Roon 2.0 fails without Internet. Anyone with alternatives for DirectSteam DAC?

I’m in dire straits with Roon. Roon works beautifully with PS Audio bridge in its DAC; however, Roon 2.0 has rendered the system useless unless there is a continuous Internet connection. I wrote the below thread in the Roon community to express my concerns. In a nutshell, are there alternatives to Roon?

~ [posted in Roon forum]

I’ll just give a quick summary of my dilemma.

  1. I have a PS Audio DirectSteam DAC which renders very high quality FLAC files from my Synology NAS drive.

  2. I use Roon to listen to music with my high-end system at home.

  3. I use Tidal to listen to music on the move. I am very content with Tidal at doing this. But I also like when I add music to Tidal, it automatically adds to Roon when I get home.

  4. I integrate Tidal with Roon to get the best experience at home with both streaming and local files.

  5. Living in Australia has its problems with Internet connectivity from time to time so having Roon to control my local media system is great. Just needs the occasional touch to the Internet to ensure the licence is valid.

  6. I am not particularly interested in the metadata retrieved from Roon, although it’s a nice to have, only that. I have the world of the internet at my fingertips otherwise.

  7. I use mp3Tag to add metadata to my own local FLAC files. I am very happy with this.

I’ve now run into a wee problem with the new release of Roon, which disables one from playing own local files if the Internet is not working. This is a real problem for me.

So I asked the question in another thread. What are other alternatives? Some mentioned JRiver. Some minimServer and a few others.

Now this is what I would like. An alternative that sits as a package on my Synology NAS drive like Roon. Moreover, I would like it to integrate with Tidal and have support with other high-end manufacturers like PS Audio, Linn, Meridian, etc.

We can divide this into three parts:

  1. Manufacturers (or renderers) of the music. i.e. PS Audio, Linn, or whatever. They render the files to audio.

  2. The server that supplies material to the renderer. For example, Roon, JRiver, Foobar, etc.

  3. Streaming services. IE Qobuz, Tidal, Spotify etc

They are separate and distinct and they work co-habitively perfectly. As I write this, there are a few threads materialising in the PS Audio community raising significant concerns with Roon 2.0.

I think Roon has taken a very different route to what they originally started with. Personally, I have no interest in Roon ARC, and, no doubt, most who use Roon chose it because of its high end delivery of material to your local network but having bonus features of integrating it with streaming services. But the philosophy has flipped 180 degrees. Roon is trying to push into the streaming sector, eg another Tidal. Moreover, Tidal has been around for significantly longer and works almost flawlessly with its massive support base. Roon is a much small company with, I believe, an employee count of 50. According to LinkedIn.

Roon is now in the danger of alienating users like me by creating a completely different product and philosophy. Being a staunch believer of being resilient to the Internet, this is not necessarily a backward step but rather a step to enter a market which Roon shouldn’t be entering into. So rather being a master and premier product of what it was once originally designed to do, Roon is choosing to be a ‘jack of all trades’.

I am not sure how the high-end manufacturers are taking to this nor how the streaming services are taking this with respect to Roon ARC. Rather than working synergetically working with this sectors, Roon is trying to vy into these spaces.

So back to the question.

Has anyone successfully tried a Roon alternative which sits on a NAS and is able to integrate with Tidal or other streaming services?

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Sellerto, you and I have a very similar systems: FLAC files on a Synology NAS, feeding a DS DAC via Bridge II. Like you, I customize the tags in my FLAC files to suit my own needs. I do not use Roon (never have). I have MinimServer installed on my Synology and control it from an iPad using the M connect control app.

MinimServer is an outstanding piece of software, particularly for classical music. It is free to try, although if you end up liking it you would probably want to purchase a license (not very expensive). There is a bit of a learning curve with MinimServer, but you can get help on their forum and the developer, Simon, is very responsive.The M connect app does work with Tidal, which is one of your requirements.

Let me know if you have any other questions. Good luck with your system!

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Wow! Thanks for the response. Someone also mentioned Audirvana. Never heard of it though

You can run 1.8 Legacy to keep Roon around for a while.

An alternative, sitting on the NAS, may be difficult. You can certainly keep your files there but the server itself… you’re limited as most need Windows / Mac to run.

The DLNA/UPnP servers are probably your best bet. MinimServer has already been mentioned. But this kind of architecture works differently than Roon. I don’t have a “good” answer unless you’re willing to run the server on a win / mac box and just serve files off the NAS. Then you’ve got lots of options.

Here’s a list of UPnP servers. I think all of them will run on Synology.

good luck.

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Tried going back to 1.8 however, with my Synology NAS, Roon simply would not read my library files. So I ended up going back 2.0. I’m looking for contingency plans but am getting frustrated. Plex doesn’t seem to want to connect to the DS and Audirvana cannot be installed on a Synology. It’s incredibly frustrating!

Is there a possibility to download the older Roon 1.8?

A wipe and a reinstall might do it, but how to source 1.8x if they don’t provide access to it.

With Roon making the user 100% internet dependable they make way for new competition for sure.

As far As I can tell Innuos Hard and Software are equally good if not even better for high end playback, both streaming from the Internet and local streaming. Innuos will benefit from Roon’s move.

Being on a thinner budget, I am on BluOS platform for playing from the local server at home. Great Sound, multiroom works great and the control app works on all IS devices we have at home, even our old iPad 2 running on an ancient IOS version. Streaming BluOS is brand depending (not much choice of suitable streamers) and will only play PCM (no DSD), therefore I don not consider it as an alternative to Roon at all.
For streaming from the Internet I use Apple Music / AirPlay lossless, no need for artificial ATMOS DSP stuff. Apple AirPlay and BluOS operate seamlessly parallel. This is actually a good thing, because BluOS works on no mobile device the way Apple Music / AirPlay does.
For me this does everything I need.

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Plex did the same for videos, most annoying if you have an intermittent internet connection.
I can recommend Logitech Media Server, free and very well supported.
Plug-ins (minimal config needed) for dlna, airplay, Tidal and a whole bunch of other things.

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The Logitech Media Server team is behind the BluOS system. That tremendous experience probably explains why BluOS works very fine.

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It is a very flexible (and, for me, reliable) ecosystem, I’ve been really really pleased with it.

Also a recommendation for piCoreplayer image if using Raspberry pis - simple set up, and capable of being a server (LMS), a player (squeezelite), an upsampling player (squeezelite and soxlib), a GUI/touchscreen front end for a player (Jivelite), or any combination of, all simply configured from a web page and all free.

Can’t go wrong with that :slight_smile:

Sorry for my ignorance, not sure if you meant Roon 2.0 or Roon ARC is internet dependent. To my limited experience, just one day so far, Roon 2.0 runs just like 1.8, and it’s probably just my imagination, it sounded even a bit more rounded in sound quality for the limited recordings I played. Only Roon ARC is 100% dependent on a internet connection when you run it remotely on an mobile device.

I run my roon core off a Synology NAS also.

I’m 2/3 through an 1800 mile 2 day drive and this app was horrible. Every time I chose a daily mix the app crashed. Also, prefer my NAS music app because it can be run with wife’s Apple Play and my Auto Android.

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This topic leads me to try other server/player setups.
When I switched to the Squeeze server/player software, I was shocked at the increase in SQ!

I miss the Roon interface but for serious listening, this is the way to go.


Wow, that is really, as we say, bullshit for Roon to do that. A major disincentive for me to try it.
I have been using Jriver with Bridge II for many years, it is solid and works just fine. Recently… just for heck of it, I again tried Audirvana for Windows. A few versions back I could not get it to work with the Bridge without stuttering, but this version so far seems fine and I like the integration with Tidal and internet radio. Still evaluating it in my system but well worth your checking out IMHO.

I’ve used Linn (the one before Kazoo), Naim nServe, Auralic Lightning + Lighting Server, MConnect, bubbleuPnP, minimserver, Airplay, Spotify Connect, Amazon HD, BluOs, Devialet Air, Roon and Innuos Sense.

I can still use many of these, different people in this house like to use different things. I use Innuos Sense in my main system, I can use it elsewhere in uPnP mode as most other devices are uPnP. But you would have to buy an Innuos device.

Minimserver is essentially free, but for a relatively small outlay the Bluesound Node is really excellent and you could look for a used Auralic Aries Mini or Aries. Both are superb, frankly the Mini is just as good and will connect to your Synology library.

John Darko explained the reason for Roon’s unfortunate move:

Roon removed the search engine from the locally installed Roon player and outsourced it to the cloud (Roon servers).

  • more reliable and probably faster searching on-line content
  • less burden on local resources
  • easier to maintain


  • not possible to search local content without internet connection to Roon’s search engine
  • very high security risk as Roon has continuous access to your local storage from the internet

This is absolutely the wrong direction Roon has been taking, full stop. It’s very expensive software and the sacrifices are all on their customers account.


To be honest, it’s unfortunate, but there’s not really a good alternative to Roon to feed your DAC. All the others mentioned, minim, audirvana, Lumin etc etc just don’t come close to the usability, metadata accuracy and search features, and of course integration with tidal and qobuz.

Roon pretty much has the market in that respect.

It’s possible that in the classical realm, the problem will be ameliorated somewhat when Apple Classical (built on Primephonic) comes out. Of course you’ll have to run on a Mac or pc to feed your DAC. So it doesn’t meet your Synology NAS-based software requirement. Hopefully Apple won’t require an Internet connection and can just serve the local files. AND of course you’ll need to have your lossless files in ALAC.

(Apple won’t work for me because a huge number of my music is in DSD.)

Good luck. I’m in the same boat as you and I don’t have a good solution. My backup right now is minim on Synology serves the files to my Lumin endpoint +DAC.

There is actually a pretty swell solution to the problem. It’s called Euphony. It’s it’s own operating system, streaming software, and Roon server. You can install it on a thumbdrive and try it out free on any old PC you have laying around. Even a Laptop. You can boot and run it from the Thumbdrive so you don’t have to make any changes to the computer you run it on. It can be a Roon Server, or and endpoint, or a few other things. But it also comes with it’s own Roon like software that handles Qobuz and Tidal painlessly. It’s called Stylus. Many people think music sounds better from its Stylus streamer than with Roon on the same device. You can switch from one to the other in less than a minute. I’ve owned it and used it for maybe 7 years now. I bought it on a dedicated server and use it to this day up at my lake home. They make servers at various prices or you can roll your own.

In the new Version 4 they have switched to a subscription model. So much per year or per month, with no penalty for taking a break or walking away. Many users here use it, we just don’t talk about it much.

With Euphony you can be running Roon, reboot in a minute to be running Stylus, and in each case using the same music sources. You might want to check it out.

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Aangen I have been considering Euphony but at the present time I am pretty satsified with Audirvana, which integrates nicely with Tidal. Have you tried Euphony with Bridge II? That is what I am using until i get my hands on the Airlens :slight_smile: