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  • The Computer Audiophile

    Roon 1.6 With Qobuz Integration and More

    Roon 1.6 is a major update to the software, but the most anticipated part is without a doubt its integration with Qobuz. Countless music aficionados, tired of Tidal, have been waiting for this integration for several months. Now that Qobuz is available in the US (beta) and Roon will combine Qobuz content with a user's local content, I have a feeling thousands of people will dump Tidal in favor of Qobuz. 

     

    Other updates implemented in version 1.6 include a new Roon Radio, new look, and simplified DSP engine. Roon Radio is an underrated feature that I've enjoyed since the day I started using Roon. Like Roon has always done, and similar to Pandora, users can select the thumbs up / down buttons to improve future Roon Radio suggestions. 

     

    One item of note that may not please privacy enthusiasts is that Roon Radio makes recommendations based on other Roon subscribers with similar tastes. As users listen and interact with Roon it collects this information and uses it for not only to improve your experience but that of others as well. 

     

    I've reached out to Roon for a comment about what data it collects and if opting out is possible. I'll update this article when I hear back.

     

    Note: I just heard back from Roon who stated its privacy policy hasn’t changed since the beginning and sent me a link. 

     

    http://kb.roonlabs.com/Privacy_Policy

     

    In the new look part of the update real-time lyrics are more present. These lyrics are something I've come to enjoy, especially when sending them to my Google Home Hub for viewing while I work, even though the audio is still reproduced through my main audio system. No matter how much I like a track, there's always a lyrics or two I screw up and it's important to know Jimi Hendrix was singing about kissing the sky rather than kissing "this guy."

     

    Here is the official press release and some additional images. 

     

    Qobuz-Roon-4.pngCustomization-London-Grammar-Now-Playing.pngArtist-Photo-Amy-Winehouse-Now-Playing.pngRoon-Radio-Coming-Up.jpgNew-Search.pngQobuz-Signal-Path.png

     

     

    What better way to kick off the new year than with our biggest update yet?

    Version 1.6 brings the brand new Roon Radio, integration with the Qobuz music service, and an improved user experience across several areas of the application.


    Embargo: January 22nd, 2019
    (Editor’s Note: I see it’s Jan 22nd in some places already and others have published this info, so we went live as well. -CC)

    The update will be available to all users at 12pm EST on January 22nd, 2019.
     
     

    The NEW Roon Radio

    Roon has always been great at reconnecting you with the music you've collected over the years, but now we've completely reimagined how Roon creates your personalized radio experience. Designed from the ground up with new machine learning technology, Roon Radio can play a mix of your favorites along with music from beyond your library, using the vast catalog of music from TIDAL and Qobuz.

    To get started, click the Roon Radio button on any album, artist, track, or genre from your library, TIDAL, or Qobuz!

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    Roon Radio makes recommendations based on not only your own music preferences but also those of other Roon subscribers with similar tastes in music. Use the thumbs up and down buttons to craft a personal, one-of-a-kind radio experience.

    As you listen to and interact with Roon Radio over time, it learns more about what you like and helps you discover new music by curating great recommendations.

     

    Uncompressed high-resolution music from Qobuz

    These days there are many ways to get your music – streaming services, digital download stores, and internet radio stations – and Roon supports them all. We’re committed to giving Roon subscribers more choices, which is why we’re excited to announce that we’ve teamed up with Qobuz to integrate their streaming offering in Roon!
     

    c7144d74-832d-40a4-9791-c7d1f5c052fd.jpg

    Now you can access the entire Qobuz catalog in Roon, allowing you to take advantage of Roon’s metadata with all of your favorite Qobuz content.

    Seamlessly sync your Roon and Qobuz collections, use Roon’s Versions to replace your lossy content with lossless versions from Qobuz, and fire up the new Roon Radio to start discovering more of what’s available from Qobuz.

     

    A fresh new look

    We listen to feedback from our subscriber community, and we’ve really taken that feedback to heart when redesigning several key areas of Roon 1.6. Check out our new Now Playing, Search, and DSP screens for some examples of how Roon is easier and more fun to use than ever. 

    5d9dd6fc-d40b-4731-9a19-076b3f9178c0.jpg

    Roon’s metadata takes the spotlight on Now Playing, displaying a high resolution artist image, Real-Time Lyrics, credits, review, bio, and streaming resolution.
     

    77097154-9c5c-4057-8109-1a8f354a4d8b.jpg

    Search prioritizes the most relevant content in an easy-to-read layout, and lets you toggle between seeing only what’s in your own library, or including results from TIDAL and Qobuz.
     

    89ab5e76-a539-404a-8aa2-d94a5d4bb7e4.jpg

    Our DSP engine has been simplified to be more approachable and easy to understand, with a simple preset system that works across all devices, including your phone or tablet.

     




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    9 hours ago, R1200CL said:

     

    This number I totally wrong. Reading on Qobuz homepage the number is between 70000 and 75000. And not all albums is available for streaming.  Around 90% of that number.


    2,000,000 is the approximate number of tracks, as given in Qobuz press releases and stated by Qobuz managers in interviews. The number you found refers to albums, and contains a typo: it is missing a "1" in front of "170,000". The number you quoted later in your post is 175,000 albums, and below I'll address how you get to the number of tracks from there.

     

    I arrived at "about 1,850,000 more Hi-Res tracks on Qobuz than MQA tracks on Tidal" by subtracting the approximate number of Tidal Masters tracks I found the last time I checked MQA_List.csv which you can download from the first post here.

     

    9 hours ago, R1200CL said:

    Also hires is only to be available on the Sublime plan. 

    (Edit. Studio also have hires)

     

    Yes we know that.

     

    9 hours ago, R1200CL said:

    It seems they operate with different numbers in hires on webpages. My anticipation is that the other 100.000 is somewhere between CD and 24/192

    4506F4FD-0C72-403C-9D2B-0FD5B8ED7B1D.jpeg

     

    OK, so 170,000 to 175,000 albums. What is the average number of tracks? About 12? Adjust that by the number of singles and EPs, and we get approximately 2,000,000 tracks.

     

    9 hours ago, R1200CL said:

    Further it is my understanding you cannot use hires in offline mode. Maximum quality is CD.

     

    The "import" feature in the desktop app downloads and plays Hi-Res tracks. I don't know about iOS, but the same feature in the Android app downloads in selectable resolutions and I just did that at 24/96 kHz. The app then played back the album, reporting 24/96.

    But at the moment, there is a problem. I don't know about iOS, but the Android OS resamples everything that comes out of the Qobuz and Tidal apps to 48 kHz anyway.  So regardless of that the app is reporting, the final result is not full resolution. We can get around that on Android by using a third-party app like UAPP, but then you do not have offline mode.

     

    (I'm told the Tidal app bypasses that resampling for Masters tracks, but only on phones from LG and Essential with their own internal Hi-Res DACs and perhaps even then not reliably, while for all other tracks even on those phones it does not bypass the OS.)

     

     

     

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    49 minutes ago, left channel said:


    2,000,000 is the approximate number of tracks, as given in Qobuz press releases and stated by Qobuz managers in interviews. The number you found refers to albums, and contains a typo: it is missing a "1" in front of "170,000". The number you quoted later in your post is 175,000 albums, and below I'll address how you get to the number of tracks from there.

     

    I arrived at "about 1,850,000 more Hi-Res tracks on Qobuz than MQA tracks on Tidal" by subtracting the approximate number of Tidal Masters tracks I found the last time I checked MQA_List.csv which you can download from the first post here.

     

     

    Yes we know that.

     

     

    OK, so 170,000 to 175,000 albums. What is the average number of tracks? About 12? Adjust that by the number of singles and EPs, and we get approximately 2,000,000 tracks.

     

     

    The "import" feature in the desktop app downloads and plays Hi-Res tracks. I don't know about iOS, but the same feature in the Android app downloads in selectable resolutions and I just did that at 24/96 kHz. The app then played back the album, reporting 24/96.

    But at the moment, there is a problem. I don't know about iOS, but the Android OS resamples everything that comes out of the Qobuz and Tidal apps to 48 kHz anyway.  So regardless of that the app is reporting, the final result is not full resolution. We can get around that on Android by using a third-party app like UAPP, but then you do not have offline mode.

     

    (I'm told the Tidal app bypasses that resampling for Masters tracks, but only on phones from LG and Essential with their own internal Hi-Res DACs and perhaps even then not reliably, while for all other tracks even on those phones it does not bypass the OS.)

     

     

     

     

    The iOS app allows downloading any available resolution you've paid for.  So the top tier subscription allows downloading full resolution (e.g, up to 24/192, or whatever they have), while lower subscription levels allow downloading CD quality, etc.  You always have the ability to download any albums you've PURCHASED at full resolution.

     

    And if you use the camera connection kit to output via USB from your iDevice, it outputs the full resolution - it only resamples down to 48k if you're using the headphone out or connecting to an external device via Lightning port.

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    2 minutes ago, jhwalker said:

     

    The iOS allows downloading any available resolution you've paid for.  So the top tier subscription allows downloading full resolution (e.g, up to 24/192, or whatever they have), while lower subscription levels allow downloading CD quality, etc.  You always have the ability to download any albums you've PURCHASED at full resolution.

     

    And if you use the camera connection kit to output via USB from your iDevice, it outputs the full resolution - it only resamples down to 48k if you're using the headphone out or connecting to an external device via Lightning port.

     

    Thanks. That completes the last three paragraphs of my reply to @R1200CL about offline mode. But has anyone actually tested what the iOS app is doing internally? On Android the Tidal and Qobuz apps appear to be working normally, even when the OS is resampling internal and USB playback. Others have used Android dev tools to monitor this, then posted their results on head-fi. That is one of the reasons I use UAPP.

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