PS Audio AirLens

Sorry, my bad.

Thank you! I’m sure it is a generational thing that old geezers like me have so much trouble with this stuff.

Thanks, Steven but this only adds to the confusion. Your statement: “Roon does not require a computer, it requires a server, such as Roon Nucleus, to run Roon Core” is misleading.

A Roon Nucleus IS a computer.

It’s a PC running Windows.

Doesn’t get much more computer-like than that.


It can be many things, that’s what’s nice about Roon. The core can live on windows, MacOS, or its own Rock (a form of Linux). I believe I have heard others try and get it to run on other Linux, but cannot be positive of that. But as Paul said, its a computer. An unmanned no monitor keyboard or mouse needed computer, but it has memory, CPU, and hard drive running an OS.

I think the OP meant no computer sitting on your lap as the interface.

Hi Paul. The Nucleus is indeed a computer. But it doesn’t run Windows. It runs a Linux distro they call Roon OS.

“The Nucleus and Nucleus+ utilize a custom operating system called Roon OS, a Linux-based operating system built from the ground up, designed and tuned for use in media appliances. Roon OS is the heart of the Nucleus, and the source of most of the technical innovations in the product.”


We have the “Fog of War” and now we have the “Fog of Streaming”. :wink:

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Sure, my phone is a computer, my CASIO desktop calculator could be called a computer (it has a processor, screen and keyboard) but in terms of FUNCTION Roon Core really requires a server, and Roon promote the Roon Nucleus for good reason, they also recommend the QNAP TS-473 and there are other brands like Small Green Computer.

From the practical point of view, servers remain active permanently, whereas laptops and desktops have a habit of going to sleep, being moved around, running out of charge, etc. in which case your Roon system will not work.

From an audio quality point of view, audio servers designed for Roon use are generally stripped down and do not include loads of unnecessary hardware that you find on a laptop, such as wifi, video, etc. and have much less powerful and noisy chips. They are better and often cheaper. Half the cost of a laptop is a screen and servers don’t need one.

Many audio servers are designed to buffer data, like the PSA transport. It improves sound quality. Laptops don’t do that.

Servers are generally designed to have expandable internal memory, whereas laptops or things like MacMini do not. If you have a large music library, you really need a server.

Not to overlook, internet security can be better managed on a server than a laptop, and differently. My server is completely blocked from external access.

So you can run Roon Core on Windows and OSX, but it is sub-optimal for audio quality and more expensive for a dedicated machine.

Perhaps most importantly, Roon Nucleus is Plug-and-play, whereas using a laptop requires some messing around with software, 3rd party streaming software, and often puts people off.

As @markus46 points out, Roon Nucleus runs it’s own dedicated operating system and cannot run third party software.

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Oh, ok. Thanks.

Oops. Yup, I forgot it’s Linux. Thanks for the reminder.

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Paul, I’ve always considered a Nucleus and NUCs running Roon OS as appliances.

It’s a complete uni-talker.

From Roon’s documentation:

“It is an extremely lightweight Linux-based operating system. Much more on the scale of an embedded machine than a desktop or server operating system”

I think i am with Paul on this. A computer by any other name is a computer. it consists of CPU, Memory and Storage. a Core has all that. The NUC many of us use is sold as a windows device. The OS makes no difference if its a computer or not. Now does that mean it has 1000 times less issues than a windows device…for sure. Windows and MacOS are operating systems that run on specific computers.

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In that sense, I can’t disagree.

I was narrowly defining and trying to differentiate.

Do Innuos owners consider their servers to be computers?

Where did the name server come from? its a large computer in a central location that is shared and usually purposed for a single job.

Hence its a computer. But I do not know what’s inside that box. A box that can only do one thing and really does not have an OS (not firmware) is not a computer. But that only my opinion.

I’m an Innuos owner. I consider it to be what I want it to do, which includes:

  • File server (i.e. Running Roon Core)
  • Digital transport (when running Roon RAAT or Innuos Sense)
  • Network storage (because it has a network addressable hard drive)

Anyone who calls something these days a computer is, dare I say it, showing their age. I just asked one of my kids, age 22, and he just laughed.

Do you call your microwave a computer? Mine’s got a processor, buttons, screen, an app, wifi and firmware updates. I can cook a meal and do the washing while lying in the bath, and when a machine
runs out of soap it will order some more. These are my cooking and cleaning computers:

“Computer”, way back in the last century, was primarily a physical description. Now literally everything has a processor in it, down to your car key, so all that matters is the function.

Over 40 years ago I used to program servers, a system called Tandem, and we never called them computers.

You can run Roon Core on any number of devices, but it really does benefit from dedicated hardware. I have both an Innuos and a QNAP TS-473 and both can host Roon Core, and I’ve used both. The QNAP is not dedicated to Roon Core and it does not work 100%, occasionally skipping tracks, whilst the Innuos is dedicated to Roon Core duties and has never skipped a beat.

I reserve the right to call my microwave whatever I want to. Currently I call it “The Magic Box”, but that’s mostly because I forget that I’ve reheated things, and when the reminder ding goes off, my dog comes and finds me and barks. To him, it’s a magic box. Next week I am going to call it Hal.

HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey 🤖 - Product Information, Latest Updates, and Reviews 2023 | Product Hunt


It was a missed opportunity not to call Alexa “Hal”. But then saying “Hal, turn on the hall lights” whilst under the influence would be problematic.

I don’t need a dog because my phone goes ding when the microwave is done. My phone also goes ding when my wife pays for parking, and when an instagram arrives. It also rings, as opposed to dings, when the Amazon man or postman arrives. Due to all the dings, I’ve sometimes found some cold and slightly congealed things in the microwave.

Whilst some people seem to love their automobiles more than their children, and certainly their pets more than the kids, I keep my appliance relationships strictly on business terms.

Meanwhile … ding !

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Tandem non-stop?
Ended up in Compaq (so then HP presumably)?

I remember fiddling with one in a compaq test computer room down in reading when I was supposed to be finding bugs in their tru64 unix fibrechannel drivers.
I have actually considered building a highly available music server (tight clustering), but I’d rather a non stop machine - if someone else was paying the electricity bill. Don’t need it of course, it’s hardly mission critical but would be fun to this retired geek :slight_smile:

Edit - the machine I was fiddling with was the size of a double width fridge at least.

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Now that is useful - an attention-deficit assistance dog :slight_smile:


For the two weeks just gone I was alone in the house, just me and Alexa.
She’s no fun though - I can get her to burp on command (first thing I tried of course), but existential questions rarely get satisfying answers, and her politics is suspect too.


Indeed, Tandem was a non-stop dual processing system and a complete nightmare. We were doing data switching on multi-million £ computers with a dial-up modem. In those days we used to lease international telephone lines. It was very new in 1981.

The business was mainly involved in telex delivery, which we digitised and sent at much faster rates and lower cost. We also did some fax delivery, but that was cutting edge stuff.

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