Roon 2.0 now disables local playback if internet is down

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newzooreview

The new version of Roon announced today has a built-in kill switch. If your internet connection goes down, you cannot play your local files. You cannot use Roon at all. It locks you out completely. This was confirmed by Roon.

Roon used to be resilient. It would confirm an active license every month via internet, but otherwise you could play your own music without worrying about a flaky ISP or a storm that takes down the connection for a few days.

What's a good alternative?

I'm looking for something that is a bit hard to find (and why I chose Roon in the first place, before it became unreliable):

1. I currently connect my NUC directly to the DAC via USB, so installing something on the NUC or streaming box with USB output would be needed. However,

2. I want the music server to be sitting on a headless box tucked away, using a native Mac app to use to run the system (not a web page -- a real app). I do not want to control the system from an iPhone/iPad app.

Things that I have already ruled out:

1. Innuos--needs a phone/tablet to control playback.
2. Lumin--needs a phone/tablet to control playback.
3. Auralic--tried it and the user interface was not good. It also needs a phone/tablet.
4. Audirvana--needs a phone/tablet to control playback.
5. Moode or Volumio--needs a phone/tablet to control playback.
6. BlueSound Node--technically fits the need, but I am concerned the sound quality would not be as good since it has a cheap, built-in switching power supply and my NUC is running on an external linear power supply. I checked the other streamers using BlueOS, and only NAD makes a stand alone streamer, and it has no USB output.

Maybe there is nothing other than Roon that works (given my preferences).

artur9

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Re: Roon 2.0 now disables local playback if internet is down
« Reply #1 on: 21 Sep 2022, 03:30 am »
OpenHome stuff?  That's what Linn's tech uses.

Did Roon say why the made this change?


Nick B

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Re: Roon 2.0 now disables local playback if internet is down
« Reply #3 on: 21 Sep 2022, 04:17 am »
Just downloaded Roon 2.0 and Roon ARC tonight. Wasn’t aware of this issue. For my listening habits, it’s really not much of a concern. Overall, I’m very happy with how Roon has morphed. I bought the lifetime license in 2016 and have no regrets 🎶

Mike-48

Re: Roon 2.0 now disables local playback if internet is down
« Reply #4 on: 21 Sep 2022, 06:06 am »
If enough users complain, perhaps Roon Labs will revert to periodic checks. They certainly have made many changes to the program based on user feedback.

If not, there's always version 1.8, which they are calling "legacy." Since Roon meets your needs, it might be worth using 1.8 for a while and seeing if they can be persuaded to make the reversion.

ilovesfa

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Re: Roon 2.0 now disables local playback if internet is down
« Reply #5 on: 21 Sep 2022, 10:38 am »
Regarding Innuos - their control app interface can be reached through basically any web browser, so you can use any desktop or laptop effectively. You are not confined to the app stores on smart devices.
Hope that helps!

newzooreview

Re: Roon 2.0 now disables local playback if internet is down
« Reply #6 on: 21 Sep 2022, 04:21 pm »
Yes, I have stayed at version 1.8. I definitely wouldn't allow Roon to autoupdate since the majority of releases need to be patched for bugs within a few days. For a company that demands a monthly payment, their quality control and testing are disgraceful.

My internet is stable, but Roon's approach is clueless. They seem to be meandering in the wilderness regarding what people want or need from the app. The new update automatically punches a hole in your firewall as well: even if you don't want or need to use their remote streaming app.

Their remote streaming app downgrades the audio quality, so it is no better than streaming Qobuz or Apple Music. Poking holes in your home firewall to duplicate function is absurd.

After years of changes, they still don't support re-ordering albums in the queue. If I cue up Album A and Album B, and then decide you would like to play Album C after Album A you are stuck. You can play Album C immediately; you put Album C at the end of the cue (after Album B); but you cannot queue Album C to play after all of the tracks on Album A are finished. And this bug has been there for years.

Regarding streamers, they all have a web interface: that's why I stated that I wanted a Mac app. Thank you for the suggestion, however.

BlueOS looks like the best alternative, but there is not a high-quality streamer that uses it. I also have no idea if the metadata for albums is as good as Roon or the album queue issue is any better.

Brad

Re: Roon 2.0 now disables local playback if internet is down
« Reply #7 on: 21 Sep 2022, 07:03 pm »
I have the latest Bluesound Node, and found a nice improvement with a power supply mod.
It ships direct from Poland.  Easy to install, reasonable price, reversible, gets the switcher out of the chassis, and allows for a linear supply.
They also offer a better SMPS for outboard use.

https://pd-cf.com/produkt/bluesound-node-2021-upgrade-low-noise-psu-interface/

I have it connected both to Tidal and my internal music server.

newzooreview

Re: Roon 2.0 now disables local playback if internet is down
« Reply #8 on: 21 Sep 2022, 07:43 pm »
I have the latest Bluesound Node, and found a nice improvement with a power supply mod.

Very cool. Thanks.

I also found that Rose makes at least one streamer with a Mac app being one of the options to control it. They are using something like Electron, I expect, to build cross-platform apps, so the app is not native on Apple Silicon, but it provides an option at least.

There is certainly widespread concern on the Roon forum about the new instant kill switch. I'm not holding my breath that they will listen to their users. They never have before. There's always a first time for something, however.

Mike-48

Re: Roon 2.0 now disables local playback if internet is down
« Reply #9 on: 21 Sep 2022, 09:57 pm »
I'm not holding my breath that they will listen to their users. They never have before. There's always a first time for something, however.
The whole feature of remote access -- which couldn't have been easy to implement -- was in response to requests from their users.

Roon is hardly perfect, but IME Roon Labs listens to users more than other providers such as Qobuz or J River.

Saturn94

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Re: Roon 2.0 now disables local playback if internet is down
« Reply #10 on: 21 Sep 2022, 10:42 pm »
If enough users complain, perhaps Roon Labs will revert to periodic checks. They certainly have made many changes to the program based on user feedback.

If not, there's always version 1.8, which they are calling "legacy." Since Roon meets your needs, it might be worth using 1.8 for a while and seeing if they can be persuaded to make the reversion.

Be aware that Roon has stated that the option to go back to 1.8 Legacy will only be available for six weeks, and 1.8 Legacy will only be supported until the end of this year.

Apparently, Roon didn’t like what was being said in the thread addressing the offline playing of local files issue, so they hid it from public view. 🙄

newzooreview

Re: Roon 2.0 now disables local playback if internet is down
« Reply #11 on: 21 Sep 2022, 10:47 pm »
Regarding "user demand," as someone pointed out on the Roon forum, Roon did not ask their users or beta testers if they would accept a kill switch on playback of local files when internet is down. There was zero user demand for that.

The kill switch is also not required just to add remote playback. Sure, the remote playback from your NAS to an internet-connected device outside of the home won't work, but there is no reason to disable local file playback in that case.

Roon has not given a credible explanation. A Roon rep made a confusing comment about locally run search not working well, so they go rid of it in 2.0. Not having search is not the same as not allowing simple navigation of the local database to play an album or a track. The Roon database is locally stored (or it used to be at least--they have been mum on that point).

In addition, Roon has now removed the entire discussion on their forum (350 posts in less than a day).

Something is clearly up.

The current version that runs locally will stop being supported at the end of the year, and people who installed the new 2.0 only have 6 weeks to restore the current 1.8 version. Roon is being extremely heavy handed about coercing people to use the new version.

The best explanation for the behavior is that they are looking to sell Roon to a streaming service (not my insight--suggested by a forum post elsewhere).

newzooreview

Re: Roon 2.0 now disables local playback if internet is down
« Reply #12 on: 21 Sep 2022, 10:57 pm »
If enough users complain, perhaps Roon Labs will revert to periodic checks.

I think your suggestions are reasonable, and I appreciate them. But something very serious is brewing if they wipe all reference to the concerns from their forum and give no comprehensible reason for the change. The appear to be scared of this and are dug in. I hope I am wrong.

Saturn94

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Re: Roon 2.0 now disables local playback if internet is down
« Reply #13 on: 21 Sep 2022, 10:59 pm »
Regarding "user demand," as someone pointed out on the Roon forum, Roon did not ask their users or beta testers if they would accept a kill switch on playback of local files when internet is down. There was zero user demand for that.

The kill switch is also not required just to add remote playback. Sure, the remote playback from your NAS to an internet-connected device outside of the home won't work, but there is no reason to disable local file playback in that case.

Roon has not given a credible explanation. A Roon rep made a confusing comment about locally run search not working well, so they go rid of it in 2.0. Not having search is not the same as not allowing simple navigation of the local database to play an album or a track. The Roon database is locally stored (or it used to be at least--they have been mum on that point).

In addition, Roon has now removed the entire discussion on their forum (350 posts in less than a day).

Something is clearly up.

The current version that runs locally will stop being supported at the end of the year, and people who installed the new 2.0 only have 6 weeks to restore the current 1.8 version. Roon is being extremely heavy handed about coercing people to use the new version.

The best explanation for the behavior is that they are looking to sell Roon to a streaming service (not my insight--suggested by a forum post elsewhere).

My impression, based on recent comments from Roon (Danny), is that they are looking to eventually migrate all/most core functions to the cloud, which of course would require full time internet access to function.

IMO, this is not a good sign for those of us with significant local music file collections.

Saturn94

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Re: Roon 2.0 now disables local playback if internet is down
« Reply #14 on: 21 Sep 2022, 11:01 pm »
I think your suggestions are reasonable, and I appreciate them. But something very serious is brewing if they wipe all reference to the concerns from their forum and give no comprehensible reason for the change. The appear to be scared of this and are dug in. I hope I am wrong.

It got too hot in the kitchen so they are trying to turn the temp down.  :lol:

Update:

The thread is back up on Roon.  They said something odd is going on, that the thread wasn’t intentionally hidden from view.

newzooreview

Re: Roon 2.0 now disables local playback if internet is down
« Reply #15 on: 22 Sep 2022, 12:04 am »


I have the latest Bluesound Node, and found a nice improvement with a power supply mod.
It ships direct from Poland.  Easy to install, reasonable price,

Thanks. This looks promising.

Do you have the $230 option (the "Super Low Noise PSU + Interface")?

I like that they show measurements.

Regarding Blue OS, how do you find the basic ability to identify your tracks and albums correctly?

Can you re-order entire albums easily in the queue?

GregC

Re: Roon 2.0 now disables local playback if internet is down
« Reply #16 on: 22 Sep 2022, 03:42 am »
MoOde worked for playback with several DLNA controllers I tested. 

JRiver and Foobar2k both worked from my Windows laptop. 

I enabled Squeezelite in MoOde, and I was able to stream to it from a web browser I had open on my laptop.  I have LMS server running on my NAS. 

I also was able to use BubblUPnP from an Android tablet.  I am very impressed with the flexibility. 

I am running MoOde on a Magna HiFi Mano Ultra IIa streamer (using the I2S out into my DAC).   

For simplicity's sake, the Cambridge CXNV2 is easy to stream with, and you can send one to Dan at Modwright to get the tube mod. Then you would have some really great sound.

Brad

Re: Roon 2.0 now disables local playback if internet is down
« Reply #17 on: 22 Sep 2022, 05:50 pm »

Thanks. This looks promising.

Do you have the $230 option (the "Super Low Noise PSU + Interface")?

I like that they show measurements.

Regarding Blue OS, how do you find the basic ability to identify your tracks and albums correctly?

Can you re-order entire albums easily in the queue?

I did not buy the PD linear power supply, as I had an R-core 5v power supply already.  I did get their SMPS just to have for convenience.
Getting the switcher out of the chassis made the biggest difference to my ears.  Lowered the noise floor, brought out more detail.

BlueOS did a decent job identifying things in my library.
Have not tried much reordering within the queue.  I generally play a full album, and then sometime before it's over, pick the next one.

One thing I don't like within Tidal is they don't show bit depths and rates.  Just a quick popup if it's HiRes or CD-quality and whether or not it's MQA.

newzooreview

Re: Roon 2.0 now disables local playback if internet is down
« Reply #18 on: 22 Sep 2022, 10:25 pm »
Thank you. That helps.

shadowlight

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Re: Roon 2.0 now disables local playback if internet is down
« Reply #19 on: 23 Sep 2022, 02:20 pm »
Daphile on the NUC with iPeng client on the iOS devices.  There is similar client for Android also.  It is basically a Logitech Squeeze environment.  Right now I am using 2 old small pc's running Daphile as Squeeze client managed by Roon Squeeze support.  If Roon get's too much I will just fire up Daphile LMS server under virtual instance and say goodbye to Roon.