Adding an external HDD to laptop library

I have all my music files on my laptop, which is also my Roon Core. My DAC is connected via USB.

I’m running out of space for music, so bought a 2tb HDD last week. I want to copy all my music onto the external HDD to free up space on the laptop. Currently, I have several Roon-watched folders on my laptop. If I copy these folders (or just their contents) to my new HDD, will I need to subsequently delete the originals to avoid library duplication or other problems, or can I just deselect them as watched folders?

My concern is that I might end up with two versions of some albums eg. where I’ve changed the metadata, and have to go round deleting the erroneous duplicates.

So does anyone know the correct procedure here?

*** On a side note, I wonder how I’d migrate all my data to a Nucleus one day? ***

Unwatch the folders, copy the files, watch the new location.

OK. So won’t that wipe them from my Roon library and they’ll have to be imported again? And then I’ll have to correct the metadata again too?
No, it rediscovers everything.

I did a test where I created a new folder on the HDD and copied 1 album to it from an already watched folder. Roon found the new folder and album but did not have correct metadata. It had the metadata that it started with before editing the original album. So are you saying that if I unwatch the original folder before moving that it will somehow know the correct altered metadata even though it doesn’t when done how I did it?

The trick is to first disable (unwatch) the old drive location, edit the path to the new location having copied everything over, an then enable it again. Roon will rescan, but this should be very fast… in the process the file paths are automatically updated. If the albums are the same (they will be, because you copied them), the metadata will already be cached.

Well, I’ll try that but I don’t see how it can work when I already copied an existing album to a new folder and it messed up the metadata meaning I now had two versions of the album (as expected) but the new one has the wrong data because it thinks it’s a new album and simply used the default Roon metadata, which in this test case is incorrect.

That’s because you added a new album.

  1. You had the old album with its associated metadata in the roon database.
  2. You then asked roon to go find the new album in a second location, which it did and correctly decided you had two albums. It retained the changed metadata on the original and went and looked up the new one and applied the new metadata.

If however you had followed the guide, uncoupled the file location, copied the files and then done a link to the new location you would have one album with the right metadata.

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As you can see I asked the question myself and followed the instructions and it worked.

Well, I’ll try it as suggested. It just doesn’t make sense to me. Thanks for your help guys.

Another question though. My music files are in several places/folders, and it’s quite disorganised. I’d like to get all my music in one folder first before copying to the new HDD. From your advice, I infer that I could simply unwatch ALL folders, move the files into one new folder, then watch this new folder and all will be well? Then once that’s done, I think I could use your advice to unwatch, then copy over to HDD, then watch the new HDD folder?

If you reorganise the folders within the subfolders of a watched folder then it will automatically be found. If you want to merge watch folders then it is just like doing a move to a new disk.

OK I’ll give it a try.

I’m now going to unwatch all folders, and merge them into one.

Try unwatching a couple and moving rather than big bang. Give yourself a bit or reassurance :grinning:

It’s worked! All music in one folder and Roon has found it all :smile:

Thank you for the help :^

It does, provided you do it in such a way that Roon “knows” you are moving existing files rather than adding duplicates. Which is why you have to disable the old watched files first so Roon never sees two sets.

Yes, but I don’t see how it knows you’re moving ‘known’ files. It just seemed to work, so in computing that’s good enough for me!

By disabling the Watched folder … Roon no longer see the files in the original location.

The files are then physical moved to the new location… at this point Roon is not aware but it does still hold all the data about the files in its database.

After the files are in their new location, the Roon watch folder is pointed at the new location.

Roon now:

  1. Has no active reference to the old location.
  2. Has an active pointer to the new location.

Roon then knows, to update the old location reference to the new location as it scans and rediscovers the file.


Now conversely, if a new Roon watched folder is enabled looking at the new location whilst the soon to be redundant one is still active… then Roon sees both the old and the new locations and thus operates on the basis that the files in the new location are additions.

IMHO it is all very logical, but not immediately obvious … which is why sometimes people trip up … and whilst not a bug I feel the Roon system could be improved help protect users when relocating audio files.