Roon support as promised in the DSJ, DirectStream, and PWD through Bridge II isn’t going away. In fact, there will soon be an update so the new RAAT they announced (that supports MQA) will be available in another month or so.
We are big Roon fans and continue to support them and their platform. If you own a Bridge II (either built in or as an add on card) there’s no reason to panic as we will continue supporting and updating Bridge II. I think we’ve proven our commitment to supporting our products and updating them over the years as best we are able (we just recently updated the PWD and Bridges with Roon and MQA were included). So, our support shouldn’t be in question. If you bought Bridge II or DSJ because of Roon, you shouldn’t have to worry. Relax. Enjoy your music and Roon.
What’s causing the hubbub is the announcement that Bridge III, which will launch sometime in 2018, will have Octave, our own music management software, and player. I quite think Roon users will like Octave very much, but that’s not germain to this discussion. We won’t ask anyone to change preferences. That was never our intention. If you like Roon (and who doesn’t?), stay with Bridge II and we will continue its updating. There’s really no downside I can see. Bridge III isn’t going to have some new miracle technology inside that will obsolete the excellent performance of Bridge II. Bridge II is such a stellar performer that would be incredibly hard to do and that isn’t our goal.
So, in summary, Bridge II remains a product we will support and it will always have Roon. If that is what you purchased, you made a wise choice.
Octave, on the other hand, is being developed because we believe we have created an extraordinary music management system people will love (the few beta testers of this platform are already raving). We’ve been working on Octave for years—in one form or another—and now it is finally peeping its head out of the mist (it’s not like we just decided to jump into this complex challenge). Another reason for developing Octave is that as a company responsible for the quality of our customer’s music systems, the only way we can guarantee performance is to control the entire experience. Long time readers of this forum know that while I love the ease and discoverability of the Roon management software, I have never been a fan of their server’s sound quality. The only way to ensure sound quality is to control both hardware and software.
Lastly, from a 50,000 foot view, it is my responsibility as CEO of this company to make sure our customers are taken care of over the long term, something we’re proud to have been able to do over the past 45 years. Basing one of our core products on third party software, no matter how excellent, isn’t the smartest long term strategy when consistency and quality are foremost on our minds. I believe, and have always believed, that the best way to serve our customers is to provide an unparalleled user experience—one we can guarantee over the years. Octave will be a key component to that strategy.
None of this means we’re abandoning support for Roon. We will continue to support Roon and keep the Bridge II products (of which there are many thousands) up to date and current.