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Roon Labs LLC. cleans up – Only fully Roon Ready Devices are supported

On 21. September 2020 the switch will be flipped, the software company Roon Labs LLC. now states in a mailing. From then on, the media management and multi-room audio streaming solution will in fact only directly support devices that are fully certified as Roon Ready.

The software company Roon Labs LLC. has been working directly with a wide range of hardware manufacturers from the outset to develop its unique media management and multiroom audio streaming solution Roon. Through this partner programme, manufacturers of streaming solutions can ensure that their products work seamlessly with the Roon software. Not only do the corresponding products appear directly in Roon as available players, but the software or specifically the Roon Core addresses them directly and establishes a data transfer via RAAT (Roon Advanced Audio Transport). This ensures that bit-perfect music streaming is guaranteed, so that audio data is played back exactly as it is stored on the server’s hard drive.

This partner programme is probably one of the guarantees for the success of the Roon software, as more and more solutions can be used seamlessly in combination with the software from Roon Labs LLC.

Roon Labs LLC. works within the framework of this partner programme directly with the respective manufacturers to certify their hardware as Roon Ready. This certification alone guarantees that the possibilities outlined in the introduction can actually be used to the full extent and without problems.

So much for theory at least, because in practice a few problems have probably crept in over the past few months. Devices were partly designated as Roon Ready, even if the certification process had not yet been completed. Some hardware upgrades sometimes caused problems in interaction with the Roon Engine, which in principle still allowed operation, but no longer guaranteed complete interoperability, for example because certificates were no longer up to date, and similar inconsistencies, sometimes minor, sometimes major. In short, a few construction sites have opened up, all of which were never really resolved…

In order to clear up these inconsistencies and to ensure that the Roon Ready seal of quality will continue to be perceived as such in the future, Roon Labs LLC. has now decided to literally make a big clean sweep.

“When we first started our Roon Ready certification program, our goal was to provide a way for our customers to know that they were getting the best possible experience with their audio devices. People have come to trust Roon Ready devices to not only sound great, but work seamlessly in their homes with Roon.

In an effort to continue making Roon Ready a reliable, trustworthy signifier of quality, we are implementing some changes to what happens when a Roon Ready device has not completed the certification process.

The Roon Ready certification allows people to trust that they’re getting the best quality possible, but when products are prematurely released before their certification is complete, that trust is undermined. Not only can it create problematic situations for all parties involved, it hurts the reputation of the entire Roon Ready program.”

For example, Roon Labs LLC. states that from 21 September, Roon Ready devices that are not fully certified will no longer be able to be activated in Roon’s audio settings. Non-certified devices will be listed, but will no longer be able to be activated for use with Roon.

Therefore, if you have a streaming solution that is recognised in Roon and is not yet fully certified as Roon Ready, you should activate it before 21 September 2020 and not deactivate it. If a device is activated in the Roon settings, it will remain activated even if Roon Labs LLC. flips the switch. Roon Labs LLC. does not have the power to exclude individual solutions from this, from September 21, 2020 only a fully completed certification including the current implementation of the Roon Engine and the necessary certificates will be considered a ticket for Roon.

New devices, which are not yet fully certified, cannot be activated from September 21, 2020 until the process is completed or the manufacturer offers a corresponding firmware.

Very important! Of course, this does not apply to solutions that are integrated via Apple AirPlay, Google Chromecast or the Sonos system. These platforms are excluded and continue to function as before.

In fact, the most important thing is that some hardware manufacturers do not rush to promise Roon-Ready certification without actually having it in their pocket. They now have to do their homework…

Getting to the point

It’s actually quite simple: if a streaming system is designated as Roon-Ready, then everything runs smoothly with the media management and multiroom audio streaming software Roon. Ensuring this is the declared goal of the partner programme of Roon Labs LLC. In practice, however, things have looked increasingly different in recent months, with many a manufacturer taking a – well, let’s just say friendly – relaxed approach to certification. Roon Labs LLC. also did not take it quite so seriously and products could in principle be used in Roon, even if they had not yet completed certification or the implementation of the corresponding software interfaces and certificates was no longer up to date. But that should now be the end of the story, Roon Labs LLC. wants to make sure that Roon-Ready actually means Roon-Ready and will thus be perceived as a seal of quality in the future. For this reason, the switch will be flipped on 21 September 2002, as the software company itself puts it, and from then on only solutions that are actually Roon-Ready in every respect will be able to be used.

Manufacturer:Roon Labs LLC.
Distribution:Roon Labs LLC.
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Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and sempre-audio.at, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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