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    Major Changes For Roon in Version 1.8

    On February 9, 2021 Roon will be updated to version 1.8. I'm short on details, but hope to have the team back on the podcast to talk about all updates. For now, here are the written details straight from Roon. I was told Roon version 1.8 runs natively on Apple Silicon Macs with the M1 SoC or newer. I'm waiting on a second confirmation of this and will report back as soon as I hear. 

     

    UPDATE: Just got confirmation that version 1.8 won't initially support Apple Silicon natively. Rosetta 2 is required. 

     

    Press Release: 

     

    February 2, 2021 – Roon Labs, the world’s most innovative music discovery and streaming platform that offers users a way to engage with their music collection in a whole new way, has made significant improvements with its latest software release.

     

    Roon 1.8 brings an immersive new experience that delivers even more from the Roon features you know and love, in a powerful and beautiful new way.

     

     

    Refined and redesigned
    In its latest release, Roon becomes a captivating gallery of music for you to browse and explore your collection on a much deeper level.

     

    Roon 1.8 presents a fresh, modern design with bold typography that looks visually stunning and is a pleasure to use. But the changes made are more than skin deep. Each of Roon’s newly designed layouts, from the new Home and artist screens to the composer and genre pages, are curated just for you.

     

    The new vertical scroll makes it quick and easy to find the music that you’re looking for, no matter what device you’re using – meaning your Roon experience is consistent and seamless across desktop, tablet and smartphone.

     

     

     

    Roon 1.8 02.jpg

     

    Intelligent and powerful music discovery


    Roon 1.8 brings extremely powerful new browsing capabilities and recommendations that understand your music collection like no other. By combining Roon’s deep metadata and learnings from how you and Roon’s community of 100,000 expert listeners use the platform, suggestions are made with uncanny insight and is tailored to each individual listener.

     

    Whether you have an extensive music collection you’ve built up over years or you’re just starting out, your own music collection is always just the starting point. Roon helps you rediscover your own music collection and find new music outside it. And by connecting TIDAL or Qobuz streaming services to your Roon account, you have access to a vast world of high-resolution streamed music and the possibility of making endless new discoveries.

     

     

    Roon 1.8 03.jpg

     

     

    Focus: far beyond “search”


    Roon’s Focus feature has long been the most powerful way to explore your own music, but the newly-expanded 1.8 release goes beyond your library. Focus can now be used to find music anywhere in Roon – even across Qobuz and TIDAL – giving you a 360- view of your favorite artists, genre, performers and composers.

     

    Browse and filter your favorite artists’ most significant albums, their top collaborations, their influences and connections to the artists you already love – to find exactly the music you’re looking for. Not only can you browse a variety of new Roon-powered recommendations, but the new Discography view makes it easy to browse even the most prolific artist’s catalog.

     

     

     

    Roon 1.8 01.jpg

     

    Classical music reimagined


    Roon understands that how you explore certain genres of music is different. That’s why the 1.8 release features a completely new visual style and information layout for classical music, bringing advanced discovery and an educational experience like no other service.

     

    Whether you’re a connoisseur or just getting introduced to classical music, Roon guides you to explore the genre from the perspective of the composer, performance, period or more. It also provides tighter links between albums and composers, as well as simpler browsing and intelligent recommendations based on the composer, performer, composition or conductor you’re listening to.

     

    The new Discography feature also includes a comprehensive new “performances” view, where you can use Focus to find the exact performance you’re looking for. Interested in hearing Martha Argerich performing Chopin? Maybe a Nocturne? All Bach recordings by Glenn Gould? In just a couple clicks, Focus will get you there.

     

     

     

    Roon 1.8 04.jpg

     

    An experience tailor-made for you


    Ever wondered what your most listened to artist or genre is? The updated Home screen in 1.8 includes an all-new dashboard of your listening habits over time, broken down by top artists, albums and genres. This can be switched to show data for the last week, month, year or all time.

     

    You also get a calendar view of what music you’ve been listening to over the last four weeks, and clicking on each section offers even deeper insight into your listening habits down to the minute.

     

    There are now also quick links to the Roon Community within the app, so you are always just one click away from support from Roon and its music experts.

     

     

     



    User Feedback

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    1 hour ago, AudioDoctor said:

    That's a bummer, which year minis are they?

     

    a 2012 i5 with 16G ram and a 2018 i7 with 32G

     

    here's their response... I tried the link with same result... looks like they have given up trying to get them to work

     

    Seems like you almost exhausted all options.
    You can try the last one using this link: http://audiokernel.com/euphony20190214v3.img.gz

    Sorry about this. Some Minis just work and some don't. We never got a hand on one of those that don't but even if we did, it's hard to debug the boot process - you never get any usable info on why it fails....

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    1 hour ago, bbosler said:

     

    a 2012 i5 with 16G ram and a 2018 i7 with 32G

     

    here's their response... I tried the link with same result... looks like they have given up trying to get them to work

     

    Seems like you almost exhausted all options.
    You can try the last one using this link: http://audiokernel.com/euphony20190214v3.img.gz

    Sorry about this. Some Minis just work and some don't. We never got a hand on one of those that don't but even if we did, it's hard to debug the boot process - you never get any usable info on why it fails....

     

    Well, I know exactly why the 2018 didn't boot, but the 2012 is odd as it is basically identical to my 2011 which booted it just fine.

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    Wow, what a leap in SQ. Frontrunner again... just kidding.

     

    More serious, I think the UI has not improved. Kinda, uh, purplish.

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    On 2/3/2021 at 10:39 AM, ASRMichael said:

    If you don’t notice then lucky you.

     

    Can someone please move this thread to Objective-Fi so I can answer to this? 

    :D

     

     

    v

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    So, I'm listening and playing with 1.8. Sounds great to me in my setup. I've been making changes to the system so my baseline isn't stable, but the sound field sounds more open. Maybe my imagination. But, it sounds as real as ever. The "curation" provides many more options in terms of threads of similar music and options for exploration. The layout is cleaner, a definite upgrade. So, thank you, to the developer, for improving your life's work.  

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    2 things on my wishlist following the 1.8 update:

     

    1. add mouse pointer / trackpad support to iPad version

    2. add auto OS level dark/light theme support in addition to manually selecting which you prefer

     

    Update looks great on macOS and iPad, not much change on iPhone or Android due to size of screen. New font is superior to previous - love the new design theme!

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    Aesthetically a step backward IMHO, yuck.  Surprising given how far ahead Roon was to competitors in UI design when it launched.

     

     

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    Not much love for ROON here what I can see. I like it and that they let us select how we want to use it (core, app and endpoint). I now use Roon Core with Squeezelite player. Good sound and management. 

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    On 2/9/2021 at 10:52 PM, skatbelt said:

    Wow, what a leap in SQ. Frontrunner again... just kidding.

     

    More serious, I think the UI has not improved. Kinda, uh, purplish.

    Look at the other thread or the Roon community. You can change the colors. It's a really minor hack (changing a bit of text in one file).

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    I am finding that, for me, the update is much ado about nothing.  My complaints about Roon appear to be almost entirely, if not entirely, unaddressed. I only use locally-stored data, which may be the reason I continue to have gripes about software that seems to be oriented primarily towards Tidal and Qobuz users. 

     

    For jazz and, especially, classical music, Roon's user experience is vastly overrated in general, even though the update supposedly benefits classical music lovers.  The fundamental problem is that allmusic.com isn't that great a database and its writing isn't that profound.  Roon needs to augment that database badly. 

     

    I don't think the update has improved the album identification process and results at all.  Thanks to Roon's own search issues, I routinely find erroneous or zero-value-add album identification: often there is a failure to identify even albums that actually are in the database; I have tons of correctly-identified albums about which allmusic provides zero useful data; and the incredibly poor and inflexible handling of box sets or multi-composer albums continues after the update. 

     

    If you have ten versions of "Le Petit Soldat" or "Tzigane" or any non-US or independent jazz, your experience is going to continue to be a lot worse than if your collection predominantly features Diana Krall or the Eagles. 

     

    I *hate* that I still can't associate a file extension with Roon so that I can play a newly-downloaded file without having to import it into the database first. It sounds as though that feature would conflict with Roon's oft-stated desire not to expose the users to their files' tree structure. 

     

    I still don't care for how Roon uses screen space, but, admittedly that is subjective.  It remains wasteful of space, in my opinion, resulting in way too much scrolling and enough clicks to give me carpal tunnel. 

     

    All that said, I probably will renew my Roon subscription this summer.  I have time invested in edits even though I continue to do the bulk of my database management in JRiver.  I can create playlists in Roon by record label without having to add a "label" field to my ten tons of music file metadata.  Much more importantly, I only stream and don't play over the control computer's USB ports, and RAAT is superb for that use case. Roon finds every device in my house, connects easily to each, and stays connected.

     

    Of greatest significance to me, my DACs and ears like DSD256 playback.  JRiver can stream that natively but it can't upsample a network stream to DSD.  Audirvana can upsample a stream to DSD256, but it has quirks when it does and runs my CPU much hotter than does Roon.  Roon thus sounds better than JRiver and works more reliably than Audirvana in my systems when playing back as I prefer.  At least the update hasn't messed up what I do like about Roon. 

     

    If JRiver could stream everything as DSD256, I would just use it and be done with Roon and Audirvana. Its unwillingness or inability to engineer that capability, however, means I generally use Roon for playback because I like what is under its hood.  I don't prefer Roon's business model, but they have gotten me hooked to that extent.  

     

    I know this is an unpopular opinion, which is why I don't post it in the Roon Fanboi Community, where there is zero possibility I would not be abused for expressing it.  

     

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    2 hours ago, Mike Rubin said:

    I am finding that, for me, the update is much ado about nothing.  My complaints about Roon appear to be almost entirely, if not entirely, unaddressed. I only use locally-stored data, which may be the reason I continue to have gripes about software that seems to be oriented primarily towards Tidal and Qobuz users. 

     

    For jazz and, especially, classical music, Roon's user experience is vastly overrated in general, even though the update supposedly benefits classical music lovers.  The fundamental problem is that allmusic.com isn't that great a database and its writing isn't that profound.  Roon needs to augment that database badly. 

     

    I don't think the update has improved the album identification process and results at all.  Thanks to Roon's own search issues, I routinely find erroneous or zero-value-add album identification: often there is a failure to identify even albums that actually are in the database; I have tons of correctly-identified albums about which allmusic provides zero useful data; and the incredibly poor and inflexible handling of box sets or multi-composer albums continues after the update. 

     

    If you have ten versions of "Le Petit Soldat" or "Tzigane" or any non-US or independent jazz, your experience is going to continue to be a lot worse than if your collection predominantly features Diana Krall or the Eagles. 

     

    I *hate* that I still can't associate a file extension with Roon so that I can play a newly-downloaded file without having to import it into the database first. It sounds as though that feature would conflict with Roon's oft-stated desire not to expose the users to their files' tree structure. 

     Hi Mike-

    Don't really understand some of your comments:

     

    I don't see Roon as primarily oriented towards streaming. I see that it helps and provides information with my local library, which is most of my listening.

     

    File extensions: if you set up Roon to monitor your music library folder(s) it should automatically catalog any file placed there it is capable of playing back. I never "import" anything to Roon.  I download the files to a library folder Roon reads, and it appears in Roon virtuously simultaneously. I'm not really sure what else you expect Roon to do. It isn't a PC "playback app" like Winamp or Windows media player. It's a library management and playback program, so you have to tell it where/what your library is. It's not intended to playback or catalog every possible audio file you own, just the ones you define as being in your music library. If I download a file related to news or sports, for instance, I don't want it in my Roon music library and I don't download it to there. I download it to a different folder that Roon doesn't monitor.

     

    Classical: yes, it has a way to go. But it has definitely improved with this release. The search results now do a much better job of presenting the right answer, more completely, than before.
     

    Jazz: I have an extensive Jazz collection of all types, and I don't see a problem. Yeah, Roon doesn't seem to have much info on the Japanese Jazz Chris loves. And Qobuz hasn't catalogued it (yet), either. But I can't really call that a major failing, even if I would like it to be different. That's pretty esoteric stuff if you are outside of Japan (you can't even buy it most of the time unless you special order from Japan). 

     

    Yes, in all types of music if you have lots of music from very small labels or very esoteric artists your results aren't going to be as good. Or lots of needle drops of vinyl that was never marketed in digital form, etc. . But, no program is ever going to have good metadata on every album ever made. Roon  seems to do quite well with the vast majority - well over 90 or 95% of what's out there today. If your library is extremely esoteric then it isn't going to do the best job for you, because that stuff isn't in many online databases. For those albums I tag them thoroughly myself, and find info online and add it as a pdf to the album folder. Then I have access to the info while using Roon.

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    I find Roon great at cataloging your own files as you see fit. It helps a great deal to do a complete and proper tagging job before importing them into your Roon library, but once there, you can mix and match and add your own till your heart is content. Even with needle drops it let me identify this album, gathered the metadata, and displays it all correctly.

     

     

    Screenshot from 2021-02-17 13-50-03.png

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    7 hours ago, firedog said:

     Hi Mike-

    Don't really understand some of your comments:

     

    I don't see Roon as primarily oriented towards streaming. I see that it helps and provides information with my local library, which is most of my listening.

    Thanks for the comments, firedog.  Allow me to clarify.
     

    I think the “here are some suggestions” function that people are raving about makes sense only in the context of streaming.  You don’t need Roon to recommend stuff you already own.

    7 hours ago, firedog said:

     

    File extensions: if you set up Roon to monitor your music library folder(s) it should automatically catalog any file placed there it is capable of playing back. I never "import" anything to Roon.  I download the files to a library folder Roon reads, and it appears in Roon virtuously simultaneously. I'm not really sure what else you expect Roon to do. It isn't a PC "playback app" like Winamp or Windows media player. It's a library management and playback program, so you have to tell it where/what your library is. It's not intended to playback or catalog every possible audio file you own, just the ones you define as being in your music library. If I download a file related to news or sports, for instance, I don't want it in my Roon music library and I don't download it to there. I download it to a different folder that Roon doesn't monitor.

    My library is very large.  It can take several minutes or even dozens of minutes to scan my monitored folder and before the music in my NAS folder appears in Roon.  In contrast, because I can and do associate “.flac” or “.dsf” with JRiver, for example, I can play downloaded music immediately in JRiver just by clicking on the file itself.  

    The rest of my responses are inline, below, because, for some reason, I can’t break out your comments below as I just did above. 

     

    7 hours ago, firedog said:

     

    Classical: yes, it has a way to go. But it has definitely improved with this release. The search results now do a much better job of presenting the right answer, more completely, than before.

     

    >>>Not for me, given the way I maintain my classical metadata.  I don’t care to have an album consisting of works by Les Six catalogued as “French Party Favorites” rather than as individual works by Honegger or Milhaud.  I recognize that few people are as meticulous about metadata editing or consistency as am I and don’t suggest that mine is the only way to do it, but I find Roon’s approach to be inflexible because I often can’t get it to identify the album in search results even when it’s actually in the database.  Box sets, especially, are a disaster in that respect, moreso if you need to rearrange the track order listed in the results.  See this comment in the Roon forums if you are interested in more detail about this grievance: https://community.roonlabs.com/t/easier-way-to-move-out-of-order-tracks-up-and-down/125566/1

     

    Jazz: I have an extensive Jazz collection of all types, and I don't see a problem. Yeah, Roon doesn't seem to have much info on the Japanese Jazz Chris loves. And Qobuz hasn't catalogued it (yet), either. But I can't really call that a major failing, even if I would like it to be different. That's pretty esoteric stuff if you are outside of Japan (you can't even buy it most of the time unless you special order from Japan). 

    >>>I have a shit ton of jazz from around the world, including an awful lot from Japan and Europe, and on independent domestic US labels.  It’s not only that so much of that music isn’t in the database at all, it’s that there’s no useful information so often when it is.  Often, for example, there’s little information beyond the release date even when the album is identified correctly or the credits just include the name of the lead artist even when the side musicians’ names are available.

     

    Yes, in all types of music if you have lots of music from very small labels or very esoteric artists your results aren't going to be as good. Or lots of needle drops of vinyl that was never marketed in digital form, etc. . But, no program is ever going to have good metadata on every album ever made. Roon  seems to do quite well with the vast majority - well over 90 or 95% of what's out there today. If your library is extremely esoteric then it isn't going to do the best job for you, because that stuff isn't in many online databases. For those albums I tag them thoroughly myself, and find info online and add it as a pdf to the album folder. Then I have access to the info while using Roon.

     

    I find that major label rereleases are as poorly curated as esoteric or foreign ones.  This is especially true of classical omnibus re-release box sets for which the only Roon added content literally is the “compilation” label.

     

    My solution to unavailable data isn’t quite as elegant as yours.  When Roon fails to provide useful info, I just Google Discogs on the same iPad or phone that I use to control Roon playback.  In the past, I did that for $120 less per year than I now pay Roon while listening using JRiver.

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    31 minutes ago, AudioDoctor said:

    I find Roon great at cataloging your own files as you see fit. It helps a great deal to do a complete and proper tagging job before importing them into your Roon library, but once there, you can mix and match and add your own till your heart is content. Even with needle drops it let me identify this album, gathered the metadata, and displays it all correctly.

     

     

    Screenshot from 2021-02-17 13-50-03.png

    I don’t dismiss your assessment or experience, but it’s quite different than mine.  My metadata is anally consistent and meticulous, yet my experience is the exact opposite of yours.  I guess that, as we audiophiles are so fond of saying, YMMV. 

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    6 minutes ago, Mike Rubin said:

    I don’t dismiss your assessment or experience, but it’s quite different than mine.  My metadata is anally consistent and meticulous, yet my experience is the exact opposite of yours.  I guess that, as we audiophiles are so fond of saying, YMMV. 

     

    Nor do I discount yours, as I echo that experience in some cases. I guess I am less bothered by it. Here is an example of one of my files Roon has no clue about. I do not consider The Hot Sardines as being too far afield or esoteric that this album should not be identified, but even when I try manually I am unable to find it.

     

     

     

     

    Screenshot from 2021-02-17 14-31-26.png

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    On 2/17/2021 at 3:13 AM, Mike Rubin said:

    The fundamental problem is that allmusic.com isn't that great a database and its writing isn't that profound.  Roon needs to augment that database badly. 

     

     

    BINGO !! 

     

    at least with the music I tend to listen to, Allmusic often has nothing about the record and even with artists that aren't all that obscure they have zilch. A huge gap in my opinion for a service that seems to pride itself on data. The main page on their site crows about it

     

    Immerse yourself in photos, bios, reviews, credits, lyrics, tour dates, and more…

     

    BS

     

     

     

     

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    version 763 is live.

    Some bug fixes and UI changes most requested by the community.

    The Roon crew has done a good job of reacting quickly to many complaints about the 1.8 UI changes.

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