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My first few days with Roon - thoughts and questions

Discussion in 'audio' started by Fin, Jul 18, 2020.

  1. Fin

    Fin pfm Member

    Hi all

    I have setup my Rpi4 with Khadas Toneboard, along with the official RPi 7" Display. Downloaded Roon as a trial (core onto my Mac), with Ropieee onto my RPi4.

    So far, very happy with the experience and the sound. In particular, I especially am fond of:

    1. The Artwork displaying on the RPI Screen.
    2. The ability to see the lyrics within Roon (for example, from the Roon app on my phone).
    3. The Tidal integration offered by Roon.

    Reading a lot over at the Roon Labs forum, there really is quite a variety of opinion on it. I am completely on the fence about whether or not to subscribe.

    I had tried Mcontrol app with Volumio, and while this worked fine, the user experience just isn't on par with Roon.

    I have seen options for premium Volumio (Superstar), but have found very little on the net about it.

    Anyone here subscribed to Roon and what are your thoughts?

    Is there an alternative to Roon that matches it's features (even if the alternative involves subscription).

  2. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    I’ve subscribed for a few years - with a lifetime subscription.

    Personally I wouldn’t be without it. The integration of ripped music, Qobuz and internet radio is as good as anything I’ve tried.
    Scampy4, Andrew C!, richarm and 2 others like this.
  3. manicatel

    manicatel pfm Member

    I’ve had Roon for a year or so now.
    It’s excellent, but expensive, especially since the price rise a few months ago.
    Really stable, quick to load, very well thought out, the radio feature is great, it sounds superb & the DSP EQ options are also very good.
    Price is the only downside, but I swallowed that a while ago now.
    I previously used Audirvana, which is similar in some ways, without being as polished or as complete. In fact I tried Roon only as an Audirvana software update seriously screwed up my music library & I could not for the life of me restore it properly & despite asking for advice, nothing was received.
    Roon just clicked everything into place within an hour or so & I've never looked back.
    Not sure if Audirvana is still only for Apple users?
    Fin likes this.
  4. Fin

    Fin pfm Member

    Thanks guys. That's reassuring to know. You guys run the Core on a NUC or something? Just wondering if there is any benefit over using my Mac ( perhaps just power consumption?)
  5. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    I’m an ex-Audirvana user as well. As much as I liked Audirvana Roon really is in a different league.

    Audirvana is available for Windows as well as Mac these days.
    Fin likes this.
  6. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    I run the core on a Mac Mini connected via USB to my DAC. I also use HQPlayer which integrates with Roon.
  7. Amber Audio

    Amber Audio This is the Day

    Only you can decide if ROON is worth the money, I’ve been a subscriber for a number of years and have not found/used anything as good, a few Apps are very good and if you just stream one service or solely local FLAC files then one of them may suffice, Lightning DS and the Aurender App are the nicest I’ve used.

    Where ROON comes into it’s own is the combination of multiple sources of music and services, the radio of suggested similar tunes and discovery of other artists, many of whom I would never have come across. The DSP and other enhanced functions add considerably to its value if you make use of them.

    In the context of the cost of a decent system the annual fee as a % seems worth it to me personally.

    I’ve run it on a Win 10 PC, a NUC as a ROCK and now on a beefy QNAP NAS.

    If you have different brands of Streamer it makes multi room a cinch, almost every device pops in these days as some form of endpoint, a Pi DAC Hat with Volumio + ROON Plugin makes a very cost effective extra endpoint.

    mikechadwick, Torris12 and Fin like this.
  8. Fin

    Fin pfm Member

    I don't have have a local library. Would only use it for streaming services and for internet radio. Is there a cheaper alternative for streaming & radio that also has a nice UI and integrates various zones/endpoints well?
  9. Amber Audio

    Amber Audio This is the Day

    The freebies tend to be brand specific but there are very cheap options out there, I gave up looking so no idea what the latest offerings/alternatives are. Bubble, mConnect, Plex, Assett, Minim, JRiver, MediaMonkey were popular on their own or combos, do the Google dance:)
    Fin likes this.
  10. Tw99

    Tw99 source last

    The free Logitech media server ecosystem does all this. You could run picoreplayer on your pi4, and use that as a player and also a server to connect other players to.
    Fin likes this.
  11. sideshowbob

    sideshowbob 47 Lab Rat

    I can't see the point of it. Cover art and some blurb about what I'm listening to doesn't seem worth the subscription. I must be missing something.
    Emlin, Thorn, hifilover1979 and 3 others like this.
  12. Fin

    Fin pfm Member

    Ok so perhaps LMS is worth a look, even if I have no legacy Logitech devices?
  13. Amber Audio

    Amber Audio This is the Day

    Not really, if you're not interested in the extra stuff then it doesn’t offer value.

    Stuff like parametric EQ, DSP, Filters, Upsampling all the way to DSD512, fine grain control of music e.g. show only MP3 files, fast searching etc. if that’s your bag it’s got value.
  14. Nagraboy

    Nagraboy pfm Member

    Roon is cheaper than Tidal and Qobuz per month and works just as well with these streaming services as a local library. I don’t know of any alternatives.
    panditr and Fin like this.
  15. sideshowbob

    sideshowbob 47 Lab Rat

    Fair enough. I suspect I wouldn't find it useful enough to pay for it. Having said that, my experience of most streaming apps is that they are useless, especially at DLNA browsing. The Tidal app seems pretty good to me though.
  16. Donivey

    Donivey Active Member

    Absolutely! Same here.
  17. matt j

    matt j pfm Member

    I use Tidal but currently have no way of feeding it to my DAC so haven't had any digital source for a few months now.

    I have no use for all the Roon features so it doesn't offer very good VFM to me, but I can't see a simple headless solution for supplying my DAC with tidal whilst controlling it from the phone app.
    Fin likes this.
  18. Tw99

    Tw99 source last

    Yes, you can use a Pi or similar tiny computer as a player, or a PC, or an iPhone or Android phone...
    Fin likes this.
  19. Ali T

    Ali T pfm Member

    I have ROON ROCK on a NUC, which plays through a Lumin D2. I use Tidal and Qobuz. Not found anything better for me, I particularly like the Radio and History features. I have have a large FLAC collection also.

    Many comment on the cost, my thought is that it’s the cost of a slab of new vinyl every month. Hardly breaks the bank.
  20. mikechadwick

    mikechadwick pfm Member

    I've been using Roon for several years now and imho there's nothing on the market to compare in terms of seamless library integration and control. Running ROCK on a NUC and HQPlayer on a MacBook Pro upsampling to 768K to my DAC. A lifetime subscription eases the pain of the cost.

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