily find that one track I like … or disliked, integration with last.fm ! …
What I dont use: playlists, Live or Roon radio, Genres view, Discover view (never understood what it does for me). Now, to be honest, I also have a long list of things I’d like to see changed or improved, but nothing that stops me all of the great functionalities mentioned above.
Well put , there are many things to love about Roon . You hit one big nail on the head you listen albums , @Markus_Derflinger on the other hand is a Track listener. Roon is almost by definition Album based hence the seeming disparity in the 2 views.
If your choices are “main steam” Roon normally IDes them fine
A couple of thoughts to help, have you differentiated between Roon Tags (ie not file tags) and Bookmarks
You may find Bookmarks useful , they are Dynamic, eg Goto Albums> Focus. On composer = Bach and Filter Funnel Cantata then save as a bookmark, any new stuff you add will be included next time you open that Bookmark.
Tags on the other hand are Static , ideal say for Box Sets which never change eg Bach 2000
Apologize if you already knew that but it saves effort adding Genres , they are mostly there
4 posts were split to a new topic: “I love Roon” threads are useless
Could not agree more with Joanne, and do enjoy reading praise posts to counter the critical bickering. There is a lot to love about Roon.
The seemingly endless exposure to music that is new to me and the ease of having it play throughout the house is what I enjoy the most.
I’ve read countless sound equipment reviews over the years and the reviewers list the music they test with. Most of the time it would be something I’ve never heard and the grand descriptions made me want to hear that music. Having the Roon search facility with Tidal/Qobuz, a few clicks and there it is. Sometimes it’s the little things.
Thanks for the post.
I’ve used Roon every day for more than 5 years. I still love it. In particular:
HQ Player integration. I can stream Qobuz hi-res files in Roon, upsample them in real time to DSD 256 with EC modulator in HQP and send it via network to an R2R DAC. It makes me happy just listening to it;
Integration of my own digital music with streaming services. I feel like I’m in the biggest music store in the world;
Live Radio. The quality and quantity of user sourced stations is a credit to the users and a success for “crowdsourced” data. Shoutout to @BrianW and the other curators who keep this part of Roon ticking over.
There are things I want to see Roon do better, even long-standing things. But overall it has been a great journey so far, watching new aspects of the software being filled in. I’m still excited for the future.
I was a Roon user since 2017 then stopped for around 7 months this year. Now am back using it again. Couldn’t keep away for one major reason; Roon handles multi-room and chromecast support so well. That’s it. - Oh, and the great people in the community, I missed that.
Out of interest what did you use for those months ?
Yep, as Ged highlights, tried bubble + servio for home networking, but frankly it was just too intermittent to be usable. Maybe works better with a smaller collection.
I have been using Roon for about three years and also love it.
I find the user interface better than Tidal, which I use through Roon. The metadata and search functions are very good.
I use the multi-zone feature, both synchronised and to play different music in different zones. I have five zones with a motley collection of audio systems that I have collected over the years.
The integrations are great. I use Raspberry Pi Zeros with a phat dac on some endpoints. Roon does not support the zero but does integrate with squeezelite which I run on them,
The radio feature is fantastic. It quite often finds tracks that I had forgotten about.
The library model with my local storage integrated with Tidal suits the way I listen.
The household uses windows, android and iPhone clients so glad to have all supported. WOuld like a web interface but I know there is an extension available to do this.
I have a few gripes but I will post them elsewhere.
What I like:
Integration of my local rips and streaming service.
Music discovery, usually through ‘recommended’ on Overview or individual album view.
Ability to play to many varying endpoints about the house.
Remote on various devices like desktop and laptop and not just tablet or phone like many other audio apps.
The rest is pretty much fluff for me and not used (DSP, Discovery, etc).
What the rest of the family likes:
The love/hate relationship with Roon seems to come down to prior experience with streaming and music management tools. Those with experience have expectations, knowledge of how things can work, ideas for improvement, and readily voice their disapproval when things don’t work as they think it should. I get that and it is understandable. Often the delivery of the disapproval can be offensive and/or obnoxious. That depends on the individual(s) voicing their disapproval and the tolerance of those reading the obituaries.
I had no prior experience with streaming or music management, totally enjoy what Roon has to offer, and lack the knowledge to understand the complaints.
What I found with Roon was musical satisfaction, my library is available online for browsing, ability to queue up and shuffle as many albums as I want to hear, integration with streaming music to find what I want and exposure to music I wasn’t aware of, Roon Radio selections (good and bad) that continue until I stop it, easy access to internet radio stations from around the world, recommendations for music based on what I select (don’t always like it but it’s there), ability to add music to my library with a touch or click, etc., etc… The list is long and I’m barely touching the surface.
The software, in my year of use, is stable, easy to use, remotely controlled, and can run on a platform that is always available.
What more could a novice music lover want besides easy access to wonderful sound, anywhere in their home, and whenever they want it?
There is a place for both camps.
For me the calendar is not BC or AD but BR and AR - Before Roon and After Roon
Ok ok I’m going over the top, sorry
To me, the most important aspect of Roon is it’s ability to make a huge library enjoyable again. It is that simple really. And on top of that it provides a lot of very nice features but the biggest thing to me is that I can enjoy my collection that took 35 years to build again. And even more so than ever before Roon.
Roon is not without issues. It never will be. Especially with large libraries you run into problems you never anticipated, like @Markus_Derflinger. Such is life. Nothing is perfect. What matters is how close YOU can get to “perfect”. I love Roon because I enjoy music again. It really was tedious to pick something, then something else. Now it isn’t. Roon changed my music experience so much that I invested a nice chunk of money into improving my equipment. It has done this much for me, despite quite a few issues I have with it.
I like it so much that I am constantly trying to improve on the overall experience even more. I bought an IPad mini to use as a Roon remote and nothing else. It’s wonderful. I bought new headphones to get more out of my Edge NQ etc.
I introduced my wife to Roon. She is not exactly what you’d call a music enthusiast. Now she is. She loves using it. She started with a very limited number of artists and songs she liked and then worked her way from there through my library to the point where she is now asking for more music she would like.
Buy her a subscription to Tidal or Qobuz if you don’t already have one. I have an iPad Mini 4 I sometimes use, but mostly my laptop as control device.
I notice/appreciate Roon most of all when I don’t have it
For example if I’m using Tidal directly, or other systems (those from Aurelic or Yamaha, can’t remember the names, my friends have them) or JRemote (which I happily used for years)
The other software can do all/most of the things Roon can do, it’s just they don’t do it so well - I find myself getting frustrated ‘in Roon you simply do this…’
They don’t send me down a ‘Roon Hole’ either - where I end up finding or revisiting music for several hours
What an excellent post, that also happens to summarise my thoughts very closely
Nice KIT , I recently retired my iPad Mini , rather it retired itself , and bought an iPad Pro 12.9
All I can say is WOWOWOWOWO it really is impressive , maybe Xmas is coming as a present for your NQ (PS I’m jealous and so is my CXN )
Its a rather well worn phrase now …
A Roon Trial is “Buy a 1 year subscription then try to give it up”
I still use JRiver for video (and some audio) and JRemote does work but just lacks that “polish” albeit they are making some improvements especially on Android.
I have recently used MConnect which supports DLNA and Tidal/Qobuz which is a good alternative to JRemote .
My usage i Roon 90% that said