• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

mconnect HD vs Roon - A Brief Overview

OP
T

terryforsythe

Member
Joined
May 4, 2022
Messages
67
Likes
20
Like Roon, LMS uses its own protocol for streaming. It was designed specifically for music: it's gapless and compatible with lossy, FLAC, MQA, and DSD64. It was originally called Slimserver and was developed by Slim Devices whose Squeezebox players were among the first commercially available streamers. Although Logitech no longer sells the product, they do continue to develop and support the server. When you need help, there is a robust online user group.

Latest Beta: http://downloads.slimdevices.com/nightly/index.php?ver=8.3
Latest Release: https://mysqueezebox.com/download
piCorePlayer: https://www.picoreplayer.org/
Free clients: https://sourceforge.net/projects/lmsclients/files/squeezeplay/windows/ or headless https://sourceforge.net/projects/lmsclients/files/squeezelite/
Online forum: https://forums.slimdevices.com/
Control via browser, or controller and player apps are available for Android and iOS
Suggested plugins once you have things running: Material Skin (a modern UI for desktop and mobile), Music And Artist Information (a "Roon-lite" experience)

The beta release is very solid and has support for Spotify and Tidal integration. I don't subscribe so I don't know if it will do things the way you want. The server runs very reliably on a Core i3 or better with 4GB RAM. A Celeron-class CPU is adequate if your library isn't too large. Some people are happy running LMS on a RPi.

I've not used Roon as what I need I already get free from LMS. I don't like solutions based on DLNA such as mConnect.
I installed it on my Linux machine. I am having trouble logging into it. I think it has a conflict with Portainer, which I have to manage Docker. (I used Docker to test Jellyfin). The instructions I found in the Squeezebox Wiki indicated to access Logitech Media Server via port 9000, but that port is assigned to Portainer. When I run the netstat command, logitechmediaserver service is not showing up, even though I do not get an error when I start that service. I also am having a problem changing user permissions on the mounted directory where my music is stored on the NAS. I followed the Wiki instructions using the chown command, as well as trying other things, but the owner is still listed as root. It may be a permissions issue with my NAS.

Next I will try uninstalling Portainer and Jellyfin, and reinstalling Logitech Media Server, to see if that solves the problem with accessing Logitech Media Server. I will also try using a local directory for music for testing purposes. If I can get it working on my Linux machine, and it works better than using Synology's media server via mconnect HD, I will try installing it on my NAS.
 

HarmonicTHD

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 18, 2022
Messages
1,631
Likes
1,980
I am happy with mconnect. running on all our iPHones and IPads. Kids and Wife friendly. (No I don’t have a comparison to Roon).

Source. Synology 918+ running Media Server. Quobuz HD subscription.

Streamer. Denon X3700 via UPNP.

Volume control. Ok. Yes not super fine. I use the keys on the iPhone /iPads so it doesn’t jump accidentally.

Artist, Title Info. I mainly use Quobuz for that. It is sufficient for me (of course others might have different needs.) .
 
OP
T

terryforsythe

Member
Joined
May 4, 2022
Messages
67
Likes
20
Like Roon, LMS uses its own protocol for streaming. It was designed specifically for music: it's gapless and compatible with lossy, FLAC, MQA, and DSD64. It was originally called Slimserver and was developed by Slim Devices whose Squeezebox players were among the first commercially available streamers. Although Logitech no longer sells the product, they do continue to develop and support the server. When you need help, there is a robust online user group.

Latest Beta: http://downloads.slimdevices.com/nightly/index.php?ver=8.3
Latest Release: https://mysqueezebox.com/download
piCorePlayer: https://www.picoreplayer.org/
Free clients: https://sourceforge.net/projects/lmsclients/files/squeezeplay/windows/ or headless https://sourceforge.net/projects/lmsclients/files/squeezelite/
Online forum: https://forums.slimdevices.com/
Control via browser, or controller and player apps are available for Android and iOS
Suggested plugins once you have things running: Material Skin (a modern UI for desktop and mobile), Music And Artist Information (a "Roon-lite" experience)

The beta release is very solid and has support for Spotify and Tidal integration. I don't subscribe so I don't know if it will do things the way you want. The server runs very reliably on a Core i3 or better with 4GB RAM. A Celeron-class CPU is adequate if your library isn't too large. Some people are happy running LMS on a RPi.

I've not used Roon as what I need I already get free from LMS. I don't like solutions based on DLNA such as mConnect.
I'm convinced. After a couple of hours playing with it, I have decided that, for me, Logitech Media Player (LMS) is the way to go.

I first had downloaded version 8.2 from the website, which is the latest "Release," and that was at least part of the problem I was having yesterday. It did not work on Linux Mint 21. I then tried the beta version 8.3, and that works. Now, the next step is to see if I can get it working on my NAS. I will need to use a Docker image. There is one, so I will give it a try.

What streaming protocol are you using? I connected to my miniDSP SHD via UPnP/DLNA, but if there is a better protocol I can use I would like to give that a shot.

Here are my observations using LMS so far:

1. To control LMS from my phone (Android) I found Squeezer, which also is free. To control it from my tablet (iOS) I found SlimLibrary ($6.99) and iPeng ($8.99). I have not yet tried SlimLibrary or iPeng. Any opinions on these apps, or other apps that can be used to control LMS, would be appreciated. It would be nice to use an app that is available both in the Android Play Store and the Apple App Store so that I have a consistent user interface across devices. I have not found one, though, that is available both on Android and iOS, but I may not be using the correct search terms.

2. I can sync all of my devices (one using UPnP/DLNA, one using Airplay, and one using Chromecast Audio) so that I can stream the same music to them simultaneously, or I can stream different music to each of the devices. This is a feature that I really like, and one that is completely missing in mconnect HD. Roon lets you group devices, but only if they use the same streaming protocol.

3. UPnP/DLNA and Airplay stream gapless. With Chromecast Audio there is a short gap between tracks, but it is less than a second.

4. When streaming over UPnP/DLNA to my miniDSP SHD, the volume control works differently than mconnect HD and Roon. mconnect HD and Roon stream at a set volume, and adjust the internal volume control of the SHD (Roon flawlessly, mconnect HD problematically as explained earlier). LMS does not change the internal volume control, but instead changes the volume of the stream. Thus, I set the volume on my miniDSP SHD to the highest level I would want to listen, and then control the volume of the stream. Maybe there is a different streaming protocol I should be using with the SHD. Any insight would be appreciated.

5. Streaming via Airplay, LMS does adjust the internal volume control of my Yamaha receiver.

6. LMS keeps album tracks together, even when there are tracks with different artists. mconnect HD did this as well. In Roon I have to manually group the tracks into a single album if the tracks have different artists.

7. Much is controlled via plugins. None of my devices showed up in LMS until I installed the appropriate plugins ( Airplay bridge, Chromecast bridge and UpnP/DLNA bridge).

8. Tidal integration, which also is handled via a plugin, is its weakest point. As with Roon, I cannot save tracks to my Tidal playlists. The only option is to save them in LMS.

9. LMS has a Spotify plugin - mconnect HD and Roon don't support Spotify as far as I can tell. Again, I cannot save tracks to my Spotify playlists, though.

10. Roon, by far, has more polish and a better user interface than LMS.

If cost was not a consideration, I probably would stick with Roon. But, we are comparing something that is free to something that costs $699.99 (or $12.99/mo. or $119.88/year). Roon's additional polish and features are not worth that much money to me. If Roon were much less expensive, then it would be a harder decision for me. Now I'm hoping the installation on my NAS goes smoothly.
 

TSX

Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2022
Messages
82
Likes
66
Location
DK
Terry,

Comparing Roon to anything out there in regards of user experience and features is unfair imho :cool: Nothing comes close to Roon. That experience comes at a (somewhat premium) price. I first was very reluctant to commit to Roon, but after using countless hours and burning brains cells on forums, to find something cheaper, I eventually went with Roon. We (I) spend so much money on crap in our lives, so the cost of a monthly subscription to Tidal, Qobuz and Roon is OK for me. Buy 2-3 cd's a month, and the digital subscriptions are actually cheaper - with a black hole of music archives included. If I consider my hourly income in my day job vs. the time I've spent searching for a cheaper alternative to Roon, I could have bought a Roon lifetime subscription, and streaming subscriptions for a year or two :-D
What you get with Roon is quite unique, and I can reveal that with version 2.0 things get even better. I have to add, that I only stream music on Roon, and have no digital local archive (except CD's - that I'm not going to rip, when I can stream them with the same quality in sound online). I do like the rituals on putting on a CD or LP, and look and red/study the cover info though.

But again. If all you want to do is listen to music, an you mostly just press play, and listen to an entire album, I would 100% go with an Apple subscription, an Ipad 12.9" and a USB DAC and call it a day.
 

Apesbrain

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2017
Messages
418
Likes
523
Location
East Coast, USA
It would be nice to ... have a consistent user interface across devices.
Did you install the Material Skin plugin? I use its interface in my browser and on Android. Pretty sure it works in iOS as well.

The Music And Artist Information plugin looks great in Material.
if there is a better protocol I can use I would like to give that a shot.
LMS was designed to use its own protocol: slimproto. Seeing that none of your players support that, I'd say you're doing pretty well.
 
OP
T

terryforsythe

Member
Joined
May 4, 2022
Messages
67
Likes
20
Did you install the Material Skin plugin? I use its interface in my browser and on Android. Pretty sure it works in iOS as well.
I did install it. I just hadn't tried iOS with LMS yet. I figured that before paying for another app on iOS, I would check to see if there was someone who made the same app for Android and iOS. Perhaps with the Material Skin it will not matter which app I install on my tablet and it will still have the same user interface as Squeezer.
 

Apesbrain

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2017
Messages
418
Likes
523
Location
East Coast, USA
I just hadn't tried iOS with LMS yet.
Material Skin is a "modernized" web UI for LMS. After plugin installed, you reach it at:

It will render in any browser and automatically adjust its layout to screen orientation/dimensions. On Android, there is an app available which will launch Material full-screen. I don't know if anything similar exists for iOS; just open Safari, input address above, and see what happens.
 

Phorize

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Apr 26, 2019
Messages
1,371
Likes
1,828
Location
U.K
So far, Roon's flawed Tidal playlist integration seems to be its most significant weak point. Given Roon's price and its target audience, Tidal integration should be flawless, especially considering how long Roon has had to tweak the software. mconnect HD proves that Tidal playlist integration can be implemented well. This is my first time using Roon, so I don't know the pace at which it is improving with time. Maybe Roon's management are continually improving it and Tidal playlist integration will be fixed, or maybe they are just sitting back and collecting money, I don't know.

mconnect HD's volume control is its biggest flaw, followed by its lack of gapless playback when streaming from my locally stored music collection. Given mconnect HD's super low price, though, these flaws are more forgivable. I would be willing to spend quite a bit more money on mconnect HD if they fixed those two issues. Indeed, if those two issues are fixed, I would not see any reason to use Roon except by those who want to use it for DSP and have the processing horsepower to do so.
I seem to have gapless on iOS mconnect, are you using android?
 

BDWoody

Chief Cat Herder
Moderator
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
5,947
Likes
18,040
Location
Mid-Atlantic, USA. (Maryland)
Looks like Roon is getting a big update, to be announced today. I'm hoping for mobile access, but we shall see.

I've been a lifetime subscriber for years now (before the price increase), and still consider it one of my best audio related purchases.

 
OP
T

terryforsythe

Member
Joined
May 4, 2022
Messages
67
Likes
20
But again. If all you want to do is listen to music, an you mostly just press play, and listen to an entire album, I would 100% go with an Apple subscription, an Ipad 12.9" and a USB DAC and call it a day.
I already have an iPad, and each of my systems already has a DAC. So, no need for additional hardware.

What would be the purpose of an Apple subscription? Do you mean iTunes? I dropped iTunes long ago because the other music streaming services are far superior in my opinion. But, perhaps I am misunderstanding why you recommend an Apple subscription. Do you mean you prefer it over Tidal? Has it improved that much since I last used it? Will it handle streaming my music from my NAS? Please explain. Apesbrain turned me on to LMS, and I am glad he did.

Also, the reason that I have been writing lengthy posts comparing what I have observed with the different streaming options is to help others who are searching for that information. Before even trying Roon and mconnect HD, I did search. However, I did not come across anything comparing and contrasting those systems. Nothing I came across gave me a sense of what it was like using one vs. using the other. I hope my posts herein do that better, and help others who may be searching for that information.
 
OP
T

terryforsythe

Member
Joined
May 4, 2022
Messages
67
Likes
20
I seem to have gapless on iOS mconnect, are you using android?
I tried it both on iOS and Android with gapless streaming turned on, streaming to my miniDSP SHD. With both my phone and iPad there still is a short gap between the tracks I tested, but it is much shorter than before I turned on gapless streaming - not nearly as annoying as it was. Still, LMS and Roon play without any gap that I can hear, and LMS is free. Though, like Roon, LMS installation and configuration is more involved than mconnect HD.
 
OP
T

terryforsythe

Member
Joined
May 4, 2022
Messages
67
Likes
20
Looks like Roon is getting a big update, to be announced today. I'm hoping for mobile access, but we shall see.

I've been a lifetime subscriber for years now (before the price increase), and still consider it one of my best audio related purchases.
I hope my Docker image of Roon on my NAS will automatically update so I can test it out. Who knows, maybe I will again change my mind. The two features that I want for that to happen are:

1. Ability to save Tidal tracks to my Tidal playlists.

2. Allow me to synchronize music streamed to my different systems that use different streaming protocols, i.e., assign to the same zone my system using UPnP/DLNA, my system using Airplay and my system using Chromecast Audio.
 

NiagaraPete

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 23, 2021
Messages
1,871
Likes
1,505
Location
Canada

Music1969

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 19, 2018
Messages
3,676
Likes
2,162
Using mConnect is like stepping back in time 10 years (to me)

I can't use a UI like this in 2022.
 
OP
T

terryforsythe

Member
Joined
May 4, 2022
Messages
67
Likes
20
I seem to have gapless on iOS mconnect, are you using android?
Pondering over this a little more, if it works on your system, but not on mine, it may be due to my NAS media server software. On my NAS I have Synology's Media Server installed, which is what mconnect HD is connecting to. Roon and LMS use their own server software. Perhaps the gapless playback issue is with Synology's Media Server.
 
OP
T

terryforsythe

Member
Joined
May 4, 2022
Messages
67
Likes
20
Using mConnect is like stepping back in time 10 years (to me)

I can't use a UI like this in 2022.
Then you won't like LMS either.

I see the attraction with Roon's user interface. It really is a significant improvement over the others. But, I typically like to buy my software in one shot, if available, rather than doing a subscription. Roon's $699 price tag is a little tough to swallow when free, or virtually free, software is available that provides the vast majority of Roon's functionality that I use, as well as other functionality I like that Roon does not provide.
 
Top Bottom