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

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).

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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).

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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!

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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.

Probably why AWS and Azure never really got off the ground.

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A post was split to a new topic: Roon solution best for me

I don’t understand. Here’ my story: I had about 100 albums in November on my NAS drive. Most were MP3s that I ripped from CDs I had purchased along the way. I went thorough a brief period of buying FLAC albums, but that got expensive. I had tried Tidal in the past but didn’t feel it had a good music selection. I tried Spotify and Apple Music, but neither suited me. I wanted hi-res audio that I could play on my high-end sound system.

Fast-forward: I subscribed to Tidal. I subscribed to Roon. I set up my Roon account to point to my NAS. I let it index my albums and off I went. I started letting Roon Radio kick in after an album was over. When I heard a track I liked, I started adding the album to my collection. Within a few weeks I doubled the number of albums that I had in my collection.

Can’t you do the same thing? I don’t know anything about Qobuz but I’m guessing you can download albums for no extra charge.

Now I’m going through my MP3-based albums and deleting them and adding the FLAC versions from Tidal. When I’m done, I’ll have the same albums that I had before but no more MP3s. Also it’s given me an excuse to, say, download all of Jackson Browne’s albums. I had most of them before but no all. So now I have the best Jackson Brown collection ever.

Roon was the catalyst for this. I can’t imagine what a “Roon Lite” would do. I think someone else mentioned that you do have a Roon Core. It’s the Roon Core that does all of the indexing and metadata collection. The Roon Remote does the presentation. You can either have a Roon Core on your PC side-by-side the Roon Remote (plus Roon Remotes on your phone and tablet if you choose) or you can put the Roon Core on a NAS or a Roon Rock. I decided to build a dedicated server for my Roon Core and it’s amazing, but you don’t have to go that far.

I think you just need to learn how to use Roon. It is perfectly suitable for what you have described.

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I can see a possible market for a hosted version, consumed through a browser. Especially as @danny was sniffing around asking about interest in cloud backup. A hosted Roon instance would probably have more utility than just cloud backup, and no competition other than local instances.

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I understand what Bill is getting at, but having Roon be cloud based application would add a layer of potential problems that I don’t want on my audio player. Timing is everything and seems like that would go out the window. I built my own little Roon Rock (PDF White Paper) and it just sits there doing it’s job, locally and CLEANLY. It cost about $700 but it’s just perfect for my needs. I didn’t chime in to chat about that: I have a related question. I have a bunch of playlists on Tidal and Qobuz that I play through Roon. I’d really like to be able to manage them from Roon. There must be a way to do this, but I haven’t figured it out yet. Any advise would be appreciated.

I don’t think it would be for everyone, by any means. Perhaps only 5% of Roonies would consider it, but maybe some more potential Roonies would consider it who wouldn’t otherwise. And there would be compromises for sure.

There isn’t unfortunately. The metadata flow between the streaming services and Roon is not fully bi-directional. And playlist management is one of those areas that suffers.

I was able to make a local Roon copy of my Tidal playlist and now I think I can edit that local Roon copy. That should work for me. Soundiiz might also help me migrate some lists over. I currently have Tidal and Cobuz, so I need to consolidate. I just don’t want to loose all those beloved Tidal playlists!

Via Roon, you can add albums on Qobuz and Tidal to your library but they are most certainly not downloaded. They are streamed in real time when you play them. You do not have a local copy so any interruptions in Internet service also would interrupt your ability to play music in your library that was not your own.

With a little bit of imagination you can do both: either by offering cloud storage for personal files (makes more sense than the music backup solution you are fishing for) or just by linking the data base records to to the local stored files. And you use a serverless (from the user point of view) application (roon client as it is right now for example) to connect the core engine (now running on roon servers) with the streaming services (still on roon servers) and with the local storage.


The client-server architecture is not a result or limitation of using local files. You can deal with personal library without a server (see Kodi if you need an example).

@occasionallyhere What’s Kodi?

@JimmyJet https://kodi.tv/

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