Hi, Steven. I am getting an understanding of then issues you are facing and what you really meant by “albums not showing up” and as we have a lot of overlap in mahler discography in our respective libraries (both in terms of performers and in terms of formats), let me try and explain what is happening.
You are clearly a classical music connaisseur and keen collector and form your collection more than aware that for the last few decades (and particularly since the dawn of the cd era) that large classical music publishers keep republishing much of the same catalog in new combinations: what started as an LP will be combined with another work on ite first CD release, then combined with another work on another reissue, then issued as part of a box set and in then in a new format (SACDs in the early 2000s and still in Japan, then lossless downloads and now high-resolution downloads). On top of that there are regional variations which have been complicated by the concentrations and mergers of the majors: Australian Eloquence runs its own very well curated editions covering the DG/Philips/Decca recordings, Universal Italy runs its own boxset programme and in Japan they run special SACD print runs sometimes licensing to local retailers like Tower Records. And each entity may run its own remastering process which means that a popular or landmark recording will appear in copuntless combinations and with different movement lengths according to the format and mastering (not big differences but enough to put off Roon recognising an album automatically).
The big databses Roons gets much of its metadata from (or did which ones are current is for Roon to say) like AMG (All Music Guide) or MusicBrainz try to keep track but the really detailed metadata is really only checked and complete on the primary issues and however much you or I may think that Klemperer’s Mahler on SACD issued on Japan is a must have, these are really small print runs with few copies sold outisde Japan. That Roon can recognmise the albums is great per se, but usually the quality of metadat is poor and if it has been picked from Japan, is often of mixed quality and classification (compoisers appear as artists and work names and movements poorly labelled and not recognisable).
In the cas eof the Das Lied, it happens by luck that this Warner Japan issue has the same track listing and identical lengths within a few seconds to the EMI Greatest Recordings of the Century issue (EMI is now ownde by Warner) and it has been reissued again by Warner with the original cover which is the same as the Japan SACD edition, hence why the metadat is so good: the EMI Greatest Recordings of the Century CD issue was properly curated by the databse and Roon can pick up that data.
For many boxsets issued more recently like the Klemperer Mahler, the databse dat will just be terrible and mean that whenyou are doing a focus search much of the data is missing or incomplete (eg the work is not picked up and so on).
Welcome to the Classical metadata jungle.
Now there is no magical solution and Roon does try to do the best match and in my experience does it better than others but it is far from perfect. Now you can resolve some of the issues, but it req curating the albums at fault indivdually or grouping them and if you really want things to be really good, well there is no way around curating some basic metadata which is always a pain particularly on a large collection.
This may put oyu off Roon completely or you may be able to solve most of your problems by applying some of the following recommendations (although we have many of the same albums, due to the size of my library and as I imported some of them a few years ago, I can’t rememeber how easy I sorted out some of our overlapping problem children.
1) File structure for boxsets and whether you want boxsets or individual albums
You seem quite experienced so I may be restating the obvious but if your boxset albums have been ripped and identified as individual albums by your ripping software, Roon is not usually going to be able to magically recombine them as a boxset with out some help. Folder and tag album titles need to reflect the boxset structure to maximis chance of it being recognised as such.
This brings up a difficult issue: if your boxset is a combination of albums that were also originally issued inviduallly, then you are more likely for Roon to recognise them with the best data if they have been ripped and named as individual albums rather than as a boxset. Conversely if a boxset has been properly curated then rip it as such and not as individual albums as other wise some will not be properly recognised (eg the complete Artur Rubinstein Sony issue). You won’t know that beforehand but the likelihodd is that if you go AMG and find your album (go the artist discography page) and it has full listings, then it is in the Roon database.
So why does ripping albums that are most probably in the database with well cured data not always result in an optimal match in Roon? Well this will sound weird, butnot all ripping software produces the same results time wise for each track and if even one track is slightly outside the inbuilt tolerance limit, Roon may not choose the best metadat match. It’s infuriating but happens a lot in clasical especially for remastered CDs even with the same track listings, SACDs or downloads. A 7:59m track becomes 8:10 (the difference is not silence not more music) and Roon then recognises as a “separate” download issue with poor metadata because it has only been encountered very few times.
That can be solved by selecting the album, go the edit menu and select identify album and find the best match (it may not appear on the first page and you may have to select to see more choices; knowing the AMG name of the album would help as if that name or the primary artist is different from your tags, then typing those out will narrow the search. Once you have found the album then choose the best version -it will be 1 of x and go through them. Choose the one that matches your track names and listing as it doesn’t matter if it flags in red if some track times are diferent as long as they are the right ones… that’s why it wasn’t identified correclty in the first place!).
If you have a broken boxset, you can merge albums and it may then recognise it although as indicated that doesn’t always helped.
Another issue is the genre tags: albums that are not recognised or have limited metadata may not have a genre tag at all (eg not even classical) which may make more difficult for threm to appear in searches.
- Metadata issues
I have been using MP3Tag for some time and wrote a long post on tagging clasical music some time ago: just look up post 5 in Performer/Composer segmentation in Roon 1.8. It’s overkill for what you will tolerate, but the summary is this: for some of your Japanese or American SACDs (eg probably the 2000s Szell ones which I also have), they are common enough for Roon or any other database search to give you proper metadata unless Roon starts to collate (and then check) user metadata which they could probably only do if they had millions rather than 100’000+ users. If you have tagged artist, composer, conductor and orchestra then Roon should be able to do a good focus search for you. If you want to have more consistent performer and work searches then you have to do more consistent tagging. It doesn’t require a huge effort on one album and doesn’t need to be done for those that are recognised but yes it can be a pain, and, as it is classical music, it means using the correct and consistent names and spelling, something which is not working as well as it should since the last update (hence my orignal post you responded too).
There is specialised classical metadata software which will do some of the work for you but nothing will be 100% accurate; considering your size of library, there will always be quite a few mismatches or unidentified albums. This is also amplified by the fact that not all major labels supply their data in a timely manner and it can sometimes be years for a new clasical album to have its metadata populated in the major databses.
You will probably get the best and most consistent results if you use a streaming provider such as Qobuz or Tidal although even there, I believe, there can be big holes in metadata and of course you can then access so the specific album issues (eg the DSD files of the SACDs you have collected at nbo doubt great expense).
There is of course another solution which is to same copy the files from someone who has tagged them in the manner you would like and then either simply identify them or apply a genre tag…!!!
In any case I am probably not giving you the simple answer you wanted (if someone does please let me know, it would simplify my life too) but I would say that with a bit of time invested, Roon will give you a far better experience than any file structure. For non-classical, it only requires minimal effort. For classical there is still some way to go, but it has come a long way in the last five years.
Apologies for the typos but this is a long post and I hope it will be coherent when you read it.