roon - what am I missing?

Frank Yang posted:

Roon does output on the Core, that is why I am able to send music via SPDIF.

So, practically speaking, I sit on my PC. I tell Roon which music I want to be included (Core and PC). I choose the Core as output device in Roon and the Core plays then the music through my nDAC?

 

Terrysmi posted:

frank , what was connected to the Core? as far as i understand it the Core is not a Roon output device ked

The Core is my Mac Mini - So when I start Roon on my MM, go to Settings -> Audio, it immediately recognizes the system output, the built-in output, various USB outputs, Airplay and various streamers (aka networked devices) that I have in the house, it even sees a couple of my old Airport Express'es lying around the house as Airplay output devices. You can then pick any output you like on the Core when you are playing your music.

You can control the Roon Core using your latop, iPad, iPhone, etc. In my case, my MM is headless, so I run a Roon control app on my Windows 10 Surface Pro.

Frank, I think there may be some confusion - your 'Core' is the 'Roon Core' i.e. the device running the Roon software - Thorsten wants to use a 'Roon core' on PC to control audio output on his Uniti Core - this is what I think may not be possible - I don't have a Uniti Core so may be wrong but I don't think the Uniti Core has the RAAT software needed by Roon to control output from the Roon Core.

Yes, there seems to be some confusion here between the ‘Roon Core’ and the ‘Naim Core’. Roon Core is the main Roon software that runs on your computer, and as the Naim one is not a Roon Endpoint, it would need a network connection. 

The Roon Core computer can then play via SPDIF into a DAC. 

Frank Yang posted:

Yep, I got mixed-up, I thought Thorsten meant the Roon Core

Btw, the Roon DSP sounds awful, flat, mushy, muddy, disabling it bring back the familiar crisp, clean, fresh sound that I am used to. Maybe I do not know how to set it up properly.

Depends on  what your doing with DSP and what your wanting to achieve. 

Roon, or any other software, offers no better sound quality than iTunes when playing ripped CDs as Apple Lossless, bit perfect. I don't understand why few use iTunes and Apple Lossless. Apple's remote app on iphone or ipad also offers remote control of iTunes. Multi room is handled by Airplay. When you update OS X or IOS everything continues to work, unlike Audirvana or Roon which have to continuously play catch up with OS X or IOS updates.

Halloween Man posted:

Roon, or any other software, offers no better sound quality than iTunes when playing ripped CDs as Apple Lossless, bit perfect. I don't understand why few use iTunes and Apple Lossless. Apple's remote app on iphone or ipad also offers remote control of iTunes. Multi room is handled by Airplay. When you update OS X or IOS everything continues to work, unlike Audirvana or Roon which have to continuously play catch up with OS X or IOS updates.

Gimme a break! Roon has nothing to do with sound quality, and everything to do with managing your library. It also updates itself seamlessly. Please try it?

Halloween Man posted:

Seriously, I have tried it and liked it, it was my second favourite after iTunes. iTunes manages my library of CDs just fine, no problems whatsoever. Roon did not offer any better sound quality.

Wow! Must give iTunes another try. I must be missing something.......

Personally, I hate iTunes with a vengeance! It has to be one of the least intuitive and most frustrating bits of software around, so rigidly ‘thou shalt do what Apple says’!

And Audirvana’s writer tells me that using iTunes degrades sound quality with that software, though I have no idea why or how and have never been inclined to investigate...

I find iTunes very intuitive, Apple have built their reputation on writing intuitive software, think IOS, OS X, Logic Studio etc. Believe it or not they are actually very good and very successful at writing software.

i suspect the author of Audirvana suggests that the CPU is working harder using iTunes and therefore more electrical noise is getting transferred from computer to DAC via USB and this will further degrade sq. Using my setup and ears I cannot hear any difference whatsoever, and I did blind testing to prove it.

True iTunes does not support flac, or at least never used to. I use Apple lossless which is just as good for ripping cds. I did read somewhere recently that Apple are beginning to support flac with new products, such as their new speaker, but not sure if that is true.

I‘ve never used iTunes in windows so can’t comment on that.

The bottom line is iTunes best suits my system and setup and offers sq on a par with anything else, and it’s free.

Quite aside from hifi use, I can’t stand iTunes for one of its prime intended functions, getting music on an iphone for mobile listening - the process is such a PITA that The last thing I would want is to get involved with that for home use! Why can”t they just allow drag and drop into the storage location like other people?

i suppose if you’ve suffered iTines in a mobile device to the point of acceptance it is a different matter.

Ah, itunes and phones may be different if you have a macbook for home use with all your music in iTunes already - but if the music is not in iTunes you still have to get it in, which seems a convo,uted process, at least with iTunes on my Windows computer to get music on my iPhone, and it is getting the music into iTunes that is difficult - synching is easy (though I seem to recall synching and not wanting to copy all across is not so straightforward) i’ve just learnt to hate iTunes, so would not dream of trying to use for listening at home.

David O'Higgins posted:
Halloween Man posted:

Roon, or any other software, offers no better sound quality than iTunes when playing ripped CDs as Apple Lossless, bit perfect. I don't understand why few use iTunes and Apple Lossless. Apple's remote app on iphone or ipad also offers remote control of iTunes. Multi room is handled by Airplay. When you update OS X or IOS everything continues to work, unlike Audirvana or Roon which have to continuously play catch up with OS X or IOS updates.

Gimme a break! Roon has nothing to do with sound quality, and everything to do with managing your library. It also updates itself seamlessly. Please try it?

At first glance, many assume that Roon is nothing more than a library manager and iOS controller, which would make it seem like a very expensive product. If you dig into its settings, you see that it does a great deal more than that, replacing the entire UPnP server/streamer softwares with Roon's own, including multiroom, configurable DSP, etc. some of which most certainly affects sound quality. Whether or not you actually need any of that is another matter.

Itunes is without doubt the worse piece of software. Why they have not split the sync functions of phone away from it (at the very least) is beyond me, what a horrid bit of code.

Its been a few years since I really tried roon, back then it would not install on windows server, which as a piece of software supposed to serve music I was not impressed, but this past few weeks I have tried again.

 

I planned to build a dedicated server, I have a lot of PC bits around here, including excessive amounts of 512g ssds, 6th gen i5 and mobo, ddr4 ram, power supplies etc. So set about and built a PC with an NVMi SSd for boot and 4 ssds for storage. Not necessarily enough for my needs but a good start. 

I first tried the bare bones Roon Rock, this was the master plan, minimum server running on the network. It installed great and the web interface offered the basics. The first major hurdle here was Rock would only see the boot drive and one spare drive. Its built for Nucs but I still found this a major failing as I could not conceive on anyone looking for a one box solution settling for one 2.5in drive, at max what 2tb?

Not to be outdone I stuck in a raid card and creates a raid 0, alas whilst it was shown in Bios, roon did not see it.

However moving from that disappointment I installed on a linux build, Fedora as this was listed as compatible. Alas it did not work. Much hair pulling later I went for ubuntu and thankfully it worked just fine here. But just as with all desktop Linuxes out there, it was a shit experience. SAMBA just would not work, mac could see it but when attempting to connect would bum out saying it no longer existed and windows did not even try. Much forum searching and everyone else having the same issue type posts, I questioned why I bothered with this.

In the end it occurred to me that my main server OpenMediaVault is linux and sure enough I was able to ssh and install roon here. Boom and we were in!

I have been playing for a week or more by installing roopie onto a Pi with Highberry dac and too various squeezeboxes and with airplay.

 

Upsides

Its management of devices it finds on the network is refreshing, great to see everything it can play to and setting these up is intuitive

Because it can play to local devices such as macs and phones, this is the first piece of software other than plex that can achieve this easily

Lots of settings for the geek in each of these audio device setups

So far the server has been rock solid

It has internet radio

The tidal seems nice

The forum is super active and helpful

 

 

Downsides

 

Whilst the interface looks nice its a total mare on any device you use it. They have chosen that scrolling should be sideways and there is no way to just list your artists you know, as a list. If you have a lot you are going to be scrolling a hell of a lot or you will have to search. Having to search makes general thumbing through your collection a no go.

Whilst this can be changed, by default it uses its own meta data searching. So where as for instance I have Dark side of the Moon, then Dark side of the Moon 2011 remaster listed as such, it will just list both as Dark Side Of The Moon, there are a fair amount of weird metadata decisions made and its a bit frustrating. For instance on a double album if meta data has them listed by disk which mine do then with roons handling you will get disk 1/2 as a pop up, nice. But if you turn off the roon handling album meta, then even though tagged correctly for disk, your album will now be split with no indication of which disk is which, boo.

I have had some queer sound issues which thankfully seemed to have gone now. When playing some tracks they would slow down like a tape player walkman slowly running out of battery. restarting the song fixed it. I have never experienced this before and have no explanation as to why it would or could occur.

Where it pulls artist details with pictures, many times the pics are the wrong orientation so all you see is the top of the artists head

Many many artists, common ones as well do not have pictures, I cannot be arsed to go finding them.

 

 

 

 

Sound quality wise, I don't hear any difference compared to Volumio. And in terms of artist info, they are pulling precisely the same information from the same sources as everyone else, this so called curated information is an algorithm, nothing more, nothing less.

But, but I have to say handling of my devices and playing to them is a total joy, is it worth the admission fee? Well I still have 3 days to decide, but I do like the fact the essentially I am controlling the server, which is powerful and therefore accessing music is very quick, compared to say volumio where I am controlling the player on a pi, which is therefore woefully under powered so picking music is slow.

 

 

In short, I like it. But I wish it was a monthly, or at least not so dammed expensive. Its good, but not that good.

 

 

For the benefit of anyone who has just read Gary's post and thought, Oh my god, how on earth will I ever be able to set up Roon with my limited IT skills I don't even know what on Earth a 6th gen i5, DDR4 RAM, NVMi, Nucs, Raid card, Bios, Fedora, Ubuntu, shit, SAMBA, Open Media Vault, ssh, Volume, or algorithm is, never mind how to use them......don't worry about it. I don't really know what most of those are either, and it only took me a very small amount of head scratching to get Roon up and running. 

Other than that, a fair assessment of the pros and cons, I think.

Interesting to hear your updated impressions. 

As I’ve said many times before it was the software that put CD usage into second place (and led to the sale of my CD555). Neither iPeng/Logitech nor Naim added enough to the experience to budge me from CD. 

It’s far from perfect but has now become a central part of my system as I use it as the interface for HQP to upsample  to DSD512 which gives me the best sound I have ever experienced.

For me a lifetime membership certainly is worth more than 2/3 of a powerline.

.sjb

 

Well, if everything were compared to a powerline then value can be found in lots of things

To be fair, my interest is piqued because of that active forum, problems are quickly addressed and solutions sought and thats worth a percentage of a powerline in my book.

I think I will go for the year, the interface is very good apart from the scrolling thing, and I already feel like returning to volumio or Daphile will be a step backward from an access perspective.

 

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