Saturday, 26 January 2019

Room for Roon?

I've recently become a convert to the Roon 'ecosystem'.

If you're not familiar with it, Roon basically gathers together all your audio files from wherever you store them on your network and adds wonderful stuff like cover art, biographies, album reviews .. all the metadata you can shake a fist at (and then some) plus an artist radio feature (gathered from your networked music library) which sympathetically marries similar tracks together.

Did it change my life? Actually, yes it did.

I've been a staunch Sonos user since the first units came out a looong time ago. The whole house has been networked for what seems to have been always .. (over 10 years .. pretty much) .. and the damn thing about Sonos is there's a 66,000 track limit imposed in its architecture. That may be enough for some, but not for me (being a lifelong consumerist of music).

Roon works around Sonos' limit .. you just have to completely ignore the Sonos app (as good as it is).

The other annoying thing about Sonos is it's lossless file limit. The highest resolution that you can normally play is CD quality. Pfft, to that! I want Hi Res .. which is where Roon shines. It'll take anything Hi Res (without changing the file format or 'down res'ing-it) and play it back through the Sonos.

Fantastic! .. and to think I almost discarded the Sonos and was seriously thinking about going with another manufacturer.

Another good thing about Roon, is you don't have to take it to the next step and spend £1500 or £2500 on their Nucleus or Nucleus + range of hardware. The free Win.10 app will do for now.

Is Roon free though (even though the app is)?

Well .. no. There's a choice of buying either a 1 year or lifetime license. There's a 2 week trial period and then (if you're suitably impressed) it's time to make your mind-up.

At this stage, I'm going for the 1 year option, but I'm fairly certain that when I discover everything that Roon offers, I'll be upgrading to the lifetime option.

It's that good!

If you're interested, have a good look through their website.

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