I know that PS Audio is hard at work developing Octave and it’s many components. These things take time and need to be done right. My understanding is that the upcoming Bridge III will be Octave specific. I’d like to throw out a request to Paul and Company that might help some of us. I have a Roon Lifetime Subscription. I was getting annoyed at Roon policies that dictate yearly or lifetime with no discounts and no credits for prior years. I had already given them two years. Octave was nowhere to be seen, so I had to go for the Lifetime. Many of us are in the same boat and have Roon Lifetime subscriptions. I have pulled my Bridge II, as it just didn’t have the sound quality that my system could deliver. I’d love to have an upgraded Bridge that could run Roon and was not dependent on ConversDigital or any third party. Will this be a possibility or are we shut out with a closed ecosystem product.
It was discussed many times…it will be a closed ecosystem (fortunately or unfortunately depending on the point of view) with the chance of a Roon endpoint.
Well a Roon Endpoint will work and that was a good as I was hoping for. I’m moving Roon Server off of a i7 Notebook to a dedicated NUC with ROCK on it. I’ll have to wait and see what Octave will do. Unfortunately time marches on and it forces us to make decisions. Octave is going to have it’s work cut out to compete with the likes of Roon. They’ve had years of time to develop their offering. Sound wise I’m quite pleased with Roon and the features draw me into enjoying music .
I use Devialet and, whilst it has an excellent operating system, it does not have its own player app. They are difficult to get right. Before it became Roon Ready in February 2019 there were plenty of ways to use it, including usb, its closed AIR protocol, Airplay, Spotify and uPnP, but Roon has supplanted all of these for flexibility and functionality, as well as simplicity of setup and superb sound. I now have no regrets that Devialet promised and failed to provide their own player app.
Roon is excellent and we’ve always been fans, though I am not personally in love with Roon’s sound quality but I understand everyone has different tastes. I haven’t yet ruled out a Roon end point but would suggest it’s unlikely as that requires our closed system
to be opened up to the outside world. Every time we do that we risk instability and uncertainty from third party vendors, something Octave is dedicated not to do. The beauty of a closed system is our ability to control every aspect which ensures a seamless
operation and user experience. After years of trying to keep everyone happy with third party solutions not in our control (and taking the blame for it), we’re not too interested in continuing that legacy.
When Roon first came on my radar (when Qobuz was hosted earlier this year), I tried a temporary solution for trial purposes by running Roon on my office QNAP and attaching an external SSD drive by USB for the core. The result was rubbish.
I then went for an optimised Roon solution and the result is simply superb. Its takes my breath away.
Roon’s strength is it’s main weakness - that it can run 8 endpoints with multiple filters and upscaling all at one time, which requires huge computing power. I only run one endpoint with no filters or upscaling and so can run a low power unit very cold.
There is logic to hosting various services:
Spotify - as it is far and away the most popular streaming service in the world.
Airplay - lots of people still have iPhones or an iPad.
uPnP - basically means that whatever device the user has, they will be able to send music to it.
Sonos is a closed system because it came out in the days when many domestic wifi systems were unreliable and without the Bridge providing a closed wifi system it would never have worked, and it became a $1billion sales company.
Quite a few companies use closed systems, Devialet has one (AIR), but implementing them can be very difficult indeed.
Well I can’t say that I’m not disappointed that the Bridge III will be closed. It’s taken Roon years of development to get to point where it’s a great interface. Those of us with lifetime subscriptions will have to make a choice about abandoning something that we own access to for “lifetime”. After seeing PS Audio’s arbitrary abandonment of some software platforms , the Online Power Re-generator Management app comes to mind . Don’t exactly inspire me. But I’m at heart an optimist and I’ll wait to be pleasantly surprised.
It always takes at least a few years to get the front end right. Linn streamers came out over 10 years ago, they had their Kinsky system that was pretty good from the outset, but after 5 or 6 years came out with a new system called a Kazoo. To their credit, they continued to support Kinsky and there was full hardware compatibility. For me good software is a prerequisite before hardware.