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Programmers have been working hard at building a Roon end point into the new Bridge II and they are getting closer. We've actually been playing with it in Music Room One. Once installed, anyone with a Bridge can use Roon as their music player. You still need a computer somewhere in the mix, for the Roon server lives and works on a computer, but the final end point, the player, will now be the Bridge. This is pretty exciting stuff but not necessarily from a sonic standpoint. It's exciting because of the interaction possibilities. Let me explain. On devices like the Bridge which receives network audio on its input, and outputs digital audio to the DAC, sound quality for any given source is going to be close. The same cannot be said for a computer/USB installation. And that's one of the cool things about a network audio device. Roon on a Bridge will sound quite different than Roon on your computer. But that's not the point of this story. Roon is all about interface. Roon interacts with the cover art, the song titles, the artist's bio, in ways other programs simply do not hold a candle to. And that interaction between the user and the music library is the key to what makes Roon special. Yes, its Tidal integration is second to none, but the user experience on all levels is what really sets Roon apart. And digging even deeper, the story here isn't even about Roon. It's about the importance of the user experience. User experiences come in many forms: operating a car, going to a restaurant, walking into a bookstore, turning the knob on your preamp, surfing the web, playing music on your system. And it is this user interaction, for better or worse, that really defines much of the pleasure we derive from whatever experience we're engaged in. Sure, once music's playing your focus moves from the user interface to enjoying the results. But it is the interactions with the machine that sets the tone of what's to follow.
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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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