ROON: It broke me.

Like many of you, I spent the ENTIRE weekend watching college basketball.  Also like many of you, I had food, snacks, a well positioned chair, and remote to switch back and forth between the games that interested me.  However, UNLIKE many of you, I also spent the entire weekend burning/ripping CDs from my personal collection.  ROON broke me.  From now on, my digital music will be played from a computer, in combination with a streaming service...presently TIDAL.  So…how did I get here?

In college, I purchased my first CD player and began to collect the little silver discs for the next few decades.  As an audiophile, my joy from these little silver discs increased with every improvement in my system…Win/Win.  Admittedly, I started a burgeoning affair with Vinyl when I inherited my father’s LPs.  Otherwise, my appreciation of the little silver discs grew undeterred.   

With the development of the iPod, my kids started purchasing digital music files and streaming.  To my “golden ears”, their music sounded horrible.  As such, I was COMPLETELY uninterested in purchasing digital files, streaming, or wasting my time burning CDs.  At the same time, digital players continued to grow in number and quality…giving me a continuous stream of upgrade opportunities for silver disc playback…Win/Win.

A couple of years ago, my son streamed TIDAL over my system.  Surprise, Surprise! It sounded pretty good…not replace my silver discs good, but pretty good.  Within a couple of weeks, I acquired my own TIDAL account.  Much of my TIDAL time has been spent searching for and playing music from my childhood and early adult life.  It was my musical equivalent of “going antiquing”.  One problem:  the TIDAL app “glitched” a LOT.  Just when I was having fun…something would go wrong….not cool.

A month ago, while visiting a friend, I was force fed ROON.  During the ensuing discussion, I heard, “…outstanding metadata…integrates streaming services…auto generated playlists…blah, blah, blah… and you need to purchase a ROON Nucleus”.  

When sharing this conversation with my son, he said, “Don’t buy a Nucleus, I can BUILD a computer that runs ROON”.  One week later, my son walks in with a 5”x 5” x 2” Intel NUC.  Thirty minutes later, he has it connected to my system, my TIDAL account, integrated, and one of my CDs burned onto the NUC.  So…here comes my stream of consciousness…

  1. Metadata: NEVER have I had SO MUCH information on an artist, their life, their band, their producers, their concerts, etc.  Let alone, I have that information at MY FINGERTIPS for any artist I choose.  It’s a WHOLE NEW arena.
  2. Streaming Service:  TIDAL runs FLAWLESSLY as part of my ROON system.  Go figure?  NOW, I can search for audio file quality, create preferences, etc.  I’m getting 10x more utility from my account now, as part of Roon, than before. 
  3. Auto-generated playlist:  Like any good audiophile, I touched play on a Diana Krall album.  (Actually, I only touched play on a single song.)  For the next two (2) hours, I listened to continuous play list of female jazz, contemporary vocalist…some good, some great, some not so good, some familiar, some not so familiar, etc..  NO ONE could have pulled off that experience with a vault of little silver discs.  By the way, the experience only lasted two hours because I touched play on a new song in a different genre. 
  4. SOUND QUALITY:  IT WAS BETTER!  I compared my burned CD to my spinning silver disc.  The burned disc was better in EVERY conceivable way (e.g. detail, soundstage, focus, dynamics, etc.).  Okay, I’m not going to argue this point or even TRY to explain why.  For argument sake, let’s just call it a draw.     

Observations #1, #2, & #3 aren’t possible by spinning the little silver disks differently.  ROON makes them possible in an extraordinary fashion.  Even if Observation #4 is a “draw” for you, the other benefits make ROON more than compelling.

RECOMMENDATION:

  1. Go get ROON Nucleus or some equivalent computer system
  2. Burn your CD collection
  3. Bury your CD collection in your backyard
  4. Get back to enjoying music!

Enough said.  I have another weekend of college basketball and CD ripping.  ☺

Stay Dangerous,

Audio Dork

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