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Music servers and other computer based digital audio technologies.

RE: Google, and most of the internet is free...

I didn't think 'being free' was a major concern of most audiophiles, who spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on music, components and cables, etc.
Yes google is free but it really can't do half of what Roon can do.

It's hard to list all the things in this category as there are so many, but for a start, your playing history is a good example - google knows nothing about that. It also doesn't know what is in your library, so it can't automagically link it with Tidal seamlessly.

Now if you only have a few albums, know exactly what you want to play and don't want to listen to anything new then a simpler system might work. But many people really enjoy the music discovery built into Roon. A large percentage of what I listen to now I've discovered via Roon's built-in tools, like "Simlar Artists", hyperlinks from artist or album descriptions and so on, artists and albums I'd probably never have discovered via google. When I'm in the mood I can spend hours checking out new music that I wouldn't normally listen to.

Another really elegant and concise thing is the way the Roon interface is the same across PCs, Macs and iPads. iPeng used to annoy me with it's idiosyncracies and bugs.

Like to know the dynamic range of tracks? Sure you can run an external program but Roon does this automatically.

Same thing with lyrics - you can search but it's so much easier clicking an icon and bang, they are there. Point is you probably wouldn't bother using the internet to search for lyrics much.

I could list many more things like this..

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