Roon Labs has announced a significant upgrade to its leading-edge music software+service.
Designed for audiophiles, Roon is a combination of software player and back-end service, delivering music at max quality to most any device in any room, while adding extensive background information. A new back-end facility, dubbed Valence, extends that winning combo.
Over "two years of focused design and entineering," Roon Labs has built "a massive new cloud database," based on data accumulated (anonymously) from the activities of over 100,000 Roon users. Using machine-learning technology, the service can now do an even better job of modeling relationships between musical performers. "The result is the ultimate music expert, which presents the world of music through a lens personalized just for you," says Roon.
The existing Roon Radio feature has been making use of this technology already, since Roon version 1.6. Now Roon 1.7 adds three "entirely new features" powered by Valence.
New Releases for You shows users "new releases you care about, based on your library and listening history." The relevance of these featured releases will increase, as users spend more time in Roon.
Recommended for You is a small selection of recommendations shown on each detailed ‘album' view. It will show similar or related albums that will allow users to "browse a nearly-endless supply of similar music."
Artist Play and Composer Play are new options that allow users to choose a selection of an artist or composer's music by based on their ‘heyday' periods, or their most popular albums based on other Roon users' listening history.
In addition to these new features, Valence will "track hundreds of data points" in order to better interpret search terms, and deliver more accurate and relevant results. Classical composer and composition views have also been improved, with Valence using the Roon community's combined listening history to allow sorting by popularity when choosing specific performances of a composition.
With the introduction of Valence, Roon has also added "over 44 million additional credits," and improved consistency and accuracy of credits. Credits can now also be imported from file tags.
Roon 1.7 adds several other improvements. The new Live Radio directory collects "more than 1,000 live radio stations, hand curated by the Roon community." Users can browse by genre, or find local stations.
Users streaming from Tidal or Qobuz should find that Roon now buffers incoming data "in a less disruptive way," with reduced disk activity, CPU usage and memory traffic. This should result in faster play start for streaming content, and better performance with slower Internet connections.
On Android, the Roon client will now play in the background with metadata and transport controls available in the Notifications area. The app should also respond "more gracefully" when phone calls are received, when a video is started in another app, or when headphones are unplugged. It will also be able to report detailed Signal Path for audio rendering.
With version 1.7, Roon OS will now use Microsoft .NET Core Runtime, for improved performance. Roon Labs expects library management tasks to run 30-40% faster, with lower power consumption. "Roon on Roon OS is now more efficient and performs better than Roon on any other platform or product," says the company.
Roon 1.7 also allows more customization of icons for zones, with up to 40 zone icons included. Roon Tags can now be automatically created from "special file tags," and lyrics and credits can be imported from tags.
Finally, font and color rendering is said to be cleaner and smoother. And right-to-left scripts such as Arabic and Hebrew should now perform more smoothly, especially on mobile devices.
Full details are available on the Roon blog. Roon is distributed in Canada by Kevro International Inc.