Audio from Video formats, and a better search

Not a good solution from my perspective.

If I enter “moon” Dark Side of the Moon is the first album, but the first result is a track called The Moon, and I get Keith Moon and a lot of stuff — not a very specific search. “Pink Floyd” gets a lot of stuff, most related to the band. But I can also enter “Pink Floyd moon”, and DSOM is result #1, lots of other stuff related to it, but also the artist P!nk, and the track Pink Moon by Nick Drake.

And if I enter “pink moon money”, the first result is the track Money, from the album Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd.

In all cases, any reasonable thing I was looking for is there.

I think all these results are excellent. But more to the point here, would you restrict these queries to prevent the mixed mode query, where I mix artist and album and track? Would you require I start from the right place?

And why should I have to specify which is the artist and which is the album and which is the track? The system should know that — more specifically, it should figure it out, because it isn’t always about a famous album. If I enter “now moon visitor” I get the track The Visitor on the album Now by the band Aka Moon. In one case, “Moon” was part of the album name, in the other it was part of the artist name. And Roon figured that out without help from me.

A search function is not just for searching, it’s also a navigational tool.

Music repositories usually feature cluttered interfaces. Roon is no exception. Users want a lot of graphic features like album art and artist pictures. This makes for riotous interfaces. This is not Roon’s fault, it is what it is.

I don’t like to use these interfaces. It takes too much time to find something specific, which is why in most applications - not just in Roon - whenever there is a search/filter function, I will use this to get what I am looking for in the fastest, most efficient way.

So Anders’s post has merit:

but when I’m using search as a navigational tool, I still get clutter.

So, my answer to this is: to avoid clutter and to circumvent the features like the overview pages. I can appreciate them from an intellectual point of view. I sometimes like to look at them and browse them just for fun but when I want to set up my play queue for the day, I want to do this as fast and as efficiently as possible without going through the clutter.

And yes, the system figures this out, because the easiest search there is consists of applying “= like %parameter%” on all return fields. (Well, that’s not true: the easiest search is “select * from Table”) This is not rocket science, this is querying 101.

I repeat for the umpteenth time: unless I am allowed to specify what type of information I am looking for, the system will always return everything even vaguely related to the search term.

This is fine for browsing. This is irritating for efficient navigation.

I’m not at Frank’s level of indignation about search by any measure. But search does act unexpectedly/oddly at times. It appears to be some sort of interaction between Roon and Tidal:

(1) Seeking refuge from the flood of Trump news, we decided to watch the Andy Griffith show. They had a fantastic bluegrass band on which triggered a discussion that we never listen to bluegrass and it is an interesting form of music to explore.

(2) I first searched “bluegrass” - not having any “real” bluegrass in my library, the only hits from the library were some album and song titles using all or part of the term. Not real bluegrass - just a few songs from compilations that referred to the term.

(3) Trying something different, I went to genres. Tidal doesn’t have a bluegrass genre - so no joy there – and Roon’s bluegrass genre only showed me the few artists from V/A compilations in my library that happened to be classified within bluegrass. Can’t get to Tidal via the Roon genres unless the albums are already in your collection, so the Roon genre didn’t dig deep to find bluegrass within Tidal for me.

(4) So I had to go to Google. Searching “top 10 bluegrass albums” the first recommendation was Bill Monroe, apparently the father of modern bluegrass. Sounds like a reasonable place to start.

(5) Back to Roon Search, type in “Bill Monroe.” No hits for artists or albums. I only see one hit, way down in the tracks list - one song by Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys. This is the father of modern bluegrass and there is one hit with one track.

(6) Click on that track. Then the album. Oh wow, this whole album is Bill Monroe and His Bluegrass boys, from the Country Music Hall of Fame.

(7) Add that album to library. Oh wow, whole bio of Bill Monroe pops up. Now that he’s in my library, Roon shows 29 - 29!!! more albums by Bill Monroe. 29.

Looking back - original search for Bill Monroe, before adding anything to the library, had literally almost no hits - just that one track. That was luckily enough of a thread to pull to get to more Bill Monroe. But WTF? How does a search for Bill Monroe yield a single track only when the guy has 30 total albums (that I have found) in Tidal?

(8) Now that I have Bill Monroe in my library (still just that first album), a search now yields lots of Bill Monroe hits - his name solo, him with his Bluegrass Boys, other collaborations.

I don’t get it. It’s almost like you have to prime the pump for search. Hold search’s hand and encourage it that there are hits to be found and find clues, add to library, and then it works.

Odd. Don’t know if that’s Roon’s fault. Tidal is a huge collection. All I can say is that Roon Search doesn’t apparently work perfectly with Tidal stuff not in your library. The other possibility is that Roon was working very slowly last night, and maybe eventually it was going to pop search results I didn’t wait for. I didn’t see the munching Roon icon indicating it was still processing, but maybe if I’d have waited a while more search results would have popped.

Still, very weird, and I had noticed similar things in the past. This one just stuck out.

This is still better than anything I had before Roon. In 15 minutes I was listening to whole albums by the best of bluegrass artists. So not really complaining, just wondering how this happens.


I agree, search for navigation is different. Roon’s search was never suited for that, and the new search is less so because it searches the universe, and because of latency.

But the “funnel filter” works very well for that. Because it requires minimal extra typing (just help, not album=“help”), and because the one word search can look for album title or album artist, but mostly because it refines by keystroke and is instantaneous. Plus it works on the current focus and respects the current sort order.

Because the word is not very selective, help required four letters, hel still had 175 hits (in my library).

dark s showed the Pink Floyd album. And side of gave me Dark Side of the Moon, Light Side of the Moon, and Jazz Side of the Moon,

But most importantly, for my example the Bags & Trane album by Mikt Jackson and John Coltrane. I saw it on screen after bag or milt, any search that led to Coltrane like coltr, trane or john c, gave me 40 hits which means a quick scan of a few pages.

The track browser (which I almost never use) allows filtering on any column.

For these reasons, I use the funnel filter very often. Search is different, it really does search, it is not query, any more than Google is.

I think it’s you, or maybe Trump.

When I search for bluegrass I got 50 albums and 50 compositions, none in my library.

Interestingly, at the bottom the search result I got 5 genres (Bluegrass, Bluegrass-Gospel, Contemporary Bluegrass, Progressive Bluegrass, Traditional Bluegrass), and clicking on those showed me artists or albums from my own library (including many Tidal albums). I’m guessing, I had albums in my library that included the bluegrass tag, but weren’t really bluegrassy enough to show up in the first 50 a”bums or compositions, which seems correct.

And bill monroe gave lots of hits.

Why are you arguing with this man’s experience? If he feels like he experienced something that needs to be addressed let Roon handle that inquiry.

  • I would like to add a better scroll option or bar for going through my library! It is downright painful having to hit the little arrow on top of the album art without selecting it

May I suggest moving the arrow to the right of the album art so it’s not directly on the album, forcing an selection I didn’t want. So would look like ALBUM GAP >

I’ll bet there was already some Bill Monroe in your library. Tidal or local. Bill Monroe was not present in my library at all. I have noticed that Roon search seems almost “unaware” of some artists until they are present in the library.

Yes I did too. As above I was referring to hits in my library. The hits for Bluegrass were in Tidal, outside of my library by and large, but even then I didn’t have confidence that I had hit the core of Bluegrass artists just because Bluegrass is in an album title or song title. I mean, it is better than nothing, but for example if you want to find the best metal bands, searching “metal” isn’t going to get you very far (indeed, “Heavy Metal” the soundtrack isn’t heavy metal at all).

So my point is that since Tidal doesn’t have a bluegrass genre and Roon genres don’t suggest Tidal artists that are not already in your library, you don’t have a way to explore a genre that Tidal doesn’t have without adding artists to your library which is a little bit of the chicken and the egg problem.

Yes, I got that as well. It’s just when I clicked ON the genres all I got were the very few tidbits from V/A compilations that are in my library already, not really hitting any real vein of artists within that genre, since I didn’t have them in my library.

So I guess I would distill my points down to:

(1) Roon search seems somewhat “dumb” about certain artists until they are in your library, then it wakes up, pulls in a bunch of metadata, and then the search works well, but that means that it’s hard to find artists NOT in your library until you find some thread or clue to pull on, get that artist in, and then the info gushes in. That was what I perceived anyway.

(2) It would be “nice” (not calling this a bug or anything) if Roon genres could suggest artists/albums outside of the library since Tidal’s genres are fairly broad and don’t appear to navigate one deeply into subgenres. I had to use Google to find artists, then once I had names, and dealt with holding Roon search’s hand as per #1, I was able to peel open bluegrass. But it could have been easier.

As I had posted earlier, maybe I didn’t wait long enough for other search results to pour in. But I’ve had a similar experience in the past, that Roon seems unaware of an artist in search, or provides very paltry search results, until you add that artist to the library.

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Well, it’s odd. I have absolutely no Bluegrass in my library, and yet Roon’s search gave me the Bluegrass Genre as top result (with Traditional Bluegrass, Contemporary Bluegrass, Progressive Bluegrass and Bluegrass Gospel), plus lots of Qobuz Bluegrass albums to explore…

Yes, me too - our results are consistent thus far. But clicking on those genres yielded pretty empty pages because I have so little actual content within those genres, and Roon doesn’t suggest non-library Tidal content within its genres, as far as I can tell.

Presumably because the text string “bluegrass” was in the album title, artist name, or track title. I’m not complaining about that as a search result, as obviously you search a text string and you get results within that text string. My point there, not the major point of my post, was that this isn’t really a great way to confidently explore a new genre in the sense that many albums/artists/tracks may have the text string “bluegrass” but either (a) not be bluegrass or (b) more likely, just be some random bluegrass album that is not a pillar of the genre - it just happens to have the text string in it. Maybe one copy sold.

The main point I was making was the odd result of looking for Bill Monroe and that maybe Roon could (1) be aware of Bill Monroe enough to present search hit results before he is added to the library, and (2) be intelligent enough to present the giants of the genre, either the artists or the albums, when a genre name is searched. It would require Roon to recognize a search term as a genre, and then to know what the top albums or artists were. I don’t know how possible that is.

Consider this - if you have none in your library, and you search “rock” then you’d get a pretty skewed search result relative to the titans of rock. Just random albums that include the word and then the genre rock, but clicking on that would be empty because you have none in your collection. That’s all I’m saying regarding that one point. (Of course Tidal has the Rock genre so you could explore that way, but pretend Tidal doesn’t, like the bluegrass genre, so you don’t have Tidal helping you find anything via genre).

If it makes more sense to Google first and then work within Roon, fine, I still found my Bill Monroe and other bluegrass artists. I just thought that perhaps, given how Roon presents itself, one could have done that internally within Roon without needing Google. And that once Google did teach me that Bill Monroe is who I am looking for, that Roon would pop good search results without having first to add Bill Monroe to the library so that Roon search is “more aware” of him. And I find that last part confusing as to why that happens.

See here or here. With the DVD players its not as involved as it used to be with the PS3. You do need basic PC knowledge and a fair amount of Sitzfleisch and frustration tolerance though. If you find the referenced threads too much of a hassle to read through, best to stay away.

Two possible explanations here: that Tidal doesn’t even have the Bluegrass genre, or that there is no bluegrass content in the library (your rock example). It’s difficult to test the rock hypothesis, we all have some, we would need an empty library.

But I always thought that for Tidal content that is not in your library, Roon does not do any metadata harvesting, that the Tidal database is too big and too dynamic. With the new cloud-based search, I’m less sure, but your experience indicates that it is still true, that Roon asks Tidal for the genre bluegrass and Tidal replies huh?

I haven’t used Foobar but I have seen many other similar systems. Lightroom has it.

Btw, it doesn’t specify in the screen capture, but I assume it follows the same Boolean logic as Roon’s Focus: OR in each category, AND across categories?

I don’t have any Bluegrass in my library and my library is about 85% Tidal. I did a search for Bluegrass and saw this before starting my search.


As I typed in bluegrass 5 flavors were suggested.

These were my search results. Notice that every album listed is from Tidal.

Seems like the new Search may be learning as more people search for the same thing.


Both, I think. If Tidal doesn’t have the Bluegrass genre, but Roon does, then using the two to find Bluegrass music is limited to what Roon knows about within your library. That’s not a surprise and you are right that it would probably be a big project for Roon to find me the pillars of the Bluegrass genre as within Tidal but not yet in my library.

Yes if I understand correctly. Except Roon’s Focus is OR across tags unless you click on the minus, so you get either OR or AND NOT but you cannot get AND. Roon’s Focus needs to allow for AND with Tags. Then you find the intersection within the Venn diagram of two Tags. That would be powerful.

I ripped mine on my old Oppo 105. It works very well, but it is pretty labor intensive (actually the ripping isn’t, it’s the creating the tracks and all the meta data that takes time). None of it is very hard, just time consuming. I’ve come to realize many people consider time consuming to be “hard”. I don’t.

I keep the raw iso file but then extract the tracks to DSF files for foobar2000 and Roon

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A small correction — I’m sure you know this.
I used the word “categories”. Tags are one category, and all tags are OR’d. But across categories the filters are AND’d. So in this case, the filter is Tidal AND 2010s AND “Crispell” AND genre:jazz AND (my tags “jazz chamber” OR “Avantgarde jazz”). This is true even for things that were originally a tag in the file: if Roon recognizes it and turns it into a first-class attribute, it’s AND’d.

Yessir, that is correct. Focus is much better for its “first class attributes” as you called them, and that is pretty powerful as long as the metadata is there to fill in the value for the attribute.

Being a fan of a lot of music from very small, no longer existing labels and other obscurities, often those attributes aren’t in Roon, which is why I have learned to rely heavily on Tags and was “focused” on the logic between Tags.

But you are right, among the different attributes it is AND logic and that makes good sense.

I must admit the most confusing thing I find about roon is I never really know if I am in an “object” browsing discovery mode or if I am in a “string” based search mode. I hadn’t listened to any bluegrass in a while so I was surprised to see no Alison Krauss came up on an initial search with the Bluegrass genre. She pretty much single-handedly kicked off the whole Bluegrass revival.

But once I searched for her directly, next time I did a search on Bluegrass she did come up. That for me was really puzzling. If I was new to Bluegrass that is where I would start Then all roon’s strengths really kick in and you can surf the entire genre. For example her number one influence is Bill Monroe. You may find her solo work too smaltzy where her label is cashing in so go for the stuff with her band Union Station. Then pretty quickly you start getting to progressive bluegrass like Nickel Creek.

Hegelian dialog at work: Anders, you take a library centric view, I don’t.

My main use for Roon is going outside of my library. That said, the things I usually want to retrieve (note the use of the word “retrieve”) are items I know of, things I haven’t listened to in a long time, things I have always wanted to listen to but never got around to buying, etc.

The whole exploration side of Roon is interesting as a concept, but I have so much catching up to do that it might even take me 10 years before I will start to use the “follow the links and references” approach to exploration Roon is centered around.

In the mean time, speedy and accurate retrieval as a way of navigating is important to me. The faster I find what I’m looking for, the faster I can get to the point of the exercise: lean back and listen.

Which also explains why I’m not at all bothered by Roon’s UI: I don’t care how it looks. I just want to listen.

2 posts were merged into an existing topic: DSD ISO Support