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Roon Ready?

>> Can you elaborate on what a "Roon Ready" DAC is? <<

This is my understanding, but please take it with a grain of salt. (I hope I will be corrected if any of this is mistaken.) The full Roon software system comprises three major components (perhaps not unlike UPnP):

a) The Roon core ("brain") that accesses your both your music collection (and even some streaming services, notably Tidal) , along with access to the internet to retrieve Roon's metadata (much more comprehensive than any previous offerings). It then compiles all of this information into one powerful and flexible database-like repository. This is a powerful application that requires a 64-bit operating system and processor.

b) The user interface that allows the user to control the system (similar to a "control point" in UPnP).

c) The output to an external hardware D/A converter (similar to a "renderer" in UPnP).

The early versions of Roon had to have all three parts in one piece of hardware, which of necessity was a PC (phones and tablets are not powerful enough to support the 64-bit Roon core). I believe that early versions could access musical data across the network, but only deliver that data to DACs directly attached to the computer loaded with the 64-bit Roon core software.

More recently Roon have changed the architecture to make it more flexible and user friendly. Specifically the 64 bit core can reside anywhere in your personal LAN. Typically this is still a small computer such as an Intel NUC or a Mac Mini, but there are also a few NAS drives with 64-bit processors capable of running Roon. The control function is now offered in both Android and iOS version for use with either phones or tablets.

Finally the D/A converter can simply sit on your own LAN *if* it has a small Roon app installed on its Ethernet port. DACs thus equipped are certified by Roon to comply to Roon's standards and are labeled "Roon Ready". Otherwise one needs a DAC with a USB input attached directly to the box running the Roon core software.

I'm sure I've screwed something up with this explanation, so please don't take it as the gospel truth. Hope this helps.

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