Roon Labs is proud to announce the largest project we’ve ever undertaken. After two years of focused design and engineering, we’re unveiling an entirely new technology we call Vālence. Vālence is a system built on a massive new cloud database, which uses machine learning algorithms – designed with our passion for music – to model the many dimensions of relatedness more deeply than ever before. And because you use Roon to explore, collect, and listen to the music you love, Vālence understands you like no other. The secret ingredient is the Roon community; Vālence learns from the musical tastes of over 100,000 expert listeners who use Roon.
The result is the ultimate music expert, which presents the world of music through a lens personalized just for you.
If you’ve used the hugely popular Roon Radio, you’ve seen an early example of Vālence in action. In the same way that the meaning of “radio” was transformed in Roon 1.6, today you’ll see Vālence transform your understanding of ideas like “new releases for you” and “suggested for you” in Roon 1.7.
Beyond Vālence, there’s more to this update: we’ve brought the kind of experience you expect from Roon to the world of live radio, and Roon OS has received a massive performance boost. As always, feedback from the community has led to a number of other improvements as well.
We hope you enjoy finding your next music obsession!
What’s New
Roon 1.7 includes three entirely new features that are powered by Vālence:
New Releases For You
In most streaming apps, “New releases” are just a list of everything that’s been released this week, or sometimes only certain titles that are being marketed. Vālence lets Roon show you new releases you care about, based on your library and listening history.
The more you use Roon, the better the “New Releases” will get! You can also favorite the artists you love to ensure you never miss their latest.
Recommended For You
Vālence powers a small selection of recommendations on the album screen, selecting relevant albums for the user, and allowing browsing a nearly-endless supply of relevant music.
Artist Play and Composer Play
These new play options use Vālence to pick a selection of an artist or composer’s best music by determining their “heyday” periods, finding their most popular albums (based on Roon users’ listening history), and digging deep to find lesser-known gems. Whether it’s an artist you know and love, or someone new you’re ready to explore, now you can just click Play.
What’s Improved
Vālence now improves several long-standing Roon features as well:
Faster, more accurate Search
We’ve completely re-engineered our search algorithm based on feedback from the Roon community. Vālence now tracks hundreds of data points when interpreting search terms, delivering more accurate and relevant results.
Better context for Classical
Classical composer and composition views have been improved, presenting data more clearly and comprehensively.
Sort By Most Popular
Most importantly, Vālence uses the community’s listening history to allow sorting by popularity, so you can benefit from the expertise of other listeners when choosing performances of a composition.
Multi-level work parts
Roon now supports multi-level compositions, which are particularly useful for opera where many compositions include Acts in addition to parts.
When this data is available from our metadata providers, it will now be properly displayed on the Album Details page. It’s also possible to populate this data by using the SECTION tag in conjunction with WORKand PART tags.
Improved Credits Metadata
Vālence has considerably increased both the coverage and quality of credits in Roon. Over 44 million additional credits have been introduced to fill gaps that existed before, and the roles associated with those credits are more consistent and accurate.
Vālence technology helps us support and disambiguate credits from more metadata sources than we were able to support previously, including less structured data and credits imported from file tags.
The result is a more consistent, comprehensive view of who created the music you love.
Also New in Roon 1.7
Live Radio Directory
We’re thrilled to launch our Live Radio directory, a collection of more than 1000 live radio stations, hand curated by the Roon community. Now you can browse stations by genre or quickly find your local stations.
As with all streaming content, live radio can be added to your library for easy access later. Remember, the directory is an actively maintained database; if you have questions, suggestions, or if there’s a station you can’t find, let them know in the Live Radio 20 category on our community site.
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Streaming Optimizations
For music playing from TIDAL and Qobuz, Roon now buffers data in a less disruptive way, and there are optimizations which reduce disk activity, CPU usage, and memory traffic. This means that streaming content starts faster and slower internet connections (or lower-powered cores) may also benefit when streaming high-resolution content.
Android Audio
When playing on an Android device, Roon now plays in the background with metadata and transport controls available in the Android “notification” area.
Roon performs more gracefully when the state of an Android device’s audio output changes, including when a phone call is received, when a headphone cable is removed, when a video is started on Facebook, etc. Signal Path will also report exactly how an Android device renders audio. Like most Android apps, Roon depends on the device to set sample rates.
Note that we now require OpenGL ES 3.0 support on Android
Performance improvements on Roon OS
Starting with Roon 1.7, when running on Roon OS, Roon will use the Microsoft .NET Core Runtime, which offers higher performance and improved memory efficiency.
Library management aspects of Roon typically run 30-40% faster, use less power, and generate less heat. This also enables larger music libraries on the same hardware.
Roon OS has always been the best way to run Roon for most users, but as of this change, we are confident that it is the best option for everyone, regardless of library size. Roon on Roon OS is now more efficient and performs better than Roon on any other platform or product.
Additional Features By Popular Demand
We’ve also listened to user feedback beyond the big core things, and introduced many little crowd pleasers:
Zone Icons
Roon has always included custom icons for Roon Ready and Roon Tested devices, but today’s release allows for more customization for the Roon zones around your home, with more than 40 zone icons included.
Improved File Tag Processing
Roon can now automatically create “Roon Tags” from special file tags at the album or track level. This is a hugely flexible mechanism for the importing of nearly any external organizational system right into Roon.
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This release also includes support for importing lyrics 31 and credits from file tags as well.
File Tag Credits
Vālence technology is helping us integrate 44 million new credits from our metadata sources, but we’ve also done a lot of work to ensure credits are being handled consistently when they’re coming from your file tags.
This means Roon is now much better at understanding different kinds of credit roles, ensuring consistent handling for both. For example – “Martha Argerich – Piano” and “Argerich, Martha – Pianist” are now both be imported properly.
Credits: Expanded format and file tag support
Tonight’s release expands our support for importing credits from file tags. This fulfills a feature request we’ve heard a number of times over the years.
Tonight’s release will import credits from the following file tags:
As long as the content of those tags meets one of the following formats:
Name (Role)
Name (Role [Instrument])
Comments Field
Information stored in the Comments field will now be displayed on the File Info pop-up. This gives easier access to a field commonly used for storing information about the provenance of a file, including download sites and ripping information.
Visual Improvements
Roon’s font and color rendering has also undergone a major overhaul. Across the app, on all platforms, text shapes will appear cleaner and smoother, and the intent of the font is better preserved, improving readability. Additionally, the coloring of album covers should feel truer to the physical media on a wider range of LCD monitors.
Improved Text layout
In addition to looking better, Roon now has complete support for right-to-left scripts such as Arabic and Hebrew. Faster performance in the user interface and less resource intensive rendering makes a significant impact, especially on tablets and phones.
Streaming Quality Selector
Roon now offers the ability to choose what quality you stream from TIDAL and Qobuz
Also Redesigned
The Settings screen has been redesigned, with the Audio tab in particular getting a new look and feel that makes it easy to configure your endpoints.
By popular demand, we have also redesigned how deleting works – it is now much, much easier to delete content from your library.
Keep in mind that deleting local files in Roon is permanent, and deleted files will not go to the Trash/Recycle bin. Let us know what you think of this change!
Album Screen Improvements
This release also includes 2 changes on the album screen.
First, multi-disc sets up to 200 tracks will now get a new All Tracks tab. This view will allow you to view the entire album in a single list, which should ensure better presentation of multi-part works that span multiple discs.
Secondly, we added a new display setting. Going forward track numbers will be hidden on the album page by default, although it is possible to toggle them back on using the new setting
We’ve also fixed some display issues related to how paths are displayed on the Versions tab and the display of composers and lyricists on track rows.
Roon 1.7 (Build 500) Release Notes
Roon Build 500 is now rolling out for macOS, Windows (32 Bit), Windows (64 Bit), and Linux. Updated versions of Roon for Android and iOS have been submitted to their respective App Stores and will be available soon. There is no update for Roon Bridge at this time.
All platforms and apps should update automatically.