Today is the first time in 14 years that none of my computers or devices have Evernote installed. All of my note-taking and writing will be via Obsidian from now on. ✏️

Roon—Not Only For Audiophiles Part 1

Why invest in Roon when Apple’s Music (the app, not the service) and Spotify are “free?”

I wanted to use Apple Music to bring all my music into one place, consisting of over 2,000 albums I’ve ripped or purchased that sat on a Synology NAS and music from Apple’s streaming service. Unfortunately, this approach didn’t work because Apple struggled to match my albums with the versions on its servers.

After days spent watching Apple Music processing & uploading, I gave up. The workaround was to have two Apple Music libraries, one for digital files and another for streaming music, which wasn’t an elegant or practical solution.

I own a Naim Uniti Atom, which supports Apple’s service via AirPlay, but Spotify, Tidal and Qobuz are better integrated. I’ve used Spotify for many years and still have a free account, but the continued lack of high-res content left me looking for another provider. I tried Tidal but grew tired of the way they push music I don’t like at me. Ultimately, I settled on Qobuz, and bought a 12-month subscription.

I still didn’t have all of my music in one place. After some research during the Christmas break, I signed up for a 14-day trial of Roon.

Roon advert

As a test, I installed Roon on my MacBook Air, pointed it at a subset of my music collection, added my Qobuz subscription, sat back whilst Roon scanned my music and installed the mobile app on my iPhone and iPad.

Roon must always be on and connected to the Internet to work correctly, so using my MacBook as the Roon server wasn’t a long-term solution. I couldn’t use my Synology NAS as it was in storage between houses, and the spec was too low to support Roon.

As an interim solution, I bought a “previously enjoyed” NUC from eBay. I installed Roon ROCK, which is a dedicated operating system and Roon core with the music files located on an external SSD drive. It’s a relatively old i5 model but came with 16Gb RAM. It sits in the kitchen, next to the router and has never missed a beat.

It manages almost 30,000 tracks across my music and what I’ve saved as favourites in Qobuz.

screenshot of my Roon homepage *Screenshot of my Roon home page, showing the zones where I have Roon-capable devices.*

Use this link for a free 30-day trial, but be warned—it’s addictive.

In Part 2, I’ll talk about some of the benefits of using Roon.

It’s the time of year when I set up a filter to send all emails with Black Friday in the subject line to the trash bin

I spent too long setting up Personalised Spatial Audio after upgrading to iOS 16 on my iPhone. Apple expects you to scan your ears and follow instructions when you can’t see what’s on the screen…. Tip: use screen mirroring.

I’ve written a rule to move any email with “Black Friday” in the subject field to the bin…..

What’s on My MacBook?

When I bought my M1 MacBook Air earlier this year I said that I wouldn’t install loads of apps, but try to keep to a minimal set. Six months on, and I think I’ve failed!

Here’s a screenshot of the app menu.

mac apps

Menu bar

screengrab of a mac menu bar
  • 1Password
  • Alfred
  • BetterSnapTool
  • Dropbox
  • ToothFairy
  • Typinator
  • Dropbox


  • AppCleaner
  • Carbon Copy Cloner
  • Celo VPN
  • Cyberduck
  • Evernote
  • Grammarly
  • MacUpdater
  • Name Mangler
  • Ulysses


  • Microsoft Edge
  • Firefox
  • Safari

Personal Apps

  • Lightroom Classic
  • Pixelmator
  • ON1 Photo Raw 2022
  • Luminar AI (Too many photo editing apps!)
  • Apple Music
  • Exodus
  • Pine Player
  • Pocket Casts
  • Todoist
  • Sonos
  • Spark / Fastmail email
  • MacFamilyTree 9
  • Moneywiz
  • Tweetdeck
  • XLD

Business Apps

  • Office 365
  • Omnigraffle
  • Microsoft Teams
  • MindNode
  • ownCloud

Installed but never/rarely used

  • iMovie
  • Mail
  • News
  • Notes
  • Parallels Desktop
  • Podcasts
  • Reminders
  • Scrivener
  • Spotify
  • Stickies
  • Stocks
  • Telegram
  • TextEdit
  • Vidyard
  • TV
  • Zoom
  • WhatsApp

Spotify or Tidal?

I’ve flipped between both over the years, but currently using Spotify as I got a free six-month subscription when I bought a Sonos sound bar before Christmas. That’s about to expire, and it’s time to stump up £9.99 a month.

The question is, should I go back to Tidal or stick where I am?

I listen to music on my MacBook, iPad, my phone and a couple of Sonos speakers located throughout the house. We also have a Naim streamer in the lounge, which means that I can make the best use of a high-quality source as provided by Tidal’s HiFi tier.

Spotify uses its Connect technology to send music to the Naim, whereas Tidal integrates with the Naim app, making for a more involved experience.

The only way to solve the puzzle is to have a sound off, play the same track on Spotify and Tidal and check whether I can hear a difference between the two to justify paying £20 a month for Tidal.

I’ve signed up for a 30-day Tidal trial. Let the games begin!


Goodbye Evernote, hello Craft. I’ve done what I thought was unthinkable. After using Evernote for over a dozen years, I just cancelled my subscription and started using Craft as my full time note taking application. I tried to stay loyal to Evernote, but feel they are slipping behind and I really like what the team at Craft are doing. All that’s missing are tables (on the way) and a web clipper, also on the development list.


This is what I was presented with when my 90 year old father said that he’d forgotten his password for his 10 year old Dell laptop. I bought it for him so I’m expected to mend it. I’m a Mac user and haven’t used a PC for a decade. No backups, no disks, help!

dead win xp screen

Thanks to everyone that responded to my earlier post when I mentioned that I was struggling with CSS styling for my Archive page, especially @jeannie and @mariovillalobos

Moved to

I’ve just completed the signup process for a subscription and will be moving some posts from my old WordPress site across to over the coming days.

I’ve decided to use the Arabica theme for the web and have made a couple of small changes to the Archive page, to keep links looking the same across the site — I didn’t like the Nav bar looking and behaving different from the Categories on the Archive page. I just need to work out how to get the Categories to display horizontally now. I tried to use CSS to style them, but whilst I can change colours, etc., “display: inline” doesn’t work as you’ll see below.


Happy to take advice from anyone who has more experience using CSS than I do — which’ll be pretty much everyone.

My next challenge is to style the dates on the Archive page to look like the dates on the rest of the theme.

Still to do:

  1. Decide whether to keep my old domain name and transfer it to

Oh, by the way, this post was written in Ulysses and published direct to the blog.

Working with Ulysses &

ulysses logo

I have recently started to use Ulysses for all my extended and short-form writing and was intrigued to read that the authors added the ability to publish to in the latest release.

I built my website on WordPress using the Extra theme and Divi builder from Elegant Themes. Whilst I’m happy with the features and functionality that Extra & Divi provides, it’s difficult to justify the annual cost of around £85 a year for a hobby blog.

Ulysses posts to WordPress, but the formatting doesn’t work with the Extra theme, so it wasn’t a viable option. This limitation and the cost were why I was looking for an alternative blogging platform.

Setting up Ulysses to post to was simple and took less than a minute. Exporting to is also straightforward — you select “Publishing” as the export option and select the blog to post to, its status (draft, publish or schedule when it’s posted), and choose a category. 📝