Ability to Focus based on custom metatags within files

I had previously asked how to import custom metatag fields into Roon. I’ve figured out this is not possible and now with some experience using Roon (great product, worth the commitment to help develop it) I have refined what I need into a discrete feature request:

Please consider adding to the Focus/Inspector feature the ability to Focus on albums or tracks based on standard OR custom metadata fields contained within the audio files. I know the database knows the data is there - we can see it when we look at the tags in file info.

Here are a couple of use cases:

(1) Rather than use playlists that may be dependent on the storage/folder structure at a given location, I instead use a multi-value custom metatag field called “Mood” to indicate whether a given album or track should be shuffled into a playlist created by filtering only to files that have a certain value within “Mood” (easy to do with Foobar and J River). So for example I might have a field called “Mood” and then the multi-value entries would be “Morning Coffee; Late Night Party.” So then when I filter to Morning Coffee, I have created my playlist through metadata, independent of any need of a playlist to know exactly where the file is located to play it. I would like to be able to Focus on those tracks/Albums within Roon so that I can “convert” that custom metadata into a Roon Tag.

(2) Similar to the above, I spent weekends and weekends classifying tracks and albums as “hits,” “deep cuts,” “deeper cuts,” “covers,” “alternate takes” etc. So I can filter to those in Foobar or JRiver and just play from the specific custom metatag. This work represented a substantial investment of time I would like to import into Roon the same way - Focus on these files and then tag them in Roon. Need to be able to get to that focus.

I have to believe others are invested in their curated custom metatags. Foobar and J River are great for that. I’m not asking to be able to duplicate those functions so that Roon is an also-ran; I want to be able to leverage that work by a simple Focus on custom metatag fields function so I can use it within Roon. I REALLY don’t want to have to repeat my efforts by just cold-tagging them in Roon.

And yes I understand that some of the above overlap with Roon’s method of playing similar music or finding related tracks, or Roon Radio. But all of this is just a much faster way, leveraging prior work, to assemble playlists on the fly that I can control better than Roon Radio.

I hope others might benefit from this as well. Thanks for considering…


This could also be used to sort for Track Ratings, or ?

I think so.

It also occurred to me that this feature would be most useful if Roon provides a way to tag at any level – track, album, or artist.

I have Roon since a couple of months and really like the approuch (hence my lifetime membership).

I’m not sure what the status of this request is but I would also appreciate if I could make Roon look at a custom tag where I grouped my music according to different playlists.

To be clear, my experience is that Roon is aware of custom tags, but doesn’t let you use them for filtering.

I manage my library (all mp3s) with Media Monkey and use custom tags to divide it into macro groups: stuff for the car, to sync with the phone, stuff the whole family likes, etc.

It would be really great to be able to use these custom tags for filtering, e.g. in the “focus” function. It shouldn’t be too technically difficult because the data is already there, and it doesn’t go against the philosophy of Roon (unlike browsing by folders, for instance).

I have spent a lot of time over the years creating these categories and subgroups - it’s such a shame not to be able to use them in Roon!

If I look up a file info in Roon, I do see those tags; at least custom tags I have added to mp3s with MediaMonkey. Combinations of other media management software and file formats might mean the custom tags are stored elsewhere or not readable by Roon - that I don’t know.

PS To be clear, I am not talking about using my own metadata for titles genres etc - I am perfectly happy letting Roon use its own massive database for that. I am just talking about using my custom metatags to further classify my collection into subgroups.

Actually, there may be a (very imperfect and cumbersome) way to do it.

You could add your custom tags to the ‘genre’ field, which is a multi-value tag (at least in most file formats); this won’t always be easy or feasible, depending on how many custom tags you set up and how they’re meant to interact with each other, but, in a simple case, you could add, say, ‘Music my partner hates’ to the genre field rather than to a custom field.

You’d then need to set Roon so that it reads your custom tags:

At this point you should be able to filter based on these ‘custom genres’.

The knowledge base says Roon can use both its genres and those in my tags, but I’m not sure if the interaction would produce a messy result. I’m only on a trial licence for now and I’m not sure I’ll have the time to test this thoroughly in the next few days. However, I’m hoping this can be useful food for thought!

Edit: PS Unfortunately, you cannot use ‘focus’ on an Android phone, but you can use ‘focus’ on a desktop, set a bookmark, and use the bookmark from the phone. I posted a feature request: Better scrolling for Android phones: add Focus and scroll bar/first letters

Thanks for the suggestion. I wish it didn’t need a workaround!

I had considered using a metadata field that Roon does recognize and focus by in order to retro-fit my custom metatags back into Roon. Genre is probably the best candidate, although I suppose for non-classical music fans there may be some unused metatags oriented towards classical that might be available.

BUT, I did not want to give up my own genre classifications nor have those tags show up AS genres. And I am concerned that the work to undo the genre confusion that would create would be extremely laborious. So I never tried it.

Instead I spent a few weekends manually moving over my highest priority custom tags. Still bitter.