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mconnect HD vs Roon - A Brief Overview

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terryforsythe

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Question for the Roon guys: I have the Roon Core Server installed on my NAS. I have used Roon with my phone and my tablet, but now I want to use it from my computer. How do I use Roon from Linux? I don't see an app for that.

I can connect to LMS using a web browser (NAS port 9000), which works very well. Does Roon Core Server have a web interface? If so, what is the port number?
 
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terryforsythe

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Controlling Logitech Media Server from my Linux computer and Android phone is working well.
With my iPad, however, there is a little hickup when streaming Tidal or Spotify through LMS. When I play an album it stops at the end of each track, and I have to manually tell it to play the next track. It happens both using the web interface and iPeng. Has anyone else encountered this issue? I don't have this issue when using the web interface from my Android phone or Linux computer, or using Squeezer on my Android phone.
 
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mglobe

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Question for the Roon guys: I have the Roon Core Server installed on my NAS. I have used Roon on with my phone and my tablet, but now I want to use it from my computer. How do I use Roon from Linux? I don't see an app for that.

I can connect to LMS using a web browser (NAS port 9000), which works very well. Does Roon Core Server have a web interface and can log into? If so, what is the port number?
No problem on Windows or OSX. I think you’re SOL on Linux (whatever that is )
 

Phorize

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Question for the Roon guys: I have the Roon Core Server installed on my NAS. I have used Roon with my phone and my tablet, but now I want to use it from my computer. How do I use Roon from Linux? I don't see an app for that.

I can connect to LMS using a web browser (NAS port 9000), which works very well. Does Roon Core Server have a web interface? If so, what is the port number?
You'd have to use the windows application in wine:

https://github.com/RoPieee/roon-on-wine

Your mileage may vary-I couldn't get it to consistently work with the right screen resolution.
 
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terryforsythe

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You'd have to use the windows application in wine:

https://github.com/RoPieee/roon-on-wine

Your mileage may vary-I couldn't get it to consistently work with the right screen resolution.
Thank you for the link. Many years ago I tried Wine for other Windows applications, but it didn't really work that well for me. Since then I have avoided using it and stuck with Linux applications. Not a big deal. So far, I am leaning toward sticking with LMS. I will keep using Roon and LMS until my trial period for Roon runs out, at which point I'll make my final decision. If I didn't have issues with volume control of my SHD using mconnect HD, it still would be in the running too.
 
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terryforsythe

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Controlling Logitech Media Server from my Linux computer and Android phone is working well.
With my iPad, however, there is a little hickup when streaming Tidal or Spotify through LMS. When I play an album it stops at the end of each track, and I have to manually tell it to play the next track. It happens both using the web interface and iPeng. Has anyone else encountered this issue? I don't have this issue when using the web interface from my Android phone or Linux computer, or using Squeezer on my Android phone.
The issue using my iPad to play Tidal and Spotify via LMS seems intermittent. It occurs on certain Albums I saved in my favorites, but not others unless I manually advance through the track. It may be some sort of time synchronization issue.
 

sarumbear

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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.
That’s what I did as I only want to listen music.
 
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terryforsythe

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My Roon subscription has ended. I ended up not sticking with Roon nor mconnect HD, but instead have chosen Logitech Media Server (LMS), which was recommended in this thread by Apesbrain.

Here is why I chose LMS:

1. LMS will let me group all three of my systems into a single group. Thus, I can play the same music to all three systems whenever I choose (e.g., when I have a large get together).

2. LMS will connect to my Yamaha receiver via DLA/UPnP. It also will connect via Airplay, but DLA/UPnP is lossless whereas Airplay is not.

3. LMS is free.

4. LMS does a good job controlling the volume on all of my systems.

5. I am able to use LMS from any of my devices/systems using LMS's web interface.

What features do I wish LMS had:

1. On a recording with tracks from various artists (e.g., a compilation CD), put all of the tracks into into a single album. I was not able to find a way to manually group the tracks, which Roon does provide. I got around this by just changing the artist name on each track in the recording to "Various Artists." In hindsight, if I had put each recording into its own folder, it may have prevented the issue. But, by the time I got around to trying Roon and LMS, I already had over 150 CDs ripped to my NAS.

2. Let me save tracks to my Tidal playlist. LMS does not do this. If I want to do so, I need to use my Tidal app.

3. A better dedicated app for mobile devices would be nice. The web interface suffices, though. I found the web interface to be better than Squeezer and Orange Squeeze, which are the dedicated apps I tried on Android. I also like the web interface a little better than iPeng, which is the dedicated app I tried on iOS. It just means that, after opening a web browser on a mobile device, there is one additional step of selecting LMS from my Favorites list. On my Linux system I used Web Apps to create an icon that launches straight into LMS, and added the icon to my panel.

Installation Notes:

To run LMS on my Synology DS 718+ NAS, I needed to install the Docker package, which is provided in Synology's package center. Then I added a LMS Docker image, and created a container for that image. I used the lmscommunity docker image, which was listed in the Download Image list provided in Docker. It seems to work well. In addition, there are container settings which need to be set up. I found some on-line tutorials for this.

My Synology DS 718+ NAS, which has a quad-core Celeron processor and 6 GB or RAM, has no problem running LMS. In fact, I had LMS, Roon Core Server and Synology's Media Server all running simultaneously, and encountered no issues whatsoever. CPU and RAM usage was much lower than I expected, even with them all running. That gave me flexibility to jump between LMS, Roon and mconnect HD at will during my comparisons.


Why I didn't choose to stay with mconnect HD:

1. mconnect HD did not properly control the volume on my miniDSP SHD. I would just tap to increase the volume slightly, and it would jump way up after a short delay. I ended up shying away from using its volume control. This was the showstopper for me given I did not have this issue in LMS nor Roon. If its volume control worked properly with my SHD, I probably would have chosen to stay with mconnect HD. Otherwise, it is a good solution and offers a couple of advantages over LMS and Roon, which are noted below.

2. mconnect HD did not provide an option to group all three of my systems into a single group. I have a work-around using Chromecast Audio and a Tosslink 4x4 matrix switcher. But, this is one more piece of equipment in my stack that I don't need if I use LMS.

What I will miss about mconnect HD:

1. On an album with tracks from various artists, it was the only solution I tried that properly grouped all of the tracks into a single album without having to change the artist names on each of the tracks nor put all the tracks for an album into its own folder.

2. mconnect HD is the only solution I tried that actually lets me add tracks to my Tidal playlist.

Installation Notes:

mconnect HD is the only solution I tried that worked with the Media Server package provided on my Synology DS 718+, which is a breeze to setup.


Why I didn't hose Roon:

1. Expensive in comparison to the other options.

2. Roon will not connect to my Yamaha receiver via DLA/UPnP. It will connect via Airplay, though, but Airplay is not a lossless connection. I could put together a Roon endpoint and connect the endpoint to the Yamaha receiver via USB, but this is added cost and currently there is a severe shortage of Raspberry Pis. Good luck trying to get a Raspberry Pi 4+ anywhere close to list price these days.

Note: My earlier posts in this thread discussing Roon's support for DLA/UPnP appear to be incorrect. I thought Roon was connecting to my miniDSP SHD via DLA/UPnP, but it was not. It was using its own protocol, which my Yamaha receiver does not support.

3. Roon will not let me group all three of my systems into a single group because it communicates with them using different protocols. As noted above, though, I have a work-around for this.

4. Roon also does not let me save tracks to my Tidal playlist.

Note: Since I started this thread Roon has added Arc, which will allow you to access a Roon playlist over the Internet. So, that would be a workaround. However, Arc has an issue with my particular Router/firewall configuration, and gives an error when I try to enable it. I probably could get it to work, but I am not really interested in opening the required port on my NAS from the outside world anyway. Some say it is perfectly secure, and some say it is not. I don't know whether it is secure or isn't, but decided to play it safe.

5. No web interface or app I can use to access Roon from my Linux system. I may be able to get the Roon windows app running in Linux using Wine, but I'm not interested in running Wine - in the past, albeit long ago, I had issues running Windows apps in Wine.

6. Same issue as LMS on albums with tracks from various artists. As with LMS, the issue can be overcome by just listing the artist on each of the tracks as "Various Artists."

What I will miss about Roon:

1. The user interface. It certainly is much better than LMS and mconnect HD, and much better than Jellyfin, which I also tried.

2. Roon's music recommendations - Roon recommended some music I really enjoyed. Tidal does this as well, which I can access using the Tidal app.

3. If I rip a CD having various artists, and forget to change the artist name on each of the tracks to be the same, I can search for the tracks in my collection and manually group them into a single album. LMS does not offer this feature. With mconnect HD the feature is not even needed.

Side Note:

Roon also provides background information about artists and albums. Some of it is interesting, but some of it I found to be bizarre. Some of the authors put their own personal biases, with which many people would disagree, front and center in the album/artist information. On a couple of occasions I found it to be rather distasteful.

Installation Notes:

To run Roon Core Server on my NAS, I needed to add a Docker image of Roon Core Server to Docker, and create a container for that image. I used the steefdebruign Docker image, which seems to work well. In addition, there are container settings which need to be set up. There are on-line tutorials for this.

I first tried another Roon image from Docker's Download Image list (I don't remember which one), but it did not work on my NAS. After googling for a solution I found the steefdebruign Docker image, which was not in the Download Image list. So, I had to manually add that image to Docker before I could create the container for it. Docker provides options to add an image from a file or from a URL, but I don't remember which I used.
 
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norcalscott

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This is an interesting thread, with lots of good information - thanks to everyone.

On a related note, I was considering subscribing to Roon and went to check the current pricing, and WOW!, they are raising prices 25% in January to $12.49 per month when paid annually. I know Roon is slick but it is really hard to justify this price. I currently run a Plex server (lifetime subscription) and also use Volumio (I'm grandfathered into their semi-premium plan for about $3 per month, mainly to get Tidal Connect) and I think I will stick with what I have...
roon.png
 
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