Why Roon is fabulous, with or without Tidal

Yes - but not for sure…

For example

  • what for (even when idle) still “phones” Home?
  • generates HUGE network traffic, despite MQA compression…
  • GUI - too much pictures and not optimized.
  • removing process - you know what am I talking about.
    etc., etc…

I agree with the OP. Excellent points. I too don’t use Tidal but have about 100,000 tracks in personal library. I use Spotify for ease of access to lots of music via iThings when traveling and to audition things I may want to buy.

I would also add that the Roon core and playback ecosystem is very impressive. RAAT, dsp, gapless playback, synch different rooms, handles large library, hires files, mostly hardware agnostic, etc. these things are actually very important independent of the “information” aspect (as nice as this is).

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I too love Roon but it’s a bit love hate on occasions

I have a 100k library too , about 50% classical there’s the rub, classical is definitely Roon’s weak point. Getting to a specific piece can be quite
Laboursome but don’t get me started.

I use Tidal to fill gaps and find new stuff. I subscribe to Gramophone, read reviews and nip to Tidal to listen the cd in question. The success rate of finding them is surprisingly high

Well said, @allan2! I wholeheartedly agree. That’s why I’m a lifetime subscriber, although I don’t stream anything and “just” play my locally stored music. That said, there still is (and always will be) enough to improve, like the UI/UX and suggestions outside my library as suggested by @Ian_Slater. But there’s already a thread for that, so let’s indeed keep this a positive thread. Roon is great! It may not be perfect, but what is and will ever be? :slight_smile:


Short and sweet: Roon would not be nearly as useful to me without Tidal or integration with another service. I want to discover new music through Roon, not just play my personal library. I won’t be unsubscribing to Roon if Tidal disappears, because I am a lifetime subscriber. However, I will be extremely disappointed. I have no intention of paying to accumulate a much larger library of music. I also have no intention of increasing it though pirated downloads. That’s why paid hi-fi streaming service integration is critical to me.


I’m sorry, but Roon completely fails on the data front. It may be better than other offerings, but the bar is below zero. It’s terrible with box sets, terrible with classical music, terrible with artists and albums it doesn’t know (just about anything that’s escaped the attention of the the US music industry) and users still aren’t empowered to enrich the metadata. So you end up with some nice biographies, album reviews half love whilst others hate, some instances of a song recognised, a pre-built and an unconfigurable genre tree, imposed album ratings, a bunch of unidentified artists and albums, 1000’s of artists without artwork, simplistic filter criteria and that’s about it. Beyond that it’s all tech integrations into hardware. As it stands now Roon holds zero value for me as a UI, it’s a means for playback control from my smartphone, nothing more, nothing less.


So you find no value in Roon except as a means to listen on your smartphone? You pay an annual subscription for that? LOL.

Playback control.

I’m a lifetime member, signed up at the outset.

For it to work with Coldplay, you need to go into settings and check “Make my ears bleed”. :rofl:

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Those are harsh words Evan! While i can partly agree to an extent i still fail to see how you can pass such judgement at the same time as chosing an iphone as “control”? What exactly do you expect? An MQA-like unfolding of the real estate of the screen on the 'phone? :wink:

Perhaps I was a bit lenient, I agree with your comments on classical stuff

I am less than a year with trials and now subs and there has been no improvement in classical in 2 releases

Maybe I was better off with JRiver and Wikipedia

I will have to think hard come renewal time, I am fighting shy of lifetime at the moment


Fabulous? :joy:

Well, I like Roon, use it almost everyday. Most important is it gave me the joy back in digital music listening.

But I have to agree with @evand. It’s the best there is, but there are to much flaws and annoyances in to many area’s. To call it fabulous is overdone.

One example of an annoyance this morning: my wife clicked on Focus on similor in an album and expected to find something - well - similar. How do I explain Julien Baker i.e. is in the same result set as Big Black with “Song about f*cking”?


For the most part I do not pay any attention to any meta data that Roon provides. A lot of times it is incorrect. Also a pet peeve for me is No Album Art for individual Singles which I have a lot of. This is the only player that I have come across that has No Individual Track Album Art. This album mentality about art is silly to me.

If it were not for 1 - the sound quality and 2 - the network endpoint abilities I would be using something else.

But back to the title of this thread, I mostly listen to Tidal through their desktop app. It always works. When I have folks over, they see my dollar investment and once Roon embarrassed me (just once & never again) with this Tidal network error crap, then I am sorry but for this investment I expect it to work.

So yes Roon is fabulous with or without Tidal.


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The reason I’ve settled for an iPhone is precisely because Roon in its current form holds no interest for me other than as a press and play system. I’ve basically got exactly what I had when I was using LMS as far as playback of local library is concerned.

Roon is fabulous ,there is no question about this but I listen mostly to Tidal. I had many albums as a kid that were lost and buying the cd for those lost albums would reach well into the many thousands.

So for me losing a music service would really hurt.

What’s all this talk about Tidal collapsing? Been going on for months and years and it is still there.

To answer - no, Roon would not even be half as good to me if Tidal were to drop out and not at least replaced with an equal alternative.

If I want to listen to my own music collection I spin the Vinyl or play the CD.

Tidal is actually the primary reason I subscribed to Roon.

Also I think the „harm“ goes both ways - if Tidal were to collapse, a lot of people could loose interest one Roon - so it would be in the best interest of both to find a solution and keep things rollin‘ !!!

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I’m glad my original post elicited so many comments. My use of the word “fabulous” undoubtedly contributed to that. Even if that is a little over the top, I really do appreciate the bios and information about artists and albums, and none of the other streaming services have anything close. As well as the lyrics, and other features. I enjoy these features everyday, and that basic point appeared to be lacking in the long thread about Tidal. But clearly there are some legitimate criticisms of Roon, so maybe I should have said “almost fabulous.”

And in some areas, as many have noted, the record of fixing problems is not only less than fabulous, it is abysmal.

To add to some of the other posts:

I strongly agree that this feature – the ability to look at your listening history and make recommendations just for you, that match your personal tastes – is of critical importance, and I should have mentioned it in my original post. Also curated playlists. (Tidal has some curated playlists.)

Tidal falls down in the this regard, and Roon is even worse. Someone mentioned using Roon “focus” for this, but that doesn’t appear to be quite what it is for.

To repeat an earlier question, I’ve heard that Apple Music is even better in this regard – offering recommendations for you that match what you’re listening to – than is Spotify. Does anyone have any personal experience on that, one way or the other?

In light of how many depend on Tidal, it would be nice if Roon fully integrated the features of Tidal. Then Roon can truly be “one stop shopping.” That is not the case today.

In the area of music recommendations, Tidal is superior, as it offers “classic” or “essential” albums in most genres, as well as playlists that are “guest curated” and “essentials.” (I discussed in my original post why the Tidal Collections offered by Roon are not the the same thing.)

Roon does offer “exclusive” playlists, and that appears to be what Tidal calls “featured” playlists.

But the separate playlists, as well as the lists of “classic” or “essential” albums that are found under each genre are missing. That is a critical omission on the part of Roon.

Can Roon do a better job of duplicating Tidal so all of it is under one roof, so to speak?

On lyrics – I found a thread on lyrics in the “suggestions” forum and added my viewpoint there. However, in that thread I also noted that iRoon promised to add that specific improvement to lyrics, or something similar, and made that promise in January 2016. Almost two years have passed, and nothing has happened. However, to give credit where credit is due, my posting from today was responded to the same day, although the response was a bit unclear in terms of whether the change can be made, and if not, why not.

Agreed. Although I often have transport failures and the system collapses when playing through my Sonos system. That does not happen when using Sonos to play through their own system. Sonos can handle their own system just fine and 100% of the time. 20% of the time I have transport failure problems with Sonos using the same system. I need to email Roon tech support, and in their defense I haven’t done that yet, but first want to narrow it down as to whether it is a bad ethernet connector, etc. But one thing is clear – Sonos will play through my system consistently, when Roon will not.

Again, less than fabulous.

My own experience is the opposite. I’m not an expert on tagging, and J River does not show my boxed sets as boxed sets and probably due to some small error in how I tagged them. Roon, by contrast, consistently shows my boxed sets, despite any possible tagging errors on my part.

I’d assume that Roon could fix this for you and others. Why haven’t they?

I completely agree, and made that point in my original post. It is the bios of new artists and new albums – that are not in my library - that are the most interesting for me. So if Tidal goes under, we all agree that Roon must join forces with another streaming service, Preferably Deezer, if only because it is already FLAC quality. But they do need to integrate with someone if Tidal should fail.

In conclusion, I still really love using Roon. It offers many features lacking in J River, and I am not away of any software or app to play our libraries with these features. I make use of the bios and info on artists everyday, and Roon allows me to listen through my whole house (when it doesn’t collapse and fail with my Sonos system), while showing me what is playing on different iPads in different rooms.

All of that is pretty awesome. Maybe not quite fabulous – but definitely the best that there is.

Pretty much with you on this Jeff. I flip flop between Tidal and Qobuz. I have a large HD collection so I just don’t use Tidal enough. Whenever I get annoyed with the streaming inconsitency with Tidal I go to Qobuz. Having said that I do enjoy the integration with Roon that Tidal has and there are noticeably more titles missing (of relevance to me) from Qobuz.

Im really trying now to develop a “new titles” policy with Tidal. Will see how it goes. I’m pretty ambivalent about Tidal. If it went belly up tomorrow no problem to me.

Haha, yes there are some features in Roon which, well, just don’t work. Focus on similar is a joke.

Its comedic…

Neil Young Harvest - Ozzy Osborne Bark at The Moon
Cap’n Beefheart Trout Mask Replica - Adele 25
Antony and the Johnsons I Am Bird Now - Dropkick Murphys Do or Die

Hmmm… needs a slight tidy up for sure :slight_smile:

And that BIG Focus on Similar button just beckons to be used, but it’s all but useless, lol.


… Tidal really is about the only reason I have Roon - as it´s supposed to replace future investments in CDs/Redbook. My basic intention is/was:

I primarily collect and play Vinyl (which to me also sounds superior).

I bought CDs till now if there is/was no decent Vinyl release.

I then decided to stop buying CDs and subscribe to Tidal for future releases (and to get to know new stuff) - I will still buy the Vinyl if available, otherwise I will catalogue future releases via Roon and play from Tidal.

As I see know advantage in SQ from ripped CDs played from NAS and I already have an excellent CD Transport all existing media is played from CDP/Vinyl.

All future releases will be bought on Vinyl or otherwise played from Tidal/Roon.

Should Tidal shut down, Roon would be of no use to me.

AND YES - I really enjoy building a new collection using Roon and Tidal - so it would be a real bummer !!!

Not to say a lot of lost money invested (minimum 30USD/month = 360 USD/year = 3.600 USD in ten years… u could buy a LOT of great physical media for this money and have the guarantee it will stay a lifetime as it`s actually yours - if Tidal closes or Roon for some reason does not survive long enough - all is gone).