Munich, Germany — Roon Labs unveiled a software service that re-creates the visual experience of vinyl-album gatefolds and liner notes, and it is licensing the technology to audio suppliers.
The first licensees are Auralic, dCS, Linn, Meridian Audio and PS Audio, Roon announced here at the Munich High End show.
The service is also available online starting today to consumers via computers, said the company, which was spun off earlier this year by Meridian and is now independent.
Available online today, the service costs $119 per year, $499 for a lifetime subscription, and $999 for a planned Pro lifetime subscription for home-automation systems.
Roon’s software creates one unified user interface that lets users explore their music collections and subscription services. The interface identifies all files in a local and streaming-music library, then finds bios, photos, credits, reviews, concert info and the like to create an interface filled with images, information, and links, the company said. The technology “creates a surfable, searchable digital magazine to browse and play back your collection.”
“Roon brings back the feel of owning music, the compelling presentation of the total album,”
said CEO Enno Vandermeer. He likened the experience to “the gate-fold sleeve of the vinyl era
with big full-color panels of artwork and photographs, plus the inner sleeve filled with lyrics,
credits and other information.”
The software operates on stored music libraries but also initially with the online library of CD-quality streaming service Tidal. Other streaming services will be added. “All the music in the world is a big place,” Vandermeer said of streaming services. “Roon gives it meaning, context, and relationships.”
The software runs on Mac, PC, iOS and Android devices.
Earlier this year, Meridian Audio sold off its music-software applications business to Roon Labs, a newly established company run by the two men who developed the original Sooloos media server technology that Meridian later acquired. The new company intended from the start to create software sold directly to end users and software for audio manufacturers.