MUSE is the new name for Roon’s sound engine and audio processing suite. And now MUSE has landed in ARC – with bold styling and sound quality never before seen or heard in a mobile music app!
MUSE delivers the precision audio control of Roon when you’re on the go or running a streamlined, portable setup from your phone. It’s also one of the most anticipated and highly requested enhancements to ARC’s feature set. We’re excited to pack even more of Roon into ARC, and we’re confident you’ll enjoy what you see and hear in MUSE.
Roon has always provided an immersive listening experience thanks to its vast library of music knowledge and exceptional sound quality. Throughout Roon’s development, we’ve tried to make that experience as inclusive as possible by letting you explore the software and enjoy content in your preferred language.
Today we’re excited to announce the release of Fluency – a revolutionary new discovery and language feature, available only in Roon. Fluencylets you translate even more Roon content in your preferred language. Now, artist names, album titles, credits, performer roles, and genre names are available in 21 languages!
Recently we announced the release of full CarPlay support for Roon ARC, with the promise of Android Auto coming in hot on its tail. Today, we’re happy to make good on that pledge; Android Auto for Roon ARC has crossed the finish line!
Last September, Roon ARC paved the way to enjoying Roon and all your favorite music outside the home. Now, with Roon ARC for Android Auto within easy reach of the wheel, every road you take is a journey in sound.
Roon ARC has forever changed how and where we enjoy our favorite music by transforming our Roon library into a bespoke streaming service that’s ready to go anywhere our adventures may take us. Today, we’re excited to introduce full CarPlay and Android Auto support for Roon ARC!
Ready to hit the road? Your Roon library is too
As soon as we began work on Roon ARC, we were eager to see Roon’s features come to life on our car’s display screen – and so were all of you. Now, just a few months into ARC’s existence, that day has arrived.
Nothing makes the road more exciting than our favorite music. CarPlay and Android Auto fully integrate Roon’s browsing and discovery features into your car’s controls for safe and easy playback.
Now you can cruise your Roon library, dig into your daily mixes as you drive, check out featured playlists, explore new releases, hit repeat on recently played favs, and much more just by tapping a few buttons from your car’s controls. With Roon along for the ride, every car trip drops right into the groove.
How to use Roon ARC in CarPlay
We’ve made accessing Roon ARC in CarPlay as easy as possible so you can focus on the road while Roon provides the soundtrack.
If you’re an Android user, you’ll find similar setup tips in our dedicated Android Auto blog.
To begin, make sure you have Roon ARC. Visit the App Store to download the app.
Once CarPlay is set up and your phone is synced to your vehicle’s interface, you’ll see the Roon ARC app on your display.
Just tap the Roon ARC icon, and you’re on your way.
Explore a new road to music discovery
CarPlay and Android Auto support has maintained the pole position of most requested feature since we waved the starting flag on Roon ARC.
This release reflects our commitment to listening to your needs and delivering the features that matter most to our customers. We can’t wait for CarPlay and Android Auto for Roon ARC to transform your driver’s seat into your new favorite listening chair.
To enjoy CarPlay and Android Auto for Roon ARC, you first need to download the app. Download it now from the App Store or Play Store.
The Roon team has been working on improving the search engine throughout 2022, and last week, we rolled out a whole new architecture for search.
It’s been just about a year since I last wrote about search, so I figured it was a good time to provide an update on what’s been going on behind the scenes.
The Roon team has been working on improving the search engine throughout 2022, and last week, we rolled out a new architecture for search. If you are running Roon 2.0, you have been using the new stuff for several days.
Previously, the cloud performed a search of TIDAL/Qobuz libraries and the Core performed a search of your personal library, then merged the results.
Now, the Core gathers potential matches for the search query and submits them to a cloud service. The cloud service then searches the TIDAL/Qobuz libraries if needed, ranks and merges the results, and returns the final list to the app.
This change will allow us to deliver better results and improve the search engine more quickly. For more information, keep on reading.
Automated Testing Tools
One of the challenges of improving a search engine is understanding the effects of each change that we make. A change that improves one search might accidentally make other searches worse. In order to make progress, we need to be able to test our search system and understand the intended and unintended consequences of each change.
We introduced an automated testing system in 2022 to help us with that. This system allows us to test thousands of searches in the cloud without using the Roon Core. Our test infrastructure will help us make sure we’re not making things worse as we continue to improve the search engine.
Shorter Cycle Time for Improvements
By moving the search engine to the cloud, we can release improvements without shipping new versions of the Roon Core and apps. This reduces the time it takes to deliver improvements to our users, and allows us to iterate quickly on specific issues when they are reported.
While our primary goal is to make our users happy, it’s also helpful to have objective signals that show we are making things better. The new search system includes an array of metrics that allow us to monitor search results quality on an ongoing basis. This helps us see if our changes are helping, and also helps us catch any accidental issues that might degrade the quality of search results for our users.
As an example, the “Average Click Position” metric measures the average position where a user clicks when they select an instant search result. For example, a result of ‘1’ means that the user selected the first item in the list.
These are the results from last week’s rollout. You can see that the number dropped quickly around the time of our rollout, which shows that our changes were an improvement.
One of the challenges with the old search system was merging lists that had been ranked separately in the Core and in the cloud. It was difficult to compare scores from different ranking systems, so we relied on heuristics that tried to balance the ranks, popularity information, and text match accuracy.
This often led to less-than-ideal results, and troubleshooting issues was time-consuming because we had to replicate each user’s library in-house in order to see the issues. Since search ranking is now performed in the cloud in a unified way, this class of tricky issues has disappeared.
More Powerful Algorithms
Today, state-of-the-art search systems use Machine Learning to deliver results. It was difficult to use these techniques in the old Roon Core, so one of the main goals of the re-architecture was to enable this.
In the future, we will be able to tailor results to individual users. For example, a Beatles fan typing “John” into the search box probably expects “John Lennon” to be the top result, while a Jazz listener might expect “John Coltrane”.
This will also enable the implementation of modern search techniques like spelling corrections, search suggestions, semantic search, and gradient boosting, none of which are practical within the Roon Core.
Instant Search Improvements
After deploying the new architecture internally in September, we started the process of tuning it to perform better than the old system. We focused on improving the instant search dropdown, making sure that fewer characters are required to reach the desired result, and that the results continue to feel sensible as more characters are entered.
In addition to automated testing, we have a weekly review process where the product and search teams come together to examine a set of 50 representative searches and discuss how the results changed because of the previous week’s work. This helps us understand the tradeoffs and make decisions that prioritize the user experience.
Dozens of Smaller Improvements
As part of this work, we made many of smaller improvements to the search system. Shorter queries like “john” or “pink” should now return more coherent results. The system is not directly auto-correcting misspellings, but it is more tolerant of misspelled terms in multi-word searches. It is also better at prioritizing exact matches, deduplicating similar results, and choosing the best version of an album or track when there are multiple versions available.
While things have definitely gotten better in the past year, 2022 was mostly about laying the groundwork. We plan to make faster and more visible progress in 2023 and beyond.
I want to thank everyone for their patience as we work on improving the search engine, and for all the feedback in last year’s thread. It has been very helpful in understanding our users’ perspectives, and we hope you will continue to use our product and provide feedback in the future.
We are delighted to introduce Roon 2.0 and Roon ARC – our biggest release yet and something that will change how you use Roon forever.
Roon ARC is a brand new app that gives you the freedom to experience your entire Roon library – and Roon’s most powerful features – without compromise, wherever you are in the world. Right from your mobile device.
Whether you’re working out at the gym, heading into the office, or traveling thousands of miles from home – ARC gives you remote access to your complete library of artists, albums, playlists, tags, and streams. No more settling for second-best from streaming apps. ARC makes everywhere feel like home.
Powered by your Roon core, Roon ARC becomes your very own, custom-built streaming service. Explore and expand your entire music library, immerse yourself in new discoveries, access key Roon features, and listen in the best possible sound quality – all from a single, beautiful mobile app. All free and exclusive to Roon subscribers.
Along with additional enhancements, like native support for Apple Silicon, Roon 2.0 brings an amazing music experience to more people, on more platforms. Read all about ARC and Roon 2.0 over on our Community.
When you log in to Roon, you’ll be prompted to update your Roon Core to the new Roon 2.0. Please don’t forget to update your Roon Remote on iOS and Android devices before accepting the update on your Core.
To use Roon outside of your home you will need to download the Roon ARC mobile app and connect it to your Roon Core. Roon ARC is separate to and different from Roon Remote that you use at home, so even if you already have Roon Remote on your mobile device, you’ll need to download Roon ARC to access Roon on the go. More information on getting started with ARC can be found on our Help Center.
If you have any questions or need some support, you can contact our dedicated Customer Success team via our Community.
The latest Roon 1.8 release talks about Art Director as a way of fixing up artist photos in Roon, and now that we have over 500,000 images already adjusted by our community, I’d like to expand on that.
Getting high-quality (and highly accurate) photographs of artists has been a challenge for every service that displays them. Even the major music services (with considerably more resources than Roon) struggle with this problem.
Over the years, we’ve continually improved the artist photos in Roon, both by licensing new data sources and by implementing image analysis. Facial recognition in particular made a major improvement in the way artists are presented, but it hasn’t been a comprehensive solution and in fact, we’ve found that it doesn’t help at all on a certain class of photos. For example, facial recognition algorithms are notoriously biased when it comes to skin color and gender, and are rarely effective when dealing with group photos.
As part of our Valence development, we’ve built a tool called Art Director that lets our team manually adjust photos, but we just can’t produce enough data fast enough. We’re a small team and there are many artists.
Rather than attempt the impossible, we settled on a different approach: we improved Art Director and made it suitable for use by a wider audience. Now, we’ve released it to the Roon community, so everyone can help make perfect artist images a reality. Not only will this effort improve artist images in Roon, but it will provide our machine learning algorithms with valuable training data for improving images automatically in the future.
Some Roon users have complained that circular photos are the problem, but that’s not quite right. It’s true that they’re not great when you have a row of performers lined up for a band photo, but square is equally bad in those cases. Going “square” creates additional problems in UI design, where artists and albums look too similar when presented together.
To solve the difficult circular cases, we’ve gone back to a concept that we’ve always wanted: the logo. Artist logos can be used as the “avatar” of the artist – the circular image. Circular avatars are now distinct from the large rectangular “banner” images shown at the top of artist pages. For example, the London Symphony Orchestra has a beautiful and unique logo; a wide-angle photo of the LSO on stage just looks like any other orchestra. The same goes for many bands; would you rather see the 4 to 6 members of The Rolling Stones in a small circle or their “Hot Lips” logo?
Now that we have started to get contributions at scale, another positive side effect of this project is that we will be able to show multiple great images of each artist in Roon in an future release of Roon.
You can find Art Director at https://valence.roonlabs.com, where we’ll introduce more of these types of tools in the future. You will need to log in with your licensed Roon account (not a trial) to contribute.
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!
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.
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.
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.
My name is Thomas and I’m the co-founder of Soundiiz, a French startup created in 2013 with my friend and co-founder Benoit.
You may be asking yourself, “what is Soundiiz?”.
It’s a handy tool to manage your music streaming services in one place, allowing you to connect and move your music collection between more than 40 services.
While we support a lot of music streaming services, many of our users have local media files and music collections that they have curated over the years. And, it’s in this context that Roon was introduced to us, thanks to our users, as powerful software to handle a local music collection.
I met the Roon team a while back and we decided to collaborate as we saw so many synergies between our respective communities. Many Roon listeners are streaming their music with the help of Roon’s support of Qobuz and TIDAL. For a Roon subscriber, the ability to export their music collection using Soundiiz, is a step forward in empowering the listener to feel like they “own” their collection.
We are proud to work with Roon, and to be a part of this new export feature that all Roon members can now enjoy.
Now, let’s see how easy and fast it is to export a personal playlist created in Roon to a music streaming service of your choice.
First, you need to open the playlist you want to export in Roon. Then, select the playlist option “Export” using “…”.
You will see the option to export a Soundiiz CSV file. Click on “Save to desktop”.
Next, go to the Soundiiz website and create an account* if you don’t have one. Once connected, select “Import playlist” in the top right of the interface.
*Use code “ROONVIP” at checkout to get 15% off the Soundiiz Premium subscription.
Choose “From File” and pick the CSV file you have previously saved to your desktop.
Confirm the tracklist and the playlist configuration (title and description).
Finally, select the music service where you want to import this playlist and… it’s as simple as that!
In a few minutes, your playlist will be available on your chosen streaming service and ready to be played! If some elements don’t match (they might not be available in your chosen streaming service, for example), you will be able to see and download a list with details of the elements found vs not found.
We hope you find Soundiiz useful for managing your playlists! Visit soundiiz.com to find out more.
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.