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  1. #1
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    Roon: my experience.

    So, i just want to share my experience with Roon. I gave it a try and these are my first impressions after 2 days of my free-trial.

    First of all, Roon is running now for 2 days not on my arm-based NAS, but on my win PC, using fully its intel i5 CPU for scanning. It has recognized my albums ok, BUT it's still working in its scanning process, collecting all the infos it uses (bios, reviews, metadata etcetc). with my 100000 tracks library, 2 days and it's ony halfway!! so, as you can read on Roon specs.... for it to run you really need a dedicated powerful piece of hardware (they suggest as a minimum, a SD disk for the database and an intel i5/i7 CPU).

    BUT: Roon recognizes single track files (99.9 of my library) BUT DOES NOT recognize full album flac files with cuesheet. I have a few of them fortunately, but someone could prefer that format.

    METADATA
    -NO possibility to customize or map TAGS. Roon has its own logic (which is not fully explained), and you cannot do anything about it. And it's not even complete: for example no LYRICS tag. Roon gets lyrics over internet, BUT as you know on internet you can find only main stream lyrics....
    - Please note:
    ROON George Frederick Handel CORRECT Georg Friedrich Händel (he is German, not English! For me, this is unbearable).
    ROON George Dalaras CORRECT Giorgos Dalaras (He is Greek, not English!)
    ROON Frédéric Chopin CORRECT Fryderyk Chopin (he is Polish!)
    This is just to note that everything in Roon speaks English, bios, infos, metadata are for an English speaking world. For example, Italian music section is very poor, as worldwide known Italian artists are a minority. BAD.
    -In Roon, you have the option to accept Roon metadata, or use your one tags, or mix them. But mixing is done brainless. For example, if I mix, I get both George Frederick Handel AND Georg Friedrich Händel. BAD. And if I use only my tags, the system simply doesn't work the proper way, because it cannot cross information between albums. (Considering for example I have another Händel album not properly tagged, Roon will add a proper tag, Handel, so ...)
    -OK, it seems metadata are very extended, with artists and personnel and production staff for every record. BUT NOT for single track. So, let's say, you can read that in a specific album by John Coltrane there is Cecil Taylor as a guest artist, playing piano. BUT you don't know where.... in which tracks. And so???
    -Similarly, if you look for an artist, when you browse corresponding albums you expect to see only tracks with that artist. While in Roon you see every track of that album. You know that that artist is playing in some track, but you don't know which ones. So.... all the fantastic metadata recognition and crossing of Roon.... is USELESS.
    -If I select Genre - Classical, I get: whatever! For example: Amalia Rodrigues, Archie Shepp, Arto Lynday, Carla Bley, Carmen McRae!! And THIS IS NOT in my tags. So?????
    -Besides, if I look to my Archie Shepp albums in Roon, no one corresponds to a CLASSICAL genre. It seems that in Roon online database A. Shepp is tagged as classical, despite of my own albums. Clearly, if I then browse my A.S. albums I find.... whatever, id est all my NON CLASSICAL albums. BAD
    -Album art, you can choose if you prefer your own, or Roon's one, or the best. But it turns out that Roon's are different from yours. In my experience, allmusic database (used by Roon) is full of errors. And you cannot make a general choice and ad hoc corrections for specific albums. BAD.
    -Rating: for every album you have a rating. NOT your own rating, but Roon rating. BAD. You can add your rating, but the default, the one you see, is Roon's one. BAD.
    -I guess that you can edit (=correct) all this Roon metadata stuff. But do you want to do it?? NO! Especially because all this corrections would live in Roon database, and not in your own tags. If for any reason you leave Roon, you lose your work. BAD.

    At the end of the day, I have disabled almost all Roon metadata. I have left only additional data like production, mix and so on, that I usually don't write in tags.

    PLAYING
    -You can select an album and add it at current playlist, or play it after the current track. But you CANNOT do the same for a single track (you can just add it at the end of the playlist). It seems absurd to me.
    -In LMS, with don't stop the music you can choose if you want random tracks or random albums, within the playing genre or with all genres. In Roon, only random track in the playing genre. For me, this is disappointing. I hate playing single tracks of an album.
    -I confirm (no need to) that Roon works very well with my squeezbox touch. No problem at all, but you have to stop LMS.
    -If you search for a specific composer..... you get for that composer a list of... compositions. They are not collected for example by album, or by artist. Just a list. BAD

    Is there anything I like?
    -Roon DO recognize MULTICHANNEL / DSD albums. This is very GOOD, I think this is one of main missing things in LMS. I could not test the streaming because I have not a compatible player. Usually, for these albums I use foobar on my PC and stream to a HT receiver. I would really like to do this within LMS system, maybe with a custom player (raspberry or something).
    -The UI is very nice (LMS is old). It is also very fast, but also LMS becomes fast on a intel i7 PC. On my arm-based NAS, LMS interface is somehow slow... but Roon would be much slower.
    -In Roon UI, infos are at hand. You can easily access to credits, album infos, artist infos and so on. In LMS you have to move back / forward and it works in a very imperfect way.
    -In Roon, there is a DISCOVER page, very nice. It suggest artists, composers, compositions and so on. It's something like random album in LMS, but it's a RANDOM ANYTHING that really makes you discover your music.
    -In an album tracks list, some track have an additional link telling something like "25 performances". It's for those tracks that are played not only in that album, but in many others. So, if you are listening to Autumn Leaves, and want to listen to all the different interpretations of that standard....
    I find this very useful, as it's something that I do very often by myself (with search on LMS).


    At the end: will I buy Roon? I don's know. After 2 days of test... its seems to me that the BADs are more then the GOODs. And I know that I should pay 500$ and then .... I should also buy 400$ hardware to run it the proper way. And that I would be disappointed every time metadata do not correspond to my expectations.

    EDIT: actually i'm wrong. you can add a single track to be played next in playlist
    Last edited by nidzo; 2018-01-29 at 16:15.
    Pinkdot LMS 7.9.0 repack on Nas Synology DS-213
    Queezebox Duet
    Squeezebox Boom
    Squeezebox Touch

  2. #2
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    I add: you cannot filter for file format (mp3, hi-res, etcetc)
    Pinkdot LMS 7.9.0 repack on Nas Synology DS-213
    Queezebox Duet
    Squeezebox Boom
    Squeezebox Touch

  3. #3
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    I don't plan to try Roon myself, but thanks for this detailed review.

  4. #4
    Senior Member mftech's Avatar
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    Roon vs LMS

    Here's more BAD for Roon compare to LMS:

    -No support for DNLA players
    -No support for Alarms
    -No support for Podcast

    Some Plus:

    -Support for Ravenna (you could control the Nadac from Merging )
    -Nice UI for signal path

    -LMS is due to revamp for their native interface, it will be nice to use the Squeezepad approach.
    Tête à FLAC

    2 X SB Classic
    2 X SB2
    1 X SB Boom
    1 X SB Touch
    All SB controlled via VortexBox server aka The Musical Box

  5. #5
    Babelfish's Best Boy mherger's Avatar
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    Roon: my experience.

    > -LMS is due to revamp for their native interface, it will be nice to use
    > the Squeezepad approach.


    I know it's off-topic. But what is the Squeezepad approach?

    --

    Michael

  6. #6
    Senior Member mftech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mherger View Post
    > -LMS is due to revamp for their native interface, it will be nice to use
    > the Squeezepad approach.


    I know it's off-topic. But what is the Squeezepad approach?

    --

    Michael
    I mean that the Squeezepad UI is very simple and easy to operate.
    Here's some pic and info:
    https://itunes.apple.com/fr/app/sque...380003002?mt=8
    http://squeezepad.com/
    Tête à FLAC

    2 X SB Classic
    2 X SB2
    1 X SB Boom
    1 X SB Touch
    All SB controlled via VortexBox server aka The Musical Box

  7. #7
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    The above "review" of ROON is quite superficial or even quite a nonsense according to my opinion.

    Based on the extensive meta data you can surf in the UI of ROON through your music library like in Wikipedia, to read information on artists, composers, related music and the like, which is an experience LMS can not offer. Further, the integration of TIDAL music with your own music library in the form of local flac files (or files of other format) is marvelous, and you have the same rich meta data for the TIDAL music you added to your library as for the locally stored music. Whether a certain album is provided by TIDAL and therewith is to be heard via streaming from TIDAL servers or is present in the form of local music files makes no difference.

    Further, MQA high resolution files provided by TIDAL are supported.

    Nevertheless, LMS is great, and I love it and use both, i.e LMS and ROON. At my two main listening places I can alternatively use both (media room: LMS via Transporter, ROON via Bluesound Node 2; living room; LMS via Squeezebox Classic 3, Roon via Bluesound Node 2). All other relevant rooms are equipped with Squeezebox Radios. At said main listening places I tend to prefer ROON, due to the rich meta data. But I certainly will stick to LMS, even on the long term. Therefor I have stocked some replacement Squeezebox devices.

    For having a good UI experience, however, you need quite powerful hardware for ROON. Roon Labs recommends Intel NUCs for the so-called ROON ROCK, which are not very expensive. I use instead the "normal" ROON server, since I had a powerful DELL server anyway.

    I recommend to try ROON, which can stream also to Squeezebox devices, and to make use of the advantages of "both worlds".

    Otto-Wilhelm
    Last edited by Otto-Wilhelm; 2018-02-10 at 15:22.
    1 transporter with touch for controlling,
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    LMS with MusicIP under Windows 8.1 Pro virtualized (VMWare Workstation 12 Pro)
    under Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials on Dell PowerEdge T630 with 2x Intel Xeon E5-2630L v3 @ 1.80 GHz 8 core CPUs and 48 GB;
    LMS unter Max2Play on Odroid XU4;
    LMS unter Windows Homeserver 2011 on Compulab Intense PC (Intel i5, 2.1 GHz, 8 GB)

  8. #8
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    Roon with Transporter

    Quote Originally Posted by Otto-Wilhelm View Post
    The above "review" of ROON is quite superficial or even quite a nonsense according to my opinion.

    Based on the extensive meta data you can surf in the UI of ROON through your music library like in Wikipedia, to read information on artists, composers, related music and the like, which is an experience LMS can not offer. Further, the integration of TIDAL music with your own music library in the form of local flac files (or files of other format) is marvelous, and you have the same rich meta data for the TIDAL music you added to your library as for the locally stored music. Whether a certain album is provided by TIDAL and therewith is to be heard via streaming from TIDAL servers or is present in the form of local music files makes no difference.

    Further, MQA high resolution files provided by TIDAL are supported.

    Nevertheless, LMS is great, and I love it and use both, i.e LMS and ROON. At my two main listening places I can alternatively use both (media room: LMS via Transporter, ROON via Bluesound Node 2; living room; LMS via Squeezebox Classic 3, Roon via Bluesound Node 2). All other relevant rooms are equipped with Squeezebox Radios. At said main listening places I tend to prefer ROON, due to the rich meta data. But I certainly will stick to LMS, even on the long term. Therefor I have stocked some replacement Squeezebox devices.

    For having a good UI experience, however, you need quite powerful hardware for ROON. Roon Labs recommends Intel NUCs for the so-called ROON ROCK, which are not very expensive. I use instead the "normal" ROON server, since I had a powerful DELL server anyway.

    I recommend to try ROON, which can stream also to Squeezebox devices, and to make use of the advantages of "both worlds".

    Otto-Wilhelm
    I am a long time LMS/Transporter user who bought a different DAC and went "full-in" with Roon a couple of years ago. I have been amazed at the improvement in the audio quality.

    I am very happy with Roon, despite some imperfections, and feel that the "community vibe" is very much like the vibe here. It has been a very good experience over all.

    Now I am working on a sound system at my office (a different location) and have a good laptop (with a i7 CPU), a good external drive (WD PR2100) and a network-connected Yamaha receiver. I have tried using JRiver but have abandoned it due to a lot of instability. Since migrating to Roon, everything is more stable. Unfortunately, this has come at a price -- I can only use Airplay (16/44.1 audio) which is considerably inferior to what is available with JRiver (when it works).

    I thinking of connecting a Transporter without using JRiver at all. This would certainly improve the sound quality (over Airplay) but it is difficult to see by how much.

    My question is how does Roon work with the signal from Transporter? How much upsampling does it do from what the signal produced by the Transporter? How does it manage DSD?

    Are there any "tricks" to getting Roon to accept signal from Transporter, other than enable Squeezebox Support? Are there any settings that seem to optimize sound quality?

    Is it necessary to install LMS on the laptop in order to get it to work?

  9. #9
    Senior Member bakker_be's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Storm View Post
    My question is how does Roon work with the signal from Transporter? How much upsampling does it do from what the signal produced by the Transporter? How does it manage DSD?

    Are there any "tricks" to getting Roon to accept signal from Transporter, other than enable Squeezebox Support? Are there any settings that seem to optimize sound quality?

    Is it necessary to install LMS on the laptop in order to get it to work?
    Roon doesn't work with a signal from the transporter, it's actually the other way round. Roon, for all intents and purposes, replaces LMS. I'd advise you to either
    • connect a Raspberry Pi with Roon endpoint software (http://www.ropieee.org/) and some kind off DAC HAT (Hifiberry, Allo Boss, IQAudio, ...) to your receiver
    • just connect your laptop through HDMI to your receiver.
    Main System: Touch; Marantz SR-5004 + TMA Premium 905 + TMA Premium 901 + Teufel Ultima 20 Mk 2 + BK Monolith+ FF + Lenovo T460 + Kodi + Pioneer PDP-LX5090H
    Workshop: iPad 32GB Wifi + Squeezepad (local playback activated)
    Wherever needed: Acer Iconia Tab A700 + Squeezeplayer
    Kitchen: iPhone 5s + iPeng (local playback activated) + NAD 312 + Teufel Ultima 20 Mk 2
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    Car: TBC ...

  10. #10
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    Works Great!!

    Quote Originally Posted by bakker_be View Post
    Roon doesn't work with a signal from the transporter, it's actually the other way round. Roon, for all intents and purposes, replaces LMS. I'd advise you to either
    • connect a Raspberry Pi with Roon endpoint software (http://www.ropieee.org/) and some kind off DAC HAT (Hifiberry, Allo Boss, IQAudio, ...) to your receiver
    • just connect your laptop through HDMI to your receiver.

    Your clarification about the transporter taking the Roon signal to the receiver made it all fall in place.

    I just connected the laptop to the receiver via HDMI and it works great.

    Thanks for the suggestion.



    John

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