Ultimately I clicked the button and renewed for another year BUT it was a frustrating and torturous decision. I apologize for comparing Roon to JRiver , they are very different products doing very different things with a couple of common features so maybe its not fair.
I didn’t initially post here I put my comments on the Why Are You Not Renewing bit when I cancelled my membership just before it auto renewed .Eric Stewart suggested I post here.
I started with Roon 18 months ago with a couple of somewhat abortive trials , thanks to Kevin who kindly allowed me a couple of false starts
I came to the conclusion that the only way to try it properly was to use it so I bought a year subscription and went for it
My library is about 5000 albums roughly 50:50 Classical & Rock /Jazz. The rock and jazz was fine but it soon became apparent that Classical was a weak link
In my collection I have 311 Box sets ranging from 3 CD to 200 CD each and to be blunt box set handling and ID is wanting . Many classical lovers use the reissue box sets as a means to get back catalogue at ridiculously low prices , often <$2 a disc . Now you have a 114 CD Set of Alfred Brendel and absolutely no way of finding a work or a track from within the Box unless you know that the analogue Beethoven sonatas start at disc 39 etc which is a bit complex given the number of sets I have
Roon needs a mechanism to annotate each disc to improve navigation (As I have in JRiver)
I think I know my way around the various views and to be honest the way to a specific composition is very convoluted . I have a Samsung sound bar with multi room which requires a DLNA server , I still use JRiver and maintain 2 libraries (UGH) and I can better define in JRiver how I see my library. In Roon it’s a bit “Take what you’re given” albeit very flexible
It seems that it’s not all Roon’s fault it’s down to a great extent to the metadata sources employed, they are poor and show no signs of improving any time soon
The upshot is a lot of manual grooming to get some classical stuff to look right , so you get the worst of both worlds , you have a manual intervention and still it doesn’t look right when you’ve finished . To me the “Roon Promise” , not stated but implied, is automation so why the need for a manual intervention? - metadata !!
It has become a Love Hate relationship, I love the UI UX but it frustrates the hell out of me when it comes to classical. The approach of Composition via composer to me is messy I prefer Composer>Genre>Album – Play, but I cannot easily set that up.
The composition view is messy for me as I have box sets of the complete works of Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin , Mozart etc so click on Bach and I get 1100 hyperlinks , however well sorted it is its overload and virtually impossible to see the wood for the trees unless you know the Op. or BWV of what you’re after
If I choose Album Focus etc its still difficult to filter down to a small selection of albums to choose from and it involves a lot of key strokes to get there compared to my legacy system.
Add to all this each update so far has addressed the wishes of the “most” and classical devotees don’t come close to the top of that list. My best bet for the 1.6 release is Mobile access to the server core and Qobuz integration (synced with the US launch) neither of which are of interest to me in South Africa as Qobuz doesn’t exist here and mobile data costs a far too high for the use of a mobile server approach , so I see nothing (unless my estimate is wrong) that will improve my lot.
Until there is the ability to annotate Box Set discs for easier identification Box Sets remain a sticking point , many on the Community feel the same.
I could go on, until Classical Identification and Navigation changes I can’t see a way forward.
The final Blow is that I have a R 15,000 Cambridge Audio CXN Streamer which is non “Roon” so it literally sits there unused while I use a R 1000 Raspberry Pi , again not Roon’s fault but CA see Roon as a small player and not worth the development effort to make their products Roon Ready. The staunch stand on DLNA I think I understand but it does exclude users of a vast majority of equipment, as I say I need to keep a second library active just to use my Sound Bar, it made me wonder if I could revert to one library hence my hesitation on renewal
All is not lost , the good bits may outweigh the bad but the bad make Roon a frustrating experience to me at this stage, I must admit the Tidal integration was the final reason I renwed but I use it infrequently and I wouldn’t depend on a streaming service to replace a file library and CA CXN has now provided access to Tidal albeit not as easily as Roon.
The issue is not financial , I see Roon as a reasonable value proposition but not while it doesn’t provide reasonable access to a major genre of music that is important to me and as such causes me such frustration
I am currently rebuilding my (2) libraries with duplication to provide an album base for Roon (where I can) and a Box Set base for JRiver
Sort out the Box Set Situation , allow annotation of the Box Set discs somehow even if its a manual tag and you’ll go a long way to fixing my (and others) frustration