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    The Computer Audiophile

    Roon From Roon Labs - A Video Run-through

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    The hottest thing to hit HiFi in recent memory is here. It's a software application / service called Roon from Roon Labs. Roon is unlike anything currently available for OS X and Windows in that it enables users to browse their music collections effortlessly and in an incredibly engaging manner. Rather than post screenshots I created a video showing the rich experience that Roon enables. A more thorough article with detailed tips, tricks, and information is soon to follow. [PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]

    Roon Labs is comprised of the original team that created Sooloos. When Sooloos first hit the market nearly ten years ago it was like nothing digital audiophiles had ever seen. Sooloos was acquired by Meridian Audio in 2008. After six years the original Sooloos team has spun off, leaving the Sooloos product intact with Meridian, into its own software company, Roon Labs. It's hard to believe from the original Sooloos to the Meridian / Sooloos to Roon Labs, this team has managed to create a product that remains unequaled in my view. Competitors have tried to imitate what this team has done for ten years but nobody has succeeded.

     

    In addition to Roon software, Roon Labs will integrate its product with third party hardware manufacturers. Launch partners include Auralic, dCS, Linn, Meridian, and PS Audio. I know there are many more companies lined up to work with Roon. I can't wait to see what comes of these integrations.

     

    Roon will be available online beginning May 11, 2015 with pricing for the service set at $119 annually, $499 for a lifetime subscription, and $999 for an upcoming Pro lifetime subscription for Home Automation. There is a 14 day free trial. Visit http://roonlabs.com for more information.

     

     

     

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    (Click on the Youtube logo to watch a much larger version on Youtube)

     

     

     

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    Sorry for my duplicates - I think there must have been something up with the website. I've asked Chris to remove my first 2 duplicated posts. Any thoughts on the PC spec required to run this? It looks quite graphically intensive so I'm a little worried about it running on the CAPS servers which are Atom based or lower powered.

     

    Discussed here:

     

    Roon Labs Community

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    Great looking program and usefulness! 2 things for me: One is price, I don't understand why it's an annual pricing program instead of buying it once. Seems like the Adobe CC play which I dislike immensely. And 2, I just spent $$$ for the full Amarra Symphony w IRC. I love the sound with pcm and JRiver's not bad at all with dsd too. I really dislike wasting money...

     

    Still, really cool product.

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    Great looking program and usefulness! 2 things for me: One is price, I don't understand why it's an annual pricing program instead of buying it once. Seems like the Adobe CC play which I dislike immensely. And 2, I just spent $$$ for the full Amarra Symphony w IRC. I love the sound with pcm and JRiver's not bad at all with dsd too. I really dislike wasting money...

     

    Still, really cool product.

    Hi Forehaven - I certainly don't speak for Roon, but I believe the subscription model is partially needed to pay for ongoing licensing fees from sources of data like All Music Guide.

     

    I'm a fan of the subscription model because it's a real business model that enables companies to continue development and fix issues. it's also more economical model in some cases. I have Adobe CC for $50 per month / $600 per year. For this price I get every Adobe app. The cost of the apps I use under the purchase model was prohibitively expensive and still need to be upgraded for every new release. With a subscription model like Roon you can purchase one year. If it turns out you don't like the product you don't pay anything more. With the purchase model you can buy Photoshop for several hundred dollars and you've really pre-paid for something you may not use after a year.

     

    There's no right or wrong here. I just like the subscription model fro a consumer and business perspective.

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    Good perspective. (btw, man, I miss living in Berkeley, and I really missed not being at the CA group! Aargh...when ya gonna come to Chicago Chris?? hehehe)

     

    Have you found too Chris that you miss Amarra while playing Roon?

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    Good perspective. (btw, man, I miss living in Berkeley, and I really missed not being at the CA group! Aargh...when ya gonna come to Chicago Chris?? hehehe)

     

    Have you found too Chris that you miss Amarra while playing Roon?

    I was just in Chicago for AXPONA! Maybe next year we should organize a CA By The Lake event in Chicago around the time of AXPONA. The show was really impressive this year and most of the exhibitors I talked to were very happy. It should be just as good next year.

     

    Anyway, I don't miss any of my other players right now. But, it's still very early. I'm one of those guys who uses everything (both software and hardware). In reality the price of software is minuscule compared to some stuff in this hobby. Many computer audiophiles end up purchasing all the software players and switching between them as they wish.

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    It was a very good show this yr, and what an Excellent idea Chris!! I live only 2 blocks from the Lake so maybe I can help organize something next yr?

     

    Good point about the software, it does seem most of my friends use multiple software platforms. It'd just be nice I guess to be able to choose the player software like you can choose a diff output for a diff. dac.

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    I posted this in the Roon forum, but maybe someone already knows the answer.

     

    The pricing for Roon includes "1 Roon library device", does this mean a license has to be purchased for each PC that is connected to a USB DAC? I certainly hope not!

     

    * got a reply already, good news!

    Nope! You only need to buy a license for one PC. On the other PC you can install Roon and launch it as a remote control, and even stream music to your remote's USB DAC. You can read more about setting up Roon to run remotely

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    I posted this in the Roon forum, but maybe someone already knows the answer.

     

    The pricing for Roon includes "1 Roon library device", does this mean a license has to be purchased for each PC that is connected to a USB DAC? I certainly hope not!

     

    * got a reply already, good news!

    Nope! You only need to buy a license for one PC. On the other PC you can install Roon and launch it as a remote control, and even stream music to your remote's USB DAC. You can read more about setting up Roon to run remotely

    It's pretty cool, your remote Roon installs appear as zones and can be controlled from any other Roon install.

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    Wow!

     

    Trying is believing. I signed up within five minutes of playing with this.

     

    This is everything other apps should have been and this is only the start.

     

    10% discount if you sign up now, in case you all think I'm bonkers not waiting until the 14 day trial ends :-)

     

    The brilliance of its metadata has to be second to none. For example in my Roy Harper selection it's sharp enough to also recommend his appearance on Have a Cigar on the Floyd's Wish You Were Here. Brilliant.

     

    Where you have box sets it even separates the track order into the actual discs, rather than the usual four pieces of cover art.

     

    The other really nice benefit is that it finally allows me to use my network player's ASIO driver with Tidal, one of my biggest complaints about that service.

     

    How cool to be able to bring up an artist listing and immediately and seamlessly play any album/track you don't own if it is on Tidal. Amazing stuff.

     

    Stunning product. Actually worth the rather hefty asking price. It seems to totally address the issues we all have with metadata and achieving a seamless interface for our collections.

     

    If they can add Qobuz compatibility I will kiss them :-)

    Edited by Catalysis

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    I must have missed this somewhere, but does it include an audio streaming library or is the $119 price on top of also needing let's say Tidal?

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    I must have missed this somewhere, but does it include an audio streaming library or is the $119 price on top of also needing let's say Tidal?

    Streaming services like TIDAL require their own subscriptions

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    I just jumped in and downloaded it. After 10 minutes of just playing around IT IS GREAT. I don't know if I will feel the same after more use but for now, it is a keeper.

     

    Now they need to get DSD working. :)

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    Streaming services like TIDAL require their own subscriptions

     

    Thanks. So essentially a personal music info data mining service for $10 p.m. with a nice looking playback software thrown in for free. In that case how it sounds compared to the current king of bit-perfect playback Amarra will be interesting.

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    Interesting. Installed Roon and started importing music. However, the app is consistently crashing. Running Mac Yosemite 10.10.3 on Mac Mini with plenty of memory and 256GB SSD. Anyone else seeing this yet? Anyway, wondering how to get support. Don't see much in the way of a ticketing or other system on their site.

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    Thanks. So essentially a personal music info data mining service for $10 p.m. with a nice looking playback software thrown in for free. In that case how it sounds compared to the current king of bit-perfect playback Amarra will be interesting.

     

    It's pretty cool software. While Chris's video is very informative, once you start playing with it, the value really becomes apparent. I'm on a PC and it runs fine. Add to the fact that Roon recognizes the virtual audio device from JRiver 20, it's the best of both worlds - much improved interface w/ JRiver audio playback.

     

    While I know nothing about Amarra, except that it is the 2nd best bit-perfect playback software ;-), if it installs a virtual audio device like JRiver does, you're in for a treat.

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    It's the sort of product that you didn't know how much you needed until you tried it for yourself. It's just great to have one interface for both your own music collection and streaming content and then when you factor in that it all gets classified under the same metadata categories as if you owned it all, well you're moving into the awesome territory.

     

    Really nice future developments would include Qobuz compatibility and actual album liner notes and I am sure anxious to see how this works with mobile apps, presumably acting as a remote for my dac connected laptop. For now I'll be using Splashtop, which isn't perfect but a good start.

     

    It's super to see Tidal finally having a desktop interface that makes total sense. Having to shift between JRiver and Google Chrome was a right old pain, to say nothing of the inferior sound compared to Qobuz, I suspect primarily because Tidal in Chrome can't access your ASIO driver. That problem is history with Roon.

    Edited by Catalysis

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    Streaming services like TIDAL require their own subscriptions

     

    Chris- Roon is great thanks for the article-I signed up for the month trial. Roon in less than 2hours transferred or copied my iTunes library and my TIDAL playlists and it does appear to improve the sound quality and if so how? It made Amarra Sq+ open immediately and work without toggling back and forth to start Sq+ and with TIDAL it(Sq+) so far works without any 'pops' or 'crackles' and the dithering bar creates great sound at lower level of volume.

    Do you think Roon will also be able to do the same for Qobuz(ie my playlists there) and for Beats Music(my several hundred MOG playlists i have there)?

    It is so convenient everything is at my fingertips and i am just exploring. thanks again for introducing this.

    bobbmd

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    Chris- Roon is great thanks for the article-I signed up for the month trial. Roon in less than 2hours transferred or copied my iTunes library and my TIDAL playlists and it does appear to improve the sound quality and if so how? It made Amarra Sq+ open immediately and work without toggling back and forth to start Sq+ and with TIDAL it(Sq+) so far works without any 'pops' or 'crackles' and the dithering bar creates great sound at lower level of volume.

    Do you think Roon will also be able to do the same for Qobuz(ie my playlists there) and for Beats Music(my several hundred MOG playlists i have there)?

    It is so convenient everything is at my fingertips and i am just exploring. thanks again for introducing this.

    bobbmd

    Glad to hear you like it as much as I do. I'm not sure about Roon's plans to support Qobuz or Beats. I bet it would really help bump it up on the roadmap if Qobuz launched in the US.

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    I have a Caps 3 with the Intel DN2800MT Mini-ITX board and it will not run Roon due to a fatal error "OpenGL needs to updated or graphic driver" which I have been unsuccessful to upgrade. Does anybody have any suggestions how to resolve this issue? Or this particular board not compatiable with Roon!

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    I have a Caps 3 with the Intel DN2800MT Mini-ITX board and it will not run Roon due to a fatal error "OpenGL needs to updated or graphic driver" which I have been unsuccessful to upgrade. Does anybody have any suggestions how to resolve this issue? Or this particular board not compatiable with Roon!

    Bummer. My guess is this board won't support Roon.

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    B-b-b-b-b-b-booyah!! They emailed me. I signed up, downloaded and installed the software, and within ten minutes was listening to a queue I had created.

     

    Thanks Chris for the video you put together. It was kind of a yawner and I was waiting for you to play something. But once the installation finished I was well-prepped to set things without any "how do I do that?" pauses.

     

    I don't know if I'm an audiophile. But sitting here with my Magic Mouse and Bluetooth keyboard, across the room from my MacMini displayed on a 60" TV, I am so glad somebody else interacts with music the way I do.

     

    Really liked (ironic choice of words) that I didn't see a single reference to Facebook or Twitter or whatever during the install or setup.

     

    Anybody read the user agreement? Will Roon inspect my library for illegal duplicates? Will my tastes be sold to record labels and artists who will send me unrequested email? Just wondering.

     

    Enjoying.

     

    T.

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    B-b-b-b-b-b-booyah!! They emailed me. I signed up, downloaded and installed the software, and within ten minutes was listening to a queue I had created.

     

    Thanks Chris for the video you put together. It was kind of a yawner and I was waiting for you to play something. But once the installation finished I was well-prepped to set things without any "how do I do that?" pauses.

     

    I don't know if I'm an audiophile. But sitting here with my Magic Mouse and Bluetooth keyboard, across the room from my MacMini displayed on a 60" TV, I am so glad somebody else interacts with music the way I do.

     

    Really liked (ironic choice of words) that I didn't see a single reference to Facebook or Twitter or whatever during the install or setup.

     

    Anybody read the user agreement? Will Roon inspect my library for illegal duplicates? Will my tastes be sold to record labels and artists who will send me unrequested email? Just wondering.

     

    Enjoying.

     

    T.

    I was going to play some music in the video to make it less of a yawner, but Youtube tends to make you jump through hoops to use copyrighted music.

     

    I used Roon on a similarly large Pioneer Elite plasma and loved it on the large screen. Good stuff.

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