Getting to know Roon

I’m Michael, new Product Manager here at Roon.

Here at Roon, my first mission is to get to know you all better, so I’m carving out some time each day to chat directly with users. I would love to pick your brains about your music listening habits, how Roon fits into your world, and where you’d like the product to go.

A bit about myself—I’m an American living in Portugal. Professionally, I come from a music, tech, and audio engineering background, having worked in recording studios, small music startups, as well as music publishing.

Musically, I’m into everything from jazz to J Dilla but electronic music and indie rock are my mainstays. Right now I’m listening to lots of Mark Kozelek and Hood. After hours I love to cook (big stew guy), make tunes, and nerd out on synths and samplers.

I want to hear from you, so, I’m all ears. Please feel free to book some time with me here.

Looking forward to working with all of you!

Roon 1.8 Fall 2021 release

With our Fall 2021 release, you’ll see some great improvements to Roon, but the big news is that we’re rolling out the first of a series of fun web-based tools to our community of music fanatics. The goal of these tools is to let you contribute your expertise to Valence, our cloud-based data system, making the Roon experience richer for the whole community!

Art Director

Everyone benefits from better-looking artist photos and band logos, so we’ve created Art Director, the first in a series of fun web-based tools that puts Roon users in control of how artist images are shown in Roon. Using Art Director, you can adjust the positioning of artist photos, upload your own band logos and images, and vote for your favorites. By doing so, you’ll be helping the whole Roon community and making perfect artist images a reality.

How does Art Director work?

When you visit our new Valence page and select “Contribute”, you sign in with your Roon account and select Art Director. You’ll be presented with images from the Valence database that need your artistic eye. If you want to adjust images for a specific artist, just type their name into the search box. From there, you’ll see all of the adjustments contributed by other users, as well as any images that still need your direction.

Art Director allows us to be far more dynamic with the images used in Roon, giving us the ability to adjust photos to fit into specific shapes. For example, you can adjust the main image that is displayed at the top of an artist page, as well as their circular ‘avatar’ that is shown on the Artists page and within search lists. This means no matter where an artist image is displayed in Roon, it will always look fantastic. If you have a band logo or a photo of an artist that you love, you can also upload it to Art Director to be featured in Roon. 

You and the rest of the Roon community can also vote for your favorite image on an artist’s page. Just click on the heart next to any adjusted image; this is how Valence decides which images are shown in Roon. As the Roon community begins to vote and adjust artist photos, you’ll always see the best possible images in Roon, and they’ll constantly improve based on the efforts of our community.

Local image edits are still possible, but if you have previously spent time improving artist images in your own library, you can now make these changes in Art Director to update your library while improving the Roon experience for everyone.

To start contributing, just sign into Valence using your Roon account details at valence.roonlabs.com

Playlists by Roon

Our team lives for music, and it’s our goal to create the best experiences for other music lovers. In addition to Roon itself, we do this by collaborating with artists, our community, and with our own music team to bring you editorial content and playlists that we think you’ll enjoy. Over the past year we’ve worked with artists including Patricia Barber, Daymé Arocena, AHI, and Stephen Moccio to bring you exclusive interviews and editorial, as well as producing weekly playlists with a particular genre or theme. 

Up until now, the playlists we have created have only been available on TIDAL and Qobuz, and haven’t been accessible in Roon. In our latest release, you can now access everything our music team has curated, directly from your Home screen on both streaming platforms.

Smarter search

Back in the summer, we released the first of many updates to improve how you search for music in Roon. In this update we’ve taken the next step and completely overhauled the search function to make it easier than ever to find the music you’re looking for.

Now, when you search for music in Roon you’ll see more accurate and concise results (with fewer inaccuracies!), especially when it comes to your library content. Roon will be able to detect when you’re searching for classical music, presenting composers and compositions first. We’ve also overhauled text filtering across the app, for more consistent handling of special characters and punctuation.

The updates we’ve made to search this year are just the beginning. Search has been a top priority for us this year, and led by our data team, it will continue to be a focus into 2022 and beyond.

Rock-solid streaming

We’ve completely overhauled Roon’s buffering and caching infrastructure for playing streaming content. The new implementation is designed to be less demanding when interacting with your network and internet connection, making streaming music both more stable and less intensive on your Roon Core. This should minimize playback interruptions from TIDAL and Qobuz, as well as making it possible for people with slower internet connections and networks to have a better and more reliable experience while using Roon. It will also ensure your Roon Core is more resilient to latency issues caused by Content Delivery Networks (CDN) and the geographic distance from your source.

Easier volume limits

We’ve redesigned the Zone Settings screen so it’s even easier to set volume limits that prevent your music from getting too loud. The new design also makes it easier to configure auto-sleep functionality and other settings for your audio devices.

Other new improvements in this release include: improved iOS lockscreen control implementation, new cover art on playlist screens on mobile devices and added the album type to artist’s “Recommended albums” for easier browsing of main albums, singles, and EPs. You can see a complete list of improvements over on our Community post.

We want to thank our subscribers for everything you have done to help us improve Roon and grow our amazing community this year – we couldn’t have done it without you!

We hope you enjoy the new update and if you have any questions or need some support , you can reach out to our dedicated Customer Success & Support team via our Help Center or head over to our Community and join in the discussions with thousands of other Roon subscribers.

Introducing the Roon store

The gear that music fans use when they listen is – as the number of posts on our community site suggests – one of the things they’re most passionate and opinionated about. For six years, we’ve been working with nearly every audio manufacturer to make sure their products work like magic with Roon. In that time, we’ve tested, certified, and (maybe most importantly) lived with hundreds and hundreds of audio devices. From inexpensive USB DACs to the most exotic audiophile equipment on the market, we’ve literally seen it all. No person or company has had the privilege of laying hands on as much gear as we have (you have to see our test lab to believe it).

Our whole team uses Roon Ready and Roon Tested gear in real life, and we constantly switch, compare, and contrast them. Along the way, we’ve learned a huge amount about how audio products are designed. We’ve become attuned to subtle details… the things that can make one piece of gear a joy to use every day while another one collects dust on the shelf.

Over time, we’ve received more and more questions from users about which products have this or that feature, which would be better for a bedroom vs a patio, or which offers the best value at a particular price point. All that interest has inspired us to think about how to provide a new service for Roon users. Shopping for audio gear online isn’t especially easy or fun, so we decided to do for the audio shopping experience what Roon itself did for music browsing and discovery.

We’re very excited to introduce the Roon store – the only e-commerce site designed with the music lover (and Roon user) in mind.

What’s different about the Roon store? Simple: it’s focused entirely on audio equipment that works incredibly well with Roon. Every product is hand-picked for qualities that make it stand out, so you won’t be faced with a hodgepodge of all the gear on the market. If you see something in the Roon store, you can be sure we’ve lived with it and can share genuine, first-hand experience about how it fits into your listening life.

We’re starting off with just a small, curated selection of products in a single category: the all-in-one Roon Ready speaker. These are all decidedly non-traditional audio products that can be daunting to shop for, and one of the things that makes them special is how perfectly they work with Roon. Just connect them to your network and voilà … instant system.

Every product on the site is there because we think it deserves to be showcased. To that end, we’ve created content for the site ourselves, from product photographs and instructional videos to insights about features and performance. Our goal is to show – from extensive experience – what makes each of these products unique, and exactly what you can expect from them.

The Roon store has taken inspiration from the most innovative e-commerce sites out there – a focused product offering, high-quality editorial, and all the shopping convenience you could ask for. It doesn’t yet feature anything like a full range of products, but many more are coming very soon. We hope you enjoy this first step on our journey to provide you the best audio shopping experience in the world.

Roon 1.8: September 2021 Release

In our latest 1.8 release, we’re rolling out one of the Roon community’s most requested features: native control of Roon from your phone, even when the screen is locked. Alongside this, we’ve made it even easier to compare different versions of your favorite albums in Roon and expanded Roon’s exporting functionality.

Native control of Roon from your phone

You can now access essential controls natively from your Android or iOS* device without going into the Roon Remote app. Now playing information, volume, and pause and skip controls can all  be controlled from your phone.

Adjusting volume this way controls the level of your audio gear connected to Roon, and respects the volume limits you’ve already set in different zones. This latest update also includes support for your mobile devices physical volume controls, so you can change the volume of your music without even looking at the screen.

On iOS, we’ve also implemented the much-requested gesture support for navigation so you can now swipe from the left or right edge of your phone screen for easy back and forward navigation.

*iOS Beta only: to use this feature, go to your Settings in Roon Remote and enable ‘Lock Screen Controls’. Find out more

Compare versions of your favorite albums

Roon’s album page has always featured a “Versions” tab where you could find other editions of an album, including those from your own music library, TIDAL, and Qobuz. In our latest update, we’ve completely redesigned this view, making it even easier to compare versions in your library and beyond. Whether you’re looking for an expanded edition with bonus tracks or want to listen to an even higher-quality version, Roon lets you do this in a couple of clicks.

Take your Roon content to services around the world

We expanded and improved Roon’s exporting functionality, so it’s easier to copy media out of Roon, or to export detailed information about your music to Excel.

For those of you who enjoy listening to your playlists on multiple streaming platforms, we’ve also worked with our friends at Soundiiz to make it easier to export playlists and other content from Roon to various music services. Our new Soundiiz export mode generates a custom CSV file for any playlists, favorites, or library content you select, which can easily be uploaded to Soundiiz and synced to TIDAL, Qobuz, or nearly any other streaming service. 

Try Soundiiz Premium 

To get access to all of the Soundiiz features, including the ability to transfer all of your playlists to different streaming platforms at once and to keep all of your playlists synced between different platforms, use code “ROONVIP” at checkout to get 15% off the Soundiiz Premium subscription.

Since the success of Roon 1.8 release in February, we’ve received tons of great feedback from our community which we have been using every day to make improvements to how you use and experience Roon. In fact, since 1.8 we’ve made almost 150 bug fixes and improvements to Roon, and this release is no exception.  

New improvements include: a new “Date Modified” sort feature for your playlists, faster loading of your Daily Mixes, improvements to the search autocomplete user experience, high-resolution playback on supported Sonos devices and shuffling of tags that now includes playlist content from outside your library. You can see a complete list of improvements over on our Community post.

Without our community’s input, feedback and support, Roon wouldn’t be where it is today and for this we are truly grateful. If you have any suggestions, questions or you just want to come and say hi, you can contact our dedicated Customer Success & Support team via our Help Center or Community.

The Roon ecosystem is growing faster than ever

From our humble beginnings – the debut of the first Roon Ready network streamer (Auralic Aries) at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2016 – the ecosystem of products compatible with Roon is now the largest collection of high-resolution audio devices in the world.

Roon is compatible with over a thousand individual products from nearly 200 brands, including premium audio heavyweights like Bowers & Wilkins, Bluesound, Denon, Devialet, Harman, KEF, McIntosh, and Naim Audio, and also a wide range of manufacturers of smart devices and DIY products. Thanks in part to that focus on interoperability, Roon has become an essential component in the listening rooms of recording artists, producers, record labels, music collectors, and audiophiles.

The cadence of new Roon Ready certifications has increased tenfold since 2019. Back then, just a handful of new products were certified each month, but in the first half of this year we’ve already announced over 100 new Roon Ready and Roon Tested devices. Forty new brands have submitted products for certification in that time, including key product ranges and new launches from notable audio manufacturers like Arcam, Astell & Kern, Cambridge Audio, and JBL.

We set out to create an ecosystem with something for every use case covering a wide range of prices, form factors, functions, and features. Now, Roon really does play with everything – audio products as varied as network streamers, soundbars, DACs, wireless speakers, all-in-one systems, and A/V receivers – at prices ranging from $100 to $100,000. With support for high-resolution PCM, DSD, MQA, and extensive DSP, Roon offers the highest possible audio performance at any price.

Recent announcements about lossless and high-resolution streaming from Apple Music and others have kindled new interest in high-quality audio. For listeners who want to go beyond their mobile phone with Bluetooth headphones, Roon provides the largest and highest-performance ecosystem for listening to high-resolution music on the widest range of audio equipment.

In addition to Roon Ready products, there are hundreds of Roon Tested products that bring the Roon experience to the rest of your home. Support for Sonos, AirPlay, and Google Cast streaming devices – as well as USB and HDMI receivers and DACs – means that Roon helps you get the best performance out of virtually any audio device.

To see the full list of Roon partners and certified products, check out roonlabs.com/partners


Roon 1.8 Summer Release

Our aim has always been to make it as simple as possible for you to find the music you love and play it on all of your audio gear. That’s why in our summer release, we’ve pushed the boundaries of Valence even further to improve how you search and discover music in Roon. Valence combines the expertise of our community with modern data science and machine learning to deliver a music player that understands your listening preferences like no other.

In the latest update to Roon 1.8, we’ve implemented some exciting new features, including personalized daily mixes, intelligent search, and a totally new TIDAL interface to improve the way you discover and listen to music in Roon.

Your Daily Mixes

Some days you want a little extra inspiration in the morning. For TIDAL and Qobuz users, every day Roon will deliver you six new Daily Mixes designed to give you something new to explore. Each playlist is themed on an artist from your listening history and includes 25 picks from artists you love and some you have yet to discover.

Created using a completely new Valence algorithm, the genres and artists in your playlists will change daily but you can expect a wide variety of music that reflects your library, listening habits, and what you’ve been playing lately.

To make it easy to find music to suit your mood, we’ve named each mix after a “headliner” artist featuring music from them and similar artists and genres we think you’ll find interesting. 

Find a playlist you enjoy? Save it so you can listen to it later. 

Evolving search

Over the last year, we’ve doubled the Roon team to over 50 people across five continents, which allows us to be more ambitious in the scope and number of engineering projects running in parallel. One great example is search, which is now being improved on an ongoing basis by our data team. This release features the first of many planned search developments: an improved user interface with predictive auto-complete.

Previously, when typing a search, Roon would auto-complete using only words from your library, but now it matches people and music across all known artists, albums, tracks, genres, composers, and compositions. 

Valence plays a big part in helping Roon make the right suggestions to you – predicting what you’re looking for as it’s being typed – whether the music is in your library or not. By clicking on any of the recommendations, you’ll get taken directly to what you are looking for, making it easier and faster to get to the music you want to play. 

Your core now preserves your search history with your profile, so it’s easy to get back to the music you were looking for, even if it’s on a different day or device. 

All-new TIDAL experience

We’ve worked closely with our friends at TIDAL to design a completely new TIDAL experience in Roon. The page has been redesigned to include many of TIDAL’s latest features and content, including top charts, TIDAL staff picks and latest MQA playlists and more. As well as all of this, TIDAL’s popular “Mixes for you” feature is now available for you to enjoy in Roon!

We hope you enjoy the new update and look forward to hearing what you think. For more information on the new release, head over to our Community

What is Roon?

People often ask us if Roon is like a streaming service. Or a download library. Or even a new type of audio editing software. But our technology is something entirely different. Roon is the ultimate music player, designed for people who live and breathe music and sound. Roon gets you listening to the songs you love, helps you find new music that’s tailored to your ear, and gives you the best sound quality from your audio equipment.

To see what Roon can do for your music collection, why not get a free 14-day trial?

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An experience tailor-made for you

Whether you’re just starting with Roon or you’ve been building a listening history for years, our new updated Home screen gives you an all-new visualization of your listening habits.

You’ll see a calendar view of the last few weeks of listening, along with charts of your top genres, artists, and albums. These charts can display the last week, month, year, or all time, and you can drill down for even more detail.

We’ve also added quick links to our Community, so you’re always just one click away from support from us and our music experts.

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Classical music reimagined

We understand that not all music fits into the artist-album-track mold of popular music. That’s why we’ve come up with a completely new visual style and information layout for classical music, designed to make it easy to find the recordings you’re looking for.

Our new Composer Discography view lets you browse albums by composer, and you can Focus to find performances by conductor, performer, form, period, and more. Interested in recordings of Martha Argerich performing Chopin? Maybe a Nocturne? How about von Karajan conducting the Berlin Philharmonic performing the Eroica? In just a few clicks, Focus will get you there.

Valence recommendations for art music are extraordinarily nuanced; you’ll never see a suggestion to check out Haydn because you’re listening to Mozart. You’ll find notable compositions by composer, top conductors of composers’ works, and best-known performers of compositions.

Many Roon users are avid collectors who have assembled their music libraries over years of listening. In classical music as in other genres, Roon 1.8 shows you the recordings in your library first, but then also provides a bridge to the world of streaming music. The ability to instantly compare hundreds or even thousands of performances of your favorite compositions is unique in the music world.

On Monday, we’ll take a look at how Roon 1.8 is personalized for you!

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Focus: far beyond “search”

Roon’s Focus feature has long been a powerful way to filter and sort the albums in your library using Roon’s extensive metadata. Our real aspiration has always been to make the power and flexibility of Focus available in more contexts.

To accomplish that goal, we redesigned Focus to combine multi-criteria filters with sort and text filter, creating a unified interface that’s available virtually everywhere in Roon. Now you can Focus on tracks on an album, artists in a genre, albums in an artist’s discography, or collaborations among artists.

The impact of this new design on classical music (and composer-based browsing in other genres) is profound. It’s now possible to Focus on compositions by period, instrumentation, and form, and to sort them by title, popularity, and composition date. You can now also browse albums which feature works by a composer.

While Focus once let you filter and sort the music in your library, it now extends to all the streaming music available on TIDAL and Qobuz, giving you a truly 360-degree view of artists and composers – whether you have their complete discographies in your library or not.

Tomorrow, we’ll be sharing a preview of the new features designed specifically for classical music!