Dedicated JRiver user here. It is super configurable and fits my method of playing well. However, I am very disappointed that JRemote (the working half of the experience: Control Point) does not receive any love at all. Hasn’t been updated in a couple years (there is a current rumor that it’s being worked on).
JRiver is dedicated to Panel. Panel is a web based control point that just doesn’t cut it (IMHO). JRiver purchased JRemote from it’s author, hired it’s author and after some resulting controversy, the JRemote author quit shortly after being hired. JRiver was left with a product they own, written in a language they’re not familiar with, and have basically orphaned the product.
I did try Roon for the trial period. It worked fine. Not sure I see the big deal of the interface but it’s nice. I can look up music anywhere on the internet is my position. The price is the thing for me. Don’t like to commit to anything for that long (lifetime?) but the yearly fee seems too high. Yes, crazy analysis considering what I spend on gear. I keep Roon in the back of my head. If JRiver completely abandons JRemote, I’m out and will go back to Roon.
Sorry, one last quick ramble. Maybe Roon sounds better or worse than JRiver. Don’t know and really don’t care. They both deliver bit perfect data to my DSD and likely sound close enough. I can’t imagine the tedious exercise of comparing one software player v another. Ug.
Okay, another ramble. We’ll see about Octave. Very skeptical given PSAs software prowess (sorry, I go back to eLyric and all the failed attempts to make Bridge I gapless). JRiver has dedicated programmers working out bugs every day. Most of them are active on the JRiver web site and respond to issues regularly. In addition, they also have lots of expert level users that participate on the web page and respond to issues. It is on a level 20 times higher than what happens here. I think keeping software working in today’s environment requires that kind of effort (and of course, there’s still issues). Don’t see that happening. Maybe the issues will be smaller given the closed system approach. We shall see…
EDIT: I just saw on the JRiver website that a new version of JRemote is in beta. That’s really good news. JRemote is an awesome control point: fast, attractive, and configurable. Plus I have access to my entire library through JRemote anywhere with an internet connection. I stream my library through any device with Airplay or a usb input. You can select convert to mp3 if the LTE or WiFi connection is sketchy. Absolutely love the combination of JRiver/JRemote. Glad to see JRemote getting some love.