Album track names & numbers from files

I have Roon version 1.4 build 306 on core and tablet. I have albums, both high res and cd, on a hard disk on a mac-mini (mac runs the core). For the most part, everything works great.

But I got a new high res one from HDtracks (The Nutcracker), and for whatever reason, when I downloaded it, the tracks are in the wrong order. I took the time to go into the track numbers in the filenames and fix them, so now they are in the correct order in the files. That is, the track numbers and titles in the filenames are correct.

But Roon doesn’t use the filename info. Apparently it uses info, perhaps imbedded within the files in the download, for track numbers which are not correct. I’ve tried to edit the album and tell it to use “file” metadata (I put the checkmarks in the “prefer File” boxes) and save it. But nothing changes (tracks still in wrong order) and if I go back to edit the album, it doesn’t save my changes. The “prefer File” boxes are unchecked for track number and title. It totally ignores my changes.

I have another album that it didn’t know track numbers or titles. I changed the track filenames to what they should be, but Roon didn’t pick them up. Same problem, I wasn’t able to edit the album and get it to use the track numbers and titles from the filenames. On that one I ended up editing each track, changing the number and title. That worked fine, but it sure would have been easier to have it pick up the info from the filenames. I understand the directory structure & filename conventions, so it’s real easy for me to fix problems this way. But I can’t get Roon to use the filenames for it’s info.

I’m a relatively new Roon user (since last fall), so is this a bug? or do I not know how to tell Roon to use the track numbers and titles from the filenames? I’m stumped and appreciate any help. @support.

Thanks, Dave Salguero [email removed by moderator]

You might want to use MP3Tag to examine tags in files. I just looked at a download from HDTracks and found track numbers, amongst other things; the track numbers correspond to the track numbers given for the album on the HDTracks website.

Something else: I’m guessing The Nutcracker was (originally?) 2 CDs. Sometimes Roon gets confused by multi-CD sets when they’re ripped. Maybe HDTracks didn’t do a pristine job of rendering the work. MP3Tag will tell you whether the disc tag is greater than 1 for a track.

Is there any way to have Roon use the filenames for track number and title? I made the filenames correct, for example, “01-01 - The Nutcracker, Op. 71 - Act I Tableau I - Overture.flac” and “01-02 - The Nutcracker, Op. 71 - Act I Tableau I - Decoration of the Christmas tree.flac” for the first two. But I can’t get Roon to use this info.

You are right, this was a 2 SACD album. I wanted to compare SACD disks which I have to 24-bit digital FLAC version downloaded from HDtracks. The only way I could fix filenames & order of tracks was to compare downloaded files to the disks I had. It was rather tedious.

I looked into this more last night. I found a file tag editor for the Mac and looked at the tags on the files in question. They appeared to be messed up & were also tagged with eClassical, so I must have downloaded from them instead of HDtracks. This was also the first digital album I purchased and downloaded, so who knows what I did. Obviously something is messed up. I don’t want to go thru the tedious process of fixing the file tags (fixing the filenames was enough), so will just stick with my SACD disks for the time being.

But I still would like to know if Roon can get it’s information on track numbers and titles from the track filenames? or are filenames completely ignored in favor of imbedded file tags and album databases?

Thanks! (I’m also learning about this forum/support, so pardon my ignorance on how to use it) @support

@David_Salguero ----- From our knowledge base article “Editing and Grooming Your collection”:

“When you add your music to Roon, file tags are extracted. These tags are stored in their own layer, and also used to identify the music in your collection. When an identification is successful, Roon’s rich metadata is retrieved and populates the Roon Metadata layer.”


Yes I saw that, but still thought it would also look at filenames. Does Roon get all info from the imbedded file tags or from metadata in Roon’s database, and filenames are ignored?

Not sure about this as It must use filenames for some things. I’ve changed track numbers on multiple disk albums to merge them (for example to 01-1, 01-2 … 02-1, 02-2, etc. or even making all of them 01-x) as shown in user guide. This worked.

But apparently it doesn’t use filenames for anything else? Between filenames, imbedded file tags, and your “metadata” in a database, it’s bit confusing as to what gets used. And I forgot there is also edit info. I gather the edits are the only way I can really override all the other info. Correct?

I very seldom want to do any of this. 99.99% of the time Roon works great. Just trying to learn how your software works. I’m very familiar with computers and used to write software. But I’m a complete novice when it comes to audio files & Roon.

Thanks, David

Hey @David_Salguero – there are two concepts here that I think may be getting confused.

Roon will look at file names during the import process, and these can function like a “clue” which helps us order the tracks properly, so the album can be identified by our metadata service. Once we know the length of each track, we can use this table of contents (or TOC) as a sort of fingerprint, which helps us confidentially identify the album and pull down the right metadata.

The detailed metadata (including track numbers) we retrieve based on this identification goes into the Roon metadata “layer”, which is what you were editing in your original post. In the editing screens, you can choose from the metadata Roon has found, the metadata embedded in your file tags, or any edits you’ve made in Roon. More info on our editing “layers” can be found here.

The point is, the metadata layers are based on explicit information from a few sources – metadata retrieved from our cloud service, info from your file tags,or edits you’ve explicitly made in the app. We can use the file names as “clues” which help us get a match we’re confident in, but we don’t make assumptions that those clues represent good, clean data. If we did, “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover” would always show up as Track 50 :wink:

Hope that helps!

Thanks for your response. That helps me understand what’s going on.