Avoiding creating massive numbers of duplicates

The Roon interface makes it easy for me to create vast numbers of duplicates in a playlist. This most often happens (I think) when I accidentally add a whole playlist into itself rather than adding a single item. That left/topmost “…” button that leads to “Add to playlist” seems to be the culprit, because it adds everything, not just the selection:

I have to be doing something wrong, because there are so few complaints in this forum about having to weed out massive numbers of duplicates. How do I avoid this?

Here’s my situation. I have an Artists to Watch playlist that I add to often and play often. When I like a track, I add it to one of my permanent playlists. Somehow, of the three “…” buttons on the main screen, I occasionally end up clicking the wrong one – the one that adds a whole playlist into another playlist.

It’s hard to pinpoint what I’m doing wrong, since it’s only later that I notice that was once a 50-hour playlist is suddenly 100-hours, whereupon I look for duplicates and find a 1000 or so of them that I have to delete individually.

But I can’t imagine other Roon users spend as much time weeding out duplicates as I do, so I’d appreciate advice.

Are you asking advice on not clicking on the button you know you shouldn’t, which button to press or how to remove duplicates after your error?
Can’t help with the first.
The second it’s the button next to where it tells you how many you’ve selected, as below.

Removal is a pain, sort the playlist and spend the day clicking unfortunately.


I think roon just works differently to how you would prefer.

To do what you want, I usually just add the tracks to my queue and if I like the track I add it (or the album) to my library or a playlist.

What you seem to want to do is move a track if you like it from playlist A to playlist B. I don’t normally want to do that so I tried it. If I highlight a track or several tracks on playlist A and select “add to playlist” B then I get what you experience. The entire playlist A is added to the target playlist B. The only way I can do what you want is to click the track in the playlist A to get to the source album and add it to playlist B from there.

Your use case seems perfectly valid to me but it looks like that would need a change request unless I have misunderstood what you want to do.

I have local files, TIDAL, and Qobuz. For all my favorite albums, I have at least three versions of those albums. All three albums are often not recognized to be the same even thought they have the same number of tracks, same duration, and frankly same cover art.

I would like a feature in Roon, possibly a toggle, to auto-group albums if:
1- # of tracks is the same and track durations are within 1% of being the same
2- Cover art is the same - this is an absolutely trivial thing to check these days with very high accuracy
3- Sample rate should not matter - ie I want albums to be grouped regardless of sample rate

IMHO, it is quite a limitation of Roon given its aim to streamline metadata.

And I will add: I want better automatic assignment of “primary” album: I would like the highest sample rate local copy (with a preference for DSD over PCM) to be auto-assigned as primary. There’s some primitive choices for TIDAL and MQA, but they are not that helpful. I would basically want any MQA version to be automatically sent to the bottom of the preference list - I can override this if I so desire but frankly, with the prevalence of lossy 16/44 that MQA has brought to TIDAL, I think MQA is indeed the bottom rung.

That’s odd. I tried it clicking the 3 bars as @ged_hickman1 indicated and only the tracks I selected in playlist A were added to playlist B, not the entire A playlist. :man_shrugging:

I must instinctively be doing the same thing as the OP (on a PC). I Have just double checked.

  1. Select a single track (so it is ticked) on playlist A
  2. Three dots
  3. Select Add to Playlist
  4. Select Playlist B
  5. Entire Playlist A is added to Playlist B

PS. I think it makes a difference where you are doing this from. If you are doing it from the queue manager then only the selected tracks are added. But if you are doing this from the playlist manager then the entire playlist is added, regardless which tracks you have selected. Maybe there are other variations/starting points. But two of us have instinctively added an entire playlist and two of us have not. Something off here I think if UIX outcomes are a coin toss.

1 Like

I’m not sure what exactly is meant by “queue manager” and “playlist manager “.

Specifically, this is what I did to add only the selected tracks.

  1. Starting at the Home page, select the hamburger/3 line menu at the top left corner.

  2. Scroll down to My Stuff and select Playlists

  3. Select playlist A

  4. Select desired tracks

  5. Select 3 dots at top of page (across from # selected), then select Add to Playlist

  6. Select Playlist B

Note: This copies the selected tracks from Playlist A to Playlist B. It does not remove the selected tracks from Playlist A.

At step 5, if you select the 3 dots to the right across from the playlist title, then the entire playlist in A will be added to B regardless of tracks selected in step 4.

I hope this helps. :slightly_smiling_face:

Sorry. Cannot follow all those arrows at all so I don’t think that is what I am doing.

Sorry for the confusion. I had hoped the screenshots would help show which “3 dots” button to select. :frowning:

Do the written steps make sense?

The OP and myself must be doing something different to you. And this is exactly what the OP’s question is. His question is not what he should be doing which isn’t really very helpful but what he is doing wrong. So I will add myself to that question. What exactly is it that 50% of the contributors to this thread are doing that gives them a completely different outcome to the other 50% contributors of the thread?

If I start with a Playlist B with 25 tracks with the intention of adding one track to it from a donor Playlist A (so that I end up with 26 tracks on Playlist B) this is what I do:

  1. Target Playlist B with 25 tracks:

  1. Donor Playlist A, also with 25 tracks. I select 1 track:

  1. Playlist B ends up with all of donor Playlist A tracks and has 50 tracks and not just 26 tracks:

What is different about this sequence of steps compared with your sequence of steps?

The 3 dots button on the right side of the screen you circled controls the entire playlist as one unit, regardless of tracks selected.

To control just the tracks selected, you have to use the 3 dots button on the upper left near where it shows the number of tracks selected. You may notice the 3 dot button for controlling just the selected tracks doesn’t even appear on the screen until you start selecting tracks.

So what is being done “wrong” is using the incorrect 3 dot button to add just the selected tracks to another playlist.

Unfortunately, this is another example of how parts of Roon aren’t very intuitive to use. I’ve been using Roon since 2016 and am still learning how to use different functions (in the beginning I was completely lost! :hushed:).


LOL. That distinction between the behaviour of two different three dots symbols comes up all over the place. I can never remember and have been intuitively getting that wrong probably since about 2016 as well.

I can see now what is happening. The second three dots controlling the selection only appears when the selection is made. So up until that point many people (maybe most?) are unaware that they are going to have to make a choice between three dots that controls a selection and three dots that controls everything in focus. Me personally, until you have pointed it out, after 6 years of using roon I have never noticed that.

But personally I always found roon quite difficult and unintuitive like that. Seems to be getting worse though over the last 18 months or so. Maybe there have been a lot of personnel changes with different ideas? The good news is maybe we have got to the bottom of this one.


Thank you all. My initial explanation was bad. The problem is when I want to move an item from playlist A to playlist B.

The core user experience problem (on Mac OS) is:

  1. there’s no “transfer to playlist” action, so you have to first add a track (or tracks) to playlist B and then delete the track (or tracks) from playlist A.
  2. The big red button to remove tracks appears during the first step (adding tracks). And it’s right above the three dots that move all of playlist A to playlist B. So you are prompted to click those three dots instead of the right three dots, which are on the other side of the screen.

I’m quite sure that if you got 100 interface designers together, they would overwhelmingly agree Roon has a bad design here. But the forum (and this thread) show a long history of problems, and they have not been fixed (or, as far as I can tell, even acknowledged).

Against that background, my question was: how do people like me avoid clicking on the Causes You a Whole Lot of Work three dots that are right there instead of the Does What You Want three dots that are elsewhere?

It seems there’s no solution on the user side and no interest in the problem on the provider side. Oh well.

Unfortunately, the only solution on the user side is to learn which button to select for the desired result, often by trial and error.

I think it would make things easier/more intuitive if there was only one 3 dot button, that when selected, would show a dropdown menu of clear options, much like the dropdown shown when selecting the down arrow next to the Play Now button.

I guess my mind works differently.

In viewing a playlist, once I select a track, in a playlist, I want transferred, the “X# Selected” line appears at the top of the page which includes the Play, Three Dot, and Remove options.

I’ve not been tempted to use the Three Dot menu or the Play Menu on the Playlist Title line that is there before and after selecting tracks and doesn’t change. I just naturally go to the options that appear upon selecting a track.

Maybe that’s just something I learned along the way while using various software, that some people haven’t had a chance to pick up on.

Maybe if the Playlist Title line options disappeared while a track is selected?

In this particular case, I see it the same way you do and didn’t have issues using it. But I have had issues understanding how to use other features, so I understand the frustrations expressed here.

I know the frustrations from my wife. She won’t touch Roon since the first time she tried it and something didn’t work the way she expected. We all have different experiences.

1 Like

Intuitive doesn’t exist, all software usage is through learned behaviour and people arrive down different paths.

While true, there’s differences in how hard to learn something is, and how easy or difficult to recover from mistakes.

1 Like