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post #31 of 48 Old 05-19-2020, 02:25 PM
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Go for it! Competition is always good. It doesn't seem Roon has any real competition, so opportunity there for sure. Companies like Sonos/Heos/etc. are clearly more interested in hardware than their software interfaces because they all suck in comparison.
We'll see what happens. At the moment, I am teamed with a small investor on a concept we are working towards pitching to a bigger fish by the end June. If that goes well, I'll have zero time. If it doesn't, I'll be looking for something else; maybe "replacing Roon" could be it. However, I am not so sure the investor we have on the hook would like Roon's business model. I don't know there is enough user-base to make them salivate, lol.

All I do know is I am super tired of using my skills to make other people money. It's my turn! I get paid well, but it'd feel so much better to have an idea my brain spawned be paying me. Or, at least, an idea that I actually love and stand behind. All I'm building now is software to move around planes at job one and money at job two -- neither interest me much any longer, lol. The regular paychecks, on the other hand, are hard to look past.

But hey, mostly all I work for is to buy A/V stuff and cars, haha. Paying the mortgage and other bills is just a necessary evil -- like "saving", lol. It's the toys and vacations I really work for...well, that and I absolutely love what I do when it is interesting work. Right now the dream is a theater room w/ Christie Eclipse. If the pitch goes well, I may get there in "a few" years! (*) Of course, the investors could like at us like we're crazy and walk -- never know until we try! The market research says there is plenty of money to be had in the space we're in, so...hopefully not. Alas, it also says many have tried what we are and failed, so we have to differentiate. But, while our concept is different, convincing someone we can succeed where others failed is the hard part -- heck, sometimes reading the research temporarily deflates me...and it's my idea!

(*) Though, I don't know who I'll buy it from...the singular person on this forum "pushing" it into home theaters will never get a cent of my money. In fact, I'm willing to admit that I'm both petty and petulant enough to allow my "disgust" towards them to drive me even harder towards success simply for the satisfaction of thumbing my nose at them while buying from someone else -- sad but true, lol.
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post #32 of 48 Old 05-19-2020, 02:26 PM
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I tried Roon and decided against it because I've spent many hours getting the metadata right in my own library. (Tidal and Qobuz are another story; it's almost impossible to find a specific classical recording there on the first try.)

Now, a few years later, I've bought plenty of downloads that were on sale and am wearying of fixing metadata. (I wish I could run the downloads through dBpoweramp for that.) Though I've got quite a good workflow, it's becoming increasingly tiresome. Thus, Roon is getting to look not like a bargain, but possibly like a reasonable expense, even at $700 for Roon plus maybe another $700 or $1000 for a small computer to run it on.

Yet, I've not brought myself to spend that money yet. Perhaps it's the quirks of the Roon interface that put me off initially that are deterring me, or maybe just the cost for convenience, not for music or better sound. Or maybe the thought of setting up and maintaining one more device.

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post #33 of 48 Old 05-19-2020, 03:42 PM
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Mike,

I think the biggest metadata point that Roon has, that no one else is (presently) advertising (to the best of my knowledge), is the "volume normalization" data. If you like to shuffle through lots of genres over different artists and albums during a single listening session, it sounds like this is a superior feature. I know that I often end up dorking with my volume control a few times over the course of any playlist spanning multiple decades and genres. Sometimes I'd rather just sit back and listen without having to rush to the remote to adjust (usually downwards, lol) the volume.

That said, I'm curious what is so wrong with the metadata in purchased downloads? I know it's not always great -- for example, I hate when they list featured artists in the track title. But, it's at least typically accurate? No? More, if you just want Roon to auto-adjust some meta-data, maybe look into other solutions. I do believe there are a few that, for much less money than Roon, can run a song through an identification tool and grab meta-data. Maybe take a look at this one and see if it saves you some coin.
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post #34 of 48 Old 05-19-2020, 05:08 PM
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Metadata, Roon, Volume leveling

DreamWarrior,

I should have mentioned, I'm speaking mostly about classical music. There, the metadata can be missing or wrong or just in a different format from the one I use. For example, I want the composer in the "Composer" field, the orchestra name in "Orchestra", the conductor in "Conductor", and so on. I want movements numbered. I abbreviate "Concerto" to "Cto" so more of a title will appear on screen. I plead guilty to being rather Felix Unger in this. I'll take a look at your link to see if it's of help in my case.

Metadata for other genres usually needs way less fiddling on my part, often none.

Regarding volume leveling, I have JRiver analyze files when I import music, and it adds values for leveling. With classical music, it's not something I want, so it's turned off. I should get it working for pop, jazz, and so on, though, as mixed playlists can be jarring otherwise, as you pointed out.

Thanks for the comments!

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post #35 of 48 Old 05-19-2020, 05:31 PM
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DreamWarrior,

I should have mentioned, I'm speaking mostly about classical music. There, the metadata can be missing or wrong or just in a different format from the one I use. For example, I want the composer in the "Composer" field, the orchestra name in "Orchestra", the conductor in "Conductor", and so on. I want movements numbered. I abbreviate "Concerto" to "Cto" so more of a title will appear on screen. I plead guilty to being rather Felix Unger in this. I'll take a look at your link to see if it's of help in my case.

Metadata for other genres usually needs way less fiddling on my part, often none.

Regarding volume leveling, I have JRiver analyze files when I import music, and and it adds values for leveling. With classical music, it's not something I want, so it's turned off. I should get it working for pop, jazz, and so on, though, as mixed playlists can be jarring otherwise, as you pointed out.

Thanks for the comments!
Honestly, I won't deny you the odd Unger-ian approach. In fact, I'd say it's the way "it should be". The abbreviations may be a bit over-the-top, but I can certainly understand the rationale when classical titles are already typically long. A word-replace feature may help you there...though, it won't have context so it'll just replace the word everywhere which may (occasionally) be wrong.

That said, I hope the link helps. I really don't know how well Classical music is recognized by the linked tools / music ID databases. Unfortunately, even if it helps, it may not get you 100% where you want to be...and that's unfortunate as, like I said, I agree it's how it "should be". I have always been a person who thinks computer data should be modeled as close to real life as possible. All too often, though, people find "hacks" because they "have to" (usually because they are too lazy to do anything else). So, kudos to not accepting the "hacks" and putting the information where "it belongs" despite the pains you take to do so. I hope the linked tools can assist, but...now I'm not so sure .
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post #36 of 48 Old 05-19-2020, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by DreamWarrior View Post
Honestly, I won't deny you the odd Unger-ian approach. In fact, I'd say it's the way "it should be". The abbreviations may be a bit over-the-top, but I can certainly understand the rationale when classical titles are already typically long. A word-replace feature may help you there...though, it won't have context so it'll just replace the word everywhere which may (occasionally) be wrong.

That said, I hope the link helps. I really don't know how well Classical music is recognized by the linked tools / music ID databases. Unfortunately, even if it helps, it may not get you 100% where you want to be...and that's unfortunate as, like I said, I agree it's how it "should be". I have always been a person who thinks computer data should be modeled as close to real life as possible. All too often, though, people find "hacks" because they "have to" (usually because they are too lazy to do anything else). So, kudos to not accepting the "hacks" and putting the information where "it belongs" despite the pains you take to do so. I hope the linked tools can assist, but...now I'm not so sure .
Dream Warrier, Thanks! I've got shortcuts set up to make standard changes with as few keystrokes as possible. JRiver has an expression language, and my most common changes are saved in a file I can cut & paste. Some other changes are set up in mp3tag. Yet when I'm weary, I forget the nits I had to pick with Roon and remember only that Roon has data on everything. In reality, some of that data is wrong! Cheers!
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post #37 of 48 Old 05-19-2020, 07:09 PM
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*snip* Yet when I'm weary, I forget the nits I had to pick with Roon and remember only that Roon has data on everything. In reality, some of that data is wrong! Cheers!
I just took a further look and it seems Roon is building upon the MusicBrainz database that I linked above. So, if Roon is often wrong, you're probably hosed. A touch more poking around and it seems many classical music lovers have similar complaints about how woefully poorly the MusicBrainz database is designed for classical music. edit: maybe not...some people said it's not a MusicBrainz issue rather a Roon issue. Honestly, I'd have to dig more.

How about this: how many Classical music fans would maintain a classical music metadata database? The, previously linked, acoustic signature API backing MusicBrainz is open-source. So long as it can properly identify a piece of classical music and return a unique ID, anyone can link that ID to a better designed database having its focus on classical music. If enough people wanted it, I'm sure a Kickstarter could be compelled. More, since Roon already uses the API, they could hook up to it. However, it seems even the Room UI is focused more on rock/pop than classical, so....

edit: also, try this metadata tagger. It is supposedly using MusicBrainz to very good effect, and should, given supposedly it is written by a person that was involved with MusicBrainz. Maybe it obviates the need for the "better" database I ponder above.
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post #38 of 48 Old 05-19-2020, 09:35 PM
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We'll see what happens. At the moment, I am teamed with a small investor on a concept we are working towards pitching to a bigger fish by the end June. If that goes well, I'll have zero time[/SIZE]
Good luck! Been there multiple times, I hope you get some traction. I have a startup I'm working on now too.

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I tried Roon and decided against it because I've spent many hours getting the metadata right in my own library. (Tidal and Qobuz are another story; it's almost impossible to find a specific classical recording there on the first try.)

Now, a few years later, I've bought plenty of downloads that were on sale and am wearying of fixing metadata. (I wish I could run the downloads through dBpoweramp for that.) Though I've got quite a good workflow, it's becoming increasingly tiresome. Thus, Roon is getting to look not like a bargain, but possibly like a reasonable expense, even at $700 for Roon plus maybe another $700 or $1000 for a small computer to run it on.

Yet, I've not brought myself to spend that money yet. Perhaps it's the quirks of the Roon interface that put me off initially that are deterring me, or maybe just the cost for convenience, not for music or better sound. Or maybe the thought of setting up and maintaining one more device.
Putting the Roon linux OS on a dedicated NUC got me a hi-res multichannel streamer to my prepro that I didn't have and it is self-maintaining with automatic updates. I've been looking at streamers for a while and they were all more much than the $600 I spent on the NUC. The install kind of sucked, but that's a one-time deal, the OS seems rock solid.

Roon also controls my Sonos zones which solves another issue I had brewing with my legacy Sonos gear. All in all, Roon is a great value from a hardware and software standpoint in my particular situation.
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post #39 of 48 Old 05-20-2020, 02:27 PM
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Good luck! Been there multiple times, I hope you get some traction. I have a startup I'm working on now too.
Thanks -- you, too!

We should sit down and have some beers over this! Alas, COVID.... Hit me up when you're amenable, though! It's always fun hanging w/ you and I still haven't heard your Atmos setup .

My car needs service, again, maybe I'll take it to the dealer by you once the insanity dies down sufficiently. Unless, of course, I die first . But, I can't be trapped indoors anymore, so I'm making moves into the world, again. I have been one of three or four people that have returned to the office more regularly over the past few weeks instead of working strictly from home. It's amazing how much better I feel just getting out of the house again; until it kills me .
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post #40 of 48 Old 05-21-2020, 04:10 PM
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Thanks -- you, too!

We should sit down and have some beers over this! Alas, COVID.... Hit me up when you're amenable, though! It's always fun hanging w/ you and I still haven't heard your Atmos setup .

My car needs service, again, maybe I'll take it to the dealer by you once the insanity dies down sufficiently. Unless, of course, I die first . But, I can't be trapped indoors anymore, so I'm making moves into the world, again. I have been one of three or four people that have returned to the office more regularly over the past few weeks instead of working strictly from home. It's amazing how much better I feel just getting out of the house again; until it kills me .
No doubt we need to have a gtg asap. Always a good time!
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post #41 of 48 Old Yesterday, 09:31 AM
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Anyone think the $700 is worth it?

I considered Roon last year but the $500 pricetag wasn't worth it to me since I was mostly using Amazon, Spotify and sometimes my FLAC files up at that time. I ended up dropping Spotify, donwngrading Amazon Music HD to Amazon Music Unlimited and subscribing to Qobuz at the beginning of 2020. Now that I have been working at home due to COVID-19, I have been using LMS and my old Logitech Squeezebox Touch to stream Qobuz (with Orange Squeeze as my remote app). It has been working fine but I keep wondering if there is something better and, after trying Audirvana, which didn't really work for me, I went back to considering Roon only to find the price had gone up to $700. $700 is pretty steep, although I hear the Qobuz integration is excellent. At $500, I was seriously considering it but at $700, I wonder if I would not be better off trying something like a Node 2i and a miniDSP instead.
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The entire point of the $700 price increase is because it's too expensive. Roon Labs have flat-out stated that their goal is to shift their revenue to a recurring model because over the long haul the lifetime subscriptions are not healthy for the company or the product. They claim they think it's worth it, but their reasoning seems pretty clear to me. Reading between the lines, the Roon userbase is not significantly growing but their ongoing support and infrastructure costs are steady and constant. They can keep the product alive and continue making improvements with a small userbase, but not if that userbase doesn't keep providing revenue in the form of annual subscriptions.

From their COO:

Quote:
We initially offered the lifetime for early commitment, not so people could rent-to-own. The goal was to bring forward 4-5 years of revenue so we could fund the start of the company. It worked. We never raised external funding.
. . .
What Roon needs now is a regular and dependable revenue stream for business sustainability and ongoing product development; we get that with annual subscriptions, not lifetimes.
. . .
The lifetime should not be an aspiration for Roon subscribers. It hurts us as a company and is not a viable business model for our future. If the price increase has reduced demand for lifetime subscriptions, that’s a good thing for our business.

It’s unlikely that we’ll offer a lifetime option forever. If you enjoy Roon and believe in what we’re doing, the best way to support it is to subscribe annual. We will do our level best to earn that support for many years to come.
Ref: https://community.roonlabs.com/t/lif...-499-699/84339

I'm a new Roon user (just discovered it this year) and I just pay the annual price. It's better for the company and I think it's worth the cost. A lot can change in the six years it would take to break even on the lifetime pricing, and really $10/month isn't all that expensive in the grand scheme of things. If I'm still happily using Roon seven years from now, I'm not really going to begrudge the continued expense. Especially if that predictable income has allowed them to stay in business and continue to develop the product. I like containing costs, but I take them at their word that Lifetime sales hurt the company. It's better for me if they stay healthy and engaged. I'm here for the product, not to pinch pennies.

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I wonder if I would not be better off trying something like a Node 2i and a miniDSP instead.
I'd wager a bet that a $600 Node 2i that you bought today will end up in a landfill -- replaced by something newer -- than the break-even point of an annual Roon subscription at $120/year.

I like cars, airplanes, running, and coding || current gear: two eyes, two ears, one brain, and some other junk.

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post #43 of 48 Old Today, 06:21 AM
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As a former Roon user and one who has the node now, the BluOS app isn't very good and light years behind Roon, but it does have Amazon HD integration. If Roon were to get that, I'd consider going back.

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The entire point of the $700 price increase is because it's too expensive. Roon Labs have flat-out stated that their goal is to shift their revenue to a recurring model because over the long haul the lifetime subscriptions are not healthy for the company or the product. They claim they think it's worth it, but their reasoning seems pretty clear to me. Reading between the lines, the Roon userbase is not significantly growing but their ongoing support and infrastructure costs are steady and constant. They can keep the product alive and continue making improvements with a small userbase, but not if that userbase doesn't keep providing revenue in the form of annual subscriptions.

From their COO:

Quote:
We initially offered the lifetime for early commitment, not so people could rent-to-own. The goal was to bring forward 4-5 years of revenue so we could fund the start of the company. It worked. We never raised external funding.
. . .
What Roon needs now is a regular and dependable revenue stream for business sustainability and ongoing product development; we get that with annual subscriptions, not lifetimes.
. . .
The lifetime should not be an aspiration for Roon subscribers. It hurts us as a company and is not a viable business model for our future. If the price increase has reduced demand for lifetime subscriptions, that’️s a good thing for our business.

It’️s unlikely that we’️ll offer a lifetime option forever. If you enjoy Roon and believe in what we’️re doing, the best way to support it is to subscribe annual. We will do our level best to earn that support for many years to come.
Ref: https://community.roonlabs.com/t/lif...-499-699/84339

I'm a new Roon user (just discovered it this year) and I just pay the annual price. It's better for the company and I think it's worth the cost. A lot can change in the six years it would take to break even on the lifetime pricing, and really $10/month isn't all that expensive in the grand scheme of things. If I'm still happily using Roon seven years from now, I'm not really going to begrudge the continued expense. Especially if that predictable income has allowed them to stay in business and continue to develop the product. I like containing costs, but I take them at their word that Lifetime sales hurt the company. It's better for me if they stay healthy and engaged. I'm here for the product, not to pinch pennies.

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I wonder if I would not be better off trying something like a Node 2i and a miniDSP instead.
I'd wager a bet that a $600 Node 2i that you bought today will end up in a landfill -- replaced by something newer -- than the break-even point of an annual Roon subscription at $120/year.
Thanks. I read the posts and what you quoted above and understand what Roon is saying about cashflow. I was wondering if anyone here has signed up for the $700 lifetime membership. Sounds like you have not and opted for the annual instead. I doubt I would pay $700 for a lifetime license but I still have that feeling in the back of my mind.

Like others, I prefer an up front cost vs subscription model (which is why I still use Microsoft Office 2013 at home and wish I had purchased Lightroom before Adobe went subscription only) and my concern is really whether Roon will be able to continue to adapt and remain competitive rather than becoming obsolete and ending up in a "landfill." What they (most likely, intentionally) fail to mention are the potential subscribers they have lost by moving to this model (they are not Microsoft or Adobe). If what you say is true and the userbase is not significantly growing, the whole point of the increase would then have been to ensure existing subscribers don't jump to the lifetime plan, which shows no appreciation or loyalty to their existing customers (that bothers me because it sounds like this was the whole point of not notifying existing subscribers). In my opinion, they should be focusing on ways to grow that userbase rather than trying to maintain a status quo. They could have chosen to offer a lifetime license to a specific version and charge additional fees to upgrade a lifetime license (with free upgrades for monthly or annual subscribers) as other companies have done.

As for the $550 Node 2i, I would hope that it would last longer than 5-6 years as I tend to use my gear much longer than most. My first LED TV (a Samsung UN40B7000) is still hanging on my wall today and has survived four moves and I am still using my Logitech Squeezebox Touch to stream Qobuz on my desktop setup (Windows 10 app and Roon both seem to suffer from playback interruptions). Hoping Roon can last much longer and improve over time to stay relevant.

I am in the middle of a 60 day trial of Roon but so far I have only been using it as an alternative interface for Qobuz. The only thing that seemed to fix my playback issues on Qobuz was using my old Squeezebox Touch and LMS. I really like the Roon interface and remote app and it seems like it has potential to eventually replace both LMS and the (terrible) HEOS app for my multi room streaming needs. It also seems like BlueOS could offer some of the same which is why I am considering it. If Qobuz gets their act together on the Windows app and HEOS integration, perhaps I don't need either. I may give BlueOS a try after my Roon trial is done since I hear so much about it on these forums and, who knows, maybe I miss Roon so much I end up with both. In any case, if you have read all this, these are just my opinions thanks for reading what has evolved to somewhat of a rant as I typed this. Always appreciate the responses and opinions of those on this forum.

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As a former Roon user and one who has the node now, the BluOS app isn't very good and light years behind Roon, but it does have Amazon HD integration. If Roon were to get that, I'd consider going back.
Thanks. Amazon HD integration is a good point. I am hoping one day Amazon HD will improve enough that I will go back to it. I had a lot of issues with Amazon HD (emailed customer support every few days) and it was not playing nice with all the music I have purchased from them (including Autorips). I also used it alot for my toddler and his songs kept changing to instrumental "sing-along" versions unless I purchased the song. Hoping they work out the kinks. Qobuz has one of the worst apps I have used in a long time (especially the Windows app). Hoping BlueOS is better.
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So is Roon primarily a streaming interface or a player for content stored on local devices, be them a NAS, a CD (what's that?), a flash drive, etc.
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So is Roon primarily a streaming interface or a player for content stored on local devices, be them a NAS, a CD (what's that?), a flash drive, etc.
And seamless integration fro Tidal and Qobuz.

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So is Roon primarily a streaming interface or a player for content stored on local devices, be them a NAS, a CD (what's that?), a flash drive, etc.
Roon's real winning use case is that it can seamlessly combine both local content alongside streaming content in a way that's elegant and invisible to the user. I don't see much value for users who are streaming only, unless they are enthusiasts of quality metadata. But for someone with a large local library of music who wants to augment that local library with a streaming subscription (Tidal or Qobuz) it's really hard to beat.

A secondary use case is someone who has a motley and disorganized local library of questionable provenance. Roon will suck up all your files and present a consistent and orderly presentation with their own metadata and cross-linking of artists and genres no matter how messy your local library is underneath.
hogues likes this.

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