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Roon
21-06-2020, 17:51 (This post was last modified: 21-06-2020 17:51 by lyapounov.)
Post: #1
Roon
Hello there

can someone explain to me where is the value of Roon ?

I mean:

- I can't browse using my folder structure (the founder of Roon tried to explain to me it was a stupid idea...)
- I can't convert format
- It tells me that i need to update my software, but both client and server say they are up to date
- It cost $100+ a year

Plus their community website is totally down

I would like to understand who is happy to pay this huge amount of money and why ?
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18-07-2020, 10:07 (This post was last modified: 18-07-2020 10:15 by bbrip.)
Post: #2
RE: Roon
I am testing roon at the moment, well I bought a year's subscription because their trial period is way to short to really test this complex software out if you have a big collection.

On your questions:
- TBH, browsing by folder ist something that sounds a bit "1990's", so I am not surprised they are not offering this. I've not needed this during my 8 years or so with MinimServer, and I wont need it in Roon.
- Not sure what you mean by "convert format". There is a pretty rich DSP functionality in Roon that does pretty much whatever you want, be it upsampling, conversion form DSD to PCM and vice versa, you name it.
- that update message might be a know bug. If you are sure both client and server are on the same software, try restarting your Roon server. The message should go away.

Community website down? Not for me. And it hasnt been down as long as I can remember.
https://community.roonlabs.com

My take on Roon:
It is expensive yes. I wouldnt mind that if everything works. But the software is surprisingly buggy. In the short period I've been playing with it I discovered (and reported) a number of bugs. More worrysome: If you dive deeper into some weird behaving functionalities, you will find there are other bugs that have been reported by others years ago and are still not fixed.

The interface is anything but consistent and intuitive. Some screens browse vertical, some horizontal. Some have 8 covers per page, some 12 or 15 or 18..... Its all over the place.

What I like is that if the composition matching works, then you get a nice listing of all recordings of a certain work in your collection. Plus, if you have Tidal or Qobuz, you get all the available recordings listed on those streaming services. That integration (in my case Qobuz) into the local library is really quite good. You also get similar listings by artist. If you have a streaming subscription, suggestions are being made fro more albums of the same artist.

Unfortunately after the initial import, a lot of manual fiddling is required to make everything work as they use public metadata from various providers which are often in pretty bad shape.

Roon needs a powerful processor, running this on most NAS's will not yield a good experience. I tried it on my Synology and it was pretty stuttery. You ned an Intel i3 or better i7 processor, particulry of you have more than just a few hundert albums.

Does it replace MinimServer for me? No. I still like the simplicity offered by MinimServer in many instances. And MinimServer is 200% reliable.

Will I buy another year of subscription once my current one runs out? Not sure yet. I have expected more for my money.

And important to remember: The guys at Roon have quite an attitude! They believe they are the greatest and smartest. To the point that I'd call Arrogant and ignorant. They dont even come anywhere close to the responsiveness to fixing bugs that you get here at Minimserver.

But if everything works, it can be a nice experience.
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18-07-2020, 11:35
Post: #3
RE: Roon
Thanks for this very useful assessment.

You state:
"Unfortunately after the initial import, a lot of manual fiddling is required to make everything work as they use public metadata from various providers which are often in pretty bad shape."

For this reason I will not consider switching to Room. Each time I import an album to my music library I review and edit meta data where necessary. While part of the effort required is splitting 'albums' into 'works' to place in the appropriate genres I use, there is no consistency in track metadata between albums so most track metadata needs editing.

System: ALAC iTunes library on Synology DS412+ (running MinimServer) > Airport Extreme bridge > Optical isolation > dCS Network Bridge (controlled by Galaxy Tab S2 tablet running BubbleUPnP&Mosaic) > PS Audio DirectStream DAC > Primare A60 > Harbeth SHL5plus 40th Anniversary model
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18-07-2020, 12:58
Post: #4
RE: Roon
I can certainly understand that. I lost count of how many days I spent fixing bad metadata. Something I would have never done in normal days, but I had some time during corona lockdown....
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16-09-2020, 00:38 (This post was last modified: 16-09-2020 00:39 by Mike48.)
Post: #5
RE: Roon
(18-07-2020 10:07)bbrip Wrote:  MinimServer is 200% reliable.

I just thought about that today, as I am facing both a hardware problem (preamp with bad network card) and interface problem (control point and renderer not doing well in some very specific cases). I thought about it, and I couldn't remember the last time I found an issue in MinimServer, if I ever have. I've been using it for at least 8 years.

What else is so reliable? No software I've ever used!

I tried Roon for a year and thought it not worth the complexity (another computer required) and cost compared to what I'm using now. Plus, its own metadata are hardly without flaw.

I can see that if someone wanted to make Qobuz or Tidal their only library, and they liked classical music or jazz, Roon could be worth the price. Q and T are much nicer to use with the Roon integration. But the value is much less clear in a lot of other cases, especially for experienced users of computer audio.

Mike
Portland, Oregon, USA
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16-09-2020, 21:36
Post: #6
RE: Roon
(18-07-2020 10:07)bbrip Wrote:  - TBH, browsing by folder ist something that sounds a bit "1990's", so I am not surprised they are not offering this. I've not needed this during my 8 years or so with MinimServer, and I wont need it in Roon.

Well, this is my problem.
I have now 7373 albums, representing 117337 tracks, for a total duration of 353d 22h 31m 26s and 5 696 879 479 279 bytes

I am a geek somehow, and I like to have my music well structured.

Now: re tagging this amount of music does not resist Covid. It is impossible (do you want to help me ? :-). Plus how do you tag ? When I was teaching database, I allways gave my student as an exercice to make the data model of classical music CDs. A nightmare. And, FYI, I buy a lot on Qobuz. You can't imagine the number of albums where tagging is bad, event sometime buggued, like each track has the name of the album repeated twice before the track content, something like (by memory):

René Jacob: Mozart: Die Zauberflöte;René Jacob: Mozart: Die Zauberflöte; Overture

Etc.

So, whether you like it or not, folder browsing is, for me, the least worst solution given the numer of albums, and the bad tagging.

FYI my first level is:
0) test & sample
1) Renaissance
2) Baroque
3) Classical
4) Operas
5) XXth century
6) Jazz
7) pop folk
8) World music
9) chanson françaises
10 movie music
11) story telling, etc (basically all spoken albums)

I know, some albums are in between two places. But I know them, and I know where they are.

And BTW I agree with the arrogance of Roon founder. When I explained to him that I wanted folder browsing, he was not as kind as you by just refering to 1990 (the year my children were born :-) he just basically said that I was an idiot to ask for this...
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16-09-2020, 21:58 (This post was last modified: 16-09-2020 22:04 by Mike48.)
Post: #7
RE: Roon
(16-09-2020 21:36)lyapounov Wrote:  (shortened)
I have now 7373 albums, representing 117337 tracks, for a total duration of 353d 22h 31m 26s and 5 696 879 479 279 bytes

I am a geek somehow, and I like to have my music well structured.

Now: re tagging this amount of music does not resist Covid. It is impossible (do you want to help me ? :-). Plus how do you tag ? When I was teaching database, I allways gave my student as an exercice to make the data model of classical music CDs. A nightmare. And, FYI, I buy a lot on Qobuz. You can't imagine the number of albums where tagging is bad, event sometime buggued, like each track has the name of the album repeated twice before the track content....

I agree about the horrible tagging of purchased downloads. I spend far less time tagging a CD ripped with dBpoweramp than fixing tagging for an equivalent download. It's incomprehensible why the labels can't do better.

If you ever wanted to add proper tagging to your library, you might look at the MusiChi software, if it still exists, which includes a massive database to add and format tags to your liking, all done with as much or little intervention as you choose. But I just visited the site to provide a link, and I found only a piece of hardware. Either they have discontinued the software, which would be a shame, or they are re-doing their Web site right now.

JRiver Media Center allows sorting the display by anything and then making bulk changes; still, for 7,375 albums (assuming you've bought 2 since posting), it still will be a tough go. JRiver also has a command language for making changes. I save my commands in a text file for future use.

As to the question "How do you tag?", you as a database expert know there is no perfect way. One just must devise a workable layout that lets you find what you're looking for. My scheme is hardly perfect, but I easily can find that one clarinet piece by composer A hidden in a compilation disc or on a disc of music by B. I also can find all versions I have of Scarlatti's sonata in B, K. 262 (e.g.). So it has uses, especially for a pretty big library, but if you're satisfied now, it won't be worth it for you.

Mike
Portland, Oregon, USA
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