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I have had it with Roon, their lack of support, their user forum, and it's users...


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8 minutes ago, lpost said:

I've run Roon core on Windows 10, Ubuntu and ROCK (MOCK) over the years. Windows is by far the most efficient. Ubuntu and ROCK are seemingly always busy doing something. ROCK in particular makes ~10x more DNS requests than Windows (same db and music files). Roon uses a framework that is compatible with all but native to none. I've forgotten the name but I think they made a grave error back in the day hitching their horse to this model of non-native apps. They seem to continually chase their tail trying to fix issues because of this and it takes away from 'advancing' the product. All of this is in my 4 years experience opinion.

 

Try a Windows machine, even a virtual one, with your db and see if the activity is less. No need to ever activate Windows to just host RoonServer. My lowly i7-3770 with 8GB settles to <1% activity 10 minutes after startup and stays there throughout playback. I have HQPe and NAA on separate machines.

 

I could do that, but I would still be stuck with Roon's lackluster sound quality...

No electron left behind...

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I've played a few tracks in HQPe without Roon involved and I frankly don't hear any difference with Roon feeding HQPe. In both cases there is a separate NAA endpoint device connected to the DAC via USB. Unfortunately, for me using HQPe alone or with HQPDControl is untenable. I ran Foobar2000 for a long time and it reminds me of those days way too much ;) but Foobar does sound fantastic.

 

EuphonyOS sounded great to me too but it's based on Audio-Linux which is NOT supported by Jussi. Jussi does Debian (I believe) and AL is Arch. I also ran Audio-Linux from Pierro for a few years before finally giving up as it only caused HQPe and RoonServer grief.

 

I do enjoy upsampling to high rate DSD with heavy modulators but also feel the sound of HQPe with no upsampling sounds better than Roon alone or Roon with Roon Bridge.

 

Frankly, I find Jussi's custom kernel bootable image the best and absolutely the least effort. This is for HQP Embedded though and I believe you have Desktop license.

 

I find my life is much happier avoiding the Roon forum. The leaders only want to do it their way and aren't open to suggestions. It's a small group and apparently they are succeeding in gaining more and more market share...and this seems to be the primary driver. It begins and ends with Eno and Danny.

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2 hours ago, lpost said:

I've played a few tracks in HQPe without Roon involved and I frankly don't hear any difference with Roon feeding HQPe.

 

Did you completely disable Roon so it wasn't running in the background? I issue a shutdown command in terminal via SSH to shutdown Roon completely before listening to music.

No electron left behind...

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12 hours ago, lpost said:

 

I find my life is much happier avoiding the Roon forum. The leaders only want to do it their way and aren't open to suggestions. It's a small group and apparently they are succeeding in gaining more and more market share...and this seems to be the primary driver. It begins and ends with Eno and Danny.

Roon does many things very well.  They're just very opinionated and at times can come off as condescending or arrogant, but I don't think it is intentional as much as unvarnished.  It may be a deliberate decision to humanize the company and the product not to be too professional on their forum.

 

There was a burger joint (DMK Burgers I believe) that was renown for having the best burgers in the 'hood.  But I was told they only cook burgers one way.  Medium.  I don't like much pink in my beef and I like my burgers to push back on my bite just a little and so medium I do not enjoy.  So, never could go there.  Roon is a little like that - fit into their way or it's the highway.  That sentiment bleeds into the forum.

 

I've gotten the sense that Roon has made an internal decision to "take back" control of the forum somewhat.  Mostly that means creating a more positive impression around the product - suppressing and editing repeated references to problems and negative experiences unless Roon is of the mindset to admit to the issue.  The disappearing Daily Mixes  is a good example of when they have actually admitted to an issue -- how could they not, it was so prevalent -- and the sluggishness of Roon performance after it's been running a while is a good example of their denial.

 

I signed off the forum "forever" (but for support if needed) after having posts edited for reasons having nothing to do with forum rules.  I have to admit it's a little less stress in my day, but I do miss some of the posters and back-and-forth interactions that I had there.  

 

My main frustration with Roon is their constant blaming of "the network" rather than admitting that an application that is that demanding of a network is the outlier.  Roon wanted me to update all the drivers on a 2018 computer I built to be the Roon core when doing so could affect the stability of the machine - I've learned not to update all hardware drivers all the time if things are working -- and so instead I just built a brand new 8 core 10th generation 32GB screamer of a machine, all totally updated Windows and drivers, something Roon support could say nothing about.  You know what?  Roon does run faster but it still does what my 2017 core was doing - losing images and stalling out at the end of tracks.  This is on a 10GB network wired with Cat 7.  

 

It ain't me Roon.  It's you...

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1 hour ago, Pappy Boyington said:

My main frustration with Roon is their constant blaming of "the network" rather than admitting that an application that is that demanding of a network is the outlier.

I think this is the main issue. 
 

How can we prove this to Roon ? What app to use ?

I can if needed isolate Roon on a separate subnetwork, as I’m using iPFire. 

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11 hours ago, AudioDoctor said:

 

Did you completely disable Roon so it wasn't running in the background? I issue a shutdown command in terminal via SSH to shutdown Roon completely before listening to music.

Roon runs independently on another computer from HQPe and NAA. It's just a machine on the network and thus has no impact on the data/sound when playing music with HQPe.

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14 hours ago, lpost said:

I've played a few tracks in HQPe without Roon involved and I frankly don't hear any difference with Roon feeding HQPe. In both cases there is a separate NAA endpoint device connected to the DAC via USB. Unfortunately, for me using HQPe alone or with HQPDControl is untenable. I ran Foobar2000 for a long time and it reminds me of those days way too much ;) but Foobar does sound fantastic.

I pretty much concur with lpost's findings. I too run separate linux-based servers. The Roon server contains my library. For the test, I created a small music library on the HQPe machine. I also downloaded HQPDControl for my iPad.  The NAA for both configurations is a custom machine running bootable HQPlayer OS.  The sonic differences between direct HQPe and HQPe w/Roon were small, but distinguishable.  Direct HQPe seemed to exhibit a bit more emphasis on the top end, especially notable with some female vocals. HQPe w/Roon was a bit "laid back", nothing objectionable, just noticeable. I would definitely not call it "mushy" or "muddy" as others have reported.  Honestly, I could easily achieve similar differences through filter or cable selection.  I chose to run the tests with HQPlayer upsampling to 1.53 Mhz PCM, LNS15 and poly-sinc-gauss-long.  I saw no point running with no upsampling, as that is the whole point for using HQPlayer in the first place.

 

As far as Roon goes, the forum is only amusing to read, and I consider myself very fortunate to have had 4 years of trouble-free operation.  1.5 to 2% CPU usage when idling, 4 to 6% when streaming music. While HQPDControl does provide a basic control interface which works well, it falls well short of Roon's feature set.  I run Qobuz, mainly for discovering new music.  The integration with Roon and its radio function works very well and I consider it to be indispensable.

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I run AdGuardHome on a Pi4 on my network, it acts as the DNS server and after reading the above comment about Roon's DNS requests I went and checked to see how often my server was making DNS requests, and I discovered that it is constantly making requests whether or not music is playing.

No electron left behind...

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2 hours ago, AudioDoctor said:

I run AdGuardHome on a Pi4 on my network, it acts as the DNS server and after reading the above comment about Roon's DNS requests I went and checked to see how often my server was making DNS requests, and I discovered that it is constantly making requests whether or not music is playing.

I run Pi-Hole on a Pi4 running DietPi for the same functions. I have no idea what they are doing differently with the Linux builds vs. Windows but it's definitely different.

 

Last evening I rebooted Windows and observed Roon network activities at startup. It was very active, ~20Mb/s for nearly 20 minutes but then settled to near zero. My library is 10k albums (3/4 local, 1/4 Qobuz, 100,000 tracks. I've used Tidal in the past and Qobuz currently. The db is never purged of data so all the Tidal entries are still there (the db admin in me dislikes this fact). It's 14GB. It's accessible and music playable via wifi client within 2 mins. of startup. The library scan completes within a few more minutes (internal 4TB Sata). 

 

While playing local or streaming content, cpu usage for RoonAppliance.exe is <0.3%, total system cpu time <1%. Much more efficient than on Linux. I do zero processing in Roon, all is done in HQPe (convolution and upsampling). It may light up and 'do things' during the day/play time but it's never been noticeable nor have I noticed the resource usage. I do have the Windows machine shutdown HQPe machine via curl and itself nightly via scheduled tasks but prior to doing this I've never noticed any memory leaks.

 

The sound differences could certainly be system dependent. My setup is Roon alone on Windows 10 feeding HQPe bootable OS on high-powered mildly overclocked 10th gen Intel i5-10600k with convolution and upsampling to DSD256 with ADSM7EC and EXT3 or poly-since-gauss-xla (my current fav) then on to NAA running on UP Gateway (Intel Cherry Trail SoC) USB to NOS May DAC. I believe the separate NAA device is key as I realized a nice uplift vs. HQPe directly connected USB to DAC. Not night and day but those subtle details that the brain senses over time, better. Time and space. I don't have the words to describe what I hear or feel.

 

I've come to terms with my frustrations with how Roon does business, support, et al a couple years ago. I do like the interface compared to the alternatives and nowadays I mostly stream and listen to internet radio...plus I own lifetime.

 

Of course I'm always open to something better but the convenience and integration needs to be there too, for me. I'm also 54 and have not always taken care of my hearing. I have tinnitus and very much dislike aggressive sounding upper mids!

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On 7/7/2021 at 9:59 PM, AudioDoctor said:

edit: My server has been up for 1 day and 5 hours, it is using 9.5GB of RAM in total and Roon is using 3GB by itself. However, RAM usage isn't the problem, it's the background processing that causes a loss of sound quality.

Interesting comparison here and I know it doesn't matter in the context of this thread. This is snapshot of the resources on my Ubuntu core (single machine and its only purpose is core).  Local library (4500~ albums) and some qobuz streamed albums "added".

 

Its on 24/7 and although is shows uptime 2 days (because I upgraded to latest roon build and rebooted), I know the mem usage will go up (I don't monitor it very often) but if I recall, the last time I checked total usage was around 3-4GB.  That's prob after several weeks uptime.  I'll have to check back in a week or so.  I have read many references to mem leaks and the like and don't doubt it exists. 

 

My core.JPG

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On 7/8/2021 at 12:49 PM, Pappy Boyington said:

The problem I was having that caused them to say they would remote into my system and log its activity to see what was going on, it has stopped happening. So... they probably saw the problem, fixed it, and decided to keep their mouths shut about it after blaming everything they could on my end.

My impression is Roon is pinging its servers ALL THE TIME. In my opinion this is horrible software architecture, but I cannot explain the lags every now and then any other way. I have a very fast internet connection and Roon core and dCS Rossini DAC are wired with gigabit ethernet.

 

Also to someone else's point, yes Roon sometimes decides to go berzerk and use a lot of CPU for some time. Maybe it's doing some database work, who knows.

 

For the record, I have been a lifetime Roon subscriber since July 2015, so I have seen every iteration of this software up close. I find it great in some aspects, but software architecture is complete crap in my opinion.

mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock >

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

system pics

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Here are some snapshots of my Roon server at idle, and after getting music playing.  As you guys can see, I also idle at very low CPU usage, and it doesnt use more than a few % when playing, except when it uses 145% or more...

 

 

Screen Shot 2021-07-13 at 3.31.41 PM.png

 

 

Screen Shot 2021-07-13 at 3.35.18 PM.png

No electron left behind...

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51 minutes ago, miguelito said:

I don't think this is true at all. But to support your point, no feature requests of mine or any other I have seen on the Roon forums, have ever made it into Roon. Ever. And my requests are both quite popular and relatively easy to implement.

My subscription just lapsed and, of course, Roon wanted to know why, saying they make a point of listening to the customers.  Normally, I would take that bait and provide my reasoning, but I won't in this case.   Room hasn't listened before and, in fact, responded with, "no thanks," when I have made several suggestions, including a couple that would be insanely uncontroversial and easy to accommodate.

 

Roon calls itself opinionated about how to design and implement software. It is successful and beloved these days, so those instincts are good. For every guy like me who thinks the interface and metadata are garbage, there are a few hundred thousand who think it is underpriced. So, while I have opinions myself, Roon doesn't need another opportunity to ignore them.

Living room:  Synology 218+ NAS > NUC 10 i7> Roon/Audirvana/JRiver Media Server > xfinity Xfi Router > Netgear GS348 Switch > EtherRegen > Sonore Signature Rendu SE Tier 2 > Wyred4Sound 10th Anniversary DAC > Wyred4Sound STI-500 > Revel F32 Concertas

 

Basement:  Synology 218+ NAS > NUC 10 i7>Roon/Audirvana/JRiver Media Server > Xfinity xfi Router > Netgear GS348 Switch >TrendNet FMC>Sonore OpticalModule> UltraRendu > NuPrime IDA-8 > KEF LS50's

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1 hour ago, miguelito said:

My impression is Roon is pinging its servers ALL THE TIME. In my opinion this is horrible software architecture, but I cannot explain the lags every now and then any other way. I have a very fast internet connection and Roon core and dCS Rossini DAC are wired with gigabit ethernet.

 

Also to someone else's point, yes Roon sometimes decides to go berzerk and use a lot of CPU for some time. Maybe it's doing some database work, who knows.

 

For the record, I have been a lifetime Roon subscriber since July 2015, so I have seen every iteration of this software up close. I find it great in some aspects, but software architecture is complete crap in my opinion.

 

Just so you know, you quoted me there, not Pappy Boyington, the AS user, not Marine Corps Ace.

No electron left behind...

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Still loving Roon here. Easily the best user experience I know of and the SQ is as good as any I’ve tried. yes, I’ve tried HQPlayer albeit a few years ago. My room, my gear, my ears. IME, computer-side changes make little difference in SQ (but not zero difference).

 

 I did recently have an issue where Roon would crash streaming 24-bit Qobuz files. It took several weeks waiting but the latest version solved the problem.

Roon ROCK (Roon 1.7; NUC7i3) > Ayre QB-9 Twenty > Ayre AX-5 Twenty > Thiel CS2.4SE (crossovers rebuilt with Clarity CSA and Multicap RTX caps, Mills MRA-12 resistors; ERSE and Jantzen coils; Cardas binding posts and hookup wire); Cardas and OEM power cables, interconnects, and speaker cables

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2 hours ago, beetlemania said:

Still loving Roon here. Easily the best user experience I know of and the SQ is as good as any I’ve tried. yes, I’ve tried HQPlayer albeit a few years ago. My room, my gear, my ears. IME, computer-side changes make little difference in SQ (but not zero difference).

 

 I did recently have an issue where Roon would crash streaming 24-bit Qobuz files. It took several weeks waiting but the latest version solved the problem.

As I mentioned in my first post in this thread, the only complaint about Roon that I did not have was SQ. In fact, that was the only reason I subscribed.  I  haven't tried HQP, and only listened to Roon with upsampling enabled, but I always found the sound full-bodied and engaging.

Living room:  Synology 218+ NAS > NUC 10 i7> Roon/Audirvana/JRiver Media Server > xfinity Xfi Router > Netgear GS348 Switch > EtherRegen > Sonore Signature Rendu SE Tier 2 > Wyred4Sound 10th Anniversary DAC > Wyred4Sound STI-500 > Revel F32 Concertas

 

Basement:  Synology 218+ NAS > NUC 10 i7>Roon/Audirvana/JRiver Media Server > Xfinity xfi Router > Netgear GS348 Switch >TrendNet FMC>Sonore OpticalModule> UltraRendu > NuPrime IDA-8 > KEF LS50's

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6 hours ago, miguelito said:

However, with the advent of Apple lossless and Spotify lossless (soon) and the unlikely event of integration into Roon (Spotify already said no, Apple unclear) it might be the case that neither Tidal, Qobuz, nor Roon will be around much longer.

I know you've said this before, and it's almost like you want it to happen, but I just don't see those millions of thirteen year old Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X fans abandoning Qobuz and Roon and their bedroom DCS, Sonore and Naim, etc. streamers to go over to Apple and Spotify. Oh wait, they're already there... with their phones. Not a DAC or fancy power cable in sight. If one hasn't heard of Tidal, Roon, or Qobuz already (which 9 out of 10 haven't), Apple going hi-rez isn't going to change that. 

 

It's a big world and I think there's plenty of room for mature niche streaming services. Qobuz may actually be in a better position than Tidal though due to also selling downloads. I think way too sone for any thoughts of doom and gloom. Many will 'do the right thing' and eschew the corporate behemoths. Doesn't Apple and Amazon have enough of our money and souls already? 

SERVER CLOSET (in office directly below living room stereo):NUC 7i5BNH with Roon ROCK (ZeroZone 12V on the NUC)>Cisco 2690L-16PS switch>Sonore opticalModule (Uptone LPS 1.2)>

LIVING ROOM: Sonore opticalRendu Roon version (Sonore Power Supply)> Shunyata Venom USB>Naim DAC V1>Witchhat DIN>Naim NAP 160 Bolt Down>Chord Rumor 2>Audio Physic Compact Classics. OFFICE: opticalModule> Sonore microRendu 1.4> Matrix Mini-i Pro 3> Naim NAP 110>NACA5>KEF Ls50's. BJC 6a and Ghent Catsnake 6a JSSG ethernet; AC cables: Shunyata Venom NR V-10; Audience Forte F3; Ice Age copper/copper; Sean Jacobs CHC PowerBlack, Moon Audio DIN>RCA, USB A>C. Isolation: Herbie's Audio Lab. 

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29 minutes ago, charlesphoto said:

I know you've said this before, and it's almost like you want it to happen, but I just don't see those millions of thirteen year old Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X fans abandoning Qobuz and Roon and their bedroom DCS, Sonore and Naim, etc. streamers to go over to Apple and Spotify. Oh wait, they're already there... with their phones. Not a DAC or fancy power cable in sight. If one hasn't heard of Tidal, Roon, or Qobuz already (which 9 out of 10 haven't), Apple going hi-rez isn't going to change that. 

 

It's a big world and I think there's plenty of room for mature niche streaming services. Qobuz may actually be in a better position than Tidal though due to also selling downloads. I think way too sone for any thoughts of doom and gloom. Many will 'do the right thing' and eschew the corporate behemoths. Doesn't Apple and Amazon have enough of our money and souls already? 

 

I don't know anyone at all off this forum that knows of Qobuz. Quite a few people know about TIDAL and I always tell them about Qobuz and give my elevator pitch about why it's better. And you are right, in my opinion, Qobuz is in a far better position because they stream higher quality files that aren't MQA-ed and they also sell them in mp3 to Hi-Res.

No electron left behind...

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21 minutes ago, AudioDoctor said:

 

I don't know anyone at all off this forum that knows of Qobuz. Quite a few people know about TIDAL and I always tell them about Qobuz and give my elevator pitch about why it's better. And you are right, in my opinion, Qobuz is in a far better position because they stream higher quality files that aren't MQA-ed and they also sell them in mp3 to Hi-Res.

Don't have Qobuz in Canada

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16 hours ago, lpost said:

I haven't thought about Baa Baa Black Sheep in decades. I enjoyed that show and the Corsair(s).

I think the veterans didn't like the show because it cast them in a light of being involved in a bunch of hijinks when they were not, and it did not focus on how miserable an experience the Solomon Islands campaign was.  But I loved that show for the airplanes and you just have to let go of the idea that it will have any realism.  It wasn't meant for that.  

 

16 hours ago, miguelito said:

no feature requests of mine or any other I have seen on the Roon forums, have ever made it into Roon

To be fair and balanced about this, I actually had a call with Roon's product manager a few years back where they asked for details about my ideas for the RoonTag feature that they ultimately implemented.  They didn't really implement my ideas, and it took them forever to implement what they did do, but I think this idea did arise out of the forum and a few of the regulars posting back and forth about how to import custom metatags from FLAC files.  

 

That said it doesn't change my general impression that Roon has a pretty rigid picture of their product.  I don't think that in and of itself is so bad...it just so happens that my rigid picture of their product differs from theirs! 

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First of all, about the problem of memory usage and cpu spikes with large libraries: Roon is written in C# and so it uses the Microsoft .NET framework. To make is work on linux and macOS they use mono which is an open-source VM to let users run .NET software on OS different than Windows. Probably all these kind of issues and not due to Roon itself but on mono (which, as a dev myself, I would not ever use in production). If you want the best performance and stability just set up a Windows VM and probably you will solve all your problems.

 

My experience with the Roon support is indeed pretty good, they have always helped me when I had a problem.

About feature requests they are just bad. While I understand that they do not take seriously a request such as "when Roon is doing something in background the sound is worse" without any kind of data in support of this theory (I wouldn't take it seriously either) other problem such as:

- Android app not bypassing android mixer and limited to 16/48

- Frequent freezes of iOS/iPadOS app

- It's "impossible" to run Roon core outside your LAN because clients discovery is made only with broadcast packets and you don't have the option to do an incredibly stupid thing like being able to specify the server IPAddress

- You cannot disable automatic discovery of new audio files. This cause Roon to wake up hard disks every 5 second and so hdd cannot go in sleep mode. This is just plain stupid and can reduce HDD lifespan drastically. (let's not talk about power draw)

 

Are just ignored by Roon's dev team, which is shameful.

Still I will continue to use it since there isn't anything like Roon on the market, and I've tried pretty much all the "audiophile" players

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