The internal drive is not used to store audio files. Instead, as well as hosting the Roon Optimized Core Kit (ROCK) operating system and the Roon server software, it's used to manage Roon's library (footnote 1). From the outset, Roon was intended to produce a rich metadata experience. From the moment you point the Nucleus Core to the location of your audio library, the system begins to create the waveform display for every track; starts scouring the Internet for metadata, artwork, biographies, and reviews; and builds an object database. This means, says Roon, that "instead of storing data in the traditional tabular form, we model your music as a web of interconnected entities and their relationships to one another. . . . They enable us to perform complex queries that would be impractical for a traditionally architected application, and they let us perform background processing on your music library in order to continually improve the user experience."
The Roon Labs Nucleus+ server has changed my thinking concerning the selection of an optimum playback device to use for the Roon music software. Enough cannot be said for the overall user-friendliness of this device. The outstanding integration of the OS with the hardware and the Roon music software is something that was quite apparent to me as I listened to the Nucleus+. I found the Nucleus+ to be a solid piece of engineering with its use of Intel’s NUC and custom fanless design. The Nucleus+ is going to be a keeper for this computer audiophile.
“How often do you buy something and think, "I would gladly have paid twice as much." Roon's ability to create an immersive musical listening experience does more than recover staring at the graphics of a favorite album sleeve, reading the liner notes, and dreaming about music. The Roon reach across the web, grab content and tell brilliant stories is better.
I opened my Roon Nucleus yesterday. There is NOTHING in the box other than a beautifully machined brick. Roon's software is epic, awesome, and well crafted, but where is the "Quick Start Guide?" I just finished a guest blog post about my Roon setup experience and will work on a Quick Start Guide next.
But don't let that last paragraph create the impression setting up Roon is difficult. I'm just impatient and like to jump in. When I couldn't figure out where to connect ROON (to your router), I did what they want - I pulled up the manual and read a paragraph and figured out the rest as I went (mostly intuitive, but read my Moon Audio Marty Music Magic guest blog post if you want to connect your Sonos system).