Roon Discussion

Discussion in 'Computer Audiophile: Software, Configs, Tools' started by AllanMarcus, Jul 3, 2016.

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  1. Metro

    Metro Friend

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    Users on the Roon community forum have been experimenting, and one was able to continue running for 4 hours after disconnecting the internet. Danny replied:
    This may be the 4th time I’ve said it: Zero minutes. You may find it to be longer, but different things will break at different and unpredictable times. You should not rely on 2.0 working without internet access.
    Use 1.8 Legacy if you need offline access.
    Here is Roon's explanation for requiring internet access:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/roonlabs/comments/xkhtk6/comment/ipeh7co/
    Whatever their reasons, they seem to be baffled by the backlash. They are so caught up with doing things their way that they forget that the most basic function is to just play the damn music file.
     
  2. dasman66

    dasman66 Self proclaimed lazy ass - friend

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    wow... it's dumbfounding that they are that disconnected with their users that they didn't foresee pushback. Not everyone has stable internet, and I'm sure there are people out in rural areas that don't have highspeed internet.
     
  3. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Evil Dr. Shultz‎

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    In a sense I can see the logic, Roon is not the budget option, and more and more stuff is needing the Internet to work. It is becoming a standard commodity. If it simplifies things and allows them to scale in other ways, this could make a lot of sense, even if they divorce some customers. I'm not saying this isn't egregious to some, or to many, just that they're picking a battle. They may die on that hill, but I suspect not.
     
  4. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    I hate to admit it but you're right in many ways. Thing is it just highlights the disconnect between software developers and their users. It's been a few years, but I did not purchase yet another-web-service phone app when I went for lifetime Roon. No, I purchased a robust desktop application. You're right in that Roon is probably not going to be able to resist their internal motivations, but this just highlights how their internal motivations are disconnected from mine. So for the next 5 years they're going to be moving in a direction away from me...

    Edit: backing up to 1.8 legacy I assume means your database is lost and has to be rebuilt as if it's a new install?
     
  5. MrChinaCat

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    Yes. In their infinite <cough> wisdom <cough>, they "upgraded" all of my IOS devices to the 2.0 app, breaking all of my remote connections to the server. Downgrading the IOS devices to the "legacy 1.8" remote does not permit connection; you have to also install the <cough> new and improved <cough> "Legacy 1.8 Roon Server". That process, in my case, forced the rescanning of the library and rebuild of the database like a new install.

    I have been a huge fan and promoter of Roon, but this middle finger to their customer base has me considering other playback options. I am *not* a lifetime subscriber, so I just may take my money and go.

    So, who is the competition? LMS? (that would be back to the future for me).
     
  6. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Evil Dr. Shultz‎

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    IMO if it's local files, JRiver and Foobar2000, other wise whatever supports your streaming service of choice best.

    Errr...Windows bias.
     
  7. Cryptowolf

    Cryptowolf Repping Chi Town - Friend

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    I live in a rural area and the satellite goes offline with any precipitation. I have 4G backup, but I don’t want to migrate 3 devices every time (core, HQ Player, and remote). I hope they listen and permit limited functionality when offline.

    Regardless, I’ll be testing offline behavior the next time it rains.
     
  8. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

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    From the beginning, Roon is build around an object-oriented database (OODB) that represents all objects in one's library, both local (like references to local tracks) and remote (like references to tracks from streaming services), as well as artists, albums, compositions, and everything else. This has benefits in ensuring that entities in the music domain and their relationships (such as artist-album, composer-composition, composition-performance) are represented independently of string names (which vary for spelling, language, and other reasons). You pay a price, though. OODBs are fragile with respect to bugs/data corruption, they are memory-hungry, current approaches to search are not a great match to OODBs, and they are a pain to maintain in sync across multiple instances/variants (I worked on this problem decades ago for reasons and learned the lesson the hard way). Roon has no notion of "music file," just track objects that may contain either a local file locator or a streaming service track locator.

    After struggling with this for years, Roon Labs have decided to address the pain by moving step-by-step away from the current hybrid with both local and cloud data to something increasingly more pure cloud. Honestly, they had no choice, so many of the big problems in search and library corruption were IMO results of the old architecture. As are product limitations like not being able to have a single master copy of one's library and history info accessible to any endpoints wherever they are. But this migration will mean that the user's library will no longer exist independently of the cloud. And "music files" mean nothing to Roon without track library objects, which will no longer have an independent local existence.

    It wouldn't be impossible to design a music library manager/player that is close to Roon in functionality but can work disconnected. But not with an OODB core, it would likely be a ground-up redesign, with little of the current code surviving. Knowing how many bad design flaws survived on iTunes for decades after the app was bought into Apple, even though Apple is so well-resourced, it is not surprising that a small company like Roon Labs is so constrained by their design and code legacy.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 26, 2022
  9. MrChinaCat

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    I feel their pain; for all my years in product engineering, "legacy" architecture was my enemy. :)

    But that's their problem. What I need is a good playback system for my local library, one that does *not* require that I be "connected". For me, the other things Roon brings to the table are bonus, what makes it worth paying for versus other solutions, but first things first. Guess I'm just a curmudgeonly old Luddite. :)
     
  10. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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  11. dasman66

    dasman66 Self proclaimed lazy ass - friend

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    If all you want is local playback.... MusicBee - that's what I'll end up going back to when the internet is down (although, my musicbee library is now way out of date due to lack of use)

    I understand (barely...) Roon's legacy pain, but I guess I still don't understand why local playback has to break completely if the internet breaks. I get that I won't be able to stream, I'll lose the radio function, no discovery, etc, etc, etc... but why can't it simply contain a player that will continue to access and play from my local library? Or does the local library file now live in the cloud? (but if it did, then why do I need to open a port back to my roon server if the library now lives in the cloud?)
     
  12. mkozlows

    mkozlows Friend

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    The library does not live in the cloud, but the functionality around your library increasingly does.
     
  13. crenca

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    Roon is past "increasingly" and is now all the way to "completely" With this latest update, all the functionality of your library (and Roon itself) "lives" in the cloud - all the Roon code that is installed locally is bricked without the cloud/internet.
     
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  14. Ksaurav402

    Ksaurav402 Friend

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    I use Spotify and AirPods Pro to listen to music when traveling. Hi-res or not doesn’t matter when I’m walking or riding subway however one feature that will compel me to use ARC is the ability to use DSP but sadly the functionality is not available right now.
     
  15. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

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    Clarification: What Roon calls "library" is really just its catalog of music files, artists, etc., not the music files themselves. The catalog is moving to the cloud, not your music files. Without the catalog, the Roon app does not know how to find anything, even on your local disk, because all the mappings between names of tracks, albums, artists, and actual music files will be in that catalog in the cloud. In theory they could try to cache the cloud catalog locally, but in my painful experience with other software, doing that seamlessly and efficiently is extremely challenging. Large distributed, replicated databases achieve that, but again going that way would very likely require a total rewrite of the Roon apps, and might not be possible for lower-resource machines.
     
  16. dasman66

    dasman66 Self proclaimed lazy ass - friend

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    Understood... but that's what I don't understand... why does the catalog need to live in the cloud? and if it does, I don't understand why it can't cache it locally. I use applications every day that cache cloud files locally... files much larger than a roon catalog. I think anyone that workshares using AutoDesk's BIM360 does this... I believe people using Panzura do this with all their files...

    Why is it hard to download an updated version of a file upon loading the application? And if the connection doesn't exist, then it simply uses the local copy. Or even better, the catalog lives locally and only pushes an updated new version to the cloud when a connection exists?

    I know I'm oversimplifying things... but when did music playback become rocket science?
     
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  17. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

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    AutoDesk has been in the business of managing and sharing extremely complex CAD databases since before digital music was a thing (just checked, 1982), they are a technically sophisticated and very successful company where each seat subscription goes for significant money, so they have development resources way beyond what Roon Labs has. Having worked on CAD myself back in the day, and having a good idea from more recent work about music metadata, I can tell you that synchronizing/caching heavily linked data is *hard* and if a system is not designed from the ground up for it, it will never do it right (reliably, efficiently). The problem for Roon is that the information they want to link is "naturally" distributed: some objects refer to local data (which albums, tracks you have locally), others to cloud data (the whole catalog for an artist or composer). Seamless search and cross-linking outside your personal collection needs to consult both. They could either redo their whole software stack at cost possibly beyond viability, or move all the catalog to the cloud and do it much more easily, at the expense of a small fraction of current users (they know that fraction because pre-2.0 Roon calls home regularly so they can count how many long disconnections they see). Having worked at small companies as well as huge ones, I know what I'd have done in their shoes — what they have done, but hopefully with a better communication and legacy support plan.
     
  18. Gazny

    Gazny Friend

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    Im reading online that Roon 2.0 sounds better.

    Is it really worth staying on 1.8?

    |\/|
     
  19. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

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    I heard no difference. It is way better behaved on macOS, it fixed occasional flakiness on Linux, it stopped getting stuck at the end of albums when streaming to my Linn gear, it is snappier overall. But there were no stated changes to the signal path.
     
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  20. MrChinaCat

    MrChinaCat Rando

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    I don't know, but I'm going to find out.
    As far as I can tell, Roon 2.0 offers nothing that I need.
    Better playback? Well, there are other ways down that road, but hey, you do you!
     

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