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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!

    03128a4f-cb6d-4321-811e-603406a54e58.jpg

    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.

     



    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments



    For the time being I am planning on keeping Tidal, much longer integration time and honestly streams really well lately, will add qobuz which is something I am looking forward for some time already. 

    Thanks for the update @The Computer Audiophile

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    8 minutes ago, luisma said:

    For the time being I am planning on keeping Tidal, much longer integration time and honestly streams really well lately, will add qobuz which is something I am looking forward for some time already. 

    Thanks for the update @The Computer Audiophile

    Hi luisma - What do you mean by  longer integration time? Just curious. 

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    8 hours ago, sdolezalek said:

    Wow, can't wait till the weekend -- loooong listening session coming up switching between Tidal and Qobuz versions.  So far the integration is seamless (of course my library got almost twice as big overnight).  Roon has handled this extremely professionally -- not getting out ahead of itself, but getting the timing perfect to coincide with the US beta period for Qobuz. Congats!  Very nicely done!  

    Let us know what you think after giving it a spin.

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    58 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

    Let us know what you think after giving it a spin.

    Oops...Although it works great on my desktop system, Roon version 1.6 seems to have broken the ability to work with my HQPlayer/NAA setup as HQPlayer no longer recognizes the NAA and Roon gives an error message in connecting to HQPlayer: "Playback failed because $ couldn't connect to HQ Player."

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    28 minutes ago, sdolezalek said:

    Oops...Although it works great on my desktop system, Roon version 1.6 seems to have broken the ability to work with my HQPlayer/NAA setup as HQPlayer no longer recognizes the NAA and Roon gives an error message in connecting to HQPlayer: "Playback failed because $ couldn't connect to HQ Player."

     

    HQPlayer working fine here.

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    51 minutes ago, sdolezalek said:

    Oops...Although it works great on my desktop system, Roon version 1.6 seems to have broken the ability to work with my HQPlayer/NAA setup as HQPlayer no longer recognizes the NAA and Roon gives an error message in connecting to HQPlayer: "Playback failed because $ couldn't connect to HQ Player."

     I fixed it.  Upgrading to version 1.6 seems to have reset my NAA to Roon ready rather than HQ Player as the default.  Going into the NAA setup and resetting it to HQ Player fixed the problem. 

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    9 minutes ago, austinpop said:
    1. As @David Craff has indicated a while back, Qobuz is still working to distinguish between the download and streaming resolutions of an album. Just as with its own app, Roon is currently displaying the download resolution, so it can lead to confusion. For example:
      But this is not a Roon issue, and I'm very hopeful that Qobuz will sort this out soon.
    2. SQ wise, I listened on both Roon and LMS (my up to now Qobuz player) and in my admittedly short listening, I couldn't hear a difference.
    3. Of course, this also begs the grand MQA vs. Hi Res Qobuz vs. Hi Res Local comparisons like this:

      Honestly, haven't we done enough of these already?! I've lost interest. I'd just rather have the hi res version. Period.

    As to the above:

    1. I notice that if I favorite the hi-res version in the Qobuz app itself, when I open Roon it shows up as say 24/192 and plays as such.  If, on the other hand, I'm in Roon and search for that title, even though it shows as 24/192 when I choose it that way it plays as 16/44.  So it appears that Roon isn't distinguishing between low-res and hi-res licensing rights when you search in Roon, but Roon does pick up the difference for albums selected in Qobuz itself.  I have tried this across about a dozen albums and the difference is holding up.

    2. Interestingly when I listen to the Tidal standalone app versus the Qobuz standalone app, i hear significant differences.  When I listen to Tidal vs Qobuz vs actual downloaded files, all three sound more alike and I'm having a hard time telling any difference at all between a Qobuz 24/192 file and the same album downloaded in 24/192 from ProStudioMasters (which is as it should be).  Similarly, I can hear the same minor differences between Tidal 16/44 and Qobuz 24/192 as I hear between originals at 16/44 and 24/192 (again as it should be). 

    3. Give me unadulterated 24/192 over MQA any day...

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    So Many Choices850342536_ScreenShot2019-01-22at12_09_02PM.thumb.png.151c6102de6c7f8216ad74b9543b4557.pngSmiling all the way to Paypal!

     

     

    First listen.  I was going to move the server first.Screen Shot 2019-01-22 at 12.13.00 PM.png

     

     

    Download pricing example:1299338024_ScreenShot2019-01-22at12_14_55PM.thumb.png.13d8de02251eb883000479670c4bba07.png 

     

    Listen first spend later!

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    I updated this morning but had to come to work so didn't get to play with it... 

     

    Since there is the (wonderful) "versions" tab (already in 1.5)... Is there a mechanism by which all identified "versions" of items in the local library or in TIDAL can be added to the favorites in Qobuz?

     

    One comment: I wish "Uncompressed high-resolution music from Qobuz" would have actually been "Lossless high-resolution music from Qobuz". And if we are being extremely picky, it should be "Lossless compressed high-resolution music from Qobuz" (after all it comes in a flac stream).

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    Why spend 9 months of development work, when TIDAL and Qobuz are losing money hand over fist, and could collapse with a change in the wind? Beyond me. 

    Not accepting 1.6 very well, probably compounding with 1803 stuff ups. The progress bar is easily touched when moving the ipad, still stuck in landscape mode and where's the remote WAN access. Aja sounds dreadful, gamblerth, and ramblerth on Deacon Blues, not even Fidelizer can fix this rot, SACD or Redbook. Oh and the DSP is now on the speaker icon.

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    5 minutes ago, One and a half said:

    Why spend 9 months of development work, when TIDAL and Qobuz are losing money hand over fist, and could collapse with a change in the wind? Beyond me. 

    Because one of Roon's key value propositions is streaming, discovery, and an integrated library where local and cloud are in the same place. And in fact, adding Qobuz is useful exactly for the reason you're criticizing it: another alternative in case TIDAL folds.

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    Disappointed in the UI changes. Roon has a blind spot here imo. The progress bar is particularly unaesthetic. The uneven top and bottom padding, the muddy quality of the waveform. The tendency for artist pictures to be low resolution and cut off.  UI/UX is obviously an art and thus subjective but changes seem haphazard compared to roon's focus on correctness with regard to technical features. 

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    I too am disappointed with this update. They need a better UI designer, and fast. Roon is strong on compataibilty and tech but seem to be going backwards on aesthetic. The decision to relagate 1/2 the now playing screen to a shoddy artist picture that’s often missing and the album art to 1/4 the screen size with no way to switch should never have left the whiteboard imo. Roon is supposed to be all about viewing and sorting your album collection. 

     

     

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    1 hour ago, One and a half said:

    Oh and the DSP is now on the speaker icon.

     

    On my iPad, that’s the only place it’s ever been. 

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    I’ve only had a little chance to use 1.6 so far but as a minor complaint I miss the Now Playing screen with the large album artwork and the notification of what was coming next. Over on the Roon forums Brian said they got rid of it because no one ever used that view but I’ll bet that after I set up a queue that’s the view I used 90% of the time. C’est La Vie. 

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    Roon 1.6 has become unusable for me in the last 30 minutes. Searches take several minutes and even time out. Anyone else see this behavior?

     

    Disabling both Tidal and Qobuz makes Roon lightning fast. 

     

    Enabling Tidal slows it down a bit.

     

    Enabling Qobuz makes it unusable right now.

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    I haven't been able to play a single song on Qobuz! I get this messages... Hopefully is just that their server is over saturated..

     

     

    134760678_ScreenShot2019-01-22at5_45_57PM.thumb.png.ae4541d267bb56037a778bb2d5bb0791.png

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    6 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

    Hi luisma - What do you mean by  longer integration time? Just curious. 

    What I mean is Tidal's Roon implementation is years old already, the development team at Roon figured out the kinks to make it flawless. Qobuz integration this is their 1st iteration and without questioning Roon's developers abilities which I'm sure are excellent  usually you will find bugs and issues on the initial releases.

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    If I may add something else, WE (audiophiles, followers of your site etc), have been putting pressure on Roon's to support Qobuz for some time already, they did great and deliver the integration, here in the US at least, officially, we cannot still use  Qobuz, not even the beta is yet available (it will be but right now is not) so for Roon's effects the US market Beta stage was skipped, and without massive adoption and feedback of the Qobuz integration it may take some time for Roon to get a stable Qobuz product. I am not trying to be negative'or discouraging here, like I said I am very excited to start using Qobuz and Roon but I have been in the IT / development field since I was 10 yrs old and I'm 48 already and I think Roon may have released the integration a little too soon and on top of that with major UI changes (I haven't updated yet and if I am mistaken my apologies) I have to say they are Bold as a software developing company. On the other hand I personally love what they do and the innovations they have brought to market

     

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    5 hours ago, sdolezalek said:

     I fixed it.  Upgrading to version 1.6 seems to have reset my NAA to Roon ready rather than HQ Player as the default.  Going into the NAA setup and resetting it to HQ Player fixed the problem. 

    Weird just updated mine and HQP stayed there, you running HPQ Win or HQPE?

     

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    56 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

    Roon 1.6 has become unusable for me in the last 30 minutes. Searches take several minutes and even time out. Anyone else see this behavior?

     

    Disabling both Tidal and Qobuz makes Roon lightning fast. 

     

    Enabling Tidal slows it down a bit.

     

    Enabling Qobuz makes it unusable right now.

    About to start listening now, just updated the entire chain server, bridge and naa, will report back if I see something odd

     

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