Will there ever be a Roon for just us streamers who don't own a digital library?

The only digital files I own are less than a 100 old mp3/4’s that I never listen to because I now have CD or better quality access to all those titles and millions more through Qobuz. I have no need nor desire to own a digital library - the music I do own is either on vinyl or CD - when I want to listen to them, I place the LP on the turntable or insert the CD into the transport and simply play them.

However, when I’m streaming hi-res files through Qobuz, I would very much like to be able to use Roon for its metadata and wonderfully designed app’s interface - I hope someday, Roon will introduce a “Roon lite” for those of us that don’t need a Roon core simply because we don’t have a dedicated music server or own NAS drives, nor do we want them or need them.

–thanks much!


You will always need at least a Roon Core as the Roon Core is what manages the database with all the metadata for the albums and tracks in your library.


Roon as it is today is exactly what you have described…


This already works, doesn’t it? What more are you looking for?

1 Like

The core is also where any audio processing is done and audio is sent from the core to the various outputs around your network.

1 Like

Yeah, I guess that’s the problem - I’m just a very simple user. I don’t have any other outputs. My Lumin network transport is connected to my Mac’s DA2 DAC and that’s it. I’m only interested in accessing Roon’s metadata and organizing titles to play via the Roon app. I don’t have any need for audio processing, but based on your answer and everyone else’s, it sounds as if Roon was designed to work locally, including its metadata, etc., so perhaps this will never happen or there will be a new product produced either by Roon or someone else. --cheers!

1 Like

It sounds like you want Roon’s user interface on top of Qobuz or Tidal. Well, Roon is a lot more than just a user interface. To do what it does it needs to maintain an extensive local database. You need to add albums to your library whether they are local or from Qobuz/Tidal. The user interface is populated with data stored online and in the database.

1 Like

It works just fine with Qobuz.

1 Like

I’d like to understand your situation a bit better.

Your use case sounds very similar to mine when I first started using Roon. At first I was running the Roon Mac app on my work laptop with no local files and instead used it with Tidal as my only source. I got all the artist info, suggestions, album details, etc. Enough for me to spend hours clicking through from artist to artist and finding new music I’d never heard before.

It was only later that I set it up on a mac in my house as a server with local music files on top of Tidal and Qobuz as well as having multiple zones for listening. But I thought it worked great in my early use case as well.

I’m not exactly sure what it is you’re missing or why.

There are loads of streaming only users who work with Roon as is , I don’t see any need to cut it down.

Anything that is good for local content is good for streamed content. If you don’t use features like say DSP, I don’t, then what’s the difference

There is little in Roon that is local specific, that’s the whole point

Maybe split Roon into modules and pay a subscription per module , I don’t think so

Just my 2 p

@Thomas_Sola I’m trying to find out if there’s a way to use Roon without having to to set up a server that has to be up and running 24x7. -thanks

1 Like

Roon requires a Roon core on a computer device. It doesn’t have to run 24/7, but my experience is it works better if it does. I use Roon to play music from Tidal and Qobuz. I have no local music files of my own. The current Roon software works perfectly for this purpose.

If you don’t want to use/purchase Roon, I recommend Audirvana. I bought a lifetime subscription to Audirvana for $96 to use when away from home (not mobile).

1 Like

Ah! Thanks, I don’t think we understood that to begin with.

I run Roon as a service on my NAS. You can go to the NAS services page and stop it (the Roon Core) when you don’t want it, then turn it on again when you want to use it. Just like a lamp, really. Could do this with Docker on a regular computer if you don’t want to run on a NAS.

No need to do that.
I shut down my core just like the audio system when not used.
That fanless media PC is set to auto log-on and has Roon Server installed which starts on power-up.
Start-up or shut-down is a button press only.

Got you. The answer is “yes and no”. ; )

If you want to use it on iOS or Android, no. Those are “remotes” and those have to point back to a core. If you want to run it on Mac or Windows, yes. You can run roon as a stand alone app on those OSes.

If you want to explore more you can DM me or I can even set up a Zoom and walk you through how I used it early on and still do when I’m working at the office (which, granted, has not been in a while).

1 Like

not quite. One of @JimmyJet’s wishes is:

Currently, a Roon Core is absolutely required. He’s envisioning a cloud version of Roon that sits on top of streaming only and never deals with your files.

@JimmyJet , to answer your question: Without the files and local device streaming, Roon only provides a different UI/data-model on top of streaming content. This probably doesn’t make financial sense unless we started our own streaming service, which comes with its own tribulations.

Also, it’d require a RAAT 2.0, with more hardware requirements. Right now, many Roon Ready devices are too weak in the cpu to do basic encrypted links to the cloud (no TLS). We’d have to update that requirement and it’d create a nasty divide in the ecosystem. There are ways around it though, for example, but using local accelerator boxes like a raspberry pi for that audio stream refelction.


@danny “…He’s envisioning a cloud version of Roon that sits on top of streaming only and never deals with your files.” YES - thank you for fully understanding what I’m aiming at.

So, I definitely understand why the client-server design for people who own digital files - it makes since to keep them stored locally in the owner’s home where they are in the first place - totally logical.

But for the customer that does not own any digital files, why can’t his virtual library, which just consists of file pointers to the titles in the music service he streams through, exist in a Roon cloud since it would not require any storage space? Or, another proposed solution, why couldn’t the virtual library of file pointers be stored locally on the remote device like an iPad. (I see this virtual library of pointers being extremely small - just a compressed txt based file just like any db file used for a photo or music program - they contain no content - just pointers to where the digital files are actually stored).

So, for the here and now, to use Roon as it is, since I do not need file storage space, it seems connecting a NAS to the USB drive of my router would be the best alternative for my situation. What are the minimum requirements for such a NAS and are there any brands you recommend? --thanks & cheers!

1 Like

It can, but it’s work we haven’t done. It’s a lot of work. I’m not sure it’s a good commercial “add-on” to TIDAL/Qobuz though. It would easily make sense though if we had our own streaming service.

Unless you already have the NAS, I’d avoid getting into that space, and go with a low-cost i3 based NUC running ROCK. While some have had luck with NAS, it’s the worst experience for many.


Wouldn’t there still be backups, all those pointers, edited metadata, etc.? Could add up to more than a few bytes.

A service in the cloud also has the issues around data caps and introduces a new dependency on WAN performance, above and beyond what’s already there. Might have to enlarge the support staff to deal with new problems there.