The powerful media management and multi-room hi-res audio streaming software Roon easily controlled by Apple Watch, including voice control Apple Siri, this task should enable the new extension rooWATCH developed by Dr. Carl-Werner Oehlrich of definiteAudio GmbH.
rooWATCH is another solution around the media management and multi-room hi-res audio streaming software Roon from Roon Labs LLC., presented by the German developer Dr. Carl-Werner Oehlrich from definiteAudio GmbH, which proves to be an extremely clever control for the Apple Watch.
Dr. Carl-Werner Oehlrich, extremely involved in the Roon Labs LLC. community and known here under the name DrCWO, has been devoting himself to a wide variety of solutions for quite some time, all of which have so far been designed for the simple, flexible control of the software from Roon Labs LLC. The central component of all these solutions is rooExtend, also developed by Dr. Carl-Werner Oehlrich of definiteAudio GmbH.
rooExtend Server – The central interface for Roon Extensions
From the very beginning, the Roon software offers the possibility to implement so called Roon Extensions to extend the functionality of the software from Roon Labs LLC. in different ways.
Interestingly, not too many established companies have made use of this yet, but a steadily growing number of independent developers have, and Dr. Carl-Werner Oehlrich has been one of them for quite some time.
The basis for his solutions is the so-called rooExtend server, which is installed on a separate mini-PC, namely a RasperryPi. Ultimately, this is a Linux distribution that has been slimmed down to the minimum, but everything is designed in such a way that the user does not have to deal in any way with the intricacies of programming or complex configuration, but in the simplest case simply receives a so-called image that is installed on a microSD card and thus incorporated into the RaspberryPi.
rooWATCH – Everything accessible at the swipe of a finger
The actual software for controlling Roon is then the rooWATCH app for Apple watchOS, which can be downloaded directly from the Apple App Store via the Apple Watch. And what you can do with this simple app around Roon seems really impressive, because ultimately you have the complete playback control of Roon via rooWATCH actually on your wrist.
First, you can determine which streaming client you want to control. According to the developer, all available zones are always available here, and you can also seamlessly switch between them. Once you have selected a zone, you can first browse through your own media library, search for specific tracks, and create a playlist. Of course, you can then start and pause playback, and jump back and forth between tracks, just like the familiar Roon controller apps on smartphones, tablets and desktop PCs, but with a slightly smaller display.
Nevertheless, rooWATCH displays cover artwork on the Apple Watch, the display is obviously very clear, and those who use their Apple Watch on a daily basis will have no problem controlling Roon via the Apple Watch, with all the functions that an Apple Watch offers for simple control also being supported by rooWATCH. Depending on whether you swipe left, right, up or down, different functions are available, and the Apple Watch’s Digital Crown can of course also be used, especially for the simple control of the volume.
Apple Siri – control via voice control
But that’s not all, the control is even easier via the voice control Apple Siri, which rooWATCH also supports, in all respects. Not only can you control playback, but you can also use voice control to search for specific tracks, artists or entire playlists as well as radio stations.
Prerequisites for use
As already described, rooExtend is the basis for rooWATCH, which in turn is based on a RaspberryPi. The developer states that a RaspberryPi zero or RaspberryPi 4 is suitable, recommending the latter.
A microSD card with a storage capacity of 16 GByte is also required. First, you load the image with rooExtend from the developer’s website and transfer it to the microSD card with suitable software tools. Dr. Carl-Werner Oehlrich describes in detail how this works and what is needed for it on his website, so it can be said at this point that this should all be done very easily and within a very short time.
rooWATCH itself can be found in the Apple App Store, as described, and is loaded directly via the Apple Watch.
The connection of the rooWATCH app on the Apple Watch with Roon via rooExtend is also explained in detail by the developer, although this should not present any problems in practice either.
Pricing and availability
rooWATCH, like so many other software tools these days, is offered in the form of a subscription, where you download the app itself for free from the Apple App Store, but have to unlock a corresponding license during installation. The developer offers this either as a 1-year license for US$ 28, or as a life-long license for US$ 69. A 7-day license for US$ 2.90 is also available for testing purposes. It should be explicitly mentioned that VAT must be added to the prices mentioned, which is calculated individually depending on the country.
Getting to the point
Those who wear an Apple Watch on their wrist can use rooWATCH and their Apple Watch to control the Roon hi-res audio streaming solution in a particularly intuitive and flexible way. The developer Dr. Carl-Werner Oehlrich of definiteAudio GmbH thus provides a solution that not only allows flexible use via the familiar gestures for controlling apps on the Apple Watch, but also establishes the connection to the voice control Apple Siri. Music playback can be controlled by voice, and a search option for titles, artists, genres and playlists is available, all with apparently very little installation effort and at a very attractive price.
|PRODUCT||DEFINITEAUDIO GMBH ROOWATCH|
|Price||7 days trial version US$ 2,90 plus tax|
1 year US$ 28,- plus tax
Life Long US$ 69,- plus tax
|More about this manufacturer at HIFI BLOG|