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Plex vs Roon

Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
27
Likes
8
#1
Hey all,

I have a old beast of a system which will become a server (once I have time to format and rebuild the system)

4790k
1070
16 gig RAM
Define R4 case (which has plenty of room for hard drives)

This is currently running as my plex media server for all my TV and movie needs.


Does anyone use Plex as an audio server or is Roon a better option?
 

astr0b0y

Active Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2016
Messages
116
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33
Location
Melbourne Australia
#2
I use both. Have been use Plex since it was OSXBMC and Roon for 3 years. I didn’t use Plex seriously for music until recently; I used iTunes for local playback and iTunes Match for "cloud" access to my library for listening away from the house via my phone. Once home internet services here gained good enough upload speed I switched to Plex for remote listening. Works really really well plus it now provides access to Tidal too. I prefer Plex’s interface to Tidal’s and of course I have my own library of music so having them blended together works well.
I use Roon at home exclusively. I purchased it due to its fantastic server/remote architecture plus its metadata and hotlinking within the app to other artists, albums etc. iTunes as a server/remote setup is awfully clunky and not at all consistent across desktop/tablet/phone screen which Roon and Plex do quite well. Roon does not yet work outside of your local network (it is in their roadmap however) without highly specific VPN workarounds.
Plex does not provide an avenue for selecting a USB DAC just for music playback and HDMI for video without manually changing outputs each time. This really shouldn’t be a show stopper for me as I can’t hear a difference between the two but, hey, I paid money for my DAC so I want to use it!
Plex is considerably cheaper, has a nice 10 foot TV interface that can be used for music control- Roon has ability to cast to Chromcast for display of now playing but not for any controlling of music.
You can try both for free, run them side by side on the same machine (I do on an old 2011 i5).
 

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
17,404
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14,859
Location
Seattle Area
#3
I only played with Plex a few years ago and found it pretty unfinished. Its main advantage as noted is playback of your content away from home.

Roon is one of the best written pieces of software of any kind. It is a delight to use across multiple devices. It is also exceptionally reliable and has amazing fit and finish. It has unlimited ability to talk to multiple devices which I use all the time for testing while using it for listening to music. All devices regardless of location can be used from any device. Get a trial version and see if you like it.
 
Joined
Jan 11, 2019
Messages
19
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1
#5
I really like Plex for video content but I find it to be very unreliable for music. No matter what client app I use, music is slow to load and prone to stopping/skipping mid-track. It also doesn't do gapless playback, as far as I can tell. I also find its interface clumsy for browsing a huge library.
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2019
Messages
20
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1
#6
I've been using plex for vidoe for years but the last time I tried ot use it for audio it was not able to really do lossless. Has this changed?

Right now I use UPNP Asset as my home DLNA server and it works great but using plex to server music outside my network would be valuable.

Can plex transcode lossless audio to different formats now?
 
Joined
May 30, 2018
Messages
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51
#7
Ditto...

I have a local Apple network for sharing music/movies/streaming via old Airport Express's, Extremes and TVs which works great between 3 buildings. Admittedly, I have not used Plex's "remote listening or viewing" abilities as most content I want while on the road fits on my phone or laptop. Also, my AppleTV is hooked into the home stereo zone system and there's no app for Plex so no audio through the system, just through the TV speakers (I know I could get a splitter/selector) so I use the streaming and sharing through the Apple ecosystem mostly.

Plex does have the advantage of all the transcoding features it offers though. I have many files both in music and video that don't play natively on Mac (iTunes) that Plex has no problem with.
 
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SoundMix

New Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2019
Messages
1
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2
#8
Roon cannot identify albums with songs out of order. It fails to identify singles ( oldies ripped from 45's) or individual songs. It failed to properly identify 25,000 songs in my library. All files are flac with a few mp3's. All tags have been verified with MP3 Tag. Emby and Plex work much better. In fact the free program, MusicBee, is way better with bio's, artwork, lyrics, playlists, and remote control, and it identifies every single song in my library correctly. IMHO - overpriced, and over-rated. Thankfully I had two free trials before dumping it.
 
Joined
Sep 12, 2018
Messages
90
Likes
47
#9
I'm another very happy Emby and MusicBee user.

Emby is substantially less expensive for a lifetime subscription, $119(US) vs. $500 for Roon, and is improving all the time. It has plug-ins for Last.fm and Musicbrainz for linking to extensive metadata databases; includes remote access for upwards of 25 devices in the paid version, although I've used the free version to stream to 7 devices in my home; the Web based UX on the server configuration and management, library display and management, and local playback are top notch, as is that for the various player apps on numerous platforms; it supports DLNA and Chromecast for streaming; Emby Server is open source and well supported by the developers.

https://emby.media/about.html

As for MusicBee, it's freeware; full featured; supports Winamp DSP plug-ins; Last.fm support; skin-able; highly configurable; well maintained by developer; has an active support forum.

https://getmusicbee.com/
 

soundwave76

Active Member
Patreon Donor
Joined
Dec 28, 2018
Messages
167
Likes
109
Location
Finland
#10
I gave Roon a try, but found that Bluesound app does everything I need in my multi-room setup at home. If I didn't have Bluesound, I would probably use Roon too.
 

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