Are Roon tags permanent and change the FLAC file tags? [Answered - Roon does not update the files]

I read through the User Guide and searched in the Community but couldn’t find an answer to my specific question. Which is a little surprising because my question is a very basic – but not covered in the help pages on tagging – at least not that I could find.

When tagging a FLAC album in Roon, is the new tag only stored in the Roon database or does it also permanently change the tag that is imbedded inside the FLAC files that make up the album?

If the former – that the creation of new tags in Roon are only part of the Roon database, then I’ll use other software for tagging, like JRiver. I have a large number of albums that I want to retag, but I want the tags to be part of the FLAC files. So that the tags can be read and show up within Sonos, or JRiver, or any other application that I might choose to use.

I have some other questions, but will wait for a response to the above, as it will determine whether I’ll use Roon for tagging.

Roon doesn’t save or change your file tags at all (though it does read them). I use JRiver myself to groom tags before I push them to a location where roon can see the files.

Roon does not add any information to your base files. So any updates, edits, etc made in Roon stay in Roon. This is by design.

Many people, myself included, perfect the files metadata before putting it into Roon. Basically, if I download a file or Rip a CD, I do so to a staging area. I then review the metadata, make changes if wanted or necessary, and then move it to the Roon watched folders.

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Many thanks for the quick responses. Clearly this was covered in previous discussions, but I couldn’t find it.

Unless I am mistaken this is not addressed in the User Guide. The above quote from Mike, that was posted by PhilR, should be added to the tagging section of the User Guide. And again, my apologies if it is already in the User Guide and I couldn’t find it.

I asked my question because unlike many, I actually like the way that Roon tags jazz into specific genres. I’d like to use the Roon format, for types of genres in jazz, in my tags that will be read by Sonos.

But since Roon does not permanently alter tags, I will do the tagging in JRiver but use Roon as my guide for the various types of jazz.

Several additional questions based on the below quotes from the responses I received -

At the moment i do not have Roon reading and showing my own tags, and am defaulting only to Roon and taking advantage of the Roon system including genres. As long as I continue to do that, then changes I make will be read by JRiver and Sonos but not Roon,which is OK with me. After all, I want to duplicate the main genres of jazz as done by Roon.

But if I ever change that approach, and ask Roon to also reflect my own tags – what happens when we change those tags? The above quotes indicate that some of you are careful to first do your tagging in folders that are not read by Roon, and when the tagging is done, to then move or import the files into the folders read by Roon.

Why is that extra step necessary? If you change your personal tags after importing into Roon, won’t Roon just update its database and reflect your new tags and any changes or deletions you made to the tags in your FLAC files?

Many thanks again for your assistance!

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I use MP3Tag.

Thanks. I will check it out! While you were responding I revised my post with another question for you.

Some do it in a staging area as part of a workflow, you know where the new files are and just go there and tag then copy. I don’t think there is any particular reason other than it makes sure you don’t put stuff in roon and then forget to do the tagging. Until you go and tag and copy it doesn’t get into roon. That’s what I do.
In the last sentence :slight_smile: it mentions updates only persist in roon. Rather than search the knowledge base from within itself, I just google what I’m looking for and often get closer…

It is said in several places in the User Guide and Knowledge base. For example:

Can I use Roon to groom my file tags?
Roon does not alter your files in any way, and there is no way to edit your file tags in Roon. Roon was never designed to be tagging software – Roon will use the tags as a starting point, after which it will add it’s own rich metadata on top.

And here:

3-Layer Editing Model
Roon automatically tries to identify every track and album in your library.
Once your content has been matched to our database, detailed metadata will be retrieved for not just the tracks or albums but for every performer, composer, producer, and artist involved in the recording.
This information is stored in your Roon database, unlike other applications which may overwrite the information in your file tags.

And here:

Watched Folder
Roon will monitor watched folders for new music, and import it into your collection. Your files are left in the watched folder and won’t be copied or modified in any way, unless you explicitly choose to delete them from your library.

Doubtless it could be clearer and mentioned in more places. I’ve been asked to add some material to the KB (on a voluntary basis), and will do so over the next few days. I appreciate that things that are obvious to us long-term users are not to many who are just starting out. And even for us, there are often things that cause a “I never realised that you could do that” reaction because the Roon UI is deceptively simple, yet deep.

If you change the tags (using a third party tag editor) on album tracks in albums contained in a Roon library, then you should re-scan the Album(s), using the button in the Album Editor.

I already changed a fair number of tags and will do more on a number of albums. As I discussed in one of my posts, I plan on tagging a number of jazz albums using the Roon genres as my guide. I will tag them using an external tag editor so the tags are added permanently to the FLAC files.

Just for the albums I already retagged, it would be time consuming to go into the settings for each individual album and click on “rescan the album.” That will be even more the case when I retag a large number of jazz albums.

Is there a way to ask Roon to rescan the entire “watched” folder? I think there is such a setting, but I’m not at home looking at Roon. As I recall that setting also includes some setting related to the number of cores in the CPU?

Oh well. I tried to read most of the user guide looking for it, but clearly missed it. But I am now better informed on how Roon works. :grinning:

Where that explanation is missing is on the page that specifically discusses tags. I realize it may be redundant, but I would add it there.

Many thanks for your help and responses!

Roon doesn’t change file tags when you create tags in Roon. But once you have your tags set up in Roon you can Export Albums from Roon, which will create files with FLAC file tags replicating the Roon tags. You can then, if you choose, copy that tagged Album over your original, thereby saving a lot of editing.

Andy, I tried exporting, at the end of a long day, but I didn’t see any Roon specific track additions in the one album I tried. But I’d sooner believe you than me.

This exporting feature, to “lock in” changes Roon and the user make within Roon, needs promoting. I think some users are fearful not having a “hard copy”, to use a 1990’s term, of their well-manicured tracks.

There’s a couple of ways (as usual within Roon). You can Force a Rescan of an entire Watched Folder:

Or, you can just rescan any selected Albums:

The Browsers in Roon have the same keyboard shortcuts as the Windows Explorer or the Mac Finder. So, in the Album browser, (on Windows), Ctrl-A selects all your albums, or right-click on the first and last album in a range to select the range (and right-clicking in the range will toggle the selection of any album).

I also use JRiver for theater view and like to have well-manicured tags there. Plus, making the tags clean helps Roon identify compositions more accurately (especially important for classical music).

When I find problems with Roon not being able to identify an album or composition, sometime tweaking the tags helps. I go back to my master versions, edit the tags in JRiver, than have a script that copies the changed files back to a location where Roon can see them. Roon detects the changes and reloads the files.

Hope this helps. This process has worked well for me overall.

There are a couple of useful tools around

MusiCHI tagged is particularly good for adding Composition tags , with a bit of effort you can add Movement. On top of that there is a good Text processor

Jaikoz and Song Kong access the Music Brainz and Discogs dB for additional data, The difference is that Song Kong is full auto and is the preference of the developer

Both have demos and both are relatively inexpensive

I have used both extensively prior to adding files to the Watched Folders. I too use a staging area to clean stuff up before adding


Just revisiting this question again, following some tag edits of my own…

You may find that it’s not necessary to rescan the albums manually. Roon should detect that, as a result of modifying tags in a track file, the “date modified” property of the file has been changed, and automatically rescan the track(s) itself. This will work if the library is stored on a Windows, MacOS or ROCK file system. There have been cases where some NASes weren’t triggering the automatic scan by Roon, so the Force Re-scan can be useful to get changes reflected straight away.

Geoff, thanks again for the great support!

As a Mac user, I need to upvote Yate.

A great deep tagger, finds more artwork than I need from many sources. Yate uses Music Brainz, Discogs, and other sources to fill in your blanks. Also a great selection of macros from a user community. Very convenient for automated, no supervision tagging. Constant updates by the developer.

Have OCD, use a Mac? I highly recommend Yate.