Roon with NDS

I had a go with Roon, and concluded this:

PRos:-

  • Good if you use Tidal, because it integrates seemlessly with your own collection, to the pointbwhere Inthink it could end up being uncertain whether you're browsing your own collection or Tidal.
  • It provides links to explore what else the artists on a recording have done, if you want to explore that*
  • it offers hints as to possibly similar music (loosely similar to Rovi)*
  • It may suit if you want to be told what is currently popular - in fact when you first go on that is in your face, however you can minimise it.
  • If you want to link to internet radio from within the same player (not integrated, and at present you have to find and provide the links to stations you want - it doesn't have an internet radio database: but to an NDS user with Naim App access to IR that is irrelevant.

         *subject to good enough metadata for Roon to recognise your music.

Cons:-

  • No integration of online streaming services other than Tidal -  Qobuz etc don't seem to be supported at present, but with NDS thta presumably isn't a problem.
  • It doesn't work as well with poor metadata as the Naim App (maybe tha depends on your UPnP server, but when I used Naim App I could browse using purely the file and folder structure, which Roon doesn't do
  • It seems quite costly for a library service.

On balance, it doesn't provide anything that I value so is not valu efor money, so I have rejected Roon.

Innocent Bystander posted:

I had a go with Roon, and concluded this:

PRos:-

  • Good if you use Tidal, because it integrates seemlessly with your own collection, to the pointbwhere Inthink it could end up being uncertain whether you're browsing your own collection or Tidal.
  • It provides links to explore what else the artists on a recording have done, if you want to explore that*
  • it offers hints as to possibly similar music (loosely similar to Rovi)*
  • It may suit if you want to be told what is currently popular - in fact when you first go on that is in your face, however you can minimise it.
  • If you want to link to internet radio from within the same player (not integrated, and at present you have to find and provide the links to stations you want - it doesn't have an internet radio database: but to an NDS user with Naim App access to IR that is irrelevant.

         *subject to good enough metadata for Roon to recognise your music.

Cons:-

  • No integration of online streaming services other than Tidal -  Qobuz etc don't seem to be supported at present, but with NDS thta presumably isn't a problem.
  • It doesn't work as well with poor metadata as the Naim App (maybe tha depends on your UPnP server, but when I used Naim App I could browse using purely the file and folder structure, which Roon doesn't do
  • It seems quite costly for a library service.

On balance, it doesn't provide anything that I value so is not valu efor money, so I have rejected Roon.

That's an interesting assessment, IB. I've never bothered to do the Roon free trial, but from what they say on their website, I've struggled to see how it can offer much more than the Naim app along with Rovi, including its links to Wikipedia etc. Plus as you already have a smartphone or tablet in your hand, you already have a browser at your fingertips. Perhaps Roon makes all this a bit slicker, but I can't see anything genuinely new to justify the cost of the subscription and extra hardware required.   

ChrisSU posted:
Innocent Bystander posted:

I had a go with Roon, and concluded this:

PRos:-

  • Good if you use Tidal, because it integrates seemlessly with your own collection, to the pointbwhere Inthink it could end up being uncertain whether you're browsing your own collection or Tidal.
  • It provides links to explore what else the artists on a recording have done, if you want to explore that*
  • it offers hints as to possibly similar music (loosely similar to Rovi)*
  • It may suit if you want to be told what is currently popular - in fact when you first go on that is in your face, however you can minimise it.
  • If you want to link to internet radio from within the same player (not integrated, and at present you have to find and provide the links to stations you want - it doesn't have an internet radio database: but to an NDS user with Naim App access to IR that is irrelevant.

         *subject to good enough metadata for Roon to recognise your music.

Cons:-

  • No integration of online streaming services other than Tidal -  Qobuz etc don't seem to be supported at present, but with NDS thta presumably isn't a problem.
  • It doesn't work as well with poor metadata as the Naim App (maybe tha depends on your UPnP server, but when I used Naim App I could browse using purely the file and folder structure, which Roon doesn't do
  • It seems quite costly for a library service.

On balance, it doesn't provide anything that I value so is not valu efor money, so I have rejected Roon.

That's an interesting assessment, IB. I've never bothered to do the Roon free trial, but from what they say on their website, I've struggled to see how it can offer much more than the Naim app along with Rovi, including its links to Wikipedia etc. Plus as you already have a smartphone or tablet in your hand, you already have a browser at your fingertips. Perhaps Roon makes all this a bit slicker, but I can't see anything genuinely new to justify the cost of the subscription and extra hardware required.   

The two things that stood out most were the complete seemless integration of Tidal, and the additional information. The former is of no value to me as I am not interested in Tidal. The latter goes further than Tidal, and I could see a benefit, but at the same time some of it was too much, reminiscent of social media, and for me at least the irriattion outweighed the benefit - though others may disagree (just as I dislike Facebook intensely, but some people seem to be unable to live without it).

Innocent Bystander posted:

I had a go with Roon, and concluded this:

PRos:-

  • Good if you use Tidal, because it integrates seemlessly with your own collection, to the pointbwhere Inthink it could end up being uncertain whether you're browsing your own collection or Tidal.
  • It provides links to explore what else the artists on a recording have done, if you want to explore that*
  • it offers hints as to possibly similar music (loosely similar to Rovi)*
  • It may suit if you want to be told what is currently popular - in fact when you first go on that is in your face, however you can minimise it.
  • If you want to link to internet radio from within the same player (not integrated, and at present you have to find and provide the links to stations you want - it doesn't have an internet radio database: but to an NDS user with Naim App access to IR that is irrelevant.

         *subject to good enough metadata for Roon to recognise your music.

Cons:-

  • No integration of online streaming services other than Tidal -  Qobuz etc don't seem to be supported at present, but with NDS thta presumably isn't a problem.
  • It doesn't work as well with poor metadata as the Naim App (maybe tha depends on your UPnP server, but when I used Naim App I could browse using purely the file and folder structure, which Roon doesn't do
  • It seems quite costly for a library service.

On balance, it doesn't provide anything that I value so is not valu efor money, so I have rejected Roon.

Interesting assessment IB, thanks for sharing! If one is after Tidal and Qobuz (and Google music) integration at the control point level, one can also try upmpdcli (with the ancillary upmpdcli-tidal, upmpdcli-qobuz and upmpdcli-gmusic packages). It is as simple and straightforward as it gets and comes with no social media noise.

Of course, even if unable to use Roon through a Naim streamer at present, if you have a computer networked to your music store you can always take a free trial of Roon and see how you like its presentation and browsing and linking, without playing a single piece of music, so easy for anyone to decide for themselves.

So it depends on what your requirements are.

If you already have the Roon Core running in your environment, then you only need to introduce the UPnP bridge product (hardware and software), to make the Naim player a Roon Endpoint. This is this device: https://www.smallgreencomputer...?variant=32991451407

If however, you need to establish a Roon Core and wanted a combined device, much like your Melco, then the SonicTransporter can do both - these are at https://www.smallgreencomputer...ections/audio-server. However you need to look at the size constraits as the there some with optional disk, some larger i5 versions, even one with an i7 processor and one with 8TB of storage.

Thanks, Simon.

 

@Innocent Bystander, damned with faint praise, which in fairness is your experience.

 Of the cons there is a setting to let Roon use the files metadata (or subsets of it) if unhappy with what Roon gives.

Where the rich metadata comes into play is (for me) where it mines my collection, so for example, T-Bone Burnett

compared to asset through the Naim app

 

Focus is a wonderful feature, lets you explore most aspects of your music find Jazz albums on the ECM label I bought between 2012 and 2014, for example.

multiroom, full resolution replay,

ability to play to airplay and sonos and squeezebox devices.

app for windows, mac, linux, iOS and android

amend metadata on all formats (bar phone) as you listen.

The wonderful radio function which randomly selects for you if you wish

Whilst Tidal is wonderfully integrated for me the best part of Roon is the window into my collection.

and that;s without mentioning volume levelling, parametric equalisation, and upsampling PCM or to DSD.

 

Quite costly! Lifetime membership is the bargain of the century with all due respect to a HiLine.

.sjb

 

 

 

 

 

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I fully agree John (sjb!), it's the best window on a collection I've seen. I would also mention the availability of lyrics for many tracks. But I still can't envisage how the NDS would work with the two required Sonore boxes, and crucially, whether it would close the gap to my current cheap USB / Minipc solution. Anyone tried it yet?

Sorry to reply to my own reply, but I yesterday took delivery of a SonoreUpnp Bridge. I connected it to my network, and with a bit of rummaging through this and other related threads, I am now listening to the NDS streaming via Upnp from Roon. 

So I didn't have to replace my mini Pc, which saved about €1,000 (incl. freight and taxes), compared to earlier suggestions. The Bridge cost under €300, including freight and taxes. 

Now I need some time to listen, and see if this really is the best of both worlds. 

Finally, one Roon advantage which I don't recall seeing mentioned, is that many tracks have lyrics available - and as readable as the good old LP days!

Thanks to all who got me this far.

David

 

I can understand folk thinking  'the extra bits and bobs' I need are putting me off trying/using roon. So I made sure that the NAS I bought was able to run the roon core. And btw 'it' runs fine on a NAS with a Celeron cpu. A Qnap 453a in my case. The i3 or i5,i7. NOT NEEDED people. The SSD to run the roon core data base on I think is a good idea. So I run Roon on the NAS, connect the good old trusty squeezebox touch to the switch instead of the UQ and feed the digital out of the SBT to the UQ and Bob is indeed your uncle. I can not hear a difference in sound quality between UQ fed by NAS >minimserver>UQ (upnp) or NAS >roon>SBT >UQ. But this is me. A 57 year old who doesn't hear anything above 14 kHz (I found out nae long ago). But to get Roon 'Up and runnin' is easy as fawk people. And it is a great experience, I must admit. With the more expensive gear and better ears your  milage may vary but with my simple and cheap solution I am a very happy chap. 

Flo

So just to report, with the launch of ROCK on Friday, which is the Roon Optimzed Core Kit for NUC type devices, I have installed on a 4th Gen i3 NUC with 8GB & a 240GB mSATA SSD (this isn't a tested environment, as is legacy kit, surplus from work - Roon are favouring the 5th, 6th and latest NUC devices) but is working fine for my 75k track library. I was able to easily migrate my existing Roon library from the Windows version to the ROCK version, using database Backup & Restore functions, all with very clear instructions for each step.

This is now the user interface on the iPad Roon Remote, exactly the same as the Windows & Mac versions, with only the iPhone being an optimised version.

IMG_0087

I have now ordered the SonicOrbiter SE device, which can run the UPnP Bridge software, as Small Green Computers were offering free shipping over the weekend, saving $50 on the cost to Dublin, Ireland.

Still a shame they don't offer the dedicated UPnP Bridge product at $169 anymore. Anyway one step closer to have my NDS as a Roon Endpoint.

@David O'Higgins What has been your listening experience so far?

Thanks, Simon

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Simon, having sorted out the settings with the help of the Roon Community Forum, the system is now sounding  at least as good as it did using the Naim app, so with all the additional functionality, there is no going back. I have had no dropouts, and no 'Room not found' messages etc. It just works, and I've heard a lot of music I'd forgotten about. I really like the way that it will play all the movements of a classical piece, rather than 'bleeding chunks'. 

It is a system which needs to be experienced to be understood.

Bummer the $165 bridge is not offered anymore by SGC but it did say beta on their site. However, the upcoming UltraRendu will have the DLNA built in as a feature like the bridge for those keeping a Naim streamer on their network to incorporate Roon etc but want to see the benefit of a Rendu to USB DAC to whatever system, another hi fi, headphone, active speaker/DAC etc for another Roon endpoint.

Another reason to love Roon. 

This is excerpt from the latest release, can't think of anyone else on top of their game like this: 

 

Roon Labs Community

Roon 1.3 (Build 233) Is Live!
Roon Software
Software Release Notes
1 / 3


mike
Roon Labs: Product
13h
Hi all,

A new release of Roon is now going live on all platforms!

...........

RAAT Audio Streaming Optimizations
Most audio streaming protocols are designed, implemented in hardware, and then set in stone. This happens because updating firmware in hardware devices is difficult, and when that hardware is made by dozens of different manufacturers it’s nearly impossible. That’s why most AirPlay users never install a firmware update--the device is speaking the same AirPlay protocol it did on day one.
In an ecosystem like that, evolving is difficult--too many changes and you end up with a range of devices each with slightly different behavior. This is a nightmare for QA and support, so device implementations for protocols like UPnP AV and AirPlay are often set in stone.
When we set out to design RAAT, we hoped for a brighter future -- a future that can evolve with our budding hardware ecosystem. Trying to push firmware updates to Roon users via our 60+ hardware partners wasn’t realistic, so we designed RAAT to work differently: Instead of baking the audio streaming protocol into the device firmware, the firmware contains the absolute minimum needed for us to "boot" a second piece of code delivered to the device the time when the Roon Core makes its connection to the device. This second piece code--delivered "just in time"--defines the streaming protocol that Roon uses to speak with RAAT devices.
Today's release of the core includes a re-design of RAAT's audio streaming protocol that uses TCP instead of UDP to transmit the audio stream.

In day-to-day life, most of the protocols you use are TCP-based--browsing the web, viewing Netflix or Youtube. Streaming audio using TIDAL, Spotify, OpenHome, UPnP, MPD, or SMB. The two most popular UDP streaming systems that most people have contact with are AirPlay and Skype.

We have decades of experience building audio streaming protocols around UDP, and it has generally been our first choice, but we also know that both TCP and UDP, when implemented properly, are suitable for high-bandwidth, high-quality media streaming, so it was worth undertaking an exploration of "the other side" to see if there was actually a reason to consider switching.

After a series of experiments and prototypes, and a detailed exploration of both approaches, we found that we were able to extract more performance and reliability from TCP, so we took it to the next phase and started experimenting with TCP in our alpha environment a couple of months ago.

We found that using TCP reduces CPU load on the audio device and in the core--primarily by reducing the context switching overhead associated with “waking up” for each packet. Using TCP also allows us to offload work associated with re-assembling the packetized audio stream from RAAT to the operating system kernel on the audio device, where it can be implemented more efficiently and simply.

We also found that TCP is a lot "friendlier" to poor networks and routers. Not all router manufacturers perform extensive QA with high-resolution UDP audio streams, but they all test to make sure Netflix and Youtube (both TCP-based) work. TCP is also less likely to create trouble with exotic network setups--managed switches, jumbo frames, etc. If you have experienced trouble with these, it's definitely worth taking another shot to see if the new protocol is easier on your network.

This change rolls out as part of the update to your Roon Core--which will use the new protocol when speaking to all RAAT-based zones. Aside from updating the core, no firmware or software updates are required on any of your devices.

.....................

 

CAVEAT: I don't have Roon set to update automatically just in case there are initial issues. I'll be giving it a day or 2 before upgrading once the forum shows no upgrade hotspots  

 

.sjb

Well SJB, I don't follow all the the tech., but when I went to listen this evening, I was told that Roon wanted to update both the Core and the IPad app, and said that this would take some time. So I went to watch the 800th + episode of a Spanish Soap which I have been watching for nearly 6 years. When I came back after 50 mins. or so, it was all updated. 

Is it better? Don't know, but at least I didn't have to get involved,and that's a mercy!

 

james n posted:

David - Expensive, but maybe worth looking at something like the Mutec MC-3 which will convert USB to S/PDIF to feed the NDS. Given the isolation / reclocking ability of the Mutec this should help level the playing field between your two music sources (Melco / Roon)

+1  

I have one between my PC (connected by USB) and my NDAC.  Made a big difference, especially to Tidal streaming from the PC (which admittedly the NDS does for itself).   Levels all my sources upwards.

TL;DR: I tried Roon and I get why people love it.

Hi -

Sitting on the cusp of upgrades to new Uniti devices as and when, and having a Mac mini in my living room (connected to TV and via TosLink to SuperUniti (main system) and via AirPlay (with Airport Express as wireless bridge) to v1 Qute (ie no Tidal) in bedroom upstairs, I have followed the recommendation of several Roon advocates and installed the Roon Core and App. (Whew, thanks for reading that entire sentence!)

I had Friday off and enjoyed the ease of download, install, and early navigation of NAS and Tidal content. I fell into the trap of adding "curated genres" to Tidal, which messed up the "MyMusic" section of my Tidal app, but easily found instructions for undoing that, and learned about the Roon approach to custom grouping via Tags in the process. 

Thus far it has been fun. I enjoy the "liner notes" aspect of this, and the hyperlink suggestions to related content. My girlfriend really likes this aspect - something we have both struggled with in Tidal, which has a lot of choice but no easy way to receive suggestions. As a "better Tidal" front end alone, Roon is likely worth the purchase. 

I'm torn though, as it calls the "all in one" paradigm, which I embrace, into question. Ok, not if Naim eventually introduce Roon EndPoint functionality alongside Spotify, Tidal, Airplay and ChromeCast... Should I choose a totally different upgrade path to non-networked hardware plus network connectors (AE or better)? Should I stick with the joint model and count the two different access paths (via native Naim app and external Roon app) as an additional flexibility feature? Should I just settle on one or the other? I don't know. In part because I already like both. In part because my preference for Tidal (on the SU) over Spotify Connect is as much for the app integration as the sound quality boost. 

With all that said, and after only a couple of days poking around, the huge appeal of a highly developed curation and content management approach is clear to me. I'm also very impressed by the continuous improvement attitude of the Roon team. Adding new features (Sonos) and adjusting their basic network streaming approach (TCP rather than UDP) on the fly and with essentially zero user intervention is quite amazing (and inspires me to support them in the same way I try to shop in the local village stores since I want them to stay in business). 

Recommended, especially if you happen to have any sort of computer already attached to your system (as I believe many of us do). 

Regards alan

BTW, UDP is very common and causes less overhead in protocol stacks compared to TCP. If you use IPTV such as BT vision it uses multicast streaming which is UDP. Also VoIP or any low latency streaming is UDP based, and of course multicast discovery as used in UPnP is multicast, i.e. UDP. The advantage of UDP is low complexity, efficiency and speed, the down side is that it needs a reliable network, and kludges like power line adapters tend to fall down and noisy wifi can suffer with UDP, where as TCP can try and recover.

David O'Higgins posted:

Alan, let's not lose sight of reality here. 'Source First' means that, for me, the hardware comes before the App software, in that programs like Roon cannot improve on the sound which Naim is delivering, but can certainly add enormously to the quality of the experience.

 

David, thanks for these insights, they are very helpful indeed. The quality of the experience cannot be underestimated, which is why for many people Roon capability is prerequisite. Before I found out that you could run Roon via upnp on a Naim streamer, I sadly had to switch off my NDX and use something else instead. But sound quality has not suffered, actually in my case it has improved, not least because the capital that is set free by using a more cost-efficient transport solution can be re-invested in improved source and Naim amplification. It's good to know, however, that in an integrated Naim high-end system like your own, you have found a way to include Roon without jumping through too many hoops. ATB, William 

William posted:
David O'Higgins posted:

Alan, let's not lose sight of reality here. 'Source First' means that, for me, the hardware comes before the App software, in that programs like Roon cannot improve on the sound which Naim is delivering, but can certainly add enormously to the quality of the experience.

 

David, thanks for these insights, they are very helpful indeed. The quality of the experience cannot be underestimated, which is why for many people Roon capability is prerequisite. Before I found out that you could run Roon via upnp on a Naim streamer, I sadly had to switch off my NDX and use something else instead. But sound quality has not suffered, actually in my case it has improved, not least because the capital that is set free by using a more cost-efficient transport solution can be re-invested in improved source and Naim amplification. It's good to know, however, that in an integrated Naim high-end system like your own, you have found a way to include Roon without jumping through too many hoops. ATB, William 

Would  be the interested in hearing how you get on with the Metrum Pavane. 

 

.sjb

sjb: The Pavane arrived yesterday and I can tell you it was a late night with my other half and with Roon. This DAC is magic (even though mine is "only" Level 1); the reviews available on the interweb describe its qualities better than I can, but if you can get your hands on one I strongly recommend a demo. The Nait XS 2 is doing a magnificent job as well. One problem is that the optical input on the Pavane maxes out at 96 kHz; however I believe better results can be achieved via coax or AES anyway. Unfortunately the coax on the Digi Pro is crackling and popping. Not wanting to start removing jumpers and solder things on, I may be forced to abandon the low-cost pi solution for an Aurelic Aries via AES. But for now, even with Pi/optical, there is so much more music.

Hi, I also use and love Roon, and use a Mac mini feeding a superuniti through an Audiophilleo USB to SPDIF converter.  It's been  excellent.  Incidentally I believe Naim licensed Audiophilleo technology for their first direct USB inputs on devices like the DAC-V1.

http://www.audiophilleo.com/

"In addition, the NAIM DAC-V1 is based on the Audiophilleo1 and the NAIM support page contains many useful documents on configuring various media player software. They can be found in the Manuals and Downloads section."

http://www.audiophilleo.com/Home/Support

 I have the pure power option which adds a battery to the set up further removing power line noise from the device.  The audiophilleo not only converts the signal, but also reclocks removing jitter and isolates USB power noise from the from the Mac mini, so very good all around.

There are other USB to SPDIF converters, these will give you better quality than the optical input which is limited in resolution vs. SPDIF.

Good luck!

 

 

 

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