Thank you @Markus_Derflinger for spending seemingly a lot of time formulating your thoughts. It’s refreshing to see a different perspective on the software.
While I am not affected by the “everything in the Roon’s world is an album” issue, I can imagine this must be an instant dealbreaker for some. Especially in today’s world where albums become less and less relevant, being replaced by streaming of singles or genre/mood playlists.
And yeah - Roon Radio sucks big time. The random picks are… too random to make sense IMHO. Spotify or Tidal absolutely demolish the Valence for modern pop, rock or metal. Also, Roon is a strictly album-oriented piece of software but you cannot even play a whole album using the Radio? Like seriously? And the situation does not get much better outside of the Radio - you cannot random-play full albums from your library either, unless you install a third-party extension.
And I could continue further:
How the heck do I filter albums rated with 3.5 stars?
How do I create a functional bookmark for albums with less than 3 star rating? When applied, it always search for albums with less than 49.5+ star rating for me.
Why do I keep loosing manually inserted artist images or other information (typically genre) at times, randomly? Not even backup and restore is able to bring everything 100% back all the time, getting random bugs occassionally.
Why is RAAT and the whole LAN streaming experience so blackbox-y, with annoying random track skipping despite replacing literally everything in my audio signal chain? Roon might be among the most unpredictable systems experienced by me in years in audio.
Why is the Roon Overview screen so bad? I want to see a comprehensive overview of my music world, not an overview of personal avatar and a lot of blank space around.
Why I cannot upload my own images for genres, since Roon is not able to ensure it itself? Do I really need to stare at generic grey boxes called “Pop”, “Rock” or “Heavy Metal”?
Why do I need to “favourite” every artist in my library to really ensure any new release would be displayed to me in the “New Releases For Your” section?
Why are the search and focus engines so limited? I need complex boolean queries, based on more than a single condition!
Why I cannot rate multiple albums at once? Why I cannot favourite multiple artists at once?
Why Roon cannot identify an album already identified (with metadata) by Tidal/Qobuz?
Why is the side menu so rigid? I only use like three items from the list. Especially the “Tracks” section is laughable - does anyone even have any use case for it? It’s so badly executed.
Im quite new to Roon (circa 4 months).
The main reason I started using it is that I have an extensive Sonos system throughout a big house (feeding 3 Hi-Fi rigs plus numerous one box speakers).
As Sonos users will know, they started to mess with a product that wasn´t broken and they started locking products out and forcing use of 2 x controllers.
So, then I found out Sonos can be controlled via Roon.
So, I subscribed to Roon.
Then I ripped 20 000 tracks from my CDs in the attic.
Then I took a Tidal subscription.
Then I setup a NUC to run ROCK.
Now I can start to swap out some old Sonos gear, and keep some of it, and control it all in Roon.
Im a vinyl collector at heart and still collect and play vinyl, but Roon is here to stay.
I love Roon, I think its a great product.
Yes it has some niggles but none of them are anywhere near show-stoppers for me.
Long live Roon !
If you are using MP3Tag you can also add the tag:
MUSICBRAINZ_ALBUMTYPE and set the value to SINGLE
Then in Roon, edit the Album and set the Album Type to Single.
Then it will show up under singles instead of Albums, if that matters to you.
It’s a shame you never tried to get answers to some of your problems before you quit. The Roon Community can be very helpful.
I do think the poster has a point. I think allot of folks are splitting into 2 camps. One just wants to throw on the radio, the other wants to dig around and find the perfect LP to spin for his mood. Nothing new here. The folks that really love Roon are the ones that love to explore their vinyl collection although now its a digital collection. Roon is absolutely amazing in its ability to suck you down the rabbit hole for hours finding new artists, new albums, new composers etc. On the other hand if you just want to scan the dial and find a cool station, well Tidal’s or Spotify’s way of finding music that fits your mood is wonderful indeed. You just don’t need Roon if thats the way you listen. There are days when I used to just turn on my Yamaha Ct 7000 tuner, spin the knob to something and let it play all day. Other days, I started digging in my vinyl or my tapes. ( I still do! ). So Roon lets me dig and find stuff in my 4TB’s of local music and finds stuff on Tidal that I would never ever discover on the Tidal app or Audirvanna. Its good the poster knows what he wants and knows the Tidal app can do that for him. I am not sure it’s what Roon should focus on. Just my thoughts.
This just plain wrong for so many people out there that use Roon and one or both streaming services.
Most of the music I listen too was recorded prior to 1985. Qobuz and Tidal my have 99% of the music I have physical copies of, but they don’t have the masterings I prefer. The CDs and SACDs I do own do have the masterings I prefer. The difference is not small either.
So please don’t assume that your usage patterns and requirements are universal. Because, based on what you wrote, I can assure they are not…
Since this thread has been airing some of the fundamental design choices of how the software thinks (album centric, etc). One thing I noticed that I do NOT like is that your music metadata can be changed without your consent. An example is that The Dixie Chicks decided that the “dixie” in their name is a little too much of a hot potato these days and changed their name to “The Chicks”, which is all well and good. But Roon went in and changed all the previous mentions of “The Dixie Chicks” to “The Chicks”. So in the library, there are albums labeled “The chicks” where the cover art right above it clearly says “The Dixie Chicks”
As someone who has spent decades meticulously grooming their metadata, this rubs me wrong. Fortunately Roon is polite enough to not reach into the files themselves and change the embedded metadata.
The only thing I would agree with is that Valence is a failure. At first, I thought it was good. But I’ve also noticed that Tidal’s AI is very good at discovering new artists and that Roon is picking music that is nothing at all like what I was listening to. Perfect Example is Sam Brookes, Kairos. I really don’t think Mogwai’s “Remurdered” is a good match - and it picked a bunch of music that was all over the place - this was just a few days ago. Very frustrating. But when I got on a drive in the car and listen to Tidal, I’m finding I’m creating completely new playlists of all these new artists that Tidal suggests and plays. Totally disappointed by Valence.
On the other hand, putting all your songs into one folder called EDM is classifying all of them as EDM - so why not just change their artists to EDM, and the song name to the format of " [ARTIST] - [ SONG_NAME].FLAC" ?? You can use a lot of programs for managing your collection but Tag & Rename allows you to rename files and tags in bulk in the way I just explained. My suggestion is to get with the times, learn how to tag things and manipulate programs to your liking and move on and stop complaining. Because nothing is exactly perfect - especially software. There are too many people to keep happy.
My hat’s off to Brian and the Roon team. You guys who hailed from Soolos, to Roon have some serious chops and have created a wonderful program in Roon. Don’t let the haters get you down. A lot of us LOVE Roon - and that includes me.
What might be interesting is some sort of ‘pass through’ option for Tidal and Qobuz where one could use their ‘radio’ function instead of Roon’s Probably an impossibility but just throwing it out there.
Honestly I couldn’t live without Roon at this point (and why would I having invested in a lifetime and dedicated server). My main gripe is and always has been the navigation (click here and here and here to get there) and lack of universal functions (such as being able to filter down the complete library from any page view). But I have a feeling Roon know this and we will see (fingers crossed) some changes to this down the road. It is unique in the world of audiophiles, but I can also see how it may struggle to bring in or impress younger users who have a different mindset towards music.
This thread has gone in a predictable direction. Clearly, the motivation for the OP is not to tick off all the Roon fans or to pick at their sore spots but to flag Roon with what he sees as the reasons why he chose not to purchase it. It would be nice if there was a way to do just that without ruffling feathers and precipitating a deluge of dickering.